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Secondary Education

The M.Ed. In Secondary Education Program at the University of Arizona South is a two-year, professional, alternative certificate program in which teacher candidates develop as teachers, meet certification requirements, and earn a master’s degree while teaching full-time in middle schools or high schools. With a robust conceptual framework based on equity literacy, the program uses context specific pedagogy to help nurture teachers’ appreciation of the unique schools and students they serve.

Upon admission to the program, candidates receive assistance in placement in a southern Arizona middle school or high school where, as a teacher of record on an Alternative Teaching Certificate, candidates, called teaching Interns, deepen their teaching practice while being paid as full-time teachers.

During the two-year program, teaching interns take classes in online and face-to-face formats and participate in interactive teacher education seminars (TES). Through carefully crafted coursework and a robust professional learning community headed by an award-winning faculty, teaching interns actively participate in immersive and self-reflective teaching and learning experiences.  Throughout the program, teaching interns receive support and guidance from assigned UA South coaches and mentors as well as a school-based mentor in the schools in which they teach.

If you are interested in learning more about the M.Ed. in Secondary Education Program, contact Ali Van Gorp, Program Manager/Recruiter.

Why choose the M.Ed. in Secondary Education Program at UA South?

  • Earn as you Learn: Ability to teach in a middle or high school in Southern Arizona while in the program.
  • Innovation: A real-world curriculum, monthly Teacher Education Seminars, and a strong professional learning community of peers, mentors, coaches, and faculty to ensure relevancy of learning. View program’s course rotation.
  • Enrichment: Opportunities to participate in teacher exchanges and cultural discovery with teachers from Mexico.
  • Robust Mentor Network: Guidance of a mentor teacher and university coach who provides support for growth in teaching.
  • Flexibility: Hybrid class structure, with both online and face-to-face classes that fit with a full-time teaching schedule.
  • Financial Assistance: Incentive programs, including the NSF Boarder Scholar Program for those with STEM degrees and professional experience, Federal Student Aid including TEACH Grants and Teacher Loan Forgiveness, and University South Foundation merit and need-based scholarships.
  • Streamlined Certification: An Institutional Recommendation for Certification issued upon program completion that reduces time and cost.
  • Full SEI Endorsement: Qualification for a full Structured English Immersion Endorsement upon program completion.
  • Award-Winning Program: Professor, Etta Kralovec, Ed.D., was named UA Distinguished Outreach Professor in 2015. The program received the UA Peter Likins Inclusive Excellence Program Award in 2015.


Learn more about our Noyce Border Scholars ( program. The University of Arizona South M.Ed. Secondary Education Program has received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support the recruitment and preparation of STEM teachers in southern Arizona high schools and middle schools. The Collaborative Noyce Border Scholars Program along the Arizona-Mexico border is a collaboration among the University of Arizona South, University of Arizona Biosphere 2, and Cochise College. If you would like more information, contact Ali Van Gorp (

Our Vision

We envision a world in which children in Southern Arizona have access to high quality education.

Our Mission

The award-winning M.Ed. program in Secondary Education at University of Arizona South is committed to preparing teachers with the dispositions and skills to work for middle and high school students in Arizona and Arizona border schools. Our context-specific focus on preparing teachers for the borderlands of Arizona involves developing in candidates an appreciation for their students' and their own racial/ethnic backgrounds and socioeconomic status. Thus, critical analyses of the emerging teachers’ sociocultural, sociopolitical, and socioeconomic positionality are central for those in the M.Ed. program. In addition, interrogations of power in school settings occur across the M.Ed. curriculum. This work is accomplished by knitting together clinical experience in partner schools with carefully crafted coursework. New teacher learning is supported by a robust professional learning community of peer learners and teacher leaders in our partner schools.

Our Guiding Principles

  1. Constructivism: Constructivist learning theory informs the structure and content of our courses and our approach to teaching and learning. Whenever possible, faculty model constructivists teaching practice in their own courses.
  2. Equity Literacy: Equity Literacy is an “approach to diversity or multiculturalism that relies more on teachers' understandings of equity and inequity and of justice and injustice than on their understanding of this or that culture. The idea is to place equity rather than culture at the center of the diversity conversation.”
  3. Teaching and Learning: UA South faculty commitment to teaching ensures that M.Ed. courses are centered on student learning and carefully designed to prepare emerging teachers with the skills they need to begin teaching.
  4. Partnerships: Deep partnerships with local schools and the participation of local master teachers in the preparation of M.Ed. candidates ensures a robust democratic learning community that models classroom practices for emerging teachers.
  5. Context-specific Preparation: Coursework content and pedagogy are directed at school-embedded practices in partner border schools. Our context-specific conceptual framework informs the program design and the content of coursework.
  6. Pedagogical Content Knowledge: A focus on pedagogical content knowledge supports emerging teachers’ ability to translate deep content knowledge into classroom learning.
  7. Action Research. Participatory action research is the research framework used in the program, which prepares teachers to adopt a stance of inquiry in their own classrooms. Action research can also be used in the classroom with middle and high school students, referred to as, “Youth Participatory Action Research.”
  8. Culturally sustaining Pedagogy: Culturally sustaining pedagogy seeks to sustain linguistic, literate, and cultural pluralism as part of the democratic project of schooling.
  9. Teacher Leadership: Our commitment to preparing teachers to be leaders informs the structure of work our students do and also develops among students a collaborative learning community with an emphasis on peer-to-peer learning and coaching.

