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At Defiance College, education majors working towards adolescent and young adult licensure (AYA) become experts in a subject they love, and they learn to teach it well. Students in grades 7 though 12 begin to express themselves in unique and diverse ways. AYA candidates are prepared to foster individuality as they share their passion for learning with every student. They step up to the challenge of equipping their students with the 21st century skills they need to face the complexities of adulthood, as well as personal and professional fulfillment.

Available licensures:

  • Integrated Language Arts (valid for teaching English, reading, speech, and journalism)
  • Integrated Mathematics
  • Integrated Social Studies (valid for teaching history, political science, geography, psychology/sociology, and economics)
  • Life Science (valid for teaching biology and the life sciences)
  • Life Science and Chemistry

Benefits of the Program
Colleges of Distinction: Education ProgramTeacher candidates at Defiance College engage in classroom experiences for more than 100 hours during their first three years, and practice all they learn in an all day, every day 15-week Internship during their final semester in the program. 

In addition to small class sizes, a host of other advantages make Defiance College the right choice for students who want to serve through education. Teacher candidates at DC can explore service opportunities such as the McMaster School for Advancing Humanity, the Service Leadership Program, and Project 701.

Defiance College has a rich teacher education heritage. For more than 100 years, the College has prepared and graduated teachers who lead within their profession, often becoming principals and superintendents. The success of Defiance College education graduates rests in part on the rapport established with area schools and the caring, personal attention given to each student by the experienced faculty. DC Alumni often return for graduate studies to further their pedagogical understanding so they may better serve the students they teach.

Adolescent to Young Adult Education

Related Programs
The Hench Autism Studies Program at Defiance College offers an undergraduate minor in autism studies providing teacher candidates with the knowledge and skills to address the needs of individuals with autism.

After College — What's Next?
Many Defiance College program completers currently teach in schools in various local school districts, and in districts across the state of Ohio. Graduate opportunities are also available for DC alumni and education professionals who wish to expand their opportunities within the profession.

Students create networking opportunities for themselves each semester within classrooms and schools where they are placed. Those placements often lead to permanent employment upon program completion.

The Teacher Education Program at Defiance College is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) through the 2015-2016 academic year. All teacher licensure programs have been nationally recognized by either the appropriate professional organization or by the Ohio Department of Higher Education. Beginning in 2016, the program will adhere to the standards of the new accrediting body, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

In Their Own Words
"The education program at DC was very beneficial to me due to the clinical experience I received. By having the opportunity to be out in the field all four years, it allowed me to connect and see how different schools operate. Also, the class sizes allowed me to get the extra help I wanted to be as successful as I could be."
--Travis Schomaeker, 2015 Graduate


Carla Higgins, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Education
Director of Education
Phone: 419-783-2571

Clarissa Barnes, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Associate Professor of Special Education

Director of the Hench Autism Studies Program
Phone: 419-783-2355

Jo Ann Burkhardt, Ph.D.
Professor of Education

Phone: 419-783-2315

Fred Coulter, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Education

Phone: 419-783-2416

Amanda Gilbert, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Education
Phone: 419-783-2473

Rachel Eicher, Ed.D.
Assistant Professor of Practice of Early Childhood Education

Phone: 419-783-2373

Support Staff

Teresa Watkins
Administrative Assistant for Education
Phone: 419-783-2323