School of Education
(203) 392-5900 – Fax (203) 392-5992
Administrative Assistant: (203) 392-5900
The School 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 School's curriculum.
The School 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 school 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), and elementary education/bilingual education (1-6). Through partnerships with the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Health and Human Services, the School of Education offers teacher certification programs in secondary education in grades 7–12 (English, history/social studies, mathematics, general science, biology, chemistry, physics, earth science, and foreign language.) K-12 certification programs are offered in art education and and physical education (K-12). The School of Education, alone and in partnership with other Schools on campus, offers graduate work in most of the above areas, as well as programs in educational leadership (certification and doctoral education), information and library science, school health education, counseling and school psychology, community mental health counseling, and speech and language pathology. Information about these programs can be found in the Graduate Catalog.
The School of Education is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and by the Connecticut State Department of Education. Our Conceptual Framework, CALL (Collaborating, Applying, Leading, and Learning), underpins the work that our faculty, students, administrators, and staff do every day as they apply their professional capacities in service of promoting the learning and development of youth and adults. This framework is basic to what we do, is contained throughout our courses and clinical field experiences, and is the foundation of our formative assessments of all students in the school.
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 School of Education, which are consistent with certification requirements of the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE). These are:
- Complete the Liberal Education Program requirements, as specified by individual programs, thereby exhibiting a strong, liberal arts background in the arts and humanities, mathematics, science, social and behavioral sciences, and health and physical education.
- Pass the state-mandated Praxis Core skills examinations in mathematics, reading, and writing or present a Connecticut Academic Skills Assessment Waiver from the Connecticut State Department of Education. The Connecticut State Board of Education establishes the eligibility criteria for the waiver. The current criteria are published on the Connecticut State Department of Education website. Students should check the Connecticut State Department of Education website and speak with their adviser to obtain the most up-to-date information.
- Have a minimum 2.7 GPA for all undergraduate courses taken at any college or university at the time of application.
- Submit an essay demonstrating a proficiency in English, articulating the reasons for wanting to become a teacher and emphasizing one's experiences relevant to teaching and learning, and organizing it around CALL, the conceptual framework of the School of Education professional unit, or other essay as required by the specific department.
- Submit two letters of recommendation and accompanying rating sheets from persons able to testify to the student's suitability to become a teacher.
- Be interviewed by a Departmental Admissions Committee (DAC), which will assess the student's attitudes, dispositions, and readiness to enter a teacher preparation program.
Any one of the requirements 3-6 above may be waived by the Dean of the School of Education upon the formal recommendation of the department and if justified by unusual circumstances. Please consult with the department within which you seek certification for additional information. Students will not be accepted into a teacher certification program until all six of the above requirements are met or waived. Failure to meet all of the admission requirements in a timely manner will preclude registration for course work in teacher education. 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 School 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 http://www.SouthernCT.edu/ education/professionalprogramrequirements/.
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 (http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/). 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.
Applicants to any certification program should allow a minimum of six months from receipt of application to admission into the certification program. Thus, students interested in becoming certified as a teacher should contact the department within which the certification is sought by the end of their freshman year.
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 School 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:
- In all situations on and off campus, the attitudes, dispositions, and behaviors that are appropriate for those seeking to become professional educators.
- Confidentiality of all information concerning colleagues and students obtained in the educational process and integrity and honesty in written and verbal communications and in all coursework.
- An undergraduate academic performance of at least a 2.7 GPA. After acceptance into a teacher education program, any candidate who completes 9 or more credits with a cumulative GPA of less than 2.7 will be placed on School of Education academic probation. The student will have one semester to raise the GPA to 2.7 or higher. Failure to do so will result in dismissal from the teacher education program and the School of Education.
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 must have a background check receipt on record with the Office of Clinical Field Experiences and School of Education Student Services 30 days prior to the first day of classes for the semester of the intended placement. Students must meet this requirement to be eligible for placements in schools and to maintain enrollment in courses requiring a background check. This requirement applies to all students. Students are responsible for the cost of the fingerprinting and background check. Some school districts may require additional fingerprinting and background checks; students are responsible for this expense if required.
The School of Education's Office of Clinical Field Experiences will make every reasonable attempt to place students for field experiences and student teaching. However, if students do not pass the required background check, they may not be eligible for placement and will not be able to complete their chosen teacher preparation programs.
Additional information regarding fingerprinting and background checks, including the specific agencies that must be used, is available on the School of Education Student Services website.