These understandings prepare emerging teachers to shape classroom environments that:

  1. Acknowledge that the learner is not a passive recipient of knowledge, but rather a thinker, creator, and constructor of knowledge.
  2. Emphasize instructional approaches such as reciprocal teaching that supports self-monitoring, metacognition, and self-assessment and emphasizes student reflection as a centerpiece of learning.
  3. Build culturally sustaining pedagogy and curricula that overcome the dehumanizing deficit approaches to education that currently define too many classrooms.
  4. Respect and honor all students and that link classroom instruction to the cultural and experiential background of their students.

Our Commitment to our Students

Our work takes place in the borderlands of Arizona. This context demands a deep understanding of the politically complex and rich linguistic, cultural, and bi-national communities on the border. As the U.S. becomes a more multicultural country, the understandings and dispositions students develop in the program will serve them well, wherever they choose to teach.

Secondary Education is offered in the following locations: Sierra Vista, Pima County, Douglas, Santa Cruz County

If you are interested in learning more about the M.Ed. in Secondary Education Program, contact Ali Van Gorp, Program Manager/Recruiter.

Admission Requirements:
  • B.A. or B.S. degree
  • GPA of 3.0 on upper and lower division coursework toward the bachelor’s degree (or the most recently completed 60 units)
  • Documented proof of application for Fingerprint Clearance Card from the Arizona Department of Public Safety
  • Complete Personal Data Form, including a letter of intent stating why you want to be a teacher
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A professional resume

Apply for Admission

Applying for admission is easy through our GradApp graduate admission application:

  1. Create your profile (personal & contact information, your previous education data)
    2.Apply to the program(s) you’ve chosen

Submit the admissions application and pay the application fee.

Useful Links

If you are interested in learning more about the M.Ed. in Secondary Education Program, contact Ali Van Gorp, Program Manager/Recruiter.

If you are interested in learning more about the M.Ed. in Secondary Education Program, contact Ali Van Gorp, Program Manager/Recruiter.

The certificate for which you will qualify once you have completed the M.Ed. Program will enable you to teach in grades six through twelve. In order to enter the program, you are required to pass the Arizona certification secondary subject knowledge exam (NES or AEPA) or have a Bachelor's or advanced degree in the academic subject you plan to teach.

  • TEDV 505: Equity Literacy

This course places equity (fairness) at the core of its investigation of schooling. Within the context of the cultures of students, schools, and communities, the course is designed to reflect knowledge growth in teaching as well as the critical/social theoretical frameworks in education that examine equity and inequity, justice and injustice. The course is based on the belief that students' and teachers' realities, experiences, values, and assumptions affect their interpretations and understandings of their own learning and teaching.

  • TEDV 520: Classroom Management

Analysis of theories and practice of instruction, management techniques and assessment. Graduate-level requirements include a detailed discipline plan based on readings in the Charles text and their initial internship experience in the classroom.

  • TEDV 593B/693B: Secondary School Internship

This internship focuses on the practical application of theories and methods of instruction in the middle and secondary classroom. This initial internship provides the teacher candidate the opportunity to test theory by using multiple methodologies, receive guidance, and to develop competencies aligned to the InTASC Standards.

Please contact an Academic Advisor if you are interested in this program.
Graduate Assistant
Academic Affairs
Mentor | Clinical Instructor
Assistant Professor
Professor, Teacher Education
Mentor | Clinical Instructor
Assistant Professor, Teacher Education | Interim Program Director, Secondary Education
Adjunct Instructor
Faculty, Adjunct
Adjunct Instructor
Faculty, Adjunct
Adjunct Instructor
Faculty, Adjunct
Minor Offered: Thematic
Program Type: Master of Education
Program Career Level: Graduate Degree
Locations Offered: Sierra Vista, Pima County, Douglas, Santa Cruz County

Richard Orozco, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Teacher Education | Interim Program Director, Secondary Education
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