Division of Social Studies

The purpose of the Education Program at Centre College is to provide study for undergraduate students in effective teaching including practical experiences in the classroom and other educational settings. We believe that the undergraduate college experience offers an excellent opportunity for prospective educators. Students have the opportunity to integrate their pedagogical studies within a variety of settings which include but are not limited to the following: after school programs, church settings, YMCA, museums, local/state/national parks, and/or classrooms abroad. In conjunction with these community-based opportunities, students experience a rigorous education in the liberal arts and sciences. Our mission is for students to develop a greater understanding of and appreciation for the complexities of teaching and learning and, as alumni, to lead lives of learning, leadership, and service as effective educators.

An assumption of the Education Program is that a liberal arts education, with a solid foundation of content matter and critical reflection at its heart, is the most appropriate type of preparation for educators. By acquiring content knowledge as well as the skills of reflective teaching, students will develop into self-directed professionals in a variety of educational settings including classrooms, museums, zoos, and natural parks.

The Education Program has four principal goals:

  1. to help students recognize the complexity of education in the U.S. – the nature of its assumptions, goals, organization, and problems; the nature of its students; and the nature of teaching and learning.
  2. to provide experiences and information to help students decide whether a career working with children and adolescents is appropriate for them.
  3. to provide beginning preparation for certification and teaching in the nation’s elementary and secondary schools by equipping them with the theoretical and practical knowledge needed by beginning teachers and educators in other settings.
  4. to stress critical reflection so that educators will be able to recognize educational dilemmas, to analyze such dilemmas and problems, to formulate possible solutions and anticipate some of the consequences, and to test solutions. Additional information and details are available from the Education Program.

Opportunities in Education:

Beginning with the class of 2016, students interested in pursuing a career in education can choose an Education minor. These students include: 1) students who desire to begin preparations while at Centre College for a career in K-12 teaching, and 2) students with majors other than education who plan to work with children or adolescents (particularly religion, psychology, or sociology). Several worthwhile experiences include community-based education course work, educational internships, and study abroad offerings. Students also have the opportunity to pursue a Master’s program to obtain teaching certification at one of our partner institutions. Centre has developed partnerships/pathway opportunities with both the Peabody College of Vanderbilt University and the University of Louisville that will enable qualified students to enroll in a master’s degree program with initial certification in either elementary or secondary education. Students who are interested in either of the partnerships should seek advice from Education Program Faculty and attend informational sessions provided by the partner institution.

Requirements for certification are subject to change according to the guidelines and regulations published by the governing body (in Kentucky, the Education Professional Standards Board) in the state where a student wishes to teach. Students are advised to consult with the education faculty to help plan schedules and to review requirements for certification through partner institutions in a master’s program or preparations for another educational setting.


Sarah Murray (chair), Donna Plummer, Ellen Prusinski

Student Representatives

Zach Schmucker, Aarthi Vadhanam

Education Courses

Course Descriptions