Civics Teaching Certificate

The UCF Department of Political Science has teamed up with the School of Teaching, Learning and Leadership to offer a certificate in civics teaching.

The certificate, administered through the Lou Frey Institute of Politics and Government, is comprised of a four course program designed to develop expertise in civics content, pedagogy and assessment.

The certificate will provide pre-service teachers with complementary civics teaching-focused coursework. However, students do not need to be education majors to participate in the program. The provided coursework will build on the Social Science Education B.S. program while also offering opportunities for those students interested in teaching civics but not majoring in Social Science Education.

Lou Frey Institute Executive Director Doug Dobson, Ph.D., is excited about this new venture.  “This is the next step in the Lou Frey Institute meeting the needs of civics teachers statewide.  The Institute has trained hundreds of teachers supporting thousands of students in Florida since our teacher support work began in earnest in 2009.  Shaping the next generation of civics teachers is a critical next step.”

The certificate program can be completed in three semesters by taking a fall course, spring course and two summer courses which includes an internship in a local government office. The certificate’s required courses include Teaching American Politics and Government, Civic Engagement, and the internship with local government, which are offered by the political science department, and Civics in Florida: Standards, Best Practices, and Assessment, offered by the School of Teaching, Learning and Leadership.

The program is strategically designed to equip students with the tools needed to deliver instruction linked to the 7th grade Civics End of Course Assessment (EOCA). This Civics EOCA is administered to all 200,000 Florida middle school civics students annually.

Among its objectives, the Lou Frey Institute, located on Research Parkway, aims to promote the development of pre-service teachers through civic education and experiential programs. This certificate was developed with this objective in mind and will be offered through the institute housed in the Political Science Department.

Terri Susan Fine, Ph.D., professor of political science at UCF and faculty coordinator of the program, described the opportunities provided through the program to UCF students.

“The program will strengthen students’ qualification by deepening their knowledge and skills in an increasingly employable instructional niche while also increasing opportunities for non-majors and addressing ongoing concerns about teacher content knowledge and pedagogical approaches.”

For more information about the Civics Teaching Certificate click here.

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