Elementary Education Teacher Preparation Program
The Department of Education prepares students for careers in education, graduate and professional schools. In collaboration with liberal arts programs and other academic disciplines throughout the University, the department believes that it can produce persons who are committed to the education of all students and serve as teacher-leaders who are catalysts for change.
The Department of Education’s Conceptual Framework, “Teacher as Catalyst for Change” guides the Elementary Education program that prepares future teachers to serve as leaders in the evolving global society in which we live. During this preparation, candidates engage in experiences through which they gain content knowledge and develop skills and dispositions that reflect excellence in teacher leadership. Candidates are exposed to many facets of the profession, including: historical, philosophical and sociological foundations; scientific investigation of the human personality, behavior, and development; culturally diverse student populations; technological applications relevant to the classroom; assessments and student learning outcomes; and an investigation of schools through extensive methods and clinical experiences.
The Elementary Education program is committed to a rigorous preparation for teachers who will serve as change agents in the field of education who use emerging technologies, develop holistic approaches to teaching and learning, and employ culturally relevant pedagogical strategies to meet the demands of 21st Century culturally and exceptionally diverse students.
The Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education prepares students to receive a license to teach in kindergarten through grade six in North Carolina. The rationale for the program is based on the on-going need for highly effective teachers for elementary-aged children. The quality of schools and student learning are dependent upon the professional knowledge and skills of the teacher. The elementary education program aims to be innovative and reflective in graduating scholars and leaders who are culturally and socially literate and approach teaching holistically so that they will be able to respond to the needs of students in our changing global society.
The Partnership for 21st Century Skills’ “Framework for 21st Century Learning” is threaded throughout the Saint Augustine’s University teacher preparation program. The distinct demands on 21st Century education dictate new roles for teachers in their classrooms and schools, requiring that 21st century standards and assessments be employed throughout a rigorous teacher preparation program. The following goals define what teachers who graduate from the Department of Education will know and be able to teach to students and the dispositions they must have:
- Teachers demonstrate leadership;
- Teachers establish a respectful environment for a diverse population of students;
- Teachers know the content they teach;
- Teachers facilitate learning for their students;
- Teachers reflect on their practice and include assessments that are authentic structures, and demonstrate student understanding; and
- Teachers contribute to the academic success of students.
- (from North Carolina Professional Education Standards, 2009, 2011)
To achieve these goals, candidates are involved in a minimum of 120 hours of observing, assisting, participating in planning and analyzing activities in the public schools through a series of progressive, sequential field experiences. Finally, each candidate successfully completes a full semester of clinical experience in the public schools to demonstrate their insight into human relations and the special techniques of teaching.
Department of Education’s Philosophy
The philosophy of the Department of Education embraces the concept of teachers as change agents and innovators who are competent coaches and/or facilitators of learning in today’s technologically driven, multicultural school and society. We believe that our teacher candidates need to prepare academically, socially, and spiritually for leadership in a complex, diverse, and rapidly changing world. To achieve this aim, the entire community of Saint Augustine’s University collaborates to ensure candidate success. The faculty foster scholarship and creativity through varied approaches to teaching and learning; the administration facilitates this enterprise by effectively garnering and managing financial resources; and the staff contribute to efficient operations and student services by providing essential support services.
Final Licensing Requirements
The ultimate goal of the Department of Education is to help the prospective teacher receive, immediately upon graduation from Saint Augustine’s University, licensing in their specialty area. The general requirements for licensing by the North Carolina State Department of Public Instruction are:
- The completion of the bachelor’s degree in an approved teacher preparation program;
- Demonstrate achievement on the state basic and advanced technology competencies;
- Confirmation and evaluation of successful experiences in directed observation and student teaching in the area of program completion;
- Recommendations by the official licensing officer of the university; and
- Passing scores on the Praxis II Exam.
The following tests are required for teacher licensure:
- PRAXIS I, Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST), series consists of basic reading, writing, and mathematics tests. Students must pass all three parts prior to entry into the teacher preparation program.
The Praxis I exam requirement may be waived if a student achieves a combined 1100 on the math and verbal sections of the S.A.T (ACT - 24). The Praxis I math section may be waived with an S.A.T. math score of 550. The reading and writing sections of the Praxis I exam may be waived with an S.A.T. reading score of 550.
- PRAXIS II consists of the Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) and Subject Assessment/Specialty Area Tests. Dependent upon the area of licensure, some Subject Assessment tests consist of several parts. In such cases, the successful licensure candidate must pass all parts.