Teacher Education Handbook


The following information details Policies and Procedures for Teacher Education.  

 

The information provided here on Teacher Education Policies and Procedures includes:

Undergraduate and Graduate Checklists for Teacher Education

The Teacher Education Application Process

Monitoring the Candidate's Status

Appeals to Enroll in Pre-professional Courses

Probation or Dismissal Status

Student Teaching

Completing the Licensure Program

  

Overview

The University catalogs, the Education Support Center Web site and other sources present the requirements, information, and regulations in effect at the time of publication.  The faculty advisor should also be considered an important source of up-to-date information.  It is the responsibility of each student as a teacher candidate to become and remain aware of all applicable requirements, deadlines, and provisions that may apply for admission to and successful completion of a program.

The teacher education program at James Madison University has been developed in accordance with the guidelines of nationally recognized professional organizations and is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.  NCATE accreditation recognizes that JMU's teacher education program meets rigorous standards of excellence developed by the profession and provides high quality preparation for effective teaching.  

JMU offers licensure programs in art education, early childhood education, elementary education, middle education, music education, physical and health education, reading education, secondary education, special education, school administration, communication sciences and disorders, school psychology and school counseling. The program in each of these areas is consistent with the unit's conceptual framework.  Please contact the department chair or program coordinator directly if you have questions about any education program.

Undergraduate and Graduate Checklists for Teacher Education

Candidates must meet all program requirements for continuation as specified in the program assessment plans.  Program faculty members have identified a series of "transition points" and specific assessments to be applied at those points to determine if candidates qualify for continuation in the program.  The transition points are times 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 the candidates earn at least a grade of C minus or better in each of those courses.  Individual programs may set a higher standard and candidates should consult the respective 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.

Checklist for the Undergraduate (4-Year) Teacher Education Programs

Art, Music, and Early Childhood Education

 1.  Completed appropriate general education requirements (with a C or better), including

  • a. GWRIT 103 or Cluster I equivalent
  • b. Mathematics course or Cluster III equivalent
  • c. GPSYC 160, Life Span Human Development

 2. Submitted the on-line application for Admission to Initial Licensure Programs http://www.jmu.edu/coe/esc/

 3. Planned and completed program of study in an appropriate major

 4.  Planned program of study for the desired minor or major in teacher education

  • a. Completed and submitted the form to declare a minor or major in teacher education
  • b. Conferred with an appropriate advisor to plan a program of study, including professional education and content area courses

 5. Met all criteria for admission to and retention in teacher education

  • a. Made a grade of "C" or higher in each requirement listed in #1 above.
  • b. Passed Praxis I tests, or met the SAT or ACT requirement, and submitted scores to the Education Support Center.
  • c. Maintained a grade point average of 2.5 or higher
  • d. Had at least two references (AR-2 forms) submitted to Education Support Center
  • e. Have no record of any felony conviction or misdemeanor conviction involving children or drugs, or founded complaint of child abuse or neglect.
  • f. Completed Universal Precautions training
  • g. Completed Child Abuse Recognition and Intervention training
  • h. Subscribed to TK20

6.  Met all requirements for student teaching  

  • a. Admitted to teacher education (see criteria in #5 above)
  • b. Made application for student teaching by the established deadline
  • c. Completed satisfactorily all prerequisite course work
  • d. Submitted results of a recent tuberculosis (TB) screening (must be negative, otherwise check with the ESC)
  • e. Approved for student teaching 

Checklist for the Graduate (5-Year) Teacher Licensure Programs

Elementary, Inclusive Early Childhood, Middle, Secondary,

Physical/Health Education and Special Education

Licensure candidates should confer with an advisor and program coordinator periodically because timelines may differ for different programs. 

