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Learn successful methods for teaching middle grades

Each segment of the student population is unique, and at SFA you’ll discover useful strategies for reaching and teaching kids children in grades 4-8. The Department of Education Studies offers a Bachelor of Science degree in interdisciplinary studies to prepare you to teach these middle grade students.

Your courses are designed to develop your pedagogical knowledge and teaching skills, and you round out your education at SFA with invaluable field-based experiences working with young adolescents in a real classroom. Because our program is relatively small, you’ll build lasting relationships with supportive faculty who have extensive experience in public middle schools in Texas.

Real-world teacher preparation for juniors and seniors

The SFA curriculum is dedicated to giving you actual teaching experience. During your junior and senior years, you’ll spend certain hours a week in a middle grade classroom helping teach science, social studies, mathematics or English language arts and reading. The rest of the week you’ll take your SFA courses.

Field Experience I, typically completed in the second semester of the junior year, is in a fourth or fifth grade classroom setting. Field Experience II, usually during the first semester of the senior year, puts you in a sixth, seventh or eighth grade classroom setting. 

Clinical teaching is completed during your final semester. This will give you extensive and full-time experience in a classroom setting in grades 4-8.

Enter a high-demand work force right away

We all know that middle school students are in a challenging period of life. They need teachers who understand their special challenges, possess techniques and strategies that can really speak to those challenges and truly want to work with young adolescents.

Because of this, grades 4-8 are a high-demand employment area. With this BSIS, you will be eligible to seek certification with the Texas Education Agency to teach mid-level grades 4-8 in Texas public schools.

BS in Interdisciplinary Studies with concentrations focused on grades 4-8

The core curriculum of this interdisciplinary major includes 42 hours in communication, mathematics, life and physical sciences, language/philosophy/culture, creative arts, American history, political science and social and behavioral sciences. 

You then have five options for concentration: a Generalist path (4-8 Core Subjects) or a Content Specialist path in either English language arts and reading, mathematics, science or social studies.

You will also take pre-professional courses that provide the foundational knowledge, skills and dispositions in areas of technology and special education. You will wrap up your coursework with field experience and clinical teaching.


Core subjects

This generalist path certifies you to teach all four academic areas in grades 4-8. This is a great choice for becoming a well-rounded teacher and will allow you to choose from a variety of teaching options.

English, language arts and reading

This content specialist degree qualifies you to teach middle grade English language arts and reading curricula. You’ll take the same variety of courses as the generalist teaching path, but you’ll dive into a more in-depth study of the English language. If you’re passionate about sharing a love of literature, this is the option for you.


This content specialist degree qualifies you to teach middle grade mathematics. In addition to the interdisciplinary core curriculum, your coursework will focus on not only honing your mathematics aptitude but also learning how to teach mathematics concepts to middle schoolers.


This content specialist degree qualifies you to teach middle grade science. If you’re curious about the way things work and want to inspire curiosity in young people, then this is the concentration to choose.

Social studies

This content specialist degree qualifies you to teach middle grade social studies. As a social studies teacher, you’ll instruct students in concepts of government, geography, history, economics, civic ideals and current events. These humanities are the cornerstone of education, and you’ll be a valuable member of the faculty.

Lumberjack Link-Ed Distance Education Program

The Department of Education Studies offers a unique distance education pathway for qualifying, non-traditional students who wish to pursue a BSIS in one of three specific concentration areas without attending courses at SFA. 

The Lumberjack Link-Ed program is designed for non-traditional students who:

  • live 60 miles or more from Nacogdoches
  • or are employed full time as paraprofessionals (40 hours/week).

*Documentation is required to determine eligibility.

Please note that acceptance to SFA does not secure admission into the Lumberjack Link-Ed program. You will need to submit a separate application for the program. Information about this application process will be sent to you once you have been accepted to SFA.

For additional information, email

Graduate programs and requirements

The Department of Education Studies offers several graduate degree programs for students interested in advanced degrees.

For more information on course offerings, please talk to your advisor.

Collegiate Middle Level Association

Get involved in the Collegiate Middle Level Association, SFA's student affiliate of the Association of Middle Level Education (AMLE). This student organization meets twice each month for a variety of professional development and collegial activities. The group also plans activities for area middle school students. For more information email


Department of Education Studies
Faculty Directory

Janice A. Pattillo Early Childhood Research Center
Room 209

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 13017, SFA Station
Nacogdoches, Texas 75962