Early Elementary (PK – 4) and Special Education (PK – 8) Certification and Secondary Teacher Certification (grades 7-12)
The Division of Education and Human Services offers a dual certification in Early Elementary (PK-4) Education and Special Education (PK-8) in accordance with all established standards of the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The Division also offers certifications in the following areas:Secondary Teacher Certification in Biology and General Science , Secondary Teacher Certification in English and Secondary Teacher Certification in Social Studies . Program requirements and a Suggested Four-Year Curriculum for each major can be found in this section; those for Secondary Teacher Certification can also be found in the Biology, English, and Political Science sections of this catalog. Special Education Certification cannot be taken as a separate certification apart from Early Elementary Education (grades PK-4) or Secondary Education (grades 7-12).
Students who successfully complete the dual major in Early Elementary Education and Special Education and who pass all PDE required standardized examinations are eligible for Pennsylvania Department of Education Instructional I Certification. Students who successfully complete a major leading to any one of the above areas of Secondary Teacher Certification and pass all required PDE Examinations are eligible to receive the appropriate Instruction I Certificate in Secondary Education (7–12).
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 as well as the ability to use the results of that inquiry to seek change. Professional ideals and values which are 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 experiences are a 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 professional practicum. Settings for these field experiences vary, but include public, parochial, other private schools as well as preschools, daycare centers, special education schools and charter schools. Several courses in the major also make specific use of Neumann University’s Child Development Center. The practicum or student teaching experience is completed in the student’s final semester of study and is 14 weeks in length. Student teaching experiences are provided in two settings: one in the traditional school setting (PK-4) and the second in a special education setting (PK-8).
The Division of Education and Human Services generates a program of education that results in the preparation of professional teachers who are aware of the basic styles of learning, and how those styles are used in current methods and teaching delivery systems. The program prepares the teacher to sit for PDE required standardized examinations and become certified and qualified to practice in the profession.
The following assessment measures provide evidence of the attainment of the outcomes established for the program:
1. Students will earn a minimum grade of Satisfactory on the PDE 430 Form in Category I: 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.
Alignment: 354.33. (1)(i)(A), (B), (C), (G), (H)
Student Teacher/Candidate’s performance appropriately demonstrates:
- Knowledge of content
- Knowledge of pedagogy
- Knowledge of Pennsylvania’s K-12 Academic Standards
- Knowledge of students and how to use this knowledge to impart instruction
- Use of resources, materials, or technology available through the school or district
- Instructional goals that show a recognizable sequence with adaptations for individual student needs
- Assessments of student learning aligned to the instructional goals and adapted as required for student needs
- Use of educational psychological principles/theories in the construction of lesson plans and setting instructional goals.
2. Students will earn a minimum grade of Satisfactory on the PDE 430 Form in Category II: 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.
Alignment: 354.33. (1)(i)(E), (B)
Student Teacher/Candidate’s performance appropriately demonstrates:
- Expectations for student achievement with value placed on the quality of student work
- Attention to equitable learning opportunities for students
- Appropriate interactions between teacher and students and among students
- Effective classroom routines and procedures resulting in little or no loss of instructional time
- Clear standards of conduct and effective management of student behavior
- Appropriate attention given to safety in the classroom to the extent that it is under the control of the student teacher
- Ability to establish and maintain rapport with students
3. Students will earn a minimum grade of Satisfactory on the PDE 430 Form in Category III – 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.
Alignment: 354.33. (1)(i)(D),(F),(G)
Student Teacher/candidate’s performance appropriately demonstrates:
- Use of knowledge of content and pedagogical theory through his/her instructional delivery
- Instructional goals reflecting Pennsylvania K-12 standards
- Communication of procedures and clear explanations of content
- Use of instructional goals that show a recognizable sequence, clear student expectations, and adaptations for individual student needs
- Use of questioning and discussion strategies that encourage many students to participate
- Engagement of students in learning and adequate pacing of instruction
- Feedback to students on their learning
- Use of informal and formal assessments to meet learning goals and to monitor student learning
- Flexibility and responsiveness in meeting the learning needs of students
- Integration of disciplines within the educational curriculum
4. Students will earn a minimum grade of Satisfactory on the PDE 430 Form in Category IV – Professionalism - Student teacher/candidate demonstrates qualities that characterize a professional person in aspects that occur in and beyond the classroom/building.
Alignment: 354.33. (1)(i)(I),(J)
Student Teacher/Candidate’s performance appropriately demonstrates:
- Knowledge of school and district procedures and regulations related to attendance, punctuality and the like
- Knowledge of school or district requirements for maintaining accurate records and communicating with families
- Knowledge of school and/or district events
- Knowledge of district or college’s professional growth and development opportunities
- Integrity and ethical behavior, professional conduct as stated in Pennsylvania Code of Professional Practice and Conduct for
- Educators; and local, state, and federal, laws and regulations
- Effective communication, both oral and written with students, colleagues, paraprofessionals, related service personnel, and administrators
- Ability to cultivate professional relationships with school colleagues
- Knowledge of Commonwealth requirements for continuing professional development and licensure
Students will assemble a portfolio that demonstrates how the competencies established by PDE have been met and as how the 10 Interstate New Teachers Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) Principles have been met
Students will pass all related PRAXIS tests for area of certification.
