Return to main Colleges page

General Information

This site is best viewed in Internet Explorer Version 4 or above. 

College of Education

Adult Degree Program

Military Science

Education Programs


Procedures for Appealing Admissions and Retention Decisions

Majors and Minors

Student Teaching

Professional Education Unit

Teacher Education Licensure

Licensure Programs

Out of State Licensure

Education Support Center

Program Coordinators and Advisers

Admission to Teacher Education Program

Educational Technology and Media Center

Continuing Enrollment and Readmission to Teacher Education

Dr. Phillip M. Wishon, Dean

Dr. Steven Fairchild, Assistant Dean


Mission Statement

The mission of the James Madison University College of Education is to prepare educated and enlightened individuals who can skillfully contribute to the common good of society and who can enter competently into positions of teaching and educational leadership, civic responsibility, and national service. The personal and professional development of students is accomplished by emphasizing excellence and continuous innovation in quality undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs.

James Madison University’s College of Education is distinguished through faculty and student achievements, academic rigor, excellence in teaching, student and faculty interactions and relationships, technological innovations, and national recognitions. The college maintains relevance through active and growing interactions with other colleges within the university and with local, state, regional, national, and international communities.

The college is committed to providing:

  • Undergraduate programs that are composed of or complemented by strong liberal arts preparation, in-depth specialty studies and opportunities for students to develop professional knowledge and skills.
  • Graduate programs that emphasize advanced knowledge in a specialty area and the development of effective leadership and professional skills for addressing the needs of a changing society.
  • Continuing professional development and service programs in cooperation with public and private schools and agencies, other colleges, institutions, and businesses.

The undergraduate and graduate education programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and approved by the Virginia State Board of Education.

  • To educate men and women for the multiple professions included in the college at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, not merely by transmitting skills and knowledge but by stimulating creativity, developing cognitive abilities and encouraging the testing of hypotheses and reinterpretation of the human experience.
  • To encourage a balanced faculty orientation toward teaching, research, scholarship, community service and professionalism that recognizes individual strengths and preferences of the college’s faculty.
  • To create an environment that fosters an atmosphere of open communication among students, faculty members and community
  • To anticipate societal needs and provide necessary resources for implementing effective off-campus programs now and in the future.

The college has undergraduate and graduate programs that are designed to lead to majors and minors in interdisciplinary liberal studies, teaching, educational leadership, adult education, human resource development, military science, and individualized study. The college is organized into the education programs, the Department of Military Science and the Adult Degree Program.

Majors and Minors


The College of Education offers baccalaureate degrees in the following areas:

  • Individualized Study
  • Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies


The College of Education offers undergraduate minors in the following areas:

  • Early Childhoon Education (Teaching Licensure)
  • Educational Media
  • Elementary Education (Teaching Licensure)
  • English as a Second Language (Teaching Licensure Add-on only)
  • Human Resource Development
  • Middle Education (Teaching Licensure)
  • Military Leadership
  • Secondary Education (Teaching Licensure)
  • Special Education (Teaching Licensure)

Professional Education Unit

The Professional Education Unit is comprised of all programs across the university designed to lead to licensure or advanced study in education.

The programs of the unit include the following:

  • Art Education
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Educational Leadership
  • Elementary Education
  • Middle School Education
  • Music Education
  • Physical and Health Education
  • Reading Education
  • School Counseling
  • School Psychology
  • Secondary Education
  • Special Education
  • Speech-Language Pathology

Professional Education Coordinating Council

The Professional Education Coordinating Council (PECC) is the official governing body within the university responsible for the preparation of teachers and other school personnel. The membership of the PECC includes the coordinators or representatives of all initial licensure and advanced study programs in education. The directors of the Education Support Center, and the Educational Technology and Media Center are also members of PECC. The Dean of the College of Education serves ex officio as head of the Professional Education Unit. The Associate Dean for Academic Programs serves as the chair of PECC.

Teacher Education Conceptual Framework

The JMU conceptual framework is a guiding set of principles, beliefs, and concepts that provide a basis for designing, implementing, monitoring, assessing, and changing programs that prepare teachers and other educators who work closely with children and others in school settings. The overarching purpose, therefore, is to produce resilient, effective educational professionals for a dynamic and changing society.

The JMU Conceptual Framework is grounded in the best of what we know about learning, teaching, and development, and is further based on a moral mission; that is, the work of teachers affects the lives of human beings. In a human sense, it makes a difference in people’s lives; in a larger sense, education contributes to societal development and democracy.

The conceptual framework reflects our recognition that teaching is a complex and difficult task, requiring a significant degree of education, training, and experiences in order to meet the learning needs of all children, regardless of age, culture, condition, or ability.

