The mission of the Department of Education at Winston- Salem State University is the preparation of knowledgeable, reflective, ethical, and effective teachers and care providers who are critical thinkers, advocates for the learner, multicultural educators, and change agents.
- Ensure the effectiveness of teachers and teacher candidates to work with PK-12 students.
- Provide curriculum and instructional strategies that enable candidates to meet professional teaching standards.
- Enhance opportunities, resources, and infrastructure for faculty to conduct and disseminate research related to teaching and learning.
- Provide experiences and resources that enhance teachers’ and teacher candidates’ critical thinking skills.
- Provide service opportunities that support educational equity and social justice.
- Provide effective teaching and support services to teachers and teacher candidates.
- Promote and model effective use and integration of instructional technologies into teaching, learning, research, and service.
The Department of Education offers programs of study in birth-kindergarten, elementary, middle grades, and special education. In addition, the Department of Education provides professional courses for all teacher education programs. The teacher education programs provide field experiences through directed observation, participant observation, and student teaching under the guidance of experienced cooperating teachers and university supervisors.
Students, who complete requirements for majors in education with satisfactory performance on Praxis examinations, also satisfy the requirements for teacher licensure as outlined by the North Carolina State Department of Public Instruction.
The teacher education programs at Winston-Salem State University has long enjoyed a reputation for preparing competent and dedicated teachers. The success of the teacher education programs has been the result of diligence, resourcefulness, and innovation. Informed by recent research on cognition, teaching, and higher order thinking abilities of children, the department has established the theme and goal of producing effective thinkers. Critical and Creative Thinkers: Evolving Professionals Who Facilitate Learning for All Children in a Diverse, Technologically Dynamic World
Education majors are prepared to be effective thinkers through the provision of learning experiences which require them to engage in critical, creative and logical thinking, problem solving, and decision-making. Such opportunities for higher order thinking are made available not only in education courses but in courses campus-wide. The conceptual framework is knowledgebased, articulated, shared, coherent, and consistent with the unit and institutional mission.
Teacher Education Program
WSSU’s teacher education programs are NCATE-accredited and state-approved, providing specialized preparation in diverse areas of education. In addition to its regional and national accreditation, the program enjoys a rich tradition in teacher preparation.
Title II of the Higher Education Act requires all teacher education programs to produce a report annually on students who complete their program during the academic year and to publicize the information to the public. One of the main features of the report is how well students perform on their professional examinations. In order to receive a recommendation for the North Carolina License, all students must take a Specialty Area Examination (SA). Data from test results are used to determine students’ knowledge and skills in the subject areas in which they plan to teach.
The Teacher Education Council (TEC) is the advisory and governance structure for development of policies and implementation of procedures that impact Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 12 teacher education programs. TEC monitors curriculum changes, policies, and procedures of all teacher preparation programs. The composition of TEC is as follows:
- Dean of the School of Education and Human Performance
- Associate Deans, School of Education and Human Performance
- Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
- Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
- Chair of the Department of Education
- Chair of the Department of Human Performance and Sports Science
- Coordinators of each teacher education program listed below:
Middle Grades Education
- Coordinator of graduate teacher education program
- Assessment Coordinator
- Two student representatives
- Two representatives from Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools
- Director of Library Services.
- Director of Student Teaching.
- Licensure officer
- Director of instructional technology
Overview of the Teacher Education Program
WSSU was the first Historically Black institution in the nation to award elementary education degrees. From the beginning, the school has insisted upon the vital importance of elementary school teachers and the quality of training for these teachers. Today, the university’s approach to teacher education is shaped by its fundamental commitment to teachers who are expected to meet the challenges of the teaching profession with creativity, self reliance, critical thinking, and respect for human differences.
The School of Education and Human Performance is the organizational unit for the teacher education programs,. This program represents a cooperative and collaborative effort of the School of Education and Human Performance, the College of Arts Sciences, and the School of Business and Economics. The policy-making bodies that monitor curriculum changes, policies, and procedures of all teacher education programs are the Teacher Education Council (TEC) – for undergraduate programs, and the Graduate Council (GC) – for the master’s degree in elementary education.
Teacher Education Programs
The Teacher Education Program’s Conceptual Framework Constant strands throughout the conceptual framework are the expectations that graduates will be knowledgeable, effective, reflective and responsible, committed to diversity, proficient in technology, and collaborative.
