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Welcome to the English Education Program

Students who study English Education at Fresno State join a diverse community of learners and thinkers who share a passion for bringing the powerful world of literacy to others. The program is designed to prepare future middle school and high school English teachers. Many of our graduates directly move on to classroom jobs throughout the Central Valley.

English Education majors explore the contexts for teaching English, including issues in literacy, society, and communication. Their coursework focuses on literature and the teaching of writing, as well as subjects related to language arts education. Majors complete core requirements and choose one Extended Studies area from the following:

  • Composition and Rhetoric
  • Creative Writing
  • Linguistics (Language Awareness or TESOL)
  • Literature
  • Speech
  • Theater Education 


Breanna Aivazian

English teacher, Clovis East HS


Byanca Leyva

English teacher, McLane HS

A Path to the Classroom

For Breanna Aivazian, a chance to save money on college by living at home felt like a gift to her future self. For Byanca Leyva, a meaningful job at her high school alma mater felt too good to pass up.

Ms. Aivazian and Ms. Leyva are just two among dozens of Fresno State alumni who, as of Fall 2020, have landed new jobs teaching English and language arts at area high schools.

They are among a steady stream of newly minted Fresno State graduates each year who earn a single subject teaching credential in English, and then within a year find themselves immersed in the day-to-day life of a high school classroom, doing the job they’ve trained for.

Read more about their paths to the classroom on Fresno State News.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between the English major and the English Education major?

In both majors, students take core courses in literature and textual analysis. Both learn to engage a wide range of authors, periods, and genres of literature deeply and skillfully.

English majors extend this study of literature with additional specialized literary coursework. English Education majors take courses that explore educational contexts for the language arts, including issues in literacy, society, and communication. 

What is Subject Matter Competency?

Achieving what's called Subject Matter Competency (SMC) in English Education means that you have completed a program approved by the state of California that prepares you to train and work as an English teacher in California middle or high schools.

At Fresno State, the English Education major coursework, combined with a final reflective portfolio process, can establish Subject Matter Competency.

Students with any bachelor's degree can also choose to demonstrate SMC through the California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET) in English.

What happens after I graduate with my B.A. in English Education?

With your B.A. in English Education and established subject matter competency, you can apply to the Education Credential Program to earn a Single-Subject Credential in English.

Most students complete the credential program, which involves further coursework and student teaching, in 2-3 semesters. 

What if I discover that teaching isn't for me? Is the English Education major only for future English teachers?

Although most students who major in English Education do plan to become middle and high school teachers, others go on to varied careers. The skills gained through an English Education major are helpful for many jobs.

At any time, before or after you graduate, Fresno State's Career Services office can help you prepare for other careers.