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Teacher Education

Our university’s strong political and social legacy attracts world-changing passion, encourages it, and helps you channel it back into the world. Use the DC area as your classroom to experience the diverse opportunities found right in our city.

Graduate Programs

Teacher Education at AU offers students access to cutting-edge research, innovative partnerships with educational organizations in Washington, DC, and a progressive curriculum with on-campus or online options:

MA: Teaching
MA: Teaching Online
MA: Special Education

Undergraduate Programs

Students can choose the Elementary Education BA or the Secondary Education BA, designed as a second major for those pursuing a teaching credential while completing a major in the humanities, arts, or sciences:

Teacher Ed classroom

About the Teacher Education Program

In the Teacher Education Program you will

  • work side by side with outstanding faculty in small, individual-focused classes that stress experiential learning
  • access student-teaching positions in DC, Maryland, and Virginia
  • qualify for DC licensure with reciprocity in 47 states
  • enter a field projected by the US Labor Department to need 1.9 million new hires in the decade ending 2024
  • intern at world-class institutions and network with well-connected alums and faculty in a vibrant community of young professionals passionate about improving the world

A student's placement must go through a due diligence process for discriminatory policies and must be approved by the Program Director and Field Placement Coordinator.

AU graduates forge a unique community of teacher-leaders prepared to address disparities in education and change the trajectory of student lives. Our DC location facilitates diverse field experience in neighboring states and city school systems to give students maximum flexibility in fashioning career options.

Learn more about AU SOE's performance measures here

a triangle with three pillars: Antiracist teaching, High leverage practices, Learning Sciences

Teacher Education Redesign

The Teacher Education program was redesigned to focus on antiracist teaching practices, high-leverage teaching practices, and the learning science teacher actions as three points on a triangle that are all necessary and complementary for providing students equitable, high-quality, and affirming learning opportunities.

The Teacher Education Program focuses on the following pillars to train teachers:

Antiracist teaching: focuses on building historical and socio-political understandings of race and racism in order to interrupt racial marginalization and oppression of students in planning, instruction, relationship building, discipline and assessment.

High leverage practices: focuses on “the fundamentals of teaching”. High Leverage Practices (HLPs) are used constantly and are critical to helping students learn important content. 

Learning Sciences: focuses on preparing teacher candidates with a scientific understanding of how students learn and connects learning science principles to practical implications for teaching.

FAQ for Teaching Majors & Alums

Please send your verification form to Caryn Ash at ash@american.edu. Your verification form will be completed within three business days.

Yes. Study abroad opportunities are available during junior year or summer.

Yes. In order to be formally admitted to the program you must major or minor in one of the concentration areas: English, Mathematics, Social Studies, or Science (Biology, Chemistry or Physics).

March 15 of sophomore year for Elementary Education.

October 15 of junior year for Secondary Education.

Praxis CORE (or equivalencies) is not required for admission. 

All admitted students are required to take Praxis CORE (or equivalencies) by graduation with the strong recommendation to take by end of first semester. The DC teacher licensing agency sets passing scores as: Reading 156, Writing 162, and Math 150. To submit Praxis, use school code: 5007 (no department code). Praxis scores can take up to six weeks to arrive after the test date. See Educator Testing Flyer here or visit the OSSE website for additional test types.

Still have questions? Send us an email: teachered@american.edu or 
specialed@american.edu.

Faculty Spotlight

As a teacher I saw what critical literacies could do for young children.

Vivian Vasquez (pictured with NCTE president Ernest Morrell) received the Advancement of People of Color Leadership Award from the National Council of Teachers of English for her work with critical literacy and young children, and a scholarship was established in her name.

See her most recent book on Critical Literacy.