The following list represents teacher education programs offered at the university:
- Department of Education:
Birth-Kindergarten Education (B-K)
Elementary Education (K-6)
Middle Grades Education (6-9)
Special Education/ Specific Learning Disabilities (K-12)
Master’s Degree in Elementary Education (G)
- Secondary Education (9-12) offered collaboratively with the College of Arts and Sciences
Social Studies Education
- Special Subjects Teacher Licensure Areas (K-12) offered collaboratively with the Department of Human Performance and Sport Sciences and the College of Arts and Sciences,
Goals and Objectives of the Teacher Education Program
“Critical and Creative Thinkers: Evolving Teachers Who Facilitate Learning for All Students in a Diverse, Technologically Dynamic World” is the theme of the WSSU’s teacher education program. The primary goal of the program is to prepare individuals who, in addition to being highly competent teachers, are higher order thinkers who are able to appreciate cultural diversity and maximize the educational experience of all children.
The specific objectives of the teacher education programs follow:
- Pre-service teachers are knowledgeable about their fields of study, appreciate the development of scholarship, and are able to facilitate an environment for learning.
- Pre-service teachers are prepared to be critical and creative thinkers who, in turn, enhance the critical and creative thinking skills of others.
- The teacher education programs operate on the understanding that the school is a social and educational institution and pre-service teachers are prepared to facilitate learning environments that meet the socio-emotional, physical, and cognitive needs of the students by involving parents, community agencies, and colleagues in a proactive manner.
- Teachers are prepared to be reflective practitioners who use multiple teaching and learning approaches to meet the needs of a diverse population.
- The study of human development promoted by the teacher education programs produces teachers who can design and assess curricula that support the affective, psychomotor, and cognitive development of the students.
- The teacher education programs are undergirded by best practices from the field of education so that pre-service teachers become practitioners who involve their students in active learning, authentic assessment, and cooperative learning experiences in a supportive environment.
- Pre-service teachers have contact with students through numerous field experiences; therefore, they develop the knowledge and skills necessary to plan instruction that meets the needs of the students. Instruction is aligned with the goals of the school system and state in which they teach.
- Pre-service teachers demonstrate and model the integration and use of advanced technology skills in the classroom.
- Graduates from the teacher education programs are prepared for graduate study and life-long learning.
Structure of the Teacher Education Program
Curricular components of the teacher education program include (1) a core of general education, (2) specialty area courses, (3) professional studies, and (4) a second academic concentration (SAC). The second academic concentration does not apply to secondary education programs or specialty areas, which already require a major course of study. In middle grades education, the second course of study is identified as a second academic concentration. Licensure-only and lateral-entry students are exempt from general education and the second academic concentration. However, licensure-only candidates who wish to obtain a second degree in the chosen certification area must fulfill the same program requirements expected of degree-seeking students.
While the core of general education and specialty area courses are the responsibility of various departments in the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Business and Economics, professional education is the responsibility of the Department of Education. Professional education courses are designed to prepare students to develop the necessary skills and dispositions required for a successful entry into the teaching profession. This professional education component also requires sufficient field experience, which allows pre-service teachers to move from simple classroom observation to more involved interaction with students in the classroom setting; it culminates in a two-semesters student teaching assignment.
Professional Education Courses
Click here to view Professional Education Courses.
The Specialty Studies Curriculum
(for a complete listing, see specific paradigm)
Each specialized teacher education program has its own specialty studies curriculum. Courses comprising each curriculum provide prospective teachers with an area-specific knowledge base and field experiences necessary for effective teaching. The specialty area courses develop the competencies required by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.
Knowledge in each chosen specialty area includes information about the characteristics of children, their educational needs, and developmentally appropriate instructional strategies. Field experiences provide opportunities for teacher education majors to extend their understanding of Pre-K-12 students and sharpen their instructional skills.
Second Academic Concentration
The second course of study is designed to extend the academic knowledge and skills of pre-service teachers. The number of credit hours ranges from 18 to 27 for the following specialty areas:
Birth-Kindergarten Education (interdisciplinary)
Middle Grades Education (second academic concentration)
Special Education/Specific Learning Disabilities
The following second courses of study provide an array of choices for students enrolled in these programs:
English, French, History, Arts and Sciences, Psychology, Spanish, Sociology, Political Science, Mathematics, Mass Communication, and Biology. A specific list of second courses of study/academic concentration courses appears following the Elementary Program course of study/paradigm.