 A.     Undergraduate (pre-professional preparation) teacher education component

 1. Completed appropriate general education requirements (with a C or better), including

  • a. GWRIT 103 or Cluster I equivalent
  • b. Mathematics course or Cluster III equivalent
  • c. GPSYC 160, Life Span Human Development

 2. Planned program of study in appropriate major

 3. Planned program of study for the desired minor or major in teacher education.

  • a. Completed and submitted the form to declare a minor or major in teacher education
  • b. Conferred with an appropriate advisor to plan a program of study, including professional education and content area courses

 4. Submitted the on-line application for Admission to Initial Licensure Programs http://www.jmu.edu/coe/esc

 5. Met all criteria for admission to and retention to teacher education

  • a. Made a grade of "C" or higher in each requirement listed in #1 above.
  • b. Passed Praxis I tests, or met the SAT or ACT requirement, and submitted scores to the Education Support Center.
  • c. Maintained a grade point average of 2.5 or higher
  • d. Had at least two references (AR-2 forms) submitted to Education Support Center
  • e. Have no record of any felony conviction or misdemeanor conviction involving children or drugs, or founded complaint of child abuse or neglect.
  • f. Completed Universal Precautions training
  • g. Completed Child Abuse Recognition and Intervention training
  • h. Subscribed to TK20

 6.   Met all criteria for continuing to a graduate program (MAT) by the end of the senior year  

  • a. Admitted to teacher education (see criteria in #5 above)
  • b. Made application to The Graduate School for enrollment in the selected graduate program
  • c. Took an appropriate graduate admissions test (e.g. GRE, Miller Analogies) for the selected program and submitted acceptable scores to The Graduate School or met other requirements indicated for the program
  • d. Completed all baccalaureate degree and pre-professional teacher education requirements
  • e. Made application for student teaching by the established deadline 

B.        Graduate (MAT or M.Ed.) professional preparation checklist

 1. Completed all baccalaureate degree requirements with a satisfactory grade point average.(See program information for required GPA)

 2. Completed all undergraduate pre-professional preparation requirements (see A above)

 3. Gained unconditional admission to The Graduate School

 4. Submitted results of a recent tuberculosis (TB) screening (must be negative, otherwise check with the ESC)

 5. Approved for student teaching

 6. Taken and passed the Praxis II Specialty Area (subject) Test required for licensure in chosen teaching area (if applicable)

 7. Taken the Virginia Reading Assessment (if applicable)

 8. Completed satisfactorily all requirements for the program of study (MAT or M.Ed.) and for graduation

When all program requirements are met, student teaching is satisfactorily completed and the Virginia required licensure assessments listed below are passed, the candidate may apply for a Virginia teaching license through the Education Support Center (ESC).

  • a. Passed the Virginia Communication and Literacy Test
  • b. Passed the Praxis II Specialty Area (content) Test(s) required for licensure in chosen teaching area (if applicable)
  • c. Passed the Virginia Reading Assessment (if applicable)
  • d. Completed all degree requirements with a satisfactory grade point average
  • e. Completed all professional education and content area requirements  

The Teacher Education Application Process

Admissions

Undergraduate, post-baccalaureate (licensure only), or graduate students pursuing initial licensure in Art, Early Childhood, Inclusive Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle, Music, Special, Physical and Health, or Secondary Education must be admitted to teacher education before they can take upper level education courses or student teach.  The application form is available on-line http://www.jmu.edu/coe/esc/admissions/application.shtml

Applications can only be posted during open enrollment periods: TBA

All requirements listed below need not be met before turning in the application. The application should be turned in as soon as possible so that students' progress toward admission can be monitored. 

1.         Meet with education advisor. 

2.         Declare major/minor in education program.

3.         Submit "Intent to Apply" form to ESC. 

4.         Submit reference forms (AR-2)                                                           

Send the two reference forms in the packet to employers, clergy, teachers, or other professionals who know you well.  It is not acceptable to have a student, family friend, or family member complete your reference form. Letters of recommendation may not be substituted for the reference forms. Have reference forms returned to the Education Support Center (ESC). Students in initial licensure programs who hold a current, valid teaching license do not need to submit references. 

5.         Achieve grades of "C" or better in

GWRIT 103 or Cluster I equivalent                 

Mathematics (minimum of one 3-credit course or Cluster III equivalent)

GPSY 160 or equivalent

As part of the application process, post-baccalaureate and graduate students must submit a copy of any transcripts from other institutions and a program of study planned with their advisor that specifies what courses are required in the licensure program.  

