Undergraduate Teacher Education Handbook
THE TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAM
WELCOME to the Education Department at Wittenberg. Your interest in becoming a teacher is very important to us, and we are committed to providing you with a wealth of experiences and challenges that will support your confidence and competence as you prepare to become a professional educator.
Purpose of this Publication
This publication is intended to help you understand the various steps in becoming a licensed teacher. We hope the information contained here will make those steps clear. But if you have any questions about what you read here, please contact any one of the education faculty for additional help.
The teacher education program at Wittenberg University is designed to permit candidates to meet the licensure requirements for teaching in the State of Ohio. Our program is both State and NCATE-approved. The information contained in this publication represents the official and current policies and procedures for teacher licensure. However, you need to know that this publication and the program advising sheets for the respective areas of licensure are revised on an annual basis to reflect any changes in program requirements. For this reason, you are expected to meet with your Education Department advisor each semester to keep informed of any changes in program requirements. Also, you can check the Education Department's website for the most current information about courses, program requirements, and teacher education policies and procedures.
Programs of Licensure Offered
Upon graduation from Wittenberg, candidates who have successfully completed the teacher education requirements are eligible to receive an Ohio Resident Educator License. Licensure is always based on a major field of study. Students who major in Education may earn licensure in Early Childhood (P-3), Middle Childhood (4-9) or Dual Licensure in Early Childhood (P-3) + Intervention Specialist: Mild-Moderate Needs (K-12). Students majoring in areas other than Education may seek licensure in secondary education (7-12) areas such as life sciences or mathematics or P-12 areas like art, music, and foreign languages as teaching fields. (See page 4 for the full listing of licensure areas offered through Wittenberg.)
Mission of the Teacher Education Program
At Wittenberg University, we recognize that teaching is a moral enterprise. This moral purpose grows out of the University’s mission to teach students "to discover their calling and to lead personal, professional and civic lives of creativity, service, compassion and integrity." It is upon that foundation that Wittenberg’s Education Department has developed its own theme and mission statement for the Teacher Education Program.
Program Theme: Educational Leaders for Constructive Social Change
Program Mission Statement: Wittenberg’s Teacher Education Program strives to integrate the ideals of moral responsibility, social consciousness, and vocational commitment into the lives of teachers in such a way that their character, competence, and community involvement establish them as leaders for constructive social change.
This program theme and mission statement place teachers in the role of change agents in the educational enterprise — active decision makers in and beyond the classroom. In focusing on leadership for constructive social change, we emphasize that Wittenberg expects its teacher education candidates to understand that teaching has a social purpose—not only do teachers work to help students make a better life for themselves but also actively work to make the conditions of school, community, and society better places to live, learn and work.
The Wittenberg Teacher Education Program seeks to address three dimensions of candidate development. The first dimension entails the capacities for professional competence as it pertains to content knowledge, pedagogy and curriculum development. The second dimension, community, relates to the candidate’s care in providing for classrooms, the community at large and issues of advocacy and collaboration. The third dimension deals with character, described in terms of personal character, professional character and service to the community. These three dimensions of candidate development provide the organizing structure for the performance outcomes we hold for all candidates in our undergraduate program. For a list of the performance outcomes required of all Teacher Education candidates, see Appendix A at the end of this publication.
Assessment of Candidate Performance
Each semester, the Education Department reviews assessment information and makes decisions about candidate's admission, continuation in the program and/or permission to student teach. Decisions about status in the program are communicated to candidates by course instructors, advisors and/or the department chairperson. Assessment involves evaluating information about a candidate's GPA, as well as grades in education courses and courses in the teaching field being pursued. The Education Department consults with other academic departments regarding candidate content knowledge.
Assessment also includes analyzing information about candidate performance on the performance outcomes listed in Appendix A. While any instructor can provide feedback on any performance outcome, instructors also focus on the particular outcomes most in accord with their course objectives. Students can consult the particular course syllabus to see how activities and course assessments and program outcomes are aligned.
