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Teaching (Elementary, Middle, and High School)

The American Studies Program’s dedication to providing majors with a broad education in American cultures and institutions may prepare them well to teach a variety of students and subjects, ranging from elementary school to courses in literature and history at the high school level. However, unlike BYU’s McKay School of Education, the American Studies Program does not provide any teacher certification credentials, so our majors who go on to teach typically do so by means of alternative certification programs, or they may become teachers at private and charter schools. Students who wish to teach after graduation are encouraged to make strategic use of the 6 hours of internship credit that they are permitted to count toward their American Studies major. Several students have taken the initiative to reach out to private and charter schools and have arranged for teaching internships through which they gain experience co-teaching classes at local schools. Other students have entered the field of teaching by joining the national nonprofit organization Teach for America, which offers alternative certification and sometimes finances students’ masters degrees. Students may also respond to the national and worldwide demand for English teachers, pairing their American Studies major with a minor in TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language).