Adolescence Education (MSEd)

Department Co-Chairs:  Marya Grande, PhD and Kelly Harper, PhD

Degree: Master of Science in Education

Program Details

The adolescence education program provides the education necessary for teacher certification in grades 7-12. Canisius offers certification in seven disciplines at the adolescence level: English, mathematics, social studies,  Spanish, biology, chemistry, and physics. Candidates should possess a bachelor’s degree with approximately 36 credit hours in the academic discipline. Candidates must also complete 3 credit hours of study, or the equivalent, of a language other than English. Students who complete certification requirements may complete additional coursework to extend their certification downward to grades 5-6 (see Middle Childhood). 

Grade Requirements

Graduate students enrolled in initial certification programs must achieve a C or above in all prerequisite coursework and a B- or above in all graduate program coursework. Failure to meet these requirements will require repeating the course &/or completing additional coursework.

Licensure Disclosure

Canisius College cannot determine whether completion of this program would be sufficient to meet licensure requirements outside of New York State for the intended occupation. We advise you to contact your state licensing board or appropriate licensing entity to determine whether the program meets requirements for Professional Licensure in the state where you are located or the state in which you intend to pursue licensure. Please contact the associate dean of your school if you have further questions.


Required Courses for Initial Certification in Adolescence Education

EDAD 502Foundations of Adolescent Literacy (includes 30 hours of field experience)3
EDU 505Foundations of Education3
EDAD 534Assessment of Student Learning3
EDAD 535Learning and Human Development: Adolescence3
SPE 536Differentiating Instruction for Diverse Adolescent Learners3
EDAD 572Pedagogical Strategies and Methods3
EDAD 573Applied Content Literacies and Methods3
EDAD 593Student Teaching: Adolescence9
EDAD 594Student Teaching Seminar0
EDU 595Child Abuse Workshop0
EDU 596Prevention of School Violence Workshop 0
EDU 597Dignity for All Students Workshop0
EDU 615Research Methods3
Total Credits33

Required Certification Exams for Initial Certification

New York State Teachers Certification Exams (NYSTCE)

Certification examination requirements can be found here:

Note: fingerprinting is also required.

Middle Childhood

Candidates wishing to obtain an extension to teach grades 5-6 (thus enabling candidates to teach middle childhood grades 5-9 as well as adolescence grades 7-12) must add a middle childhood extension.

Prerequisites for Adolescence 7-12 Certification in the Content Area:

  1. English:  30 credit hours are required in English. Topics that need to be covered include linguistics/grammar, American Literature, World Literature, Young Adult Literature, British Literature, and writing/composition (plus electives needed to meet the credit hour requirement)
  2. Math:  30 credit hours are required in Math.  Topics that need to be covered include Calculus I, II, and III, differential equations, abstract math, linear algebra, abstract algebra, geometry, and statistics. (plus electives needed to meet the credit hour requirement)
  3. Biology:  30 credit hours are required in Biology.  Topics that need to be covered include botany, evolution, microbiology, biochemistry, organismal biology, ecology, physiology, cell biology, zoology, genetics, and anatomy. (plus electives needed to meet the credit hour requirement)
  4. Chemistry:  30 credit hours are required in Chemistry.  Topics that need to be covered include inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, analytical chemistry, and physical chemistry. (plus electives needed to meet the credit hour requirement)
  5. Physics:  30 credit hours are required in Physics.  Topics that need to be covered include general physics, classical mechanics, nuclear physics, optics, electricity/magnetism, quantum mechanics, electronics, and statistics & thermal dynamics. (plus electives needed to meet the credit hour requirement)
  6. Social Studies:  30 credit hours are required in Social Studies.  Eighteen (18) credits in history are required.  Three credits are also required in each of the following areas:  geography, political science/government, cultural studies, and economics.  The remaining credits can come from other social sciences including psychology or philosophy.
  7. Spanish:  30 credit hours of study in that language are required *French concentration available to graduate students with 30-credits.

Learning Goals & Objectives

Learning Goal 1 (KNOWLEDGE – Observed in Writing)

Candidates in the Teacher Education programs will demonstrate content knowledge, pedagogical, and professional knowledge necessary for successful performance in their field. 

Teacher candidates will:
  • Acquire knowledge of each student, and demonstrate knowledge of student development and learning to promote achievement for all students.
  • Know the content they are responsible for teaching, and the pedagogical content knowledge to plan instruction that ensures growth and achievement for all students.

Learning Goal 2 (KNOWLEDGE – Observed Skills and Dispositions)

Candidates in the Teacher Education programs will demonstrate professional skills and dispositions necessary for successful performance in their field. 

Teacher candidates will:
  • Demonstrate professional dispositions and implement instruction that engages and challenges all students to meet or exceed the learning standards.

Learning Goal 3 (SERVICE)

Candidates in the Teacher Education programs will demonstrate willingness to use their skills to benefit and serve society. Within the contexts of their work, candidates promote authentic learning, social and emotional development, and a commitment to social justice in environments that foster respect for diversity and the dignity of all.