Student teaching, taken in the last semester, is the culminating event in the preparation of teachers and, as such, should be seen as the most important activity in teacher education programs. It is essential that all candidates follow the established procedures when formally applying for student teaching. Information about student teaching can be accessed from the School of Education website. Teacher candidates should familiarize themselves with this information early on in their programs.
To be eligible for student teaching, candidates must meet the following requirements:
- Have a valid background check through the end of the student teaching semester.
- Been admitted to their program of study at the time of application; secondary education students and K-12 certification students must also have been admitted to the School of Education.
- Have a minimum 2.7 SCSU GPA.
- Have program approval for student teaching.
- Attend required information & consultation meetings.
- Submit an application in Tk20 by the required deadline.
Note: Some programs require candidates to pass Praxis II, ACTFL, and/or Foundations of Reading prior to commencing student teaching or by another departmentally established deadline. Students should check with their adviser.
It is the candidate’s responsibility to complete the above eligibility requirements for student teaching by the deadlines posted each semester. Any late application must be approved by the Dean of the School of Education. The dean of the school in which their program is located must also approve late applications for secondary education students and K-12 program students.
Approximate deadlines to apply for student teaching are:
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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 School 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 School 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.
Questions regarding student teaching can be directed to the candidate’s adviser, program coordinator, or the Office of Clinical Field Experiences located in DA 110.
Secondary Education Teacher Certification
The successful completion of this program fulfills the competency and content requirements for the Initial Teaching Certificate in Connecticut and prepares the individual to teach in middle and high schools (grades 7-12) in the subject-matter area of his or her major concentration. Students interested in teaching on the secondary level should contact the department in which they would like to become certified. The major may be taken in the fields of general science, biology, chemistry, physics, earth science, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, mathematics, economics, geography, history, political science, or sociology. The required courses for majoring in a subject field are listed under the appropriate discipline.
Candidates in secondary education programs are required to complete the Liberal Education Program requirements, including HIS 110 or HIS 111 and SHE 203. Students may complete no more than 6 credits in the professional education sequence before being admitted as a teacher candidate to the School of Education (see Admission to Teacher Education Programs above). In addition, the following professional education and cognate courses are required:
EDU 201 — Introduction to Teaching Professions
EDU 413 — Secondary Education
PHI 370 — Philosophy of Education
PSY 370 — Educational Psychology
or EDU 316 — Child Development and Psychology for Educators
SED 482 —Teaching Exceptional Students in Secondary Education Classrooms
IDS 470 — Literacy in Content Areas
IDS 471 — English Language Learners in the Classroom
Secondary school methods course in the appropriate subject area (one of the following):
ENG 493 — English (Secondary School)
WLL 491 — Methods of Teaching Foreign Language at Secondary School
MAT 490 — Mathematics (Secondary School)
SCE 490 — Science (Secondary School)
HIS 490 — Social Science (Secondary School)
Secondary school student teaching in the appropriate subject area (one of the following):
ENG 494 — Student Teaching—English
WLL 452 — Secondary School Student Teaching—World Languages
MAT 494 — Student Teaching—Mathematics
SCE 494 — Student Teaching—Science
HIS 494 — Student Teaching—History
Student teaching seminar in the appropriate subject area (one of the following):
ENG 496 — Student Teaching Seminar—English
WLL 453 — Student Teaching Seminar—World Languages
MAT 496 — Student Teaching—Mathematics
SCE 496 — Student Teaching Seminar—Science
HIS 496 — Student Teaching Seminar—History
Candidates seeking world language teaching certification must take:
WLL 403 — Introduction to Second Language Acquisition.
REVOCATION OF ADMISSION TO TEACHER CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS
Students may be dismissed from professional education courses, programs, and/or the School of Education for any of the following reasons:
- Demonstrating unprofessional behavior or an inability to respond appropriately in various contexts which affects her or his performance as a teacher;
- Falsifying or misrepresenting any documentation or information provided for programmatic, academic, or professional qualification/competency purposes;
- Not achieving acceptable standard on the GATE performance assessments required by the School of Education;
- Having been convicted in a court of law of a crime involving moral turpitude or of any crime of such nature that in the opinion of the University would impair the standing of the School of Education professional program; or
- Other due and sufficient cause.
PROGRAM COMPLETION OF UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE AND TEACHER CERTIFICATION
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:
- Integrated Early Childhood NK–3 (Endorsement #113)
- Elementary Education 1-6 (Endorsement #013)
- Comprehensive Special Education (Endorsement #013)
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.