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. A detailed Student Teaching Handbook is available to students during the application interview, a process which is required for all students seeking certification. Students are required to make application to the Education major at the completion of 48 university-level credits (NOTE: ENG 094 Successful Writing , and MATH 092 Developmental Algebra , are not applicable to any degree program at Neumann University and, hence, 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 following laws enacted by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania which apply to admission and exit criteria to a teacher education program 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.
- 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 or EDU 101:Teaching as a Profession (7-12).
Applicants for admission to an initial professional educator program are to have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 for both entrance to and exit from the teacher education program.
In compliance with Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Chapter 354, General Standards for the Institutional Preparation of Professional Educators, November, 2000, candidates for admission to the Early Elementary (PK-4) and Special Education (PK-8) Certification major are also required to:
- Have all credentials reviewed by the Teacher Education Committee.
- Demonstrate proficiency in competencies tested on PAPA (Pre-Service Academic performance Assessment) exams.
NOTE: Methods courses may only be taken after the student has received a Letter of Acceptance to the Education major.
Progression Criteria/Degree Requirements
Progression in the Education major leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree requires students entering the program to:
- Achieve a minimum grade of “C” for all allied requirements.
- Maintain a minimum 3.00 cumulative GPA.
After a review of academic standing and personal qualifications, students make application to and receive approval from the Dean of the Division of Education and Human Services for the Student Teaching Practicum. As part of that application process, students are required to:
- Receive a passing grade on each of the PSST tests (Reading, Writing, and Math) prior to registering for EDU 461 Senior Seminar I .
- Complete all required course work prior to student teaching, except EDU 462 Senior Seminar II , which is designed to be taken concurrently with the Student Teaching (Practicum) experience.
- Complete a minimum of 132 credits, which includes a minimum of 85 credits in Early Childhood/Elementary Education courses or required Secondary Education course work.
Effective January 1, 2011, The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) will implement changes to the state requirements for teacher certification. After this date, any student seeking initial certification on any level (early childhood, elementary, early elementary, special education, secondary education), regardless of program entry date, will be required to complete 9 credits of Special Education and 3 credits of English Language Learner (ELL) instruction prior to certification. No students will be “grandfathered.”
In addition, 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 before the date listed below:
- Successfully complete all course work leading to the Baccalaureate degree;
- Successfully complete the Student Teaching Practicum;
- Take and pass all PDE required standardized Examinations; and
- Prepare and submit PDE certification forms.
If the student completes any of the above requirements under the guidelines published in this catalog and applies for initial certification after August 31, 2013, the Pennsylvania Department of Education will expect the student to have been prepared in the Early Elementary (PK-4) and Special Education (PK-8) program. NO APPLICATION FOR THE ELEMENTARY (K-6) CERTIFICATION WILL BE PROCESSSED BY THE PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AFTER THAT DATE. THEREFORE, NEUMANN UNIVERSITY WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO ACCEPT AND PROCESS ANY SUCH APPLICATION FOR ELEMENTARY (K-6) CERTIFICATION AFTER AUGUST 31, 2013.
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 pertinent to established certification requirements:
- If credits desired to be transferred from a regionally accredited, degree-granting institution are current within a 10-year period, they would generally be accepted if all stipulated transfer criteria as outlined in this catalog are met.
- If credits desired to be transferred were achieved more than 10 years ago, they might, based upon a review by the Division Dean, in consultation with the Registrar, be accepted as Elective credit.
- If credits to be transferred were successfully completed more than 10 years ago but are requested to be used for certification purposes, those credits would need to be evaluated on an individual basis by the Division Dean who would initiate the process of Portfolio Assessment.
Throughout their four-year program at Neumann University, Education majors participate in a clinical field experience plan which is designed to enhance instructional skills in preparation for the Student Teaching Practicum. These field experiences are organized as a graduated immersion plan that involves observations; one-on-one interaction; instructional aide responsibilities; designing and delivering lessons in small groups; and, finally, entire class instruction. Field experiences are a part of both theoretical and methods courses in the major. These courses have been linked, and times devoted to field experience have been blocked, to allow students the opportunity to benefit fully from the field experience component of the teacher education program. Proof of a current FBI Fingerprint Clearance, a Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance, and a Pennsylvania Criminal Background Clearance are required before a student can participate in any field experience. In addition, students are to obtain an annual TB shot.
Student Teaching (Practicum)
Application for student teaching must be made two semesters prior to the anticipated student teaching semester. A $35.00 Application Fee is required at that time.
All candidates for certification are supervised in the classroom by a qualified Neumann University Education faculty member. Students who meet the criteria for acceptance to the Student Teaching Practicum experience will be accepted only in their senior year. Students may take no additional courses, without permission of both their academic advisor and the Division Dean, other than the Practicum and EDU 462 Senior Seminar II , during their professional semester. Students are required to attend EDU 462 on campus during their student teaching experience. Arrangements are made by the Division Dean for placement of students in approved schools.