The Department of Teacher Education focuses on preparing expert practitioners who know their students, their subject-area content, and pedagogy. Effective practitioners learn these abilities through professional study and by mastering the profession's knowledge base, skills, and dispositions of practice. Clinical practice provides robust opportunities to develop practitioners through expertly mentored experiences in the field and through pedagogically designed practical experiences. A clinically based approach gives teacher candidates the opportunity to integrate theory into practice, to develop and test classroom management and pedagogical skills, to hone their use of evidence in making professional decisions about practice, and to understand and integrate the standards of their professional community.
The Department of Teacher Education offers the following programs:
- undergraduate majors in early childhood education, elementary education, and special education
- undergraduate minors in secondary and all-grade teaching for those with appropriate content majors
- minors in special education, reading, early childhood education, and instructional technology
- the Associate of Science degree program in early childhood education
- Master of Science in Education with several concentration areas including school administration (see Graduate Bulletin)
- licensure in building-level administration
Since 1973, Teacher Education at the University of Southern Indiana has been accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) www.ncate.org. This accreditation covers all initial licensure programs and our advanced programs in education. However, the accreditation does not include individual education courses that the institution offers to P-12 educators for professional development, re-licensure, or other purposes. All initial licensure programs are approved by the Indiana Department of Education. The Early Childhood Education program and the Elmentary Education program are nationally recognized by their specialty professional associations.
Procedures and Regulations for Students in Teaching Programs
Admission to Teacher Education is a process that confirms a teacher candidate's intent to pursue teacher licensure at the University of Southern Indiana in an education major or minor program. Access to designated advanced education courses is restricted to teacher candidates who have been formally admitted.
Applications must be submitted via the TK20 Data Management System. Perspective students who wish to progress through an education major or minor must purchase a subscription to the TK20 system. Information about TK20 is available on our website (www.usi.edu/science/teacher-education/tk20-campus-tools).
The following requirements must be met for admission to Teacher Education
A teacher candidate must
- Earn a minimum of 30 semester credit hours at the college level (100 level or above)
- Earn a cumulative grade point average of 2.75 or higher
- Earn a major and minor grade point average of 2.75 of higher
- Earn a C or better in all courses leading to the degree
- Achieve a score of 220 on each section of the Core Academic Skills Assessment (CASA). The CASA requirement may be waived if the teacher candidate has a SAT combined score of 1100 or higher (Critical Reading and Mathematics) OR ACT composite score of 24 or higher OR a masters degree from a regionally accredited institution.
- Receive the recommendation of his/her major department (this may include an interview)
- Receive an acceptable criminal background check
- Submit an application using the TK20 system
Clinical Practice and Field Experiences
Clinical practice and field experiences provide opportunities for students to obtain extended realistic experiences in schools. The full-time program of co-teaching makes possible meaningful contacts with all aspects of the teacher's work.
Clinical practice and field experiences provide opportunities for prospective teachers to work in classroom settings during their entire teacher education program. These experiences are provided in conjunction with each phase of the teacher education programs.
Teacher candidates participate in classroom teaching, faculty planning, extra class activities, and school-community enterprises. The co-teaching program is designed to help the teacher candidate develop a working philosophy of education and acquire the basic skills needed to enter the profession of teaching. Co-teaching requires admission to the Synthesis Phase and application for school/clinical site placement.
Application for Student Teaching
At the beginning of the spring semester of the year preceding the year in which a student plans to student teach, the student is required to file an application for student teaching. Information is available on the University web site under Teacher Education. To be eligible for admission to student teaching, a student must have a 2.75 or higher grade point average overall, in the major and minor. The student must earn a grade of C or higher in all courses leading to the degree.