6.         Submit scores on the Praxis I: Pre-Professional Skills Tests OR Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT) OR American College Test (ACT). 

 It is important to keep a copy of your Praxis, SAT and/or ACT score

Test Scores Needed for Basic Skills Requirements

The Praxis Series is an Educational Testing Service (ETS) program that provides tests and other services for states to use as part of their teacher licensure process. Additional information on these tests and others offered by ETS is available at www.ets.org

Passing scores are set by the state and all students entering licensure programs at JMU must meet this requirement.

Praxis I: PPST Passing Score

A minimum composite score of 532, the sum of the minimum passing scores for the separate sections of the PPST (Reading - 178; Writing - 176; and Mathematics - 178), is required on the paper-and-pencil form or the computerized form of Praxis I.

The following test codes are the appropriate tests to take for the Praxis I requirement:

                       PPST:  Reading - 0710

                                  Mathematics - 0730

                                  Writing - 0720

 

Computerized PPST:  Reading - 5710

                                  Mathematics - 5730

                                  Writing - 5720                              

Scholastic Achievement (SAT) Passing Score

A score of 1100 on the SAT, taken after April 1, 1995, with at least a 530 on the verbal and a 530 on the mathematics tests OR a score of 1000 on the SAT, taken prior to April 1, 1995, with at least a 450 on the verbal and a 510 on the mathematics tests.   

ACT Passing Score

A composite score of 24, taken after April 1, 1995, with the ACT mathematics score of at least 22 and an ACT English Plus Reading score of at least 46; OR a composite score of 21, taken prior to April 1, 1995 with the ACT mathematics score of at least 21 and an ACT English Plus Reading score of at least 37. 

Remember, you must submit passing scores on the Praxis I Test, SAT or ACT for admission to Teacher Education. SAT or ACT scores that appear on the JMU student record will serve as a submitted score.

Remember to retain a copy of your SAT, Praxis or ACT scores for your own records.

Information on these tests, minimum scores and application packets are available in the Education Support Center, Memorial Hall, 7230.  (When you register for these exams, make sure your scores are sent to JMU (Code 5392) or provide a paper copy of your scores to the office.)

7.         Have and maintain a GPA of 2.5 or better.

Failure to have and maintain a GPA of 2.5 may result in a delay in completing your program. You may apply if you have a lower GPA; however, you will not be accepted into Teacher Education. As a result, you will be unable to enroll in upper level courses   until you achieve the 2.5 GPA.

8.         Have no record of any felony conviction or misdemeanor conviction involving children or drugs.

9.       Complete training in universal precautions.  Please click on the following link to complete your on-line UP training and quiz:    Universal Precautions

HLTH 204, HLTH 370, or equivalent training will meet this requirement.

The purpose of the Universal Precautions training session is to help students, faculty and staff prevent infections from blood borne diseases that can be contracted in emergency situations or while performing their daily tasks.  After learning the principles of Universal Precautions, participants will be able to apply these principles in their work and social environments.  Participants will be able to reduce their fears concerning the hazards of disease transmission, reduce actual exposure incidences, learn medical facts to share with others, and respond appropriately to situations they might otherwise avoid.  The content of the training session is general enough to accommodate the needs of participants in different fields and settings. 

10.       Complete preparation concerning Child Abuse and Neglect Recognition and Intervention (Reporting and Responding).  Virginia law requires that all persons seeking initial licensure or licensure renewal for the first time after July 1, 2004, complete study in child abuse recognition and intervention. Teacher education candidates are required to take the Child Abuse Recognition and Intervention Training (CAP) online at the ESC Web site http://www.jmu.edu/coe/esc/admissions/CAP.shtml for admission.

