College of Education

Academic Units Offering Graduate Programs

Department of Early, Elementary and Reading Education
Dr. Martha Ross, Head

Department of Exceptional Education
Dr. Laura Desportes, Head

Department of Learning, Technology and Leadership Education
Dr. Diane Foucar-Szocki, Head

Department of Middle, Secondary and Mathematics Education
Dr. Steven Purcell, Head

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:

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.

The basic philosophy of the college is reflected in these goals:

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 and military science.


Programs and Licensure
The College of Education does not offer majors. Individuals interested in pursuing a teacher license major in a discipline and complete a teaching area pre-professional program at the undergraduate level. The teacher licensure program is completed during the fifth year Master of Arts in Teaching program. Individuals wishing to become licensed teachers in inclusive early childhood, elementary, special or middle education major in Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies (IDLS) and complete a pre-professional licensure program specific to the teaching license pursued at the undergraduate level.

The IDLS major is assigned two advisers. One adviser is the adviser for the education pre-professional licensure program who will guide the student through the licensure program requirements. The other adviser is the IDLS adviser who will guide the student through the IDLS major requirements. Students should plan on consulting both advisers regularly. Typically, the education adviser is assigned when the student meets with the head of his/her licensure program and elects the licensure program. This may be as early as the first semester of the first year. The IDLS adviser is assigned when the first year student advising folders are transferred to the IDLS office (second semester, first year). Students are required to check with advisers regularly to ensure timely graduation.

Individuals seeking licensure in secondary education major in the discipline in which they wish to become licensed (i.e., biology, history, chemistry, etc.) and complete a pre-professional licensure program in secondary education at the undergraduate level. See the specific major requirements in the individual colleges holding the major.

The College of Education offers undergraduate minors across a range of concentrations in both teaching and non-teaching areas. To become a licensed teacher, students complete a major in one of several approved fields of study, depending upon the type of teaching license pursued, in addition to a pre-professional licensing program. Other minors are available that are not pre-professional teaching programs.

The College of Education offers the following pre-professional licensure programs:

The College of Education offers the following undergraduate minors.

The following endorsements are also available:

Undergraduate students pursuing licensure to teach through one of the five year M.A.T. programs described in this catalog should:

See the JMU Graduate Catalog for more information on the requirements for the M.A.T. and the M.Ed. degrees and for teacher licensure in the identified areas.


Professional Education Unit

Dr. Phillip M. Wishon, Head

The mission of the James Madison University professional education unit is to prepare caring, knowledgeable, skilled and reflective educators who believe that all students can learn and succeed. Our candidates and faculty are committed to lifelong learning and aspire to meet educational needs in a changing, pluralistic and democratic society. The personal and professional development of candidates is accomplished by emphasizing excellence and continuous innovation in quality undergraduate, graduate and professional programs.

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:

1 Secondary Education Licensure programs include Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Physics, English, Mathematics and Social Studies.

These initial licensure programs are offered only at the graduate level for those having baccalaureate degrees:

These programs are offered only at the graduate level for licensed teachers or other school personnel:

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, representative from the IDLS major, and the directors of the Education Support Center and the Educational Technology and Media Center. 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 reflective professional practice.

Program completers, 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:


Licensure Programs
Students interested in teacher licensure will major in an academic field and complete all of the requirements for the teacher education program. Depending on the field of study, initial licensure is earned at the bachelor or master's level. The following chart describes the licensure areas, degree required, major field of study and academic unit.

Major Field
of Study
Art Education
Bachelor's Art School of Art and Art History

Music Education
Bachelor's Music School of Music

Dance Education
Bachelor's Dance School of Theatre and Dance

Inclusive Early Childhood Education
Birth-Age 8
Master's IDLS Departments of Early, Elementary and Reading Education and
Exceptional Education

Elementary Education
Master's IDLS Department of Early, Elementary and Reading Education

Foreign Language 2 Master's French
Departments of Middle, Secondary and Mathematics Education and
Foreign Languages, Literature and Culture

Middle Level Education
Master's IDLS Department of Middle, Secondary and Mathematics Education

Physical/Health Education
Master's Kinesiology Department of Kinesiology

Secondary Education
Master's Content major 1 Department of Middle, Secondary and Mathematics Education

Special Education 2
Master's IDLS Department of Exceptional Education

Theatre Education 2
Bachelor's Theatre School of Theatre and Dance

ESL Bachelor's See program adviser for options. Departments of Exceptional Education and Learning, Technology and Leadership Education

Gifted Education
(add-on licensure)
Master's (Teacher Licensure required)    

1 Available majors are biology, chemistry, earth science, English, history or political science, mathematics, or physics.
2 This program is under revision. Contact the program adviser for information.


