College of Education

Stephen Hegedus
Davis 103
(203) 392-5900 – Fax (203) 392-5992
Administrative Assistant: (203) 392-5900

Marie Nabbout-Cheiban
Davis 103 B

The College of Education, accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), is a professional school whose mission is to develop outstanding educators and practitioners. Programs emphasize collaborating within and across diverse contexts, applying skills to impact learning and development, leading for excellence, and learning through inquiry, experience, and reflection (commonly referred to as CALL). The faculty seek to prepare teachers grounded in practical and theoretical knowledge, who demonstrate the commitment, responsibility, and awareness that promote continuous improvement of the communities in which we all work and live. This mission is accomplished through the CALL framework, and is reflected in all components of the College's curriculum.

The College of Education is responsible for preparing teachers, school administrators, other school professionals, and community mental health counselors to work with individuals from birth to adulthood. The faculty maintain high standards of excellence in its programs, and seek to develop graduates committed to lifelong learning, intellectual honesty, personal integrity, and respect for the rights and freedoms of others.

The College offers a variety of programs leading to Bachelor of Science degrees and prepares students for Connecticut teacher certification. The certification programs include elementary education (1-6); early childhood education (PK-grade 3); special education (K-12); collaborative elementary education/special education (1-6/K-12, respectively); elementary education/bilingual education (1-6); and science education:  Biology, Physics, Chemistry, and Earth Sciences (7-12). Through partnerships with the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Health and Human Services, the College of Education offers teacher certification programs in secondary education in grades 7–12 (English, history/social studies, mathematics, and foreign language (Spanish, French, Italian, and German.)  K-12 certification programs are offered in art education and and physical education (K-12).  The College of Education, alone and in partnership with other Colleges and Schools on campus, offers post-baccalaureate certification programs in most of the above areas.

The College of Education, alone and in partnership with other Colleges and Schools on campus, offers graduate programs in educational leadership (sixth-year and doctoral education), information and library science, counseling and school psychology, community mental health counseling, and speech and language pathology. Information about these programs can be found in the Graduate Catalog. 


Admission to Teacher Education Programs

Students applying to any professional teacher education program in order to become candidates for an initial educator certificate in Connecticut must meet six academic and non-academic requirements established by the College of Education, which are consistent with certification requirements of the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE). These are:

  1. Have a minimum 2.7 GPA for all undergraduate courses taken at any college or university at the time of application.
  2. Submit the basic skills test scores in Reading, Mathematics, and Writing (Praxis® Core, SAT, or ACT to satisfy the State of Connecticut competency examination requirement. Scores must be within last five years.  Candidates who do not achieve a satisfactory score will be required to participate in remediation plans. 
  3. Have a minimum of 39 semester hours of credit in general academic courses in five of the following six areas, including a survey course in United States history that is at least three semester hours of credit: natural sciences, social studies, fine arts, English; mathematics; and foreign language (for all programs except comprehensive Special Education.)
  4. Submit the College of Education Admission Essay demonstrating a proficiency in English on the College of Education admission portal (TK20).
  5. Submit two letters of recommendation from individuals able to testify to the student's suitability as a teacher. 
  6. Pass the department admission committee interview.

Any one of the requirements above except #2 may be waived by the Dean of the College of Education if justified by unusual circumstances and recommended by the respective academic department.  Failure to comply with this policy may invalidate the courses taken in violation of this policy.  These requirements apply to all students seeking admission to any teacher certification program.

Also, due to Connecticut State Department of Education requirements, students applying for certification programs must not register for more than two courses in professional education before they have received official notification of admission as a candidate to the certification program and the College of Education. Failure to comply with this policy may invalidate the courses taken in violation of this policy. These requirements apply to all students seeking admission to any teacher certification program.

Information on applying to any teacher certification program can be found at the College of Education's Admission Requirements web page.

Candidates must maintain good standing throughout the teacher education program in order to qualify for recommendation for certification to the State Department of Education. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with Connecticut's teacher certification regulations and keeping abreast of changes to those regulations ( If State regulations change before completion of a certification program, students may be required to meet these new regulations in order to receive the University's recommendation for certification to the State Department of Education.

Ongoing Assessment of Candidates in Teacher Education Programs

Recognizing that continuing assessment of student learning is an essential element in the preparation of teachers, the College of Education has developed a formative and summative assessment process that consists of coursework and field experiences across four distinct transition points or Gates throughout every teacher certification program:

Gate 1) Entry to the program;

Gate 2) Progression through required courses in the program;

Gate 3) Completion of the required courses in the program; and,

Gate 4) Completion of Student Teaching.

Within each gate, candidates are required to demonstrate the professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions required to proceed to the next gate in the program.

These gates, which are made up of specific performance indicators linked to specific courses, are key points in each program where candidates are assessed to determine whether they demonstrate the required competencies and are eligible to proceed to the next gate in their program.  The unit's conceptual framework, CALL, as well as program-specific assessments, form the foundation for each gate assessment. Candidates should be thoroughly familiar with the gate requirements for their individual program. Information on gate assessments is available in the program areas and in their respective departments.

All candidates must have a TK20 account in order to submit Gate-related assessments.

Teacher candidates must maintain good standing in the program in order to qualify for student teaching and a University recommendation for State of Connecticut initial teacher certification. Candidates also must demonstrate the following:

Fingerprinting and Background Checks

Connecticut law requires all students in teacher/educator certification programs to undergo state and national criminal history background checks before participating in school-based field experiences and student teaching. All students enrolled in a course requiring entering a P-12 school to complete an assignment, field experience requirement, and student teaching placement will be required to have a background check completed with the school district they are placed in.

Student Teaching

Student teaching requires a full-time commitment. As such, teacher candidates are not permitted to take other courses during the semester in which they student teach, other than the student teaching seminar that is taken simultaneously with student teaching. In rare cases, the department may petition the College of Education Dean for a waiver of this requirement. Additionally, candidates must have all courses and academic requirements completed prior to the semester of student teaching. Candidates with incomplete course requirements will not be permitted to student teach without prior approval of their respective Dean and the Dean of the College of Education.  The dean of the school in which their program is located must also approve student teaching with incomplete course requirements for secondary education students and K-12 program students.


Students may be dismissed from professional education courses, programs, and/or the College of Education for any of the following reasons:


Satisfactory performance on all aspects of the undergraduate program, including the expected performance on all Gate assessments, are requirements for completion of any teacher education program at Southern. As required by the Connecticut State Department of Education, all candidates must pass the appropriate examination(s) in order to be certified. Passing scores on Praxis® II are required for teacher certification for all teacher candidates, except students receiving certification in world languages, who must pass ACTFL. Some certifications also require passing scores on the ACTFL. Some certifications also require passing scores on the Foundations of Reading test in addition to passing Praxis® II.  Bilingual/Elementary Education candidates must also pass the ACTFL, in addition to other required assessments.

Candidates seeking certification in the following areas must pass the Connecticut Foundations of Reading Test, in addition to Praxis® II:

A student cannot be recommended for certification until the student passes all assessments mandated by the Connecticut State Department of Education and passing scores are noted on the candidate's official record. Testing requirements can change over time. Candidates must meet all assessment requirements in place at the time of application for certification. Please check the Connecticut State Department of Education website for the most current requirements.