Education – Minor – School of Education & Human Development

Education – Minor

Teaching and Learning


The Department of Teaching and Learning offers two minors. A minor in education requires a total of 12 credits in the School of Education with at least 2 courses taken at the 300 level or above.

The Professional Training Option minor in the School of Education and Human Development is a Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) approved alternative certification program, which prepares students for teacher certification in Florida, after they complete a full year of teaching in an accredited school. The PTO program allows students who are majoring in a variety of subjects to complete the professional education coursework necessary for certification in the state of Florida.

A major in education is a traditional four-year program. In addition, education students are required to choose a major field of study in the College of Arts and Sciences. The program enables graduates to pursue career opportunities related to their Arts and Sciences major as well as those directly related to education. Students can also elect to take a minor in education.

The PTO minor requires completion of coursework in the professional preparation areas of social and psychological foundations of education, classroom and behavior management, content area literacy instruction, and instructional methods for teaching in the chosen content area. Students will be placed in a variety of educational settings during their coursework to provide them with hands-on classroom experiences.

Admission to the minor requires a minimum 2.5 CGPA and a grade of C or higher in TAL courses. A student pursuing the PTO minor is required to complete the Florida Teacher Certification Exams (FTCE) prior to degree conferral in order to have his/her transcript stamped with the official FLDOE endorsement as a completer of a Florida teacher preparation program.

Education Minor
(not for certification)

  • 12 credit hours.
  • TAL 103 is required.
  • Two courses must be taken at the 300 level or higher.
  • All courses must be passed with a C or high with a minimum of 2.5 GPA for the minor.
  • It is strongly recommended that students enroll in courses for this minor which do not include Field Experience. Please see an advisor for a list of those courses.
  • This minor does not lead to teaching credentials.

Professional Training
Option Minor

The Professional Training Option (PTO) is a Florida Department of Education approved pathway for non-education majors to complete the Professional Education component, one of the requirements to become a certified teacher in the State of Florida. Please be advised that students seeking the PTO must be majoring or minoring in a teachable subject.

  • Fingerprinting and Background check completed with the MDC-PS Office
  • 18 credit hours.
  • All courses must be passed with a C or high with a minimum of 2.5 GPA for the minor.
  • Students must pass the specified tests of the Florida Teacher Certification Exam. These tests include the General Knowledge Test (all four sections) and the Subject Area Exam of the student's discipline area (Biology, English, Math etc...). These tests must be passed prior to graduation in order to be eligible for the State of Florida Stamp applied to transcripts.
  • Students must pass all 4 sections of the General Knowledge Exam (GKT), part of the FTCE, in order to be eligible for 400 level courses or higher.

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Required Coursework

TAL 103 Psychological Foundations of Education
Two TAL courses 300 level or higher
TAL Course
TAL 103 Psychological Foundations of Education
TAL 305 Classroom and Behavior Management
TAL 330 Introduction to the Education of Exceptional Individuals
TAL 404 Content Area Literacy in the Secondary Classroom
TAL 506 Issues and Strategies for ESOL

Select one course from the following list as appropriate for the subject area

TAL 524 Education and the Arts
TAL 541 Instruction and Assessment in Secondary English Language Arts
TAL 542 Instruction and Assessment in Secondary Mathematics
TAL 543 Instruction and Assessment in Secondary Science
TAL 544 Instruction and Assessment In Secondary Social Studies
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How can a Professional Training Option help me to expand my career options?
If you are majoring in a teachable subject, adding the PTO minor can help you to expand your career options by making you eligible to earn your teaching certification. There is a nationwide teacher shortage, which means that college graduates who have their teaching credentials have excellent job prospects. Students who have completed the program (2013-2015) have been hired in the Florida school system with a 100% placement rate.
Why is the PTO a better alternative than other alternative pathways to teaching?
In the PTO program, you will take many of the courses that secondary education majors take to earn their teaching certification, making you well-prepared to teach at the middle- and high-school level. While some alternative teacher preparation programs promise to prepare you to become a teacher in a brief summer program, the PTO will provide you with not only coursework covering the foundations of education, but also meaningful field experiences in diverse placements where you will have the opportunity to hone your skills in a hands-on environment.
Can I fit the PTO classes in with my existing major?
Yes! Most students can complete that PTO in 3 semesters, so if you’re a freshman, sophomore, or even a junior, our academic advisors will help you to plan your PTO program to fit in with your existing major.
What type of certification do I get with the PTO?
With the successful completion of the PTO minor, you can earn your temporary teaching certificate in the state of Florida.
With the PTO, can I teach anywhere in the United States?
The temporary teaching certification earned in the PTO program can be converted into a permanent, 5-year renewable certificate if you teach for one year in a Florida school. This credential is recognized by most states and several foreign countries. The Office of Teacher Preparation and Accreditation in TAL can help you to transfer your credentials to another state.
What if my major is not a teachable subject, but my minor is?
Students must be able to pass the Subject Area Exam of the Florida Teacher Certification Exams. Often, a minor in a teachable area will prepare a student for the content.
What’s the difference between the PTO and a Secondary Education major?
The main difference is that students who complete the PTO are eligible for temporary certification in the State of Florida. The Secondary Education major leads to permanent certification in the State of Florida with reciprocity with the other 48 states (Alabama is the only state without reciprocity).
What grades would I be eligible to teach with the PTO?
You would be eligible to teach middle and high school (grades 6-12) in your major area.
Will I get real classroom experience at UM as part of this program?
Yes! In the PTO program, you will take multiple classes which include a field experience component where you will be placed in diverse local schools.
How can I find out if teaching is what I really want to do?
A good place to start is with TAL 103: Psychological Foundations of Education. This introductory course provides a survey of topics in education. Additional courses in the PTO minor provide you with opportunities to work with students as part of your coursework, which can help you decide if a career in education is for you.

Program Contact

Gina Astorini

Associate Dean of Undergraduate Academic Services


Room: Merrick Building 312-D

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