FAQ

When should I begin ESS?

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 courses you're taking. 

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How do I enroll?

Make an appointment with Ann Primus Berends, the ESS associate director. 

May I finish the ESS minor in one year if I have lots of free time during my senior year?

It is possible but, because we are studying complicated issues, we prefer that you sign up earlier so that you have the time to connect and deepen ideas. 

May I take an ESS elective class before entering the minor?

You are welcome to enroll in an ESS elective at the end of registration if the class has available seats. 

Do I have to take the Intro class first?

No. It's helpful to take it early, but you are welcome to enroll in any ESS elective first.  

Can I do the ESS minor and still go abroad?

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Yes, many of our students do both. 

I have no plans to teach. Is the ESS minor only for future teachers?

No. ND has a cooperative program with Saint Mary’s that allows our students to earn elementary or secondary certification. If you are interested in pursuing supplemental studies in education at Saint Mary's, click here.

I would like to teach. Does ESS certify me for that?

Not at all! The ESS minor prepares students to go into the world more fully educated about one of the cornerstones of our society. Some ESS students go into teaching; others pursue different careers altogether, like medicine, finance, or consulting; still others choose related professions, like educational research, policy, psychology, and social work.

Is ESS a good background for teaching?

Yes. In the ESS minor, you will learn about the history and goals of American education, and who "wins and loses" in the system (and why). You'll learn about how the way schools are organized affects teachers, students, and families, and about what constitutes effective teaching and learning. This program gives you a valuable context for life in the classroom.

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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 many traditional and alternative programs. Teach for America is one. The Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) is another.

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.