Secondary Education Certification

Secondary Education Certification Master of Arts Teaching (M.A.T.) - Communications

About Communications 7-12 Teaching Certification

Gain applicable real-word experience and launch a rewarding teaching career.

Teach secondary education students skills that will last a lifetime with Level I teaching certification and a master's degree in communications education from California University of Pennsylvania.

Intended for communications professionals, but open to bachelor's degree holders in any field, this master's program combines core pedagogy courses, communications classes, and hands-on fieldwork. You'll graduate prepared to teach grades 7-12 in Pennsylvania.

Cal U's quality teaching program has top accreditation. 

  • Complete secondary education certification and your master's degree in four semesters of classes and one semester of student teaching.
  • Cal U's teaching programs are approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and have been accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) since 1954. We are continuing with the successor organization, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).


Flexible Schedule: Keep your day job while earning your degree. Online graduate communications education courses and on-site field experiences accommodate your busy schedule. A two-day on-campus summer residency provides face-to face instruction, interactions with peers and opportunities to teach sample lessons.

Top Accreditation: This graduate degree program is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Cal U's education programs have also been accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) since 1954, and we are continuing with the successor organization, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). See CAEP reporting measures of program impact and outcomes.


Average annual salary for secondary education teachers in Pennsylvania Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
weeks of full-time student teaching in a real classroom.
icon undergrad for degree

Degree Benefits

Graduate degree courses will give you mastery of the latest practices and theories in communications education while deepening your content-area expertise.

  • Study communications curriculum development techniques and how to use the Standards Aligned System (SAS).
  • Learn top strategies in classroom management.
  • Master classroom technology for teaching communications.
  • Deepen your knowledge of video production, debate, acting, language arts, theater production, literacy and other related topics.
  • Gain extensive real-world teaching experience.
icon undergrad for degree

Graduate Outcomes

Graduates of this program are prepared to teach secondary education communications and theater at public or private schools. They also thrive as communications program coordinators, drama coaches and curriculum specialists. Cal U secondary education alumni have rewarding careers in teaching positions at dozens of schools across the country.

Communications Certification Secondary Education - Master's Degree
A professor in front of classroom.

Professors with Real-World Experience

Learn best practices in education from experienced professors. All core secondary education faculty have doctorate degrees and most have taught in public schools at the middle or high school level.

Students write in the library.

Course Spotlight: Assessment in English/Communication

Gain insight into the design, implementation and analysis of assessment instruments used in communications education. Study the trends and results of English/communications standards according to recent research.

A student in cap and gown.

Land a Job Before Graduation

If offered a teaching job while enrolled in the secondary education master's degree program, Cal U communications education students can apply for the Teacher Intern Certification program. This enables you to work full-time as a teacher before certification, and use your job to fulfill field placement requirements.

Communications Certification Secondary Education Master's Degree Courses

Founded as a teacher's college, Cal U has a 160-year reputation of producing top-quality educators. Our rigorous, discipline-specific courses will deepen your communications knowledge base while equipping you with the latest theories and practices in communications education. All students are required to have current school clearances to participate in field experience and sign up for courses.



Course Credits
ENG 101 English Composition I 3
ENG 102 English Composition II 3
Required Content Courses (a grade of C or better is required for certification)
COM 101 Oral Communications 3
COM 142 Video Production 3
COM 230 Argumentation & Debate 3
COM 490 Communication Theory 3
ENG 308 Research for Writers OR ENG 352 Studies in Writing 3
ENG 345 English Grammar and Usage OR ENG 347 Introduction to Linguistics
ENG 425 Shakespeare 3
ENG Literature Elective 3
THE 131 Fundamentals of Acting 3
THE 150 Intro to Theatrical Design 3
THE 302 History of Theater I OR THE 304 World Drama OR THE 306 Modern Drama 3
THE 320 Fundamentals of Directing 3
Cal U Required Courses
EDU 650 Supporting the English Language Learner 3
ESP 610 Sp. Ed. Foundations & Collaboration 3
ESP 613 Evidence-Based Practices for Sec Inclusion 3
ESP 701 Introduction to Behavior Analysis 3
MSE 641 Orientation to 7-12 Ed. 3
MSE 642 Standards-Based Instruction in 7-12 Ed 3
MSE 643 Content Area Literacy in 7-12 Ed. 3
MSE 644 Instructional Strategies in 7-12 Ed. 3
MSE 645 Technology in 7-12 Education* 3
MSE 646 Assessments and Interventions* 3
MSE 647 Classroom Management in 7-12 Ed. 3
MSE 651 Methods of English Teaching 7-12* 3
MSE 661 Student Teaching & School Law** 9
Total Graduate Credits 45

* Must earn candidacy/admission to teacher education. 2-day on-campus July residency will be integrated into the summer MSE courses. 
** Must earn a recommendation for student teaching.
Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements (Regular)  

  • Bachelor's degree with a GPA of 2.80 or higher (Students with a GPA below 2.80 may apply for conditional admission)
  • Official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution
  • International Graduate Applicants

Conditional Admission Requirements

  • Conditional Admission may be granted with the following modifications of the Regular Admissions Requirements.  Those admitted conditionally based on missing document/s have up to a maximum of two semesters to satisfy these requirements:
    • Bachelor's degree with a GPA under 2.80 will be reviewed for a decision
    • Unofficial transcripts

Program Requirements

    • Depending on the area of certification chosen, the department will provide guidance if any foundation undergraduate courses need to be completed before applying for student teaching
  • Clearances:  Students are responsible for updating clearances annually through the Office of Field Experience.  In addition, clearances must be on file before applying for student teaching  - Acts 24, 34, 114, and 151


How to Apply:

School of Graduate Studies and Research
California University of Pennsylvania
Box 91
250 University Ave. 
California, PA 15419

  • Submit unofficial transcripts and other documents by mail (using the address above), email ( or fax (724-938-5712)


For additional information:
Phone: 724-938-4187

Out of State Students:
All students who will be seeking certification outside of Pennsylvania are responsible for securing and following the certification requirements in the state in which they intend to apply for certification.


Secondary Education

Master's in Teaching Degree Certifications

Communications Certification Faculty

Dr. Keith Hepner

View profile
Dr. Marcia Hoover
Professor; field coordinator, Department of Secondary Education and Administrative Leadership

View profile
Dr. Connie Monroe
Professor and chair, Department of Secondary Education and Administrative Leadership

View profile
Dr. Susan Morris-Rutledge
Associate Professor and ESL Program Coordinator

View profile
Dr. Michael Perrotti
Coordinator of Graduate Secondary Ed Programs and Assistant Professor

View profile
Dr. Joseph Zisk
Professor; director, Teaching and Learning Center

View profile

Please Note: All students who will be seeking licensure/certification outside of Pennsylvania should consult the State Authorization web page for more information.