Master of Education

Secondary Education

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Teaching allows you to impact the world for the better! We are looking for Vets, college grads with a commitment to social justice, recent college grads from the borderlands of Arizona, and mid-career changers who want to become the kind of teacher who changes the lives of their students.

  •  Science Class

    A Science teacher fellow and her students in the classroom

  • Sunset Cochise County

    Bisbee High School Math Tutoring session -

  • In the library

    In the Library

  • student in class

    Science class in Palominas

The M.Ed. in Secondary Education offers a pathway for students with a Bachelor's degree - as a member of a robust learning community, you learn to teach by doing it! To learn more about the program and requirements, go to our how to apply page. Alternatively, you may complete an Interest Form if you're ready.

Our Mission

The award-winning M.Ed. program in Secondary Education at the University of Arizona South is committed to preparing teachers with the dispositions and skills to work for middle and high school students in 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." - Paul Gorski.
  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 classrooms 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 curriculum 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.

Etta Kralovec:
Back to School Days

The Borderland Experience

Living and teaching on the U.S./Mexico border puts you at the center of contemporary geo-political history and prepares you to live in a bi-national/bi-cultural world. As a Secondary Education student, you will have opportunities for cross-border teacher exchanges and cultural experiences.

Border fence

Your Curriculum


Students' course work is linked to their classroom teaching. The course work takes two years to complete. Click here to view the Secondary Education Course Rotation.


The majority of the course work is online, allowing you to learn on your own schedule. The program begins in the summer with a one-day orientation on our Sierra Vista campus. Students take four courses over the summer, preparing them for the challenges of the classroom. Most program participants begin teaching in August and continue to complete their coursework over two years.

Program participants who pass the Sheltered English Instruction (SEI) class and the National Evaluation Series (NES) in their subject area in their first summer of course work will be eligible for an Arizona State Intern Certificate, allowing them to work as a Highly Qualified teacher as they complete the Alternative Path program. Details on the Intern Certificate program in Arizona can be found at the Arizona Department of Education's Alternative Teaching Certificate Page. Please note that Arizona Department of Education internships are not valid for teaching positions that are funded by Career and Technical Education.

Monthly mentoring seminars provide a learning community environment that links your course work to your teaching experiences and supports you as you begin your teaching career. Program participants build strong relationships with master teachers and fellow students. These interdisciplinary seminars are designed to give program participants deeper content knowledge, pedagogical competencies and cultural competencies needed to teach in our unique border schools.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant # 1557396. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors(s) and not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.