The School of Education, in cooperation with the College of Humanities and Sciences, offers extended teacher preparation programs in early childhood and elementary education (prekindergarten through grade six) and secondary education (grade six through grade 12). The successful completion of these programs results in the simultaneous awarding of both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree.

General degree requirements

The successful completion of these programs results in the simultaneous awarding of both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. Prospective Master of Teaching students earn their bachelor’s degree in a specific field in which they plan to teach. A student generally begins work on the professional studies component in the third or fourth year of academic study.

A student enrolled in any one of the three extended teacher preparation programs must complete a minimum of 153/154 credits. The student must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.8 for admission to the teacher preparation program. Completion of at least 90 credits with a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 semester hours of study is required for that student to be admitted to the graduate studies portion of the extended program.

A Post-baccalaureate Graduate Certificate in Teaching is open primarily to those who have already earned a master’s degree. The candidate must complete at least 30 additional hours beyond the bachelor’s level. Admittance to this program requires a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 semester hours of study.

Clinical experiences

All initial licensure programs require clinical experiences throughout the program. During the initial stages of a program, these experiences occur as practica in varied placements in K-12 education relevant to the student’s program. Each program also requires a capstone clinical experience in the form of student teaching. For student teaching, those pursuing early and elementary education are placed in two settings, one in early elementary grades (K-2) and one in upper elementary grades (3-5). Those pursuing secondary education receive a single placement in their discipline in a middle school or high school setting.

With the guidance of a clinical faculty member or cooperating teacher, the intern assumes more independence in the field setting. Satisfactory completion of the internship and the preceding training is charted through evaluations made by the university supervisor, clinical faculty or cooperating teacher, and school administrator.

Undergraduate major

Freshman students who plan to become early and elementary education teachers are required to enroll in the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies liberal studies for early and elementary education major. Transfer students should meet with a B.I.S. adviser prior to course registration. The B.I.S. degree requirements are outlined in the College of Humanities and Sciences section of this bulletin.

Prospective secondary teachers should major in the discipline they wish to teach. The disciplines in which VCU offers licensure programs are as follows: English, history/social studies, mathematics and science (various specialities). Students should consult with their education adviser to ensure that courses taken to meet major requirements also meet state licensure requirements.

Change of major and transfer students

Students wishing to enter the Extended Teacher Preparation Program in early and elementary education or secondary education must transfer initially to the College of Humanities and Sciences. They must declare a major in the college and a specialization in the appropriate professional studies sequence in the School of Education. .

For admission to teacher preparation, a minimum GPA of 2.8 is required. A minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 semester hours of study is required for admission to the graduate phase of the Extended Teacher Preparation Program.

Transcript evaluation

The College of Humanities and Sciences evaluates transcripts of students pursuing the extended program in early and elementary education or secondary education. Credits are accepted if they conform to specific program guidelines; course equivalents from accredited colleges and universities are accepted if the grade earned is a minimum of C. From the extended program, 60 semester hours of acceptable undergraduate course work are required to be admitted to a teacher preparation program. See specific criteria in the “Admission to the Extended Teacher Preparation Programs” section of this bulletin.

Credits that are accepted from two-year institutions may meet liberal arts and sciences requirements, but will not meet professional requirements for upper-division course work. The VCU Transfer Guide for Virginia Community Colleges lists, in full, credits accepted by VCU that have been earned in the state’s community colleges.

After the initial student transcript evaluation, the assigned adviser reviews the accepted transfer credits with the student, determining what additional course work at VCU will be necessary. An adviser is not required to use all the accepted transfer credits in a student’s program of study. Only those credits approved for transfer can be applied toward the chosen degree.

Faculty advisement

An academic adviser is assigned to a student by the department of that student’s chosen major in the College of Humanities and Sciences. A professional studies adviser is similarly assigned by the Department of Teaching and Learning or the Department of Health and Human Performance according to the student’s proposed teaching endorsement. This adviser-student relationship continues throughout the course of study at VCU. Student and adviser jointly develop the student’s individual program. During the planning process, the student identifies, clarifies and explores his or her personal and professional goals.

Educator as reflective practitioner

The guiding theme of the teacher preparation program is “educator as reflective practitioner.” The underlying foundation of instruction in the teacher preparation program is to challenge the prospective teacher to develop skills in critical reflection and to value thoughtful decision making. Candidates demonstrate critical reflection by: being open to and respectful of all stakeholders; taking other perspectives into account; utilizing critical thinking in framing and solving educational problems; making informed, ethical and professional decisions; and taking ethical and professional action.

Demographics consideration in teaching

The demographics of elementary, middle and high school students are changing. There is an increase in the number of students for whom English is not the first language, of minority students, of students who do not all learn or respond in similar ways and of students who may be identified as possessing a disability.

