Overview of a Bachelor’s in English Education
If you’re interested in teaching English to middle or high school students, consider earning a bachelor’s degree in English education. After graduating with this degree and obtaining any necessary state certification, you can teach English or language arts from the sixth- to twelfth-grade level. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, high school teaching jobs are expected to grow by 8% over the next decade.
The actual name of the degree varies according to the college or university. Some schools offer a double major in English and education, while others may provide an accelerated bachelor’s/master’s program that can be completed in five years. A degree in English education is either a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science, depending on whether the lead agency bestowing the honor is the English or Education department. These degrees also go by various names, including English and Secondary Education, while some schools offer a bachelors of science degree in education with a specialization in English.
Education Degrees & Career Paths
A bachelor’s degree in English education is an excellent degree to earn if you know you want to teach English or Language Arts. These classes are part of the standard curriculum, and demand should remain steady. English teacher salaries vary by state and region, but the job provides good benefits and summer vacations. English majors and teachers usually like to write, and the degree does transfer to other positions requiring good grammar, writing, and editing.
The primary con regarding this degree is that it’s somewhat limiting. The student may have to take additional classes or certifications to teach other subjects on the middle or high school level, if the degree focus is English and not education. While many people with this degree go on to earn graduate degrees for career enhancement, there are not a lot of jobs outside of teaching for someone who does not want to pursue further education.
Certificate vs. Bachelor's
What English Education Bachelor’s Degrees are Available?
English education bachelor’s degrees, or their equivalent, are found under a variety of names. The difference between a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree is not always the subject matter. A BS is more focused on a specific subject than a BA, and generally more credits are required to earn a BS. The person earning a BA usually has more opportunities to take electives than the BS student, who must take more classes in their major.
Some versions of the English education bachelor’s degrees include:
- Bachelor of Science in English Education: This degree is often awarded by the Education Department, not the English department.
- Bachelor of Arts in English Education: This degree is usually awarded by the English Department, although some schools award the degree in conjunction with the Education Department.
- Bachelor of Arts in English Secondary Education: Similar to BA in English education.
- Bachelor of Science in Education Specializing in English Education: Similar to a BS in English Education
- Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education: English–This degree allows a graduate to teach English at the middle and high school level.
- Bachelors of Arts in Middle Grades Education, English specialization: This degree is solely for those planning to teach middle school English or Language Arts who do not want the option of teaching at the high school level.
While requirements may vary by school, most colleges or universities require students considering a bachelor’s English education degree program to have a minimum 3.0 GPA. Student should possess strong reading and writing ability, good communication skills, and must feel comfortable speaking in public.
How long does it take to earn a English Education Bachelor's?
If going to school full-time, most people can earn a bachelor’s degree in English education within four years. Those going to school part-time, whether online or on campus, can expect to earn their degree within six or so years. Some universities offer a five-year dual degree program, in which the student earns a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in education.
Potential Careers in English Education with a Bachelor’s
- Educational Publisher:
Working for a publishing company in the educational market is a good career option for a person with a degree in English education. These companies require researchers, writers, and editors to prepare materials for the classroom, from the primary school to university level.
The average educational publisher editor earns $59,000.
- Educational Training Developer:
This job entails developing training programs for teachers and other education professionals. Many of these programs revolve around professional or curriculum development.
The average educational training developer earns $59,000 per year.
- Middle School English Teacher:
Also known as a language arts teacher, middle school English teachers focus on grammar and expanding student vocabulary. During these years, the curriculum may include essays and poetry, as well as creative and expository writing.
The average middle school teacher earns $47,000 annually.
- High School English Teacher:
In high school, English teachers may teach different classes. Along with basic writing and reading courses, they may teach specific courses in American or English literature. Often, high school English teachers may teach other courses related to English, such as journalism.
The average high school teacher earns $49,000 annually.
- Textbook Editor:
It is the job of the textbook editor to read and edit the textbooks used in schools across the nation. A textbook editor needs not only good editing skills, but a superior knowledge of the field in which they are editing, so errors are less likely. While most textbook editors work in offices, it is a job increasingly performed remotely.
The average textbook editor earns $51,000 annually.
Options to Advance
If a teacher wants to instruct beyond high school, he or she must earn a master’s degree to teach at the college level, although many institutions of higher learning require a PhD. For those interested in moving from teaching to educational administration, additional degrees are needed. Many principals, superintendents, and other administrators began their careers in the classroom. Pursuing a master’s degree in education can help a teacher transition to administrative roles, such as assistant principal and eventually principal. Some states do not require a principal to hold a master’s degree in education per se, but may consider candidates with master’s degrees in related fields. The role of superintendent may require a master’s degree or a doctorate in education, depending on the school district’s standards.
Best Bachelor of Science in English Education Programs
This program is designed not only to prepare English teachers, but also those planning careers in fields such as instructional material publishing, curriculum development, and education research. Students learn to develop classroom strategies based on pupil age, subject matter, and the educational environment.
- Bachelor of Science in English Education
Southeastern Louisiana University
Students in this program receive an equal balance in both English and education. Along with courses in American, British, and world literature, students receive training in general teaching methods and discipline-specific methods for teaching English. The degree certifies graduates for teaching English/Language Arts in secondary schools.
- Bachelor of Arts in English Education, Grades 6-12
Southern New Hampshire University
Manchester, New Hampshire
While field work in classrooms is part of the curriculum for all education majors, this program allows students to begin working in classroom as early as freshman year.
- Bachelor of Arts in English Education
University of Maryland
College Park, Maryland
This programs curriculum focuses on American, British, World, and minority literature, along with rhetoric, linguistics, and communication. The degree awarded is considered a double major in English and education. It meets all teaching and licensure requirements for Maryland and many other states.
- English Education, Bachelor of Arts
University of South Florida
A joint program between the College of Education and the College of Arts and Sciences, this program prepares students for developing content knowledge relating to language structure, function, and writing processes and theories. The program includes courses for receiving English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Endorsement.
- Bachelor of Science in English Education
Traditional Schools Offering a BS in English Education
Baptist College of Florida
Graduates major in secondary education with a specialization in English for teaching middle and high school students, in either public or private schools. Consult the state in which you live for their state board of education teaching requirements for professional certification.
- Bachelor of Arts in English Secondary Education
Grand Canyon University
Graduates successfully completing state certification requirements qualify to teach students in fifth through 12th grade. This is a joint degree offered by GCU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the College of Education. A fast-track option is available.
- Bachelor of Arts in English for Secondary Education
This online program is in an accelerated format. It is designed so that students learn the skills necessary to teach students in grades 8-12, with a specialization in English. Students successfully completing the program may seek teacher certification in Kentucky. Students in other states must research their state’s certification requirements.
- Secondary English Education Degree
Salem, West Virginia
Courses are delivered monthly and completed either online, on campus, or a dual approach. All online courses are designed for those working full-time, so they can earn a degree with minimum disruptions as they work on their own schedules.
- Bachelor of Science in Education Specializing in English Education
Saint Leo University
Saint Leo, Florida
This school gears its online programs specifically for adult learners. Two English education degrees are offered, one with an English major and an education minor and the other an education major specializing in English.
- Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education – English
- Bachelors of Arts in Middle Grades Education, English specialization