The programs at JMU rely on collaborative partnerships with schools and other community agencies, strong field-based teacher development, a continuum of skills development, and further rely on the notion of reflective professional practice.

Completers of all programs, therefore, should be skilled and adept in a set of competencies that are based on the propositions found in the Conceptual Framework. Those competencies include demonstrating:

  • Certain personal qualities and dispositions reflective of a professional educator.
  • Deep understanding of the content to be taught and ways to effectively teach the content.
  • An understanding of the impact of research on learning and development and how culture influences development.
  • An understanding of how students differ in approaches to learning and creating instructional opportunities for diverse learners.
  • Skill in effective planning for learning.
  • Skill in a wide variety of instructional strategies and technologies.
  • Skill at creating positive, effective learning environments.
  • The use of effective verbal, non-verbal, and media techniques that foster inquiry, collaboration, and positive interactions.
  • Skill in a variety of effective assessment techniques.
  • The ability to reflect on practice, adjust teaching methods and techniques, and seek professional growth.
  • Skill in developing positive relationships with parents, colleagues, and families.

Licensure Programs

Students interested in licensure in art education, music education, and physical and health education should major in those areas. Students interested in early childhood, elementary, middle, secondary, or special education should major in an approved arts and sciences discipline (for early childhood, elementary, middle or special education, students should major in Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies) and complete the appropriate minor or pre-professional program in education that is prerequisite to initial licensure as a teacher. The minor/ pre-professional program in education may require 22-40 credit hours, the equivalent of a second major. An adviser in the minor/pre- professional program should be consulted on a regular basis (at least once per semester) to ensure that all requirements for admission to teacher education and completion of the program are met.

Students are encouraged to carefully study the appropriate licensure program and to identify prerequisites for individual courses and for student teaching. Licensure in the following areas involves completing an undergraduate program of study:

  • Early Childhoon Education, PreK-3
  • Art Education, PreK-12
  • Music Education, PreK-12

Licensure in some areas will require completing an additional yaer and earning a master's degree:

  • Elementary Education, PreK-6
  • Middle Education, 6-8
  • Secondary Education, 6-12
  • Special Education, K-12
  • Physical and Health Education, PreK-12

Education Support Center

The Education Support Center has four major responsiblities:

  • Serving as an information clearing house for professional education programs for teachers and other school personnel.
  • Monitoring admission to, and retention in, the professional education program.
  • Coordinating field experiences.
  • Preparing applications for Virignia Licensure.

Information, forms, and application materials for admission to teacher education, appeals, registration for PRAXIS exams, student teaching, and licensure are available from this office and the Education Support Center Web site.

Admission to Teacher Education Programs

Students who want to pursue a course of study leading to the initial Virginia teaching license must be fully admitted to the teacher education program. Full admission is a prerequisite to most upper-level education courses; students not admitted to teacher education will be blocked from registering for those courses. Students who do not plan to enroll in the teacher education program but wish to take an upper-division education course must obtain permission from the appropriate program coordinator and be cleared to register by the Education Support Center.

Admission Criteria

To be admitted to teacher education, all students must:

  • Be enrolled in an appropriate undergraduate major at JMU or already possess a baccalaureate degree.
  • Declare a minor in teacher education
  • Demonstrate strong academic scholarship
  • Have an overall grade point average of at least 2.5
  • Obtain a grade of "C" or better in GWRIT 103, Critical Reading and Writing, or the equivalent; a college-level mathematics course; and GPSYC 160, Life Span Human Development.
  • Provide evidence of potential or demonstrated leadership with peers and children.
  • Demonstrate the interpersonal skills necessary for successful classroom, collegial, and school-communiyt interaction.
  • Possess the physical and mental health for the tasks to be perfomred. (Requests for reasonable accommodation as definded by ADA may be directoed to the Office of Disability Services. Numerous other resources, including the Speech and Hearing Center, can also provide services.)
  • Complete training in standard (universal) precautions through an approved health course, training sessions organized by the Health Center, or the equivalent, and training in recognizing and reporting cases of suspected child abuse.
  • Take the PRAXIS I: Academic Skills Assessment (Reading, Math, and Writing).
  • Be of good moral character and free of conditions outlined in Part IV of the Licensure Regulations for School Personnel (1998). This includes no prior convictions for felonies or misdemeanors involving moral turpitude.
  • Complete training in child abuse prevention.
  • Meet any additional admission and retention requirements established by individual academic departments or schools. (Please check with the respective departments or schools for these requirements.)