11.       Subscribe to Tk20.

12.       Complete online application on Tk20 within dates posted above.

Monitoring the Candidate's Status 

Applicants for enrollment and participation in teacher education experiences may be placed in one of the following categories:

1.   Applied but not yet accepted

2.   Accepted

3.   On probation after prior acceptance but now shows deficiencies

4.   Dismissed after prior acceptance; no longer accepted

When an application is processed and the information is entered in the teacher education database, students can check their status. The candidate's acceptance status is reviewed at the end of each semester, and periodically as references and Praxis I scores are received. The candidate's GPA is reviewed to ensure that a 2.5 GPA is maintained.

Candidates who are not accepted into teacher education will be "blocked" from registering for upper level education courses.

[Transfer and post-baccalaureate students entering their first semester may be assigned a one time "temporarily accepted" status upon request. If the candidate is temporarily assigned accepted status for class registration, the status will be changed back to "not accepted" after the registration period.]

During registration and course adjustment periods, candidates who have not met all admissions requirements sometimes request that the enrollment "block" be removed so they can enroll in one or more pre-professional education courses.  If candidates have already applied to teacher education, they may appeal to have the "block" removed. 

 Probation or Dismissal Status

Candidates who have been admitted into teacher education programs must continue to meet all criteria that were required for admission throughout their course of study.  Failure to maintain the standards of academic performance (including a 2.5 GPA) and/or failure to demonstrate skills, behavior, and dispositions specified by the respective program and the teacher education unit may result in probationary status or dismissal from the program.  Probationary status may include suspension of enrollment in teacher education courses.

 Status Recommendations/Decisions

Individual faculty members who question the competency and/or behavior of a candidate related to any of the criteria for admission and retention or other relevant professional performance standards, as described above, should contact the appropriate department head or program coordinator.  If the department head or program coordinator considers the concerns to be serious enough, he/she should request a faculty review of the candidate's overall performance.  (The candidate should be informed of the review, and have the opportunity to meet with program faculty.)  After a review of the information, the faculty members of the program may make a decision to recommend one of three courses of action. 

  • The candidate will be allowed to continue in the program based on the decision that the candidate's performance is satisfactory or above.
  • The candidate, due to poor or unsatisfactory performance, behavior and/or disposition, be (1) assigned probationary status, (2) provided an appropriate written plan of action for remediating and/or correcting the identified deficiencies, and (3) given a timeline for satisfactorily completing the plan. All resulting candidate status and progress information will be shared with the Education Support Center (ESC).
  • The candidate, due to failure to meet requirements of a prior plan of action for improvement or due to a serious act of unprofessional behavior or moral turpitude, will be dismissed from the program and from teacher education. The recommendation and related information will be referred to the Admission, Retention and Exit Committee and the ESC will be notified.

After a decision is made, the candidate should be informed of the faculty recommendation and of his/her options by the department head, program coordinator or the Education Support Center (ESC) director.

Probation Status and Appeals

A candidate who is recommended for probationary status may appeal to the Admission, Retention and Exit (ARE) Committee to remain in admitted/accepted status.  In most cases, the ARE Committee will accept the program faculty recommendation.  The exceptions will usually involve questions of procedure, due process, and interpretation of the teacher education (unit) criteria and standards, rather than matters of candidate performance and behavior and judgments about the performances and behaviors.

When a candidate is placed on probation, the advisor and/or the department head or program coordinator, with program faculty input, should develop a plan of action that identifies (1) the areas of concern; (2) a remediation or corrective plan; (3) expectations for satisfactory performance; (4) a monitoring process, and (5) a timeline for each action and product.  The candidate should be informed of the possible impact of the probationary status on the candidate's scheduling of student teaching, program completion, and related events.  The probationary plan of action should be written and a copy provided to the candidate and to the Education Support Center (ESC) within two weeks (or ten work days) of the probationary decision.

At the end of the probationary period as specified in the action plan, the program faculty may recommend that the candidate's status be changed to accepted, extended probationary (with an updated plan), or dismissed.

Dismissal Status and Appeals

In most cases, the ARE Committee will accept the program faculty recommendation.  The exceptions will usually involve questions of procedure, due process, and interpretation of the teacher education (unit) criteria and standards, rather than matters of candidate performance and behavior and judgments about the performances and behaviors.