Future teachers are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities through formal courses and other experiences to gain greater insight and ability in addressing learners from differing cultural backgrounds and considering the needs of learners with different learning styles, participation styles, and special abilities or disabilities.

Standards of learning

Much of the prekindergarten through grade 12 curriculum is based on the commonwealth of Virginia’s current Standards of Learning. Students preparing to be teachers are advised to examine the SOLs for the grade levels and content areas they plan to teach. The School of Education website has a link to the SOLs.

In some instances the content and concepts associated with one or more SOLs may be incorporated in a course in the College of Humanities and Sciences or in the School of Education, but as the SOLs are for a kindergarten through grade 12 curriculum and not a college curriculum, one may need to study several of these on her or his own.

Technology standards

The use of computers, graphing calculators, science probeware and other technologies is integral to successful teaching in today’s schools. Individuals preparing to teach must be competent on each of the eight standards in Virginia’s Technology Standards for Instructional Personnel. These standards may be reached through the School of Education website.

Students are advised to consult with the professional studies adviser regarding the program’s requirements for demonstrating competence. Several of the standards may be documented as met by passing the Computer Literacy Examination offered online through Knowledgenet. Please see the General education requirements for undergraduate study in the “College of Humanities and Sciences” section of this bulletin.

Extended program in early and elementary or secondary education

In the extended program, a student generally begins work on the professional studies component in the third year of study. Information on specific requirements for all academic majors is available in the Department of Teaching and Learning, in the College of Humanities and Sciences’ associate dean’s office or through the department of the chosen major. Students may visit soe.vcu.edu/academics_programs/teaching-and-learning for information about programs in the Department of Teaching and Learning. A student in the extended program must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.8 for admission to teacher preparation and clinical experience and, prior to the fifth year, a minimum GPA of 3.0 for admission to the graduate study portion of the program.

Admission information

Any undergraduate admitted to VCU who declares a major in the College of Humanities and Sciences is eligible to declare a specialization in special education or secondary education. Students specializing in early and elementary education must declare liberal studies for early and elementary education as their major in the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies program.

Transfer students and students currently attending VCU who wish to change their majors to this program must have a minimum GPA of 2.0; however, note the much higher GPA requirement for admission to teacher preparation and then to graduate study. All students in the program, upon completion of 60 hours of undergraduate course work and prior to completion of 90 hours, must apply for admission to teacher education. To be accepted, a student must have a minimum GPA of 2.8 and must have achieved the required commonwealth of Virginia scores on Praxis core tests and must have achieved the established score for the three tests.

Students who pursue one of the extended teacher preparation programs follow a series of steps as noted in order to meet all requirements, including the 153/154 credits.

Step 1: Admission to the university

Requirements

  1. Scores from Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or American College Test (ACT)
  2. Minimum 2.0 GPA from high school or previous college

Procedures

  1. Declare an undergraduate major in the College of Humanities and Sciences (for early and elementary or secondary education) or a major in health, physical education and exercise science with a general health and physical education concentration in the School of Education (for health and physical education).
  2. Declare an education specialization in early and elementary education, secondary education or health and physical education.

Step 2: Admission to teacher preparation

Complete before enrolling in the first practicum (upon completion of 60 credits of liberal arts and prior to completion of 90 credits).

Requirements

  1. Minimum GPA of 2.8
  2. Completion of six hours of English, three hours of mathematics, four hours of laboratory science and six hours of social science and/or history.
  3. Meet Virginia scores required for the mathematics portion of Praxis and achieve a passing score on the Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment
  4. Confirmation of education specialization (Undecided majors must decide.)
  5. Enroll in or have completed TEDU   101, EDUS   300,  EDUS   301 or equivalent course

Procedures

  1. Complete Admission to Teacher Preparation Application Form (obtain in Office of Student Services) and submit a current transcript
  2. Complete TEDU   101, EDUS   300EDUS   301 or equivalent course; submit required Praxis scores
  3. Register for practicum placement and accompanying courses. (Note: Students must be admitted to the Teacher Preparation Program to be eligible for practicum placement and accompanying courses. Applications for practicum are available at the Student Services Center. In secondary education, such applications may be distributed at the initial class meeting.)
  4. Register for, take and submit required Praxis core scores

Step 3: Application to graduate studies

Requirements

  1. Minimum GPA of 3.0
  2. Acceptable scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT). Generally students are expected to score at least a 290 composite (Verbal and Quantitative) on the GRE or 386 on the MAT.
  3. Personal statement addressing reasons for seeking graduate education, including career goals; experience working with age group to be taught; reasons for entering teaching; and success in organizing, planning and implementing work with other individuals
  4. Three references: it is suggested that these be instructors or advisers in the College of Humanities and Sciences and the School of Education; use Graduate Studies Reference Forms

Procedures

  1. Obtain Graduate School Admissions packet from the Student Services Center in Room 1037, Oliver Hall
  2. Return completed application packet, along with up-to-date transcripts, to the VCU Graduate School
    Note: Students must be admitted to the Graduate School to be eligible to enroll in graduate-level courses. No more than six graduate credits taken prior to admission to graduate study may be accepted toward the degree.