Declaration of a Major
Students pursuing a major in education are encouraged to declare their major by the end of spring semester of their freshman year. The benefit of declaring a major is that the candidate will be assigned a faculty advisor in the Education Department and will more likely receive advising that assures proper course selection concerning education-related career planning.
Declaration of a Minor
Students majoring in a field other than education who wish to pursue licensure to teach should declare a minor in education.* Students pursuing an education minor should begin education coursework no later than first semester of the sophomore year to assure timely completion of program requirements. Students should fill out a declaration of minor form as soon as they decide on their intention to pursue a teaching license.*
*Licensure in Music P-12 requires a Bachelor of Music Education major (BME); students interested in obtaining this licensure should inform both the Music and Education Departments early in their program.
Because program requirements are extensive for obtaining licensure to teach, it is important that candidates (majors and minors) meet with their Education Department advisors as soon as possible to plan a tentative four-year schedule of courses. This four-year plan should be completed as soon as possible freshman year to assure that program requirements are appropriately scheduled within the four years of undergraduate study.
Program advising sheets which specify the required coursework for each area of licensure are available online or from the main offices of the Education Department.
For advice about how best to accomplish your program in a timely manner, see Appendices C, D, and G at the end of this publication for suggested timelines and a decision flowchart for the various licensure areas.
Background Clearance Check
Students in Education Department courses are required to attend and gain experiences in the educational field by attending area schools to enhance their knowledge of both public and private venues. In order to accommodate both district and State requirements of public safety, students will be required to have a background check performed through the Ohio Bureau of Investigation and Identification (BCI&I). The results of the check will be kept in department files as documentation for admission to schools. Students will be given directions about cost and how best to obtain the necessary documentation at the beginning of each semester. Once the clearance report is obtained, it will be good until the student begins their senior year, at which time they will need to update the BCI documentation and add the FBI clearance check as a requirement for licensure.
Policy on Coursework Prior to Admission to the Teacher Education Program
In order to help applicants clarify their decision to become a teacher, the Education Department requires that prospective teachers enroll in the following introductory courses:
Educ 103 - Sociological Perspectives in Education,
Educ 104 - Philosophical Perspectives in Education
Plus, one of the following courses in Human Development (depending on grade level of licensure being pursued):
Educ 111 - Human Development & Learning Theory: Birth thru Middle Childhood,
Educ 112 - Human Development & Learning Theory: Middle Childhood thru Young Adult
(Note: Students pursuing a multi-age license [Intervention K-12 or P-12] should enroll in Educ 111 plus Educ 113 - Human Development & Learning Theory: Adolescence - Young Adult)
Educ 120 - Introduction to Students with Special Needs
These courses represent the first courses in any program leading to licensure. The courses provide information on the concepts related to teaching and learning and provide applicants with an orientation to the different licensure programs available. (For a full listing of courses required for each licensure area, pick up an advising sheet for the desired area of teacher licensure from the Education Department Office. Advising sheets may also be viewed or downloaded from the Education Department website.)
Criteria & Procedures for Admission to the Teacher Education Program
Admission to the teacher education program is selective. All applicants who wish to complete licensure requirements must apply for and be admitted to the program. To be considered for admission applicants must:
- Have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 at the time of application,
- Demonstrate writing proficiency by earning a grade of C- or higher in English 101 or by placing out of the course,
- Demonstrate mathematics competency by earning a grade of C- or higher in Mathematics 118 (majors) or by earning a grade of C- or higher in a four semester hour course that fulfills the general education math requirement, course designated by a “Q” (minors). Note: In special circumstances, the Department will accept petitions to the math requirement for minors, using a passing score of 175 on the Praxis I test as an alternative.