Proceeding Through the Teacher Education Program
Students interested in teacher education begin their association with the teacher education program through the Teacher Education Advisement Partnership (TEAP) Center. An academic advisor in the TEAP Center is assigned during the freshman year. Academic advisors in the TEAP Center assist students during pre-registration and registration. They also monitor students’ academic progress. Students who do not have an assigned advisor are referred to the Director of the TEAP Center to request an advisor. Because program requirements are complex and require faculty guidance, students are discouraged from self-advising or relying on peer advisement.
Students planning to complete field experience or student teaching must show evidence of having personal liability insurance prior to beginning any field or clinical experience. Presentation of proof of membership in the Student North Carolina Association of Educators (SNCAE) satisfies the personal liability insurance requirement, since liability insurance is an automatic benefit of membership. Students enrolled in the teacher education program are required to hold membership in SNCAE or other professional organization, meet with their academic advisors at least once each semester, and participate in programs and activities offered by the School of Education and Human Performance (e.g., majors meetings, seminars, and workshops).
Freshmen who enroll at the university after fall 2005 in any of the following programs are required to complete MAT 2302 (Principles of Mathematics) during the second semester of the freshman year: Birth-Kindergarten, Elementary Education, Middle Grades Education, Special Education, and Physical Education.
Admission to Teacher Education
Click here to view Admission to Teacher Education.
Retention in Teacher Education
Students who have been admitted to the teacher education program must remain in good academic standing, i.e., maintain a minimum semester grade point average of 2.0. The record of each student admitted is reviewed at least once each semester by the student’s advisor. Students must maintain a minimum of a 2.50 grade-point average and make a grade of C or better in all second academic concentration courses of study and English courses, professional education courses and special area courses. Students must make a minimum grade of 2.5 in all courses in their major.
Any student admitted to teacher education and later placed on academic probation or is suspended by the university for substandard scholastic achievement is automatically placed in the same status by the TEC. Students suspended and later readmitted to the university must reapply for admission to the teacher education program.
Students on academic probation will not be permitted to enroll in more than 12 hours per semester. A professional, specialty, or major course must be repeated if a grade of D or F is earned. Students who continue with substandard performance or fail to be admitted to teacher education will be dismissed from the program.
EDU 4334 (Teacher Education Curriculum: Review Seminar) is designed to support students in preparing for the Praxis II examination. All candidates are required to take Praxis II as a part of the student teaching requirement. Students majoring in elementary education and special education are required to pass Praxis II in order to receive licensure in these fields.. Students are advised to confer with their academic advisors before registering for the Praxis II exam, and they are required to take all parts of this exam. Students are expected to meet all licensure requirements by the end of their student teaching semester.
All candidates must complete an electronic portfolio, which includes a demonstration of their technology proficiencies and evidence of their knowledge, skills, and dispositions.
The final phase of preparation begins with the application to student teaching. Student teaching is completed during the student’s senior year. During the first semester, the student participates once weekly in student teaching; the final semester consists of on-site supervised teaching in a P-12 setting. At each stage of the evaluation process, students are notified in writing and through personal interviews of their professional and academic status. Students also have access to published policies of the teacher education program, which are designed to ensure that students enrolling in and exiting the program meet the initial licensure requirements of both the university and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Each student seeking licensure in Elementary Education and Special Education must pass the Praxis II examination during the semester of student teaching; all other majors are required to take the Praxis II examination as a part of the unit’s program assessment. All students seeking licensure must, as a condition of graduation, complete a licensure application provided by the Licensure Office. All majors must meet with their respective academic advisor at least once each semester.
Admission to Student Teaching
To be eligible for admission to student teaching the student must have the following:
- Admission to teacher education ;
- A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50 and a minimum grade of C in all English, professional and major courses including second academic concentration. Any incomplete (I) work must be completed prior to the anticipated student teaching semester.
- A satisfactory medical history that fulfills the demands of the teaching profession.
- Upper-division classification.