When a candidate is recommended for dismissal from teacher education, the department head or program coordinator will notify the Admission, Retention and Exit (ARE) Committee, the Education Support Center (ESC), and the candidate of the decision in writing.  The coordinator should provide the ARE with information and documentation to support the recommendation for dismissal.  The ARE Committee will automatically review the information and render a decision in support of the recommendation or for an alternate option (i.e. probation or acceptance) but the candidate may actively appeal to the ARE Committee to remain in accepted or probationary status.  The ARE Committee will meet and make a decision within 30 days (or 20 work days) of the Chair receiving notification, if during the academic year and the candidate does not appeal.

If a candidate who has been recommended for dismissal by the program faculty wishes to appeal to the ARE Committee, he/she will have two weeks (10 work days) after receiving notification of the decision to submit a written appeal to ESC (for transmittal to the ARE Chair).  The Chair of the ARE Committee will invite the candidate and the department head or program coordinator (or a designee) to meet with the committee and present evidence in support of their positions and to respond to questions committee members may have concerning the matter.  The ARE Committee will then meet in a closed session to make a decision concerning the dismissal recommendation.  Good effort will be made to allow the candidate to meet with the ARE Committee within 45 days and to receive a decision within 60 days of the date of the appeal, if during the academic year. The ARE Committee Chair will notify the candidate, the department head or program coordinator, and the director of ESC of the ARE Committee's decision in writing.

Further Appeals

Candidates may appeal decisions and recommendations of the Admission, Retention and Exit Committee to the head of the professional education unit (the Dean of the College of

Education) on the basis of due process and procedural issues or questions. This is the final decision level.

Readmission after Dismissal

Students who have been dismissed from the teacher education program for any reason and want to be readmitted must wait at least one calendar year to reapply for admission to teacher education.  The Admission, Retention and Exit Committee must review and render a decision on all applications for readmission to ensure that conditions that caused the earlier dismissal are no longer a concern. 

Student Teaching

Application

Student teaching applications will be completed in TK20.

Applications for student teaching positions are due on or before October 31 one year prior to student teaching. Status in teacher education will be reviewed regularly and any deficiencies must be corrected before a student teaching placement is requested. 

Eligibility for Student Teaching

      Students must meet all of the criteria below by May 15 for fall student teaching and November 10 for spring.  Student teaching positions will not be requested for students who fail to meet these deadlines. There will be no exceptions!

To be eligible for student teaching, applicants must:

  • Submit their application by the application deadline
  • Be admitted to teacher education
  • Have satisfactorily completed all prerequisite course work
  • Submit results of a recent TB screening.
  • Meet any specific school division policies. Some school divisions have a different TB policy, require an additional application form and/or personal interview, or conduct a background and security check. The ESC will provide information about specific school division policies, but students are responsible for completing the additional requirements.

Placement Policies

We are committed to providing for all candidates rich experiences in diverse settings to support their success in working with all students.  Candidates can expect to be placed in a range of classrooms and educational settings throughout their professional education program that reflect the demographics of our communities and beyond.  All locations used for placements are categorized based on characteristics that reflect diversity, such as socio-economic levels, rural vs. urban designation and diversity of cultures and languages present in the schools. Every attempt is made to provide opportunities for each candidate to experience as broad a spectrum of experiences as possible.  Some of the placements are available within our local city school division and others may be in communities within a commutable distance.  Therefore, candidates need to be aware that travel to schools outside of the immediate community may be required for their program.

Once completed applications have been received, reviewed and approved, placement requests are sent to the school systems.  The ESC works closely with area school systems to request the most appropriate placements with highly qualified cooperating teachers.  Student teachers may not request positions in specific school divisions, at specific schools, or with specific teachers.  Each school system processes applications and secures placements in a unique way, thus the ESC cannot predict when positions will be confirmed. 

