The adolescence education major prepares you to teach grades 7-12 and satisfies the New York State Education Department requirements for initial certification.

Adolescence education prepares you for teaching in grades 7-12 through coursework, field experiences and student teaching. Each component of the program is designed for your ongoing development for leadership and service. Beginning with your first year in our program, you’ll be immersed in diverse field and coursework that requires the intentional critical thinking and action needed for today’s classrooms. Diverse experiences within rural schools of Western New York and urban schools of Buffalo paired with coursework expectations provide a carefully scaffolded and challenging environment for you to develop as an emerging educator. Coursework covers topics such as theories of teaching and learning, literacy, special education, classroom management, curriculum, assessment, and content-specific teaching methods.

 Houghton’s education faculty members are committed to integrating theory, practice and Christian faith in their teaching. All have earned graduate degrees in specific areas of specialization, and all have served as classroom teachers. This combination of experience, expertise and a Christian worldview provides a classroom context that promotes the intellectual development and spiritual formation of students who graduate to serve as scholars and leaders in the world of education.

Why Major in Adolescence Education?

  • Be equipped for transformative learning and service.
  • Collect at least 100 hours of contact time priorto student teaching.
  • Practice what you’ve learned in the college classroom through abundant opportunities to be in area classrooms observing, doing service-learning, and so on in the first and second years.
  • Experience teaching in an inner-city setting during a two-week site experience in Buffalo, NY, called Teaching in Urban America.
  • Receive intentional, personalized academic advising and mentoring by education faculty across your entire Houghton experience.
  • Dedicate one full semester to student teaching during your senior year.
  • Do collaborative research with teacher education program faculty members, and present your findings at international, national and regional conferences.

Major Requirements

Adolescence Education (BA)

Augmented History (BA)


Experiential Learning

  • Math, Division, Literacy Days: Groups of students come to campus, and Houghton students are in charge of setting this up.
  • Many current students participate in summer AmeriCorps opportunities in Buffalo where they work with English Language Learners in summer programs such as JumpStart.
  • Local placements and Buffalo-area placements are available, or you can apply to do a portion of your student teaching overseas.
  • During the Junior Practicum, students get connected to a teacher or group of teachers for the entire year.
  • Choose from a wide variety of service learning opportunities—from working with small groups in after-school programs or collaborating with local teachers for various learning opportunities to volunteering at Journey’s End Tutoring in Buffalo or Reading Club at King Center Charter School (Buffalo), tutoring in local schools, or participating in Allegany County Outreach.

Intentional Mentoring by Houghton Faculty

At Houghton, your education professors serve as mentors throughout your coursework and fieldwork. This mentoring relationship begins through classroom discussions; develops further through advising sessions, feedback on assignments and lesson observations; and remains strong and available even after graduation. We don’t adjunct field experiences (i.e., practicum, student teaching); each student receives careful placement and personal oversight by full-time education faculty who know them very well.

Inner City Immersion Experience for All Students

Education students can experience teaching in an inner-city setting during a two-week site experience in Buffalo, NY, called Teaching in Urban America. The students have the opportunity to observe and engage in a more diverse classroom setting; discuss culture, poverty, privilege and race and their relationships with education; engage in a service-learning project in the community; and explore the city of Buffalo.

New York State Teacher Certification

Students completing adolescence education, inclusive adolescence education,inclusive childhood education, music education or TESOL majors may apply for an Initial Teaching Certificate from New York State. In addition to completing the requirements for the major, applicants for New York State teacher certification must complete the required New York State Teacher Certification Examinations appropriate to the desired teaching certificate(s).