- Passing scores on PRAXIS I (Academic Skills Assessment) or exemption from Praxis I based on designated SAT scores in the respective subject areas. Lateral-entry students and certification-only candidates who have a minimum overall GPA of 2.50 and at least a grade of C in basic academic courses (English and Mathematics) are exempt from taking Praxis I.
- Approval for student teaching by the respective academic department and the Teacher Education Council. Applications for admission to student teaching must be made to the Director of Student Teaching by mid-term period of the semester prior to the anticipated student teaching year.
Student Teaching Waiver
Because student teaching is an integral part of the teacher education programs, petitions for exemption from the student teaching policy are granted only in extreme, extenuating circumstances.. Student teaching provides prospective teachers with an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills acquired in their academic programs in P-12 classrooms. and to transition from pre-service to professional practitioner.
On rare occasions, a student may enter the teacher education program with extensive teaching experience in either the public or the private school sector. Sometimes, such extensive experience provides the student with experience comparable to that of student teaching. In such cases, the student may petition for exemption from student teaching.
The petition for exemption from student teaching must be made by the student to the Director of Student Teaching, must clearly describe the teaching experience, and must be accompanied by the following evidence:
- A completed Application for Waiver of Student Teaching form signed by the student and approved by both the academic advisor and the program coordinator.
- Documentation of at least one full academic school year of successful teaching. Successful teaching documentation must include letter of recommendation from principal at the school where the candidate was employed most recently, record of minimum of three observations by a Winston Salem State University teacher education faculty member, a unit plan, a copy of principal’s/supervisor’s evaluation(s), and other forms of evidence such as a video demonstrating teaching style, portfolio of teaching effectiveness, peer and self-evaluations.
- Documentation of at least 12 semester credit hours completed at WSSU.
- A letter of recommendation from a WSSU teacher education faculty member in the candidate’s licensure area.
The petition must be submitted at least one semester prior to the scheduled student teaching year. The Director of Student Teaching will review the petition and make recommendation to the TEC for final approval. The Director of Student Teaching will forward a letter to the advisor and the student indicating whether the petition is approved or denied. The student may appeal denial of the petition by forwarding a written request to the Chair of the Department of Education and the Director of Student Teaching. If not resolved, the student may forward a petition to the Teacher Education Council through the Dean of the School of Education and Human Performance.
Candidates wishing to petition for a waiver of the student teaching policy are advised to start the process very early to avoid complications with registration and student teaching deadlines.
Not all individuals who wish to obtain admission to Teacher Education are traditional degree-seeking students. Some already hold degrees in fields other than education; some are already licensed in one or more areas but would like licensure in an additional area: and others wish to be licensed in an area other than their major.
Students holding bachelor’s or master’s degrees follow different procedures for admission to the teacher education program and for planning of their course of study. They must have a minimum grade point average of 2.50. In cases when the GPA is below 2.50, the candidate will be required to retake courses to raise his/her GPA to the appropriate level. The procedures are presented below:
- The student must make a written request to the Licensure Officer for evaluation of his/her academic credentials in accordance with the requirements of the desired program of study. The evaluation is required in order for a course of study to be planned. The request should be mailed to:
School of Education|
Winston-Salem State University
Winston-Salem, NC 27110.
Lateral-entry students and licensure-only candidates must have a GPA of 2.50 in order to receive a program of study
- The request for evaluation should be accompanied by documentation of any experiences that might be applied toward licensure. Such documentation must include an official transcript and may also include previously obtained teaching licenses, proof of previous classroom teaching experience, and a list of workshops and seminars attended. The credentials will be sent to the coordinator of the specified program for evaluation. After the evaluation is completed, the applicant will be informed of the program course of study and other requirements.
- Upon receipt of course of study and program recommendations, the applicant may accept the course requirements or request a conference with the program coordinator. The Licensure Officer reviews the final recommendation and distributes copies to the applicant and the program coordinator who will serve as the applicant’s advisor.
- Candidates wishing to obtain licensure must be fully admitted to WSSU before evaluation of the transcript can be completed.
- Upon admission to the university, the student may enroll in the courses outlined by the Licensure Officer.
- Licensure-only students proceed with the outlined course of study and fulfill the same requirements for admission to the teacher education programs and student teaching as all other majors, except for the following:
- Lateral-entry students and licensure-only candidates who have a minimum overall cumulative grade point average of 2.50 and at least a grade of “C” in basic academic courses (English and Mathematics) are exempt from taking Praxis I.
