What Can I Do With My Education Minor?

Do you ever wonder how schools and universities are funded? Are you curious about the psychology of learning? Or the impacts of socioeconomic status on educational opportunities and outcomes? Minoring in education may be the path for you, and you can do it with only 20 units.

The education minor is not only for aspiring teachers. Students come from a wide variety of majors and enter diverse career paths. Whether you’re interested in education policy, teaching methods, or inequalities within the education system, you may find your place in the education minor.

Education minors enjoy the faculty and curriculum 

Erik poses in front of a cliff, he's an education minor at UC Davis.
Erik Caruso (Photo courtesy)

Erik Caruso (’20) graduated with a major in history, complemented by his education minor.

“My educational psychology course taught by Professor Quijada built upon a social justice framework to expose the racism fueling the school-to-prison pipeline and inequitable educational outcomes for students of color. I plan to apply this praxis-based foundation for educational equity as a high school history teacher and earn my single-subject teaching credential and masters in education.” 

Laura poses in a field wearing sunglasses at UC Davis.
Laura Gomez (Photo courtesy)

Laura Gomez (’21) double majors in human development and communication, in addition to her education minor.

“The classes have an interdisciplinary approach that has prepared me for my career aspirations of being an elementary school teacher. The faculty within the School of Education are very renowned and are able to teach their undergraduate students in a way that is empowering and understanding of our unique career trajectories and histories.”

Education minors are not always the major you would expect

Char poses in front of the trees at UC Davis.
Char Ritchie (Photo courtesy)

Char Ritchie (‘21) is a wildlife, fish and conservation biology major who has deeply enjoyed the education minor. 

“As an aspiring educator, I appreciate learning about education through a new lens and different perspectives. I am looking forward to pursuing a career in education with an excitement for intersectional teaching and community-building.”

Graduates have led impressive careers

Lorena poses on a sunny day in front of a green lawn and a bush at UC Davis.
Lorena Ruedas Jauregui (Photo courtesy)

Lorena Ruedas Jauregui graduated with a minor in education in 2006 and returned to the UC Davis School of Education to complete her Ed.D. in educational leadership in 2016. As a faculty coordinator for the MESA (Math, Engineering, Science Achievement) program at Sacramento City College, she advocates for students from disadvantaged educational and financial backgrounds.

“What I like most about my job is the flexibility. As a person who oversees a program in education (MESA), I get to do creative activities with students — and students get to contribute ideas as to how they want the program to run so it benefits them as much as possible. We go on field trips, we have guest speakers, I meet with students in groups and in individual appointments. There is lots of variety. I also get to participate in campus committees to do side projects, as well as statewide projects. I serve on the statewide MESA professional association board, and I get to work with colleagues from all over California.”

 

Lyndon poses for a headshot in a crisp button down shirt.
Lyndon Huling (Photo courtesy)

Lyndon Huling also received his minor in education (’07) and Ed.D. in educational leadership (’18) from UC Davis. He currently works as the Manager for Leadership Recruitment and Diversity Services in UC Davis Human Services, where he is able to make a positive impact on diversity, equity and inclusion within the university community. He recalls his time in the minor fondly.

“My education minor helped me understand more about how the education system works from a big picture perspective. Additionally, it provided me with a deeper understanding of the philosophies and research that inform how our current education system is structured. As an advocate for education reform, the education minor gave me a strong foundation to build upon.”

Advice from education minors

 

“My advice is: Don't be shy. Take advantage of opportunities like studying abroad, interning in different cities, having unique experiences. Even during the pandemic, there are some amazing virtual internships students can participate in. Don’t limit yourself based on your own assumptions. For example, if you’re not a political science major, still apply for that Washington, D.C. internship! More than likely, you will be accepted because you are different! Because after college ends, these opportunities are really sparse or hard to fit into your new chapter of life.” —Lorena Ruedas Jauregui

 

“My advice to undergraduate students is to take advantage of leadership opportunities while in college. Getting good grades is important, but so is joining clubs, participating in student politics, being civically engaged and developing skills that will help you thrive in the professional world.” —Lyndon Huling

 

“If I have any advice to upcoming graduates it would be to remain flexible. After graduation I ended up working in real estate, and I plan to use it to offset the cost of my graduate school.” —Erik Carusco

 

Explore education courses 

  • EDU 121. Introduction to Education Policy Analysis: Tools, Methods, and Frameworks​​​Introduces students to the field of education policy analysis with a specific emphasis on the quantitative frameworks and analytical tools — drawn primarily from economics and statistics — that are used to guide and inform educational policymaking. (4 units)
  • EDU 115. Educating Children with Disabilities​​​​​​. Educational issues and processes involved in teaching children with disabilities. The course will focus on the structure of special education, with an emphasis on meeting the educational needs of children who are mainstreamed in regular classes. (2 units)
  • EDU 142.  Environmental Science Education​​​​​​. Study of history, philosophy, principles and approaches to environmental education (EE) and outreach; learning theories, teaching strategies and techniques in EE and outreach; evaluation of EE curricula in non-formal and in-school contexts; observing, aiding and facilitating local environmental education programs. (4 units)

Leah Kalish is a third-year student majoring in sociology — organizational studies, with minors in education and professional writing. In addition to interning with the Majors Blog, she works as a student assessment researcher at the Center for Educational Effectiveness.

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