  • 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 sites may be assigned in accordance with individual program needs.
  • Non-local in-state sites may be available for certain programs. The decision to make out-of-area placements is based on a number of factors including programmatic, financial, supervision quality, and student teacher concerns.
  • Out-of-state student teaching placements are not an option for any program at this time.
  • All student teachers are responsible for their own housing and transportation, including during JMU's scheduled spring break when dorms are closed.
  • Student teaching is a full-time experience and students should not take additional course work during student teaching.
  • During the student teaching period, students must be on-site according to the school division's (not the university's) schedule and calendar in regards to school day beginning and ending times, vacation days, holidays, workdays, inclement weather make-up days, etc.

Seminars

A student teacher conference is planned by the Education Support Center once during the student teaching semester.  All student teachers are required to attend, either on-campus or in designated off-campus sites.  Programs and/or supervisors also plan additional seminars for their student teachers.

Requirements

The Student Teaching Performance Guide and the supervisor's syllabus outline the requirements for successfully completing student teaching and the criteria by which student teachers are evaluated. The performance guide should be downloaded from the ESC Web site prior to beginning the student teaching experience. Many student teaching forms will be completed online in TK20.  Students will receive formative feedback through regular observations and a mid-block assessment performed by their cooperating teacher and university supervisor.  Additionally, a summative final assessment evaluates student teachers using 3 anchor levels that are described for each subject/content area in reference guides (1.0 – unacceptable; 2.0 – acceptable; 3.0 – target).  Undergraduate students receive a course grade of “C” (Credit) or “NC” (No Credit) for the student teaching experience.  Graduate students receive a course grade of “S” (Satisfactory) or “U” (Unsatisfactory).

Completing the Licensure Program

To be recommended for licensure, students must successfully complete all course work (including student teaching and internships), pass the Virginia Communication and Literacy AssessmentTM (VCLA), pass the required specialty test (if required) and VRA (if required), and earn the degree (undergraduate or graduate) associated with the respective licensure area at JMU.

Virginia Communication and Literacy AssessmentTM (VCLA)

Applicants must pass the VCLA prior to obtaining licensure in Virginia.  The test is composed of a reading and a writing subtest.  A passing score of 470 or higher is required for licensure.  Information on the VCLA can be found at the following site: http://www.va.nesinc.com/.

Praxis II Specialty Area Tests

Applicants must pass a specialty area test in their respective licensure area prior to obtaining licensure in Virginia, if one is required by the state. Click to see information on Praxis II.

NOTE: Only one Praxis II: Specialty Area Test is required even if you are being licensed in multiple areas, except for Middle Education which requires two specialty area tests. 

Changes in specialty area exam requirements may occur over the next several years.  Please make sure that you have the most current requirements before registering for a specialty area exam. 

Virginia Reading Assessment® (VRA)

Applicants for Virginia licensure in the programs listed below must pass the Virginia Reading Assessment.   

JMU LICENSURE PROGRAMS

VRA

PASSING SCORES

Early Childhood Education (PreK-3) & Elementary Education (PreK-6)

 235

Special Education: General Curriculum K-12

 235

Reading Specialist

 245

Licensure

Applications for Virginia licensure are located on the ESC and the Virginia Department of Education Web sites.  The specified fee and a copy of the results of required Praxis scores must accompany all applications.  Students who are required to take the VRA must also provide a copy of their score report letter to the ESC to submit with the licensure application. Post-baccalaureate and graduate students must also provide transcripts of academic work completed outside of JMU.  Students are notified by mail after the application has been processed and sent to the Virginia Department of Education.  The Virginia Department of Education may take up to three months to process applications and actually issue the license.

 A statement will be placed on the transcript that indicates which licensure program has been completed. Letters of eligibility requested by school systems may also be written for students who have completed a licensure program but have not yet received their license.

Students are responsible for checking requirements for out-of-state licensure. If another state offers a comparable endorsement (grade range or content area), students from JMU will probably be eligible for licensure; however, there may be additional tests, course work, or GPA requirements that must be completed.  Information on licensure requirements in other states is available in the ESC or on the Department of Education Web site for most states.

 

 

For information on Teacher Education Assessments, click here.