Career Guide


Pre-Professional Education programs prepare students for teaching positions in birth through 12th grade. These programs are offered by the following colleges:

Description of Education Pre-Professional Programs

A list of teacher licensure and education related programs can be found at here. 

Teacher education programs prepare candidates for the profession through coursework and field placements that develop pedagogical practice, content knowledge, and professional dispositions. Coursework includehuman development theory and research, philosophies and history of American education, teaching methods and materials, culturally responsive practices, and educational technology integrated with opportunities for practical experience. Students declare their program, work with their education advisor, and then apply for admission to teacher education. All programs are state approved and regionally and nationally accredited. Scholarships and financial support are available to students once they have entered an education program. The College of Education also offers undergraduate minors in Educational Media, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, Human Resource Development, and Military Leadership. 

Since students must meet licensure regulations in addition to JMU graduation requirements, it is extremely important for candidates to consult with their education advisor. 


Characteristics of Successful Students

To become a teacher, there are standards of the profession called InTASC standards. Some of the most important characteristics are resilience, strong oral and written communication skills, problem-solving, creativity, and a growth mindset. 


The occupations listed below provide a sample of career options one may choose with this academic background. Many more occupations exist and are worth investigating.

School-Based Careers (Initial Licensure):

  • Head Start Teacher
  • Special Education (K-12)
  • Early Childhood Special Education
  • Teacher (Early Childhood, PK-3)
  • Teacher (Elementary, PK-6)
  • Teacher (Middle, 6-8)
  • Teacher (PK-12)
    • Art
    • Music (vocal and instrumental) 
    • Theatre
    • Dance
    • Foreign Language
    • Physcial and Health Education
    • English Language Learners
  • Teacher (High School, 9-12)
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Earth Science
    • English
    • History and Social Sciences
    • Mathematics
    • Physics

Special Education:

  • Early Childhood Special Education
  • Early Intervention Specialist
  • School-based Special Education Teacher
  • Transition Specialist
  • Teacher at Residential Treatment Facility


  • Camp Director
  • Community/Outreach Coordinator
  • Day Care Teacher or Director
  • Nursery School Teacher
  • Educational Consultant
  • Tutor
  • Peace Corps Volunteer
  • Recruiter
  • Professional Development Specialist
  • Curriculum Development 
  • Textbook Development 

Who Employs Education Graduates?

Boards of education, book publishers, bookstores, colleges / universities, community organizations (i.e. YMCA, Red Cross), day care centers, federal government (i.e. Department of Education, Department of Defense, Department of State), magazine publishers, Montessori schools, nursery schools, Peace Corps, private schools, professional organizations, public schools, state / local government (i.e. school boards, Department of Education), technical schools, VISTA, and vocational services centers employee teachers.

Internships and Experiential Opportunities 

Students pursuing teacher licensure are required to have various practicum experiences and to student teach. Student teaching allows students to implement skills and knowledge learned in their teacher licensure programs under the guidance of a cooperating teacher and university supervisor. These experiences are coordinated through the Education Support Center. Practicum opportunities also exist through other education courses. 

View our list of internship coordinators for each major.

Career Profiles 

Childcare Workers
Elementary, Middle, and High School Principals
High School Teachers
Instructional Coordinators
Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers
Middle School Teachers
Preschool Teachers
Self-enrichment Teachers
Special Education Teachers
Teacher Assistants

Additional Resources to Research Careers
  • Handshake: view new internships and jobs that employers are looking to hire JMU students from your major 
  • Career Outcomes: see where alumni worked or studied right after graduating.
  • GoinGlobal: learn more about employment opportunities overseas as well as H1B visa information for international Dukes pursuing jobs in the U.S.
  • O*NET: browse occupational profiles to learn about thousands of different careers, pulling data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics 
  • CareerOneStop: explore thousands of different careers by looking at career profiles 
  • Utilize the LinkedIn Alumni tool to see what others have done with their majors and what their career paths look like. Reach out to alumni via LinkedIn and conduct an informational interview.

© University Career Center, James Madison University

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without permission from the JMU University Career Center. Content for each major has been written/reviewed by faculty in the respective department and is revised each year. Requests to update content can be submitted to

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