- Lateral-entry students and licensure-only candidates who have a degree from an accredited institution are exempt from general studies requirement.
- Lateral-entry students and licensure-only candidates who have a degree from an accredited institution are exempt from having to take Fundamentals of Speech (SPH 2341.
Licensure-only candidates who, in addition to completing licensure requirements, wish to obtain a second degree in one of the teacher education programs must adhere to the same requirements outlined for degree-seeking candidates. These requirements include, among others, completion of Praxis I and a minimum of 30 semester hours.
Transfer Students from Community Colleges
Students who complete an associate degree of arts or an associate degree of science from a North Carolina accredited community colleges may transfer to Winston-Salem State University’s teacher education program with junior status. This means that the general education core is automatically completed and students may proceed with other specialty area and professional education courses. Students from community colleges who have completed other associate degrees (e.g., AAS) must have their credentials evaluated by the Admissions Office and the academic program coordinator of the area where they intend to enroll.
Once students have been admitted to the teacher education programs, they must continue to perform satisfactorily in all courses, progress through the program in a timely manner, and maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50. Periodic reviews take place as students proceed throughout the program.
The Department of Education maintains an early intervention and counseling committee that reviews the viability of pre-service teachers enrolled in its program. Recommendations are made to the student’s advisor concerning academic performance, completion of admission requirements, and progress toward graduation. Students may be referred to work on areas of weakness and utilize the student services available on campus.
A student who has received proper guidance and does not show evidence progress toward completion, as assessed by the academic advisor and the early intervention and counseling committee may be counseled to exit the program. Students are assessed on the basis of their knowledge, skills, and dispositions. The teacher education programs are designed to support students in becoming highly competent teachers and higher-order thinkers who value and appreciate cultural diversity, integrate technology into teaching and learning, and have the competence to maximize the educational experience of all students. The performance expectations of teacher education candidates are as follows:
- Candidates are knowledgeable about their field of study, appreciate the development of scholarship, and are able to facilitate an environment for learning.
- Candidates are prepared to facilitate learning environments that meet the socio-emotional, physical, and cognitive needs of the students by involving parents, community agencies, and colleagues.
- Candidates are reflective practitioners who use multiple teaching and learning approaches to meet the needs of a diverse student population.
- Candidates design and assess curricula that support affective, psychomotor, and cognitive development of the learners.
- Candidates effectively plan instruction that meets the needs of the students and is aligned with the goals of the school system and state in which they teach.
- Candidates demonstrate and model the integration and use of advanced technology skills in the classroom.
- Advanced professionals graduating from teacher education programs are prepared for leadership responsibilities and lifelong learning.
In addition to acquiring the appropriate knowledge and skills, candidates are expected to demonstrate suitable professional dispositions. As facilitators of learning, candidates must exhibit professionalism, which entails the effective and appropriate presentation of self to others; a positive attitude toward colleagues, families, and students; responsibility for personal actions, decisions, and efforts; respect for others, their beliefs, opinions, and ideas; poise and confidence as a contributor to the profession; and acknowledgement of the value associated with multiple perspectives of teaching and learning. They must also be committed to lifelong learning, be reflective and critical thinkers, and be committed to diversity, which requires an appreciation of differences in students’ abilities, a belief in high expectations of achievement and success for all students, a belief that all students can learn, valuing diversity as an asset to the teaching and learning process, and respecting the history, cultural context, and commitment of learners.
Sometimes, students discover that a change of major may be in their best interest. Those students should confer with their advisors to consider other options. Other students who may demonstrate through coursework and field experiences an incompatibility with the teaching profession may also find it helpful consider other options at the university. A change of major should not be considered a mark of failure but an opportunity to address changing career interests.
Completion of Program Requirements
As students plan their senior year with their advisors, they must review the extent to which teacher education program requirements have been met. Unmet program requirements that are not addressed immediately may prevent the student from meeting his or her anticipated timeline for degree completion.
Recommendation for North Carolina Teacher Licensure
It is the policy of the university that all students recommended for initial licensure comply with the regulations of the university for admission to teacher education, complete a teaching major, and meet the general and professional education requirements for teacher licensure, including three semester hours in an appropriate reading course.