Application Criteria

  • Obtain the appropriate forms from the Education Support Center.
  • Complete the application form (AR-1) and return it to the Education Support Center.
  • Complete the applicant portion of two reference forms (AR-2). Ask two teachers, sponsors, employers, or administrators who can attest to the applicant’s fitness and competency in working with school-aged children to complete the recommendation portion of the forms. (Persons completing these forms should return them directly to the Education Support Center.)
  • Submit Prasix I scores.

After processing the completed application, the Education Support Center will notify the applicant whether or not all criteria for admission have been met and will explain the specific reasons if the applicant is not admitted. Post-baccalaureate applicants will be evaluated on an individual basis.

Application Deadlines

  • Undergraduate students should apply by March of their sophomore year.
  • Transfer, post-baccalaureate and graduate students should apply during the first term of enrollment at JMU.

Continuing Enrollment and Readmission to Teacher Education

Candidates (students who have been admitted to teacher education) must continue to meet the unit criteria established for admission to the program, including maintaining a 2.5 grade point average. Candidates who fail to meet the teacher education and licensure program admissions and retention criteria on a continuing basis will be dismissed from teacher education. The program-specific criteria for each licensure program may be found in the catalog section for that program. Candidates also must meet all program requirements for continuation as specified in the program assessment plans. Program faculty members have identified a series of “gates” and specific assessments to be applied at those gates to determine if candidates qualify for continuation in the program. The gates are checkpoints in each program where candidates’ progress, performances or skills, and professional behaviors are assessed to determine if they meet the minimum requirements for continuation in the program. One requirement for satisfactory completion of specific undergraduate courses is that candidates earn at least a grade of “C-” or better in each of those courses. Individual programs may set a higher standard and candidates should consult the program sections of the catalog for clarification. Candidates completing a licensure program that includes a graduate component, such as the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), should consult the graduate catalog for requirements for satisfactory completion of graduate course work.

A faculty member may recommend or request a review of the performance of any teacher education applicant or candidate to assess the student’s competency and fitness to enroll in or continue in the teacher education program. The recommendation for review should be based on the teacher education admissions and retention criteria or other relevant performance standards. The request for review will be routed through the faculty of the respective licensure program.

Candidates who become eligible for readmission after dismissal and wish to be readmitted must follow the application procedures outlined above. They must also be recommended for readmission by their adviser and the program coordinator.

Procedures for Appealing Admissions and Retention Decisions

The Committee on Admissions, Retention, and Exit is a standing committee comprised of faculty representatives of the Professional Education Unit. One responsibility of the committee is to hear and rule on appeals concerning admissions and retention decisions.

Candidates may file appeals concerning admissions and retention decisions by:

  • Completing a written appeal, including the Student Appeal to the Admissions, Retention, and Exit Committee (AR-3) form. The adviser’s signature and recommendation are required on the AR-3 form before the appeal will be considered.
  • Submitting the written appeal to the Chair of the Committee on Admissions, Retention and Exit (College of Education, 305 Roop Hall).

  • Meeting with the committee to present and support the request and answer questions.

Decisions of the Committee on Admissions, Retention and Exit may be appealed to the head of the professional education unit (Dean of the College of Education).

Field Experiences

Field experiences (including practicums and internships) are required for candidates in most programs of the professional education unit. The number and nature of these experiences may differ based on program structure and candidates’ individual needs and/or goals. Transportation and other arrangements for the practicum and internship courses/experiences will be the candidate’s responsibility.

Student Teaching

Student teaching is required as an integral part of the sequence of professional experiences in all teacher education programs. Its purpose is to enable pre-service teachers to apply acquired skills, understandings, and attitudes in K-12 classrooms or comprehensive child development programs. Each individual licensure program determines the length of its particular student teaching experience.

The Education Support Center coordinates the student teaching program with participating school divisions, assigning all students to their student teaching sites and assisting in the planning and supervision of their work. Experienced teachers serve as cooperating teachers who coach and mentor the student teachers in their classrooms. University supervisors have the major responsibility for the supervision and evaluation of student teachers. Student teaching is graded on a credit/no-credit basis.

Candidates must student teach in the area for which they are seeking licensure or endorsement. A candidate seeking endorsement in more than one general area must complete a student teaching experience in each area.

Local student teaching placements are made in accredited Virginia public and private schools, programs, and agencies within approximately one hour’s driving distance from campus. Some programs also place students in northern Virginia, Richmond, and/or Tidewater. Other local and non-local placement sites may be assigned in accordance with individual program and/or student needs. All placements are based on availability and efficiency of appropriate supervision. Student teaching is a full-time experience. Permission to take additional course work will be made only in exceptional cases. Student teachers should not expect to work or participate in excessive extracurricular activities during student teaching. Students with problems and/or special needs must contact the Director of the Education Support Center for prior approval.

