The Division of Education and Human Services offers a program leading to eligibility for dual certification in Early Elementary Education (PK-4) and Special Education (PK-8), in accordance with all established standards of the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) . Program requirements and a suggested four-year curriculum for Early Elementary (PK - 4) and Special Education (PK - 8), B.A. can be found in this section. Students who successfully complete the dual major in Early Elementary Education and Special Education; successfully complete student teaching; and pass all PDE-required certification tests are eligible for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Instructional I Certification. Note: As per PDE, Special Education Certification cannot be obtained as a separate certification, but must be taken in conjunction with another instructional certification area.
Teacher education at Neumann University emphasizes the liberal arts as the foundation for professional development. Therefore, the professional component of teacher education is based upon, and combined with, liberal arts in a curriculum which seeks to develop and enhance the student’s level of intellectual curiosity and inquiry and the ability to use the results of inquiry to seek change. Professional ideals and values, consonant with those of Christian Humanism, are also reinforced as they apply to serving the diverse populations and learning needs of today and the future.
The professional education component of the program includes specialized study of the principles and methods of teaching and learning. Field experience is part of every Education course and of some allied course requirements as well. Thus, students are involved in actual practice situations from the beginning of their studies through their culminating 14-week student teaching experience. Settings for field experiences and student teaching vary, but include public, charter, parochial, and other private schools, as well as preschools, daycare centers, and special education schools and settings. Several courses in the major make specific use of Neumann University’s state-accredited Child Development Center ( https://www.neumann.edu/about/cdc.asp ).
The following program outcomes, based on the PDE student teaching assessment too and PA Code 354 Guidelines for the Preparation of Professional Educators, are used to evaluate the success of the program and its candidates.
1. Planning and Preparation: Student teacher/candidate demonstrates thorough knowledge of content and pedagogical skills in planning and preparation. Student teacher makes plans and sets goals based on the content to be taught/learned, knowledge of assigned students, and the instructional context.
2. Classroom Environment: Student teacher/candidate establishes and maintains a purposeful and equitable environment for learning, in which students feel safe, valued, and respected, by instituting routines and setting clear expectations for student behavior.
3. Instructional Delivery: Student teacher/candidate, through knowledge of content, pedagogy and skill in delivering instruction, engages students in learning by using a variety of instructional strategies.
4. Professionalism: Student teacher/candidate demonstrates qualities that characterize a professional person in aspects that occur in and beyond the classroom/building. Student teacher/ candidate adheres to the standards of integrity, ethical behavior, and professional conduct as stated in Pennsylvania Code of Professional Practice and Conduct for Educators; and local, state, and federal, laws and regulations
Admission and Progression Criteria
The following is an abbreviated description of criteria, policies and procedures that address admission to, retention in, and completion of the Education major. Detailed Field Experience and Student Teaching Handbooks are available to students at all times. Students are required to make application to the Education major at the completion of 48 college-level credits (NOTE: ENG 094 Successful Writing and MATH 092 Developmental Algebra are not applicable to any degree program at Neumann University and cannot be counted in this total).
Enrollment in any course, Education or other, does not imply acceptance into the major or certification program. Similarly, admission to a certification program does not guarantee that certification will be recommended by Neumann University or granted by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
Neumann University complies fully with the laws and regulations enacted by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania relevant to admission and exit criteria for teacher education programs in Pennsylvania.
While college catalogs are recognized as a contractual agreement, they are subject to changes in state or federal regulations. Beginning September 1, 2001, the eligibility requirements for admission to an initial professional educator program are:
- Accumulation of 48 credit hours or the full-time equivalent of college-level study. Developmental courses (ENG 094 Successful Writing and MATH 092 Developmental Algebra ) are not included in this required total amount of credits.
- A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 for both entrance to and exit from the teacher education program.
- Six (6) semester credit hours, or transfer credits, in college-level mathematics and six (6) semester hour credits, or transfer credits, in English (three  in English composition and three  in English literature). These courses are to be credit courses of the institution, and the standards of the preparing institution will be used to identify and develop appropriate curricula.
- Successful completion of ECE 101 Teaching as a Profession: PK-4 .
- In compliance with Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Chapter 354 Guidelines for the Preparation of Professional Educators, candidates for admission to the certification programs are required to have all credentials reviewed by the Teacher Education Committee.
NOTE: Effective August 1, 2015, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania requires the successful completion of the basic skills assessment prior to formal entry in the teacher certification program. Methods and other identified professional core courses may only be taken after the student has received a formal Letter of Acceptance to the Education major.
Progression Criteria/Degree Requirements
Progression in the Education major requires students entering the program to:
- Maintain a minimum 3.00 cumulative GPA.
- Achieve a minimum grade of “C” for all major and allied requirements.
After a review of academic standing and personal qualifications, students make application to the Office of Student Teaching for the Student Teaching Practicum. As part of that application process, students are required to have completed all required course work, except EDU 462 Senior Seminar II , which is to be taken concurrently with the Student Teaching Practicum.
Limitation on Transfer Credit
In addition to the institutional requirement of a grade of “C” or better for all transfer courses, and in order to maintain the most current and highest quality of teacher preparation standards, transfer students are to refer to the following guidelines regarding the acceptance of transfer credits into the degree program:
- Transfer credits must be from a regionally accredited, degree-granting institution and current within a 10-year period. All stipulated transfer criteria as outlined in the University catalog must be met.
- Transfer credits earned more than 10 years ago may be accepted as elective credits, based upon a review by the Division Dean, in consultation with the University Registrar.
- Transfer credits earned more than 10 years ago, but requested for use for certification, must be evaluated by the Division Dean through the process of Portfolio Assessment.
Throughout their four-year program at Neumann University, Education majors participate in a clinical field experience sequence which is designed to help them connect theory to practice; enhance their observational, instructional, and analytical skills; and develop their professional ethos. These field experiences are sequenced to gradually immerse the students more and more in the classroom activity and involve observations; one-on-one interaction; instructional aide responsibilities; designing and delivering lessons in small groups; and, finally, full class instruction. Course content and assignments are linked to field experience settings and time devoted to field experience is formally blocked on the students’ schedules to ensure them of the opportunity to benefit fully from the field component of the program. Students are required to obtain a current FBI Fingerprint Clearance; a Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance; and a Pennsylvania Criminal Background Clearance, prior to participating in field experience. In addition, students must obtain an annual TB screening and undergo a one-time, three-hour online training on mandatory reporting of child abuse. For more information, please download our procedures for obtaining security clearances. (“Procedures for Obtaining Security Clearances” )
Students seeking initial teacher certification under the guidelines that are published in this catalog are required to satisfy the following steps of the certification process:
- Successfully complete all course work leading to the Baccalaureate degree.
- Successfully complete the Student Teaching Practicum.
- Take and pass all PDE required standardized Examinations.
- Prepare and submit PDE certification forms.
Student Teaching (Practicum)
Application for student teaching must be made two semesters prior to the anticipated student teaching semester. Payment of the Student Teaching fee is required at that time.
All candidates for certification are supervised in the classroom by a qualified Neumann University Student Teaching Supervisor. Arrangements are made for the placement of candidates in approved schools by the Coordinator of Student Teaching Placements. Students may take no additional courses other than EDU 462 Senior Seminar II during student teaching; in rare circumstances, an exception may be granted by approval of the student’s advisor and the Dean of the Division of Education and Human Services. Students are required to attend EDU 462 Senior Seminar II on campus during their student teaching experience.