Teacher candidates will: 
  • Work with all students to create a dynamic learning environment that supports achievement and growth.
  • Use multiple measures to assess and document student growth, evaluate instructional effectiveness, and modify instruction for diverse learners. 


Candidates will demonstrate self-reflection as a habit of mind, continuously assessing and refining their professional practice as they construct a rich repertoire of research-based knowledge, skills, and attitudes for effective performance ensuring that all students and/or clients have optimal opportunities to learn and grow. 

Teacher candidates will: 
  • Set informed goals and strive for continuous professional growth.

Learning Goal 5 (LEADERSHIP)

Candidates will become adept at applying their acquired knowledge in the process of evaluating their own professional performance and decision-making with respect to its impact on students and/or clients, organizations, and the wider community.

Teacher candidates will: 
  • Demonstrate professional responsibility and engage relevant stakeholders to maximize impact on student growth, development, and learning.


EDAD 502 Foundations of Adolescent Literacy 3 Credits

The theoretical and practical approaches to teaching skills of literacy in a variety of disciplines will be addressed. This course focuses on three strands of literacy teaching for adolescent students: Strategies for developing reading and writing skills in all secondary content areas, methods for teaching reading and writing in inquiry projects and problem based learning and pedagogical practices for integrating critical literacy in all secondary classrooms. Includes language acquisition and literacy development by native English speakers and students who are English Language learners. Also includes skill in developing the listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills of all students. 20 hours of field experience required.

Offered: every fall.

EDAD 534 Assessment of Student Learning 3 Credits

This course focuses on impacting student learning using contemporary practices of assessment and assessment-driven instructional planning. Varied assessment measures, especially authentic assessments based on real world tasks will be emphasized. A range of assessment tools to measure and document student learning and growth will be used to drive subsequent instructional planning. 30 hour field experience

Offered: every spring.

EDAD 535 Learning and Human Development: Adolescence 3 Credits

This course focuses on understanding the learning process, both as it develops in the adolescent learner and as it exists in the social setting of the classroom. Topics will include influential learning theories and developmental approaches, cognition, information processing, problem-solving, motivation and classroom management. Skills in applying this understanding to real-life situations will be stressed. Research findings are integrated with each topic. Emphasis is upon grades 7 - 12.

Offered: every spring.

EDAD 572 Pedagogical Strategies and Methods 3 Credits

This course focuses on traditional and contemporary methods of teaching dialogical, collaborative lessons. The use of multimodal and digital tools for developing content area lessons and units will be emphasized. Individual Sections focus on specific content areas. 30 hours of field experience

Offered: every spring.

EDAD 573 Applied Content Literacies and Methods 3 Credits

This course combines theory and reflective practice to integrate and apply curricular, instructional, and evaluative skills in unit planning (aligned with state/national subject-specific standards). Methods for culturally relevant teaching as well as content-specific topics will be emphasized. Fifty (50) hours of field experience will be required. Individual sections focus on specific content areas.

Prerequisites: EDAD 572.

Offered: every fall.

EDAD 593 Student Teaching: Adolescence 1-9 Credits

Requires two supervised teaching placements in schools appropriate to certification level and includes experience in high- needs schools or schools serving socio-economically disadvantaged students.

Prerequisite: successful completion of required education courses and an overall QPA of 3.0. Some school districts may require tuberculosis or other health tests.

Offered: occasionally.

EDAD 594 Student Teaching Seminar 0 Credits

Student Teaching Seminar enhances the student teaching experience through opportunities to foster professional growth and guided reflection on planning, instruction and assessment of learning. The course provides a professional learning community to assist candidates in the transition to careers in teaching.

Offered: occasionally.

EDAD 599 Independent Study 3-6 Credits

Independent studies require an application and approval by the associate dean.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor, department chair, & associate dean.


EDU 505 Foundations of Education 3 Credits

An examination of the social, historical and philosophical foundations of education intended to provide a framework for understanding contemporary issues in education. Topics may include the role of education in a democratic society; gender, race and class in education; home, school and community relationships; and the organizational structure of education.

Offered: Spring and summer.

EDU 595 Child Abuse Workshop 0 Credits

NYSED requirement for teacher certification.

EDU 596 Prevention of School Violence Workshop 0 Credits

NYSED requirement for teacher certification.

EDU 597 Dignity for All Students Workshop 0 Credits

NYSED requirement for teacher certification.

EDU 615 Research Methods 3 Credits

Candidates will develop an understanding of the research process from formulating a research problem through data analysis and interpretation. Candidates will learn how to critically analyze research studies, discuss ethical considerations in conducting research and discuss the importance of scientific research for educational policy and practice. Each candidate will plan a research project consistent with his/her interests and with the course goals.

SPE 536 Differentiating Instruction for Diverse Adolescent Learners 3 Credits

This course focuses on educating adolescents regardless of their social and cultural backgrounds, language proficiencies, differences in ability and special needs. Social and emotional issues pertaining to an inclusive classroom and school will be discussed in addition to addressing the knowledge, skills and strategies for planning, managing, coordinating and evaluating inclusive teaching and learning environments. Attention will be given to collaboration with parents, specialists, agencies and community organizations as well as laws and policies that serve diverse learners.