- Earn grades of C- or higher in the following entry-level Education courses:
• Education 103 - Sociological Perspectives in Education or, Education 104 - Philosophical Perspectives in Education;
• Education 111 - Human Development & Learning Theory: Birth through Middle Childhood or, Education 112 - Human Development & Learning Theory: Middle Childhood through Young Adult;
• Education 120 - Introduction to Students with Special Needs;
And, for applicants pursuing a major in education:
• Education 150 - Phonics for Reading and Writing;
• Education 275 - Integrating Literature, Art, Drama, Dance, and Music throughout the Early Childhood Curriculum or, Education 276 – Integrating Literature, Art, Drama, Dance, and Music throughout the Middle Childhood Curriculum.
- Display knowledge, skills, and dispositions appropriate for teaching, including a satisfactory level of competence on the Performance Outcomes assessed in the Teacher Education Program (see Appendix A).
Students may apply for admission during the semester they are completing the last prerequisite coursework. Applications for admission are due in the Education Department office by the end of the fifth week of the semester and are acted upon by the Department before advising week.
Applicants will be informed prior to advising week of their status concerning admission to the program and whether they have approval to proceed in registering for advanced coursework in Education. Prior to admission to the Teacher Education Program, applicants may enroll only in 100- and 200-level education courses. Applicants denied admission may reapply once, provided that the circumstances contributing to the initial denial have been addressed. Applicants denied a second time are not permitted to reapply.
Once admitted to the Education program, students are required to purchase a TaskStream account that will follow them through senior year and one year after graduation.
Taskstream provides cloud-based software and supporting services to plan and manage assessment processes and demonstrate both student learning achievement and institutional effectiveness for continuous improvement and accreditation. Upon acceptance to the Education program, students are asked to purchase their account. Students will use Taskstream in their upper level coursework and will be able to create personal web-based portfolios showcasing college work and professional development. After graduation, these portfolios may be used for employment purposes. Further details about acquiring an account will be provided upon application for admission to the program.
Criteria & Procedures for Continuation in the Teacher Education Program
Students admitted to the Teacher Education Program who are making satisfactory progress in the program shall be permitted to continue until they have completed all requirements. To continue in the Program, candidates must:
1. Earn at least a C- in all Education courses and those in related areas, and make progress in attaining a GPA of 2.75 in Education coursework prior to student teaching.
2. Maintain an overall GPA of at least 2.50.
3. Display a positive attitude concerning teaching and working with students and practitioners as displayed during the field experience components of the Program.
4. Display knowledge, skills, and dispositions appropriate for teaching, including a satisfactory level of competence on the Performance Outcomes assessed in the Education program. (See Appendix A)
Beginning the semester after students have declared Education as their major or minor, they will be required to attend one professional development event each semester (e.g., Witt Series, colloquium, research forum, guest speaker) given within the Education Department or any other department that is relevant to his/her field of study. A one-page reflection or summary will be submitted to the Education Department office. Students admitted to the Education program may also place the reflection or summary in their Taskstream account. (This paper will not be required during the student teaching semester.)
Faculty review – each semester the Education Department reviews the status of candidates in the program. If the review indicates a need for remedial action or termination from the program, specific reasons for the decision are provided and, if appropriate, options for remediation are suggested. The decision is communicated to the candidate in writing, and the candidate is encouraged to meet with his/her Education Department advisor or the Education Department Chairperson to discuss the decision and any plans for remediation or career redirection. Additionally, the student and their advisor may choose to construct a "Teacher Candidate Success Plan" (see Appendix E). This procedure will allow students and the faculty to agree on measurable objectives that will help students succeed in targeted areas where there may be concerns or where candidates are particularly endeavoring to grow.
Criteria and Procedures for Permission to Student Teach
Only applicants who have been admitted to the Teacher Education Program may be approved to student teach. According to its mission and goals, the Education Department considers each candidate’s ability to take on the challenge and honor of serving students in our schools. To make decisions on who is ready to student teach, we use the following criteria.
