NCTQ Standard 7 - Common Core Middle School Content

The program ensures that teacher candidates have the content preparation necessary to successfully teach to the Common Core State Standards.

Standard applies to: Secondary Programs.

Indicators that the program meets the standard:

7.1 Using an outcomes-based approach, each pathway to middle school certification listed below requires that in every subject, a teacher will be qualified to teach either:

  • A series of rigorous stand-alone tests.
  • OR A rigorous test of multiple subject areas that provides cut-scores for each specific subject on the test.


Absent such licensing tests used to verify competency, we look for institutions to require or certify courses of study as follows:

7.2  At the undergraduate level, a middle school teacher candidate seeking certification in mathematics must have a major consisting of at least 30 semester credit hours, including at least 24 credit hours of general audience mathematics coursework.

7.3 English, same as mathematics

7.4 Sciences, same as mathematics

7.5 Social Science, same as mathematics

7.6 If certification in multiple subjects is offered, a middle school teacher candidate seeking certification in multiple subjects must have at least 15 semester credit hours (the equivalent of a minor) in a single disciple relevant to each of the subject areas.  (For example, dual certification in mathematics and science must consist of a minor in mathematics and a minor in biology, not the equivalent of a minor in mathematics and a minor in general science.

7.7 At the graduate level, the burden posed by a stringent credit course does not relieve the program of its responsibility to ensure that middle school teacher candidates in each pathway to certification (mathematics, English, the sciences, the social sciences, multiple subjects) meet requirements for content knowledge preparation.  If candidates have significant weaknesses in content knowledge, the program works with the candidate to remedy them.