The purposes of the teacher education programs are to give students a thorough background in educational philosophy and theoretical concepts of instruction, and to provide an opportunity for student teaching and other field experiences.
Other departments work cooperatively with the education department in the preparation of teachers in secondary education, K-12 education, and music education. All education programs are competency-based and have received accreditation from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Note that course requirements for the Education minor are subject to change reflecting Pennsylvania State Department of Education regulations and accreditation requirements. The liberal arts are central to the College's teacher education programs.
Students planning to teach must complete an approved major in an academic department and fulfill all the requirements for the Bachelor of Arts degree or the Bachelor of Science degree. Upon completing a program in teacher education, students are eligible for a Pennsylvania Certificate, Instructional I, enabling them to teach in the public schools of the Commonwealth and to apply to teach in other states with similar requirements. Students who pursue teacher certification are required to demonstrate competence in oral and written communication skills and computer literacy prior to certification. A minimum of 190 hours of observation and participation in schools is required prior to acceptance into the Education Semester. Students who are seeking an Instructional I Certificate must have successfully completed the Praxis Series of the National Teachers' Exams (NTE) PPST reading, writing, mathematics in order to apply for the Education Semester, and, later to complete the specialty area test (the subject area for which candidates are seeking certification) in order to be certified.
Students interested in preparing to teach academic subjects in the secondary schools must complete one of the following approved programs for secondary certification: biology, chemistry, physics, general science, mathematics, English, social studies, citizenship or social sciences; or music education, French, Spanish, Latin, or German education (K-12). Early planning beginning in the first year is essential for all of these programs. For secondary and K-12 certificates, the Education Semester consists of Education 405 (worth one course unit) and 476 (Student Teaching, worth 3 course units). Only these courses may be taken during the Education Semester.
Students, in consultation with the department, will select either the fall or spring semester of the senior year as the Education Semester. A Ninth Semester Option offers the Education Semester the fall semester following graduation. This option, which includes only the Education Semester, is provided at cost to these recent Gettysburg College graduates who have been accepted into the program. (Cost for 2013-14: $3,680, plus room, board, and certification fees.) Student teaching experiences are completed at a school district in proximity to the College, or in another approved alternative site in close proximity to campus.
The admission of a student to the Education Semester depends upon the student's academic achievement, demonstrated competence in communication skills, the electronic portfolio, and a recommendation from the major department. Guidelines for evaluating a student's academic achievement are a minimum accumulative grade point average of 3.0 and a grade point average of 3.0 in the major. The successful applicant must have earned a C grade or higher in all education courses. The student is also evaluated on such professional traits as responsibility, integrity, enthusiasm, ethical behavior, timeliness, and communication skills. Applications for the Education Semester are submitted electronically to the Department of Education office by October 15 of the academic year prior to student teaching, and must be approved by the Teacher Education Committee.
A student seeking teacher certification may choose to minor in education. The minor for secondary and k-12 education (except for music education students) consists of the following courses: Education 201, 209, 303, 405, and 476 (worth 3 course units). A student who elects to student teach during the Ninth Semester Option is not eligible for a minor in education, but still takes a concentration of courses in education leading to teacher certification. Additional course work is required for teacher certification.
The Educational Studies Minor
The Educational Studies minor allows students to explore education as a social, cultural, historical, psychological, and philosophical phenomenon through rigorous coursework and field experiences without earning teacher licensure. The minor is designed to prepare students to pursue licensure as part of a Master's degree program or through alternative routes to certification, should certification be desired after leaving the College. The Educational Studies minor is also designed to engage students in social policy issues related to education and to help students generally become more informed citizens by developing their understanding of the complexity of education. The exact program of study will be designed in collaboration with the students' Education Advisor and may include any 6 courses of interest related to a particular area of study. At least one course must be at the 300 level. Up to two courses offered in other departments may be approved by the Education Department to substitute for education coursework for the minor. Courses that carry credit for the Educational Studies minor must include a significant educational focus and be approved by the Education Department. Students also must create an electronic portfolio.
Courses currently available to Educational Studies students within the Education Department:
a) EDUC 209: Educational Foundations (Meets Conceptualizing Diversity)
b) EDUC 201: Educational Psychology (Meets Multiple Inquiries: Social Science)
c) EDUC 299: Language, Culture, and Immigration
d) EDUC 225 Creativity: Teaching, Learning & Cross Disciplinary Applications (Meets Integrative Thinking)
e) EDUC 220: Urban Education (Spring semester; Meets Conceptualizing Diversity and Integrative Thinking)
**Methods courses may also be selected. Many of these courses have a mandatory prerequisite of both EDUC 209 and EDUC 201 or permission of the instructor:
f) EDUC 306: Teaching Social Studies
g) EDUC 331: Comprehensive Literacy instruction
h) EDUC 336: Statistics for Classroom Assessment and Educational Research (no prerequisite; meets Quantitative, Inductive, and Deductive reasoning)
i) EDUC 340: Teaching Students with Diverse Needs
j) EDUC 350: School Science and Mathematics
Sample elective courses available to Educational Studies students outside the Education Department:
a) FYS 106-2: 29th in the World: Exploring Slipping American Achievement in the Sciences
b) FYS 179: Language in Multicultural America
c) IDS 250: Poverty, Education, & the American Dream
d) AFS 290: Language, Race, & Education
e) PSYCH 225: Developmental Psychology: Infancy & Childhood (prerequisite of PSYCH 101)
Other courses may be selected with approval from Education advisor.
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