The licensing process verifies an individual’s qualifications to perform specific professional services as a public school employee and guarantees that educators in North Carolina meet standards of professional competence. North Carolina statutes specify that all professional employees of public schools hold the appropriate license for the subject or grade level taught or for the professional assignment field. General Statute 115C-295(b) states that “It shall be unlawful for any board of education to employ or keep in service any teacher who neither holds nor is qualified to hold a license in compliance with the provision of the law or in accordance with the regulations of the State Board of Education.”
Each recommendation is based on the following:
- Completion of the Exit Criteria Form, including signatures of the student, university supervisor, cooperating teacher, and principal,
- Completion of the North Carolina Local Education Agency (LEA) Evaluation of Student Teaching Performance Form (IHE-01b) signed by the superintendent or designee and the LEA cooperating teacher.
- Completion of the North Carolina Approved Program Student Advisement Documentation Form (IHE-01a) signed by the faculty advisor and student.
- Receipt of an official university transcript indicating that the student has satisfied all the requirements for graduation from WSSU.
- Recommendation of the appropriate department chairperson.
- Recommendations from the Teacher Education faculty that reflect the applicant’s professional competence.
- Passing scores on PRAXIS I and II. Students must complete program requirements essential to the content in each of the Praxis examinations prior to taking the test.
- A money order of $55.00 payable to SDPI (Licensure Section) as processing fee.
Teacher licensure reciprocity is addressed in the Certification Manual for North Carolina professional school personnel. The manual states the following:
Teacher education programs in out-of-state institutions that are equivalent to North Carolina approved programs are recognized under the state’s reciprocity policies. These policies allow a certification area to be established based on the qualified area of the out-of-state certificate.
Certain out-of-state certification requirements, such as Praxis examinations, cannot be waived via reciprocity and must be met in order for an out-of-state teacher to become eligible for a North Carolina teaching license. North Carolina recognizes four teacher education and licensure reciprocity approaches:
- Reciprocity based on accreditation by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
- Reciprocity based on interstate agreements.
- Reciprocity based on approval by the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC), and
- Reciprocity based on programs not accredited by NCATE or approved through the interstate agreement or the NASDTEC plan but meet other state certification requirements (1989, pp. 11-12).
Child Development Center and Laboratory School Purpose
Winston Salem State University’s (WSSU) Child Development Center and Lab School (CDCLS) is a Five Star Rated Center as designated by the North Carolina Division of Child Development. The CDCLS is part of the School of Education and Human Performance. The CDCLS provides research- instructional practices for pre-school aged children. The CDCLS also serves as a model site for Birth through Kindergarten (B-K) teacher candidates as well as students from other academic disciplines. The Lab School therefore, meets two important needs:
- To provide developmentally and culturally appropriate experiences for young children ages 24 months to five years (birth to 24 months coming in the near future) and celebrate all families through interactions between staff, environment, and curriculum that embraces a whole child and family approach, and
- To provide an on-site research-based teaching facility for WSSU students pursuing a degree in B-K Education, as well as Elementary Education, Nursing, Special Education Therapeutic Recreation, Occupational/Physical Therapy, Motor Development, Psychology, Communication, Foreign Language, Art, Music, and other courses of study.
Admission to Teacher Education
Click here to view the Admission to Teacher Education .
The Office of Student Teaching
The Office of Student Teaching (OST) is responsible for the placement and supervision of teacher education candidates in early field experiences, pre-clinical experiences, and student teaching. Field-based experiences provide the clinical setting in which teacher candidates put educational theory into practice and are offered at three levels: Early Field Experience, Pre-clinical Experience/Practicum, and Student Teaching.
The Early Field Experience
Using a variety of pre-kindergarten to twelfth grade (P-12) educational settings with culturally and socio-economically diverse student populations, teacher candidates observe effective teachers, examine the organization and operation of the school, and demonstrate practices to improve student learning. Field experiences are aligned with the content of the courses to which they are assigned. The OST ensures that field experiences are varied and diverse and that they provide optimum opportunities for teacher candidates to observe highly effective teachers, work one-on-one with students, enhance professional dispositions, and reflect on their learning experiences. The OST works collaboratively with teachers and school administrators and personnel in other approved settings to secure placements that support the preparation of quality teachers. Teacher candidates are required to present proof of professional liability insurance prior to placement. Coverage is available through several professional organizations; teacher candidates may inquire in the Office of Student Teaching about these resources.
Upon receipt of confirmation of placement, teacher candidates must contact the school administrator to arrange the initial visits to the school, meet with the cooperating teacher, and establish a schedule. Based on the requirements of the course to which the early field experience is assigned, teacher candidates may expect to spend from 10 to 30 hours in the field.
The Pre-clinical Experience/Practicum
The pre-clinical experience/practicum is a semester-long, intensive field experience that represents the field-based experience for the instructional methods course. It occurs the semester prior to student teaching and serves as an opportunity for teacher candidates to build relationships, learn school policies and practices, gradually assume teaching responsibilities, assess their impact on student learning, and enhance their knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions needed for a successful student teaching experience. Teacher candidates spend either one full day or two half-days each week in the classroom with a cooperating teacher. During this time, they get to know the students in the classroom and the contextual factors associated with the school, learn the routines and operations of the classroom and school, work one-on-one with students and with small groups of students, assess student performance, teach a minimum of three-fully developed lessons, and conduct an Impact on Student Learning (ISL) project. The pre-clinical experience/practicum is aligned with an upper-level methods course in each specialty area and is supervised by the course instructor. The pre-clinical experience/practicum requires a minimum of 90 hours in the assigned classroom(s) to allow teacher candidates to gain intensive experience as a pre-service teacher. Programs of study leading to P-12 licensure require pre-clinical experiences at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Applications for the pre-clinical experience/practicum are due before the end of the semester preceding placement. Teacher candidates must be recommended for placement by their academic advisors and must meet the following eligibility requirements for placement:
· Admission to the teacher education program no later than the end of the registration “add” period the semester prior to the student teaching semester;
· Minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA and minimum 2.0 semester GPA for each semester since admission to the teacher education program; and
· Completion of all courses required in the program except for courses to be taken concurrently with the pre-clinical experience/practicum and Responsive Pedagogy and Student Teaching, which are taken concurrently.
Student teaching is the capstone field-based experience. It occurs over a full semester in a highly supervised setting, during which the teacher candidate gradually assumes total teaching responsibility under the joint supervision of a cooperating teacher, who is the teacher of record, and a university supervisor. The student teacher designs and delivers lesson plans, develops classroom management strategies, provides instruction, assesses student learning, and reflects on his or her teaching.
The student teaching experience encompasses one full-semester and occurs during the last semester of the teacher candidate’s education program. By design, the student teaching placement is a continuation of the pre-clinical experience/practicum and generally occurs in the same classroom and with the same teacher. Student teachers gradually increase their level of planning and teaching responsibility until they assume full lead teaching and planning responsibility for the entire classroom. They teach for a minimum of four consecutive weeks before gradually releasing their teaching responsibility back to the cooperating teacher. Programs of study leading to K-12 licensure require experiences at the elementary, middle and high school levels.
Student teachers are required to begin their assignments at the school site concurrent with the schedule followed by their cooperating teachers at the beginning of the school term. Applications for student teaching are due before the end of the semester preceding placement. Teacher candidates must be recommended for placement by their academic advisors, must be approved by the Office of Student Teaching, and must meet the following eligibility requirements for placement:
· Admission to the teacher education program no later than the end of the registration “add” period the semester prior to student teaching;
· Minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA and minimum 2.0 semester GPA for each semester since admission to the teacher education program; and
· Completion of all courses required in the program of study, except for Responsive Pedagogy or designated culminating course in the respective program of study (taken concurrent with Student Teaching), and
· No grades of “I” or “D” in specialty area courses or professional core courses in the program of study.
Master of Arts in Teaching candidates who have not secured employment in their licensure area by the end of Phase I must apply for a student teaching placement before the end of the semester preceding student teaching.
Candidates who are the teachers of record in their classrooms may request approval to complete the cooperative (CO-OP) student teaching in their own classrooms, provided the classroom is in the candidate’s licensure area and other conditions are met.
All inquiries regarding early field experiences, the pre-clinical experience/practicum, or student teaching should be referred to the Office of Student Teaching at 336-750-2559.