ALL candidates must:
- Complete 100% of all required licensure and content courses offered prior to the student teaching term and receive the approval of the Education Department. Minors must also receive the endorsement of the major Department. Note: Candidates should consult Department advising sheets for a full listing of all required education methods and content courses.
- Complete all program licensure courses with at least a grade of C- and with a total Education GPA of at least 2.75.
- Attain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.50 prior to full-time of student teaching.
- Display knowledge, skills, and dispositions appropriate for teaching, including a satisfactory level of competence on the Performance Outcomes for the Teacher Education Program. (See Appendix A)
- Have valid background clearance checks on file in the department. (See Background Clearance Checks above.)
Middle School candidates must also:
- Attain a 2.50 GPA in each teaching/licensure field and a grade of C- or above for each course in each teaching/licensure field.
Adolescent Young Adult and Multi-Age Candidates must also:
- Have a GPA of 2.50 in the teaching field and a grade of C- or above for each course in the teaching field. The teaching field includes all courses in the student’s major plus subject content courses required for licensure.
- Have recommendation of the candidate’s major department affirming a competent level of preparation in the teaching field according to the approved Ohio Academic Content Standards.
No courses required for licensure can be taken pass/fail without the permission of the Education Department Chair and the Director of Teacher Licensure.
The suggested timeline for student teaching is during spring semester. Candidates enroll in Education coursework the first five weeks of the semester and then proceed on to twelve weeks of full-time student teaching. Since student teaching is a full-time load, no other coursework may be scheduled during the weeks of student teaching unless permission is granted by the Director of Student Teaching. In planning for spring vacation, candidates must follow the calendar of the school system in which they are assigned to student teach and plan their Spring break in line with the school’s vacation schedule. Travel to and from the student teaching site is the responsibility of the candidate.
Criteria and Procedures for Recommendation for Licensure
To be recommended for licensure, candidates must have met all program requirements listed for their respective area of licensure (see respective program advising sheets), must have satisfactorily completed the required student teaching experience, and must have passed all state-required licensure examinations, as well as having valid background clearance checks.
Passing student teaching requires that the candidate be rated as "competent" or higher by the university supervisor on all four domains reported on the final evaluation report for student teaching. The four domains are planning, educational environment, instruction, and professionalism. The domains contain the performance outcomes established by Wittenberg's Education Department as essential for all candidates to demonstrate. The university supervisor makes the determination of the candidate's final performance ratings after consulting with the candidate's cooperating teacher(s). (See The Wittenberg University Student Teaching Handbook for additional information about procedures and responsibilities for student teaching.)
edTPA and State Testing
During the student teaching term, candidates must complete the edTPA (Teacher Performance Assessment) project, and in addition, must successfully pass state-required examinations in order to be recommended for licensure. The State of Ohio requires the Ohio Assessments for Educators (OAE) series of tests offered by Pearson that measure levels of professional knowledge (e.g. general teaching techniques, educational issues and the use of student knowledge in planning and teaching) and curriculum content and teaching techniques for specific licensure areas (e.g. intervention specialist, social studies, early childhood, middle childhood mathematics, etc.). Foreign language licensure also requires a successful score on both the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) and the Writing Proficiency Test (WPT) administered by Language Testing International (LCI), under the direction of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).
While passing the licensure examinations is required for recommendation for licensure, it is not a program requirement for graduation. Candidates who do not meet the minimum score established by the State of Ohio for purposes of licensure may still graduate. Candidates may retake the examinations an unlimited number of times. Several administrations of the examinations are offered each year. Information about licensure examinations is made available to teacher candidates beginning the spring semester of their junior year. The examinations are typically completed during the senior year.
Policy for Transfer and Adult Non-traditional Students
Transfer and adult non-traditional candidates must meet the university and teacher licensure requirements that are in effect when they enter the university. University policy states that at least half of a candidate's program of study in the major be completed at Wittenberg. As a general policy, all Education methods courses are to be taken at Wittenberg.