Student Teaching Criteria

To be approved for student teaching, all candidates must:

  • Meet all stated requirements for admission to teacher education.
  • Submit a student teaching application.
  • Have an overall 2.5 GPA.
  • Make Virginia’s required PRAXIS I minimum scores.
  • Successfully complete all prerequisite courses for student teaching.
  • Be recommended for student teaching by their licensure program.
  • Meet any additional admission and retention standards of their academic department or school.
  • Be free from exposure to communicable tuberculosis.

Application Procedure

  • Obtain a student teaching applicaiton packet from the Education Support Center Web site.
  • Complete the packet (ST-1, ST-1S, ST-1R and cover letter) and return it to the Education Support Center by the stated deadline. Make appropriate revisions as requested.
  • Have an overall 2.5 GPA.
  • Make Virginia’s required PRAXIS I minimum scores.
  • Submit documentation that Virginia’s required minimum Praxis I composite score has been made. (Check with the Education Support Center for current required passing scores.
  • Provide evidence of freedom from exposure to tuberculosis.

Application Deadlines

Student teaching applications and all other documentation must be submitted one year in advance – November 30 for the following fall or March 31 for the following spring.

Teacher Education Licensure

Candidates should apply for a Virginia teaching license upon completion of a teacher education program; this license is not issued automatically. Virginia requires the PRAXIS II Specialty Area Tests for most licensure areas. This test should be taken near the end of the teacher education program, usually during student teaching. More than one Specialty Area Test may be required for some endorsement areas. (Note that Virginia is presently reviewing its teacher assessment requirements; please check with the Education Support Center for the most current requirements.)

Licensure Criteria

A statement indicating completion of an approved teacher education program will be entered on the candidate's transcript once:

  • all education requirements have been met, including a 2.5 cumulative GPA
  • a degree in a liberal arts and sciences area or an approved education area is awarded, and
  • passing scores on the PRAXIS I and any required PRAXIS II assessments are acheived.

Application Procedure

  • Obtain an application for Virginia licensure form the Education Support Center.
  • Submit the completed application, a copy of PRAXIS I and PRAXIS II scores, a transcript of any course work not listed on the JMU transcript, and the appropriate fee payment to the Education Support Center.
  • passing scores on the PRAXIS I and any required PRAXIS II assessments are acheived.

The Education Support Center will review and approve the licensure application, and then forward it on to the Virginia Department of Education for processing.

Out-of-State Licensure

It is recommended that candidates applying for out-of-state licenses first obtain the Virginia license. Out-of-state licensure requirements and application forms must be obtained directly from the desired state agencies. The Education Support Center can provide contact information for these agencies. Note: other states may have additional testing and GPA requirements that the applicant must meet.

Program Coordinators and Advisers in Education

Students are responsible for obtaining the information concerning the programs in education and the requirements for enrolling in and completing those programs. Students are responsible for contacting their advisers frequently and periodically to make sure they are aware of changes in education programs and/or licensure requirements that may not correspond with a particular university catalog.

Educational Technology and Media Center

Dr. Richard G. Clemons, Director

The primary goal of the Educational Technology and Media Center (ETMC) is the facilitation of learning, and particularly of learning through the application of technology. This goal is achieved in a variety of ways in one or more of the individual ETMC laboratories.

The materials laboratory houses more than 8,000 items of representative textbooks, videotapes, tests, microcomputer software, sound slide/filmstrip programs and instructional kits. Students from departments within the College of Education broaden their experiences by using a variety of interactive tutorials to learn course content outside their classroom experiences.

Computers are found throughout the facility allowing students to work with computer assisted instruction, Web page creation, word processing, digital images, analog and digital video, page layout, data analysis and the creation of multi-media computer presentations. These presentations can then be taken into the different multimedia presentation classrooms located around the university. The growing capabilities in instructional technology are evident in this center where interactive video conferencing, video-streaming of the Web, and other newly emerging technologies are expanding the potentials for learning in multiple environments.

For those desiring licensure in Virginia’s schools, the center provides opportunities to learn and use many forms of instructional technology. A variety of activities are available including individualized tutorials to open-ended “hands-on” exploration of various electronic technologies for learning. The center has a range of production facilities including traditional media, audio and video editing areas and digital technologies that enable faculty members and students to produce various types of instructional materials. Users of the ETMC may also check out 35mm cameras, digital cameras, audio recorders and portable video recording equipment.

Apply now!
Read JMU course descriptions
JMU Home

JMU Academic Affairs
MSC 8002, Harrisonburg, VA 22807

For more information contact:
JMU Catalog Office at

Copyright © 2004 James Madison University. All rights reserved.
Privacy Statement