North Central students in an education class.

Education: Social Studies (5-12)

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Education: Social Studies (5-12) at a glance

North Central’s Education: Social Studies (5-12) major will prepare you with the applicable knowledge and hands-on experience you need to be a successful, effective, inspirational elementary and middle school social studies teacher. You’ll gain expertise in the subject matter through courses in curriculum development, teaching methods, classroom management, and topics like history, geography, political science, and cultural anthropology. Plus, you’ll have an intensive student teaching experience where you’ll practice the relevant skills you need to teach in the 21st century.

Want to learn more?

Download the one sheet!

Simply fill in your info on the form to download the informational one sheet that covers:

  • An overview of the program
  • Classes you’ll take
  • Exciting jobs you can get after graduation

Interested in earning your degree in Education: Social Studies (5-12)?

Click here to apply today!

What sets us apart

North Central prepares a student with real-world teaching opportunities.
Real-world teaching opportunities

Through clinical and field opportunities, you’ll get tons of classroom experience.

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Gain real-world experience through clinicals

We want you to be fully prepared to succeed in the classroom when you graduate, so we start getting you hands-on, real-world experience early in the program. Through clinical and field experiences in diverse settings, you’ll learn the skills of classroom management, lesson planning, and creating meaningful learning experiences. These experiences will prepare you to excel in your career as a middle and high school educator and equip you to be an inspirational teacher for your students.

North Central students have student teaching opportunities.
Mentored student teaching

Receive helpful coaching from North Central professors during student teaching.

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Apply your skills and knowledge

During your senior year you’ll complete a fully immersive student teaching experience. While student teaching, you’ll spend 16 weeks working full-time in a local school system where you’ll practice lesson planning, classroom management, student assessment and evaluation, and everything else that goes into the teaching profession.

We partner with school systems in our area to provide student teaching opportunities, and you’ll be supervised by both seasoned classroom teachers and your college professors throughout the experience. Your classroom teacher and your North Central professors will mentor and coach you, offering valuable feedback to help you reflect on your experience and improve as a teacher.

North Central offers a curriculum lab for education students.
Education Curriculum Lab

You'll have your own library and work area designed for education students.

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Expand your learning in the Education Curriculum Lab

The curriculum lab is a library and work area located between the two classrooms in the Education Wing on the second floor of Miller Hall. The lab houses research and instructional materials, content-specific resources, and art and office supplies. It also contains three computers, a printer, and a copier.

The lab is a place for education majors to gather to complete group assignments, use the computers, or do research for an assignment.

  • Knowledge and skills you’ll gain

    When you graduate from the Education: Social Studies (5-12) program, you’ll be prepared to:

    • Create meaningful and memorable learning experiences
    • Support various learning styles
    • Use a variety of instructional strategies to encourage the development of critical thinking, problem solving, and performance skills
    • Use individual and group motivation and behavior to create a learning environment that encourages positive social interaction, active engagement, and self-motivation
    • Leverage technology to enhance interaction and engagement
    • Plan effective curriculum
    • Assess and evaluate student progress
    • Demonstrate the servant-leadership model of concern and service towards others
    • Continue growing and finding new ways to be a better teacher as a lifelong learner
    • Integrate your faith and your career as an educator
    • Teach a variety of social studies subjects, including microeconomics, macroeconomics, geography, political science, history, and cultural anthropology
  • Licensure

    When you graduate from our program, you’ll be ready to take the Minnesota Teacher Licensure Examinations and apply to become a licensed teacher in Minnesota. To learn more about the licensing process, visit the Minnesota Department of Education website.

  • School of Education

    North Central’s School of Education is committed to producing teachers who are academically prepared for excellent teaching and who utilize the best pedagogical practices, model Christ-like character, and devote themselves to lifelong learning.

    The programs offered by the School of Education are amongst the largest at North Central, meaning you’ll go through your program with a significant network of peers to support you, encourage you, and collaborate with. Plus, our professors are committed to being your mentors and guides as you pursue your career goals and prepare to make a difference in the lives of students.

    Learn more about the School of Education, as well as our processes and policies, in our School of Education Handbook (pdf).

Elementary Education alum Alex Giselle.
4th Grade Teacher, Christian Life Academy

Alex Geselle '13
Burnsville, MN

"I had incredible professors who did more than teach me important ideas, concepts, and strategies. They cared about who I was as a person, and inspired me to become the best teacher and person I could be."


All students must complete the General Education Core and Christian Studies Core. General electives may be added or an optional minor may be selected. You need 124 total credit hours to complete the Education: Social Studies (5-12) degree.

Watch this student made video about the school of education!

Meet the director

Faculty member Gail Weinhold

Miller Hall – 204

Gail Weinhold

Director of the School of Education

I LOVE teaching teachers! Some people struggle to go to work, but I get to go spend my days with some of the most amazing young men and women I have ever met! I live in Brooklyn Park with my hero, my husband Chad, and our Golden Retriever, Ranger. I have three kids that have left the nest, but still make me feel so loved and I’m even a young grandma of three. They call me “Nana” because I’m way too cool to be a granny! When I’m not teaching or spending time with my family I love to ride bike trails, read, and travel. I’m also a huge Shakespeare buff!

What are your areas of expertise?

Before coming to NCU I was a high school English teacher for 14 years—most of that time at Hopkins Public Schools. I truly believe that teaching is one of the most influential and rewarding mission fields you can serve in. I have taken all that I have learned from my best days in the classroom to my biggest failures and I now use that to prepare students to wield their teacher super powers! I have a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of Minnesota and my Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from St. Thomas. My commitment to make sure ALL my students learn and grow inspired me to go back to become certified in gifted education as well. Right now I am in the dissertation phase of my doctoral studies at the University of St. Thomas. I am researching the impact of affective teacher behavior and performance skills by finalists for Teacher of the Year. I am striving to determine how we prepare education students to be the kind of teacher their students never forget for all the right reasons. Whenever I get the chance, I also enjoy teaching literature classes at NCU. I believe that stories are God’s miracle tool for getting people to listen and engage.

What do you love about teaching at North Central?

The students, of course! I love that whether it’s in a large class discussion or sitting over a cup of coffee, I really get to know my students on a personal level. In fact, I go through a grieving process every graduation because it is so hard to say goodbye. However, I feel so blessed to be a part of the journey and help them launch their careers in education. Let’s be real, life is messy and often hard. When you share all those moments with each other, it becomes so much more than just a class—we are a family. We grow through what we go through and I love being a part of a school that really lets me love on and be loved by students as my brothers and sisters in Christ.

What are your favorite classes to teach?

That’s not a fair question to ask! It’s like asking a parent to name their favorite child! I really do love all the classes I teach but I think I get the most “nerdy” and excited in my Shakespeare course and have some of my favorite lessons in Educational Psychology. I love the energy and buzz that comes with a class of 35, but also live for the closeness and sweet moments that come in a small methods course with my communication arts education majors. I am always asking for student feedback because this is their class and I want it to exceed their expectations. My favorite question to ask my students in discussion is, “So what?” This is not to be flippant. What I’m asking is -so what about this is so important? Why should we care? What’s the point? What do we learn from this? In teaching and in learning you have to consider the purpose behind the content and get to the heart of the matter. My students are my “so what” because they continue to inspire me to be the best I can be to help them achieve their goals.

Why study education at NCU?

There are many schools that offer education as a major, but here we believe it is a calling. Our motto in the School of Education is, “Enter inspired, leave empowered.” Teaching is so much more than content and methods. The reason why so many new teachers leave or lose their passion for teaching is because they didn’t go in with their superpowers developed. God makes all the difference. When you study education at NCU we pray for you, mentor you, and prepare you to not just be a great teacher, but to also be a servant in one of the most demanding and challenging professions there is. What you do matters, but whom you do it with matters so much more. God is your superpower and without him, it’s so hard to get through the rough days as a teacher. When you study education at NCU you become part of our family. We launch you into teaching, but we are still here to support you, answer your questions, and even get a cup of coffee when you really need to vent. It is that kind of mental, spiritual, and personal support that makes us unique. You will get a high-quality education, a professional license in a field that really needs you, AND a forever family.