The Teacher Education department focuses on preparing educators who know their students, their subject-area content, and pedagogy. Effective educators 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 teacher candidates 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 Teacher Education department offers the following programs:
- undergraduate majors in early childhood education, elementary education, and special education
- undergraduate minors in secondary education licensure and all-grade education (P-12) licensure, for students with appropriate content majors
- minors in special education, reading, early childhood education, elementary education, and instructional technology
- Master of Science in Education and Doctor of Education (see Graduate Bulletin)
- school administration licensure program for those with a master’s degree
Teacher Education at the University of Southern Indiana is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP, www.caepnet.org). This accreditation covers all initial licensure programs and our advanced programs in education. All initial licensure programs are approved by the Indiana Department of Education. The early childhood education program, the elementary education program and the special education programs 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, usually during the first year, second semester. Information about TK20 is available at www.usi.edu/science/teacher-education or from the Teacher Education office (ED 3114).
The following requirements must be met for admission to Teacher Education. For admission to Teacher Education, a candidate must:
- Earn a college/university cumulative grade point average of 2.75 or higher*
- Provide appropriate evidence of academic achievement in reading, writing, and mathematics**
- Receive the recommendation of his/her major department (this may include an interview at the department’s discretion)
- Receive an acceptable criminal background check
- Submit an application using the TK20 system
*To progress to student teaching, in addition to maintaining the requirements above, a teacher candidate must earn a 2.75 grade point average in his/her major and minor and earn a grade of C or higher in all courses in his/her degree program.
**This requirement changes in response to national and state accreditation/license mandates. Contact an advisor in Teacher Education for the current requirements.
Field experiences provide robust opportunities to develop educators through expertly mentored experiences in the field and through pedagogically designed practical experiences. This 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.
Exploration Phase: In the Exploration Phase teacher candidates observe, work one-on-one with individual students, and explore the diverse ways in which individual students learn.
Analysis Phase: In the Analysis Phase teacher candidates are assigned to a local school where they work with designated teachers in a whole group, small group, or one-on-one setting. USI instructors are on site to oversee and support the teacher candidates while giving formative guidance.
Synthesis Phase: In the Synthesis Phase teacher candidates are assigned to a 16-week placement in an elementary, middle, or high school setting. Using the co-teaching model teacher candidates are fully immersed in the daily work of teaching. Candidates participate in planning curriculum, delivering instruction, managing the classroom, assessing student learning and reflecting on their daily experiences.
Admission to Student Teaching
Admission to Student Teaching is a process that confirms a teacher candidates’ intent to complete a teacher licensure program at the University of Southern Indiana in an education major or minor program. Student teaching placements will not be requested for candidates who do not meet Admission to Student Teaching requirements.
Applications must be submitted through the Teacher Education office in January of the academic year prior to the academic year the candidate wishes to student teach.
The following requirements must be met for admission to Student Teaching. For admission to Student Teaching, a candidate must:
- Be admitted to Teacher Education
- Earn and maintain a USI cumulative grade point average of 2.75 or higher
- Earn and maintain a USI grade point average of 2.75 or higher in all majors and minors
- Earn a grade of C or higher in all courses in his/her degree program
- Acquire his/her advisor’s signature on a paper application verifying that all requirements listed above are met
- Submit a paper application to Teacher Education
Note for World Languages and Cultures Teaching majors (French, German, Spanish): In addition to the requirements listed above, prior to student teaching, world languages teacher candidates must:
- Earn an A in FREN/GERM/SPAN 307 and
- Earn a score of “advanced low” or better on the official Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI)