FAQ

1. When should I begin the Minor?
The best time to enroll is second semester freshman year or first semester sophomore year. Beginning early gives you time to think about what you are learning and relate it to other ESS courses. We want you to be able to consider the issues over time as you gain new perspectives in your courses.

2. How do I enroll?
Make an appointment with Ann Berends, the ESS associate director. 

3. May I finish the ESS minor in one year if I have lots of free time during my senior year?
It is possible but not advisable. Because we are studying complicated issues, we prefer that you have the time to connect and deepen ideas. 

4. Should I take an ESS elective class before entering the minor?
We strongly suggest that you begin your ESS studies with the Introductory class, ESS 33600, which is offered each semester. If you are not able to get a seat in the Intro Class during your first semester as an ESS student, you may begin with an elective.

5. Can I do the ESS minor and still go abroad?
Yes, many of our students do both. Beginning the ESS minor early helps in planning so that you can accomplish all of your goals by graduation. However, if you do not enroll in the program until your junior year, you may not be able to fit the required courses into your remaining three semesters. Please talk to your advisor about your course options to determine whether the ESS minor works with your schedule.

6. Does ESS certify me to teach?
No. ND has a cooperative program with Saint Mary’s where our students earn elementary or secondary certification. ND students who are interested in pursuing supplemental studies in education at Saint Mary's should contact: in Arts and Letters, contact Prof. Stuart Greene (sgreene1@nd.edu); in the College of Science for science education, Sr. Kathleen Cannon (cannon.1@nd.edu). To learn more, click here.

Whether you choose ESS or Saint Mary's College education depends on your goals. Completing the education program at Saint Mary's College gives you a teaching certificate. ESS takes a scholarly approach to important issues and research in education. In a teaching certification program, you will not focus on these issues, but on learning to teach. In ESS you will look at the big picture of education.

7. Is ESS a good background for teaching?
Yes, it is. In the ESS minor, you will learn a great deal about the history and goals of American education, the effects of certain organizational structures (like tracking) on students and teachers, about who the “winners and losers” are in American education and why, and what constitutes learning and effective teaching. These are questions that are not addressed in teacher education programs because the focus is different. We feel that ESS is very complementary to learning to teach—it gives you a context for the choice of instructional strategies and many other teaching decisions.

8. Are there ways to obtain my teaching certification after completing my BA with an ESS minor?
Yes, talk to Ann Berends about master’s degree programs in education that also offer certification. There are traditional and alternative programs. In fact, many different programs are being developed to meet specific needs of people who want to teach. ND's own Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) is one of those.

9. I'm interested in education, but have no plans to go into teaching. Is the ESS minor only for future teachers?
The ESS minor prepares students to go into the world more fully educated about one of the cornerstones of our society. While many ESS students choose to go into teaching, there are plenty who do not. Some choose to go into other career fields altogether and others choose related careers or programs including educational research, psychology, special education, social work, and careers in policy.

10. Does ESS run tutoring programs?
No, but many ESS students participate in tutoring programs. We do offer a one-credit course for any interested tutors, ESS 30611, which meets once a week for one hour. A good source for tutoring programs is the Center for Social Concerns.