Education Support Center

Dr. Joy Moody, Director

The Education Support Center has four major responsibilities:

Information and application materials for admission to teacher education, appeals, registration for PRAXIS exams, student teaching and licensure are available on the Education Support Center Web site. Also on the Web site is information regarding costs associated with required tests and subscriptions to TK20.


Admission to Teacher Education
Candidates who want to pursue a course of study leading to the initial Virginia teaching license must be admitted to the teacher education program. Admission is a prerequisite to most education courses; candidates 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.

Application Process
Students must complete the following steps to apply to the teacher education pre-professional licensure program.

  1. Declare a major and teaching concentration minor. The form is available in the education program area. It should be signed by the student's education adviser and submitted to the Registrar's Office.
  2. Apply to Teacher Education online. Students will receive a return e-mail entitled "Next Steps to Apply to Teacher Education." Complete the application and submit the completed application, signed by the student's education adviser, to the ESC. Students will receive a packet of instructions with reference forms.
  3. Give the AR-2 reference form to two persons (employers, clergy, teachers or other professionals) who know the student well. Anyone providing a reference must have known the student in a professional capacity for a minimum of six months and be able to evaluate the student's potential as a future educator. Forms should returned directly to the ESC.
  4. Take the Praxis I: Academic Skills Assessment and have the scores sent to JMU (test code is 5392). Praxis scores may be waived if a student's SAT scores or ACT scores qualify. See the Education Support Center Web site for more information.
  5. Complete online training in Universal Precautions. UP training sessions are offered by the JMU Health Center. ESC receives verification that students have completed the training. NOTE: HTH 204, HTH 370, or Red Cross First Aid or equivalent training will meet this requirement.
  6. Complete the Child Abuse Prevention Training online at the ESC Web site and pass the quiz after a training session. Scores will be electronically sent to the ESC.
  7. Complete the following course requirements with a minimum grade of "C:" GWRTC 103 (formerly GWRIT 103) or equivalent, MATH or Cluster Three equivalent, and GPSYC 160 or equivalent. Student must provide ESC with a transcript of any courses from other institutions that do not appear on the JMU transcript.

Students can check the status of their admission to the teacher education program online at the
ESC Web site.

  1. After completing the previous requirements, subscribe to Tk20 and purchase a student account ($100 fee; see the ESC Web site for details).
  2. After receiving a response that the Tk20 subscription is available, complete the writing portion of the application in Tk20.

Admission Criteria
The requirements for admission to teacher education are listed below.

Note: Some teacher education programs may have additional requirements for acceptance into their own programs. Consult the program area coordinator for more specific information.

Four & Five Year
Initial Programs
Graduate Programs
Approved major and declared pre-professional teaching program

Two references

Grades of "C" or better in:




Praxis I or SAT or ACT required scores

Child Abuse Prevention (CAP) training

GPA of 2.5 or higher

Universal Precautions (UP) training

No record of felony conviction or misdemeanors involving children
or drugs

Purchase and subscription to Tk20

Admission to The Graduate School
(Five Year Programs)

Specific program requirements. Consult the program area coordinator for more specific information.

Application Deadlines

Field Experiences
Field experiences (including practica 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 candidates 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.

Student teaching placements are made in accredited Virginia public and private schools, programs, and agencies. Most placements are made within approximately one hour's driving distance from campus. Some programs also place students in northern Virginia, Richmond and/or Tidewater, and Roanoke. 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:

Application Procedure

Application Deadlines
Student teaching applications are accepted during the fall semester for the next academic year. It is the student's responsibility to be aware of all application requirements and deadlines.


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 licensure requirements include the Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment (VCLA) for all licensure areas and the Praxis II Specialty Area Tests for most licensure areas. Virginia also requires the Virginia Reading Assessment (VRA) for selected programs.

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

Application Procedure

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. 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 education 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. It is also crucial that the student be advised by the adviser in their major (i.e., IDLS, mathematics, English, etc.) to ensure accurate information regarding course work requirements in their major.

Educational Technology and Media Center

Dr. Richard G. Clemens, Director

The primary goal of the Educational Technology and Media Center (ETMC) is to support students, faculty and staff in their effective use of technologies to support learning. This goal is achieved through access, instruction and promotion of educational technologies available within the center.

The materials laboratory houses more than 8,000 items of representative textbooks, videotapes, microcomputer software, and a variety of instructional resources. The center also houses the children and youth literature collection of James Madison University totaling more than 15,000 volumes.

Computers throughout the facility allow 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 be taken into educational technology classrooms around the university. The growing capabilities in instructional technology are evident in this center where interactive video conferencing, video-streaming and other newly emerging technologies expand the potential for learning in multiple environments.

For those desiring licensure in Virginia's schools, ETMC provides opportunities to learn and use many forms of instructional technology. ETMC 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. College of Education students may also check out digital cameras, camcorders and audio recorders.





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