Application deadlines for early and elementary or secondary education

  • Oct. 1 for spring semester
  • Feb. 1 for summer and fall sessions

Step 4: Internship

All programs require a graduate-level internship (TEDU   672 and TEDU   674) during the fifth year. Applications for internship can be obtained in the Student Services Center in Room 1037, Oliver Hall. Individuals in early and elementary education are placed in a kindergarten and a grade one through six classroom in the same semester. Individuals in secondary education typically have a single placement, although perhaps with two different teachers.

Requirements

  1. Minimum 3.0 GPA on graduate courses
  2. Admission to teacher preparation and to graduate study
  3. Completed application and transcripts submitted by established deadlines
  4. Passing scores on applicable Praxis II specialty tests accompanying application
  5. Passing scores on the Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment. 

Procedures

  1. Obtain application form from the Student Services Center.
  2. Submit copies of transcripts and required statement to a professional studies adviser for review.
  3. Obtain approval signature of professional studies adviser.
  4. Submit completed application to Student Services Center by Sept. 1 for the following spring semester, by Feb. 1 for the following fall semester.

Step 5: Admission to the profession

(during the final semester of enrollment)

Requirements

  1. Completion of all degree requirements
  2. Completion of application for initial teacher licensure (obtain from Office of Student Services)

Procedures

  1. Complete applications for undergraduate degree in humanities and sciences with academic major adviser, and graduate degree in teaching with professional studies adviser.
  2. Submit application for initial teacher licensure with signature of university supervisor or professional studies adviser to the Student Services Center.

Added or add-on endorsements

Added or add-on endorsements Teaching English as a Second Language

The School of Education offers the Virginia Department of Education ESL preK-12 endorsement for pre-service and in-service teachers. The ESL endorsement program at VCU requires 18 credit hours of ESL course work and six credit hours of a modern foreign language. Candidates must complete the following courses:

ENGL/LING/ANTH 390Introduction to Linguistics3
ENGL/LING/TEDU 552Teaching English as a Second Language3
TEDU   561Reading Foundations: Sociological/Psychological Perspectives3
TEDU   562Reading Instruction in the Content Areas3
TEDU/FRLG 575Intercultural Communication3
TEDU   681Investigations and Trends in Teaching (ESL 3 curriculum and assessment)3
Foreign language courses (modern languages only)6
Total Hours24

Add-on endorsements in grades 6 through 12, science

Add-on endorsements in science are available in biology, chemistry, earth science and physics. Each add-on requires a first endorsement in one science and at least 18 semester hours in the add-on science that includes preparation in specified areas. The earth science added endorsement is listed below. For information about the added endorsements in biology, chemistry or physics, contact the Department of Teaching and Learning.

Earth science

To add an earth science endorsement to an endorsement in another science discipline, the individual must earn at least 18 semester hours in the earth sciences, including preparation in geology, oceanography, meteorology and astronomy. Courses to meet these requirements include:

ENVS   105Physical Geology3
ENVZ   105Physical Geology Laboratory1
ENVS   335Environmental Geology3
ENVZ   335Environmental Geology Laboratory1
ENVS   401Meteorology and Climatology3
ENVS   411Oceanography3
PHYS   103Elementary Astronomy3
Select from the following to reach 18 total credits:
Physical Geography: Weather, Climate and Biogeography
Physical Geography: Geomorphology and Soils
Topics in Physics

Minimum 18 credits required for the earth science endorsement.

Adult Education

ADLT   402. How Adults Learn. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Overview of the adult as a learner. Topics include how and what adults learn, why adults participate in learning and major barriers to learning for adults. Implications for teachers/trainers of adults are explored.

Educational Studies

EDUS   101. Teacher Cadet Program. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 hours. 3 credtis. Open only to students concurrently enrolled through a Teacher Cadet program at a participating Virginia high school. Designed to provide an introduction and foundation for the teaching profession, including awareness of personal attributes related to education, learning and cognitive styles, student growth and development, history and trends in public education, basic instructional approaches and the structure and governance of public education. The program includes an extended clinical component.

EDUS   200. Education in American Society. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. An elective course for non-education majors, including those who may be exploring careers in education. An examination of the complex nature of our American educational system and various societal influences on that system. The course will include an exploration of some critical issues affecting the future of American education, on-site visits to educational institutions, and other field experiences in settings that will permit exploration of career options.

EDUS   300. Foundations of Education. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. The historical, sociological and philosophical backgrounds of educational theories and practices. The aim of the course is to help the student develop a basic understanding of education in the modern world.

EDUS   301. Human Development and Learning. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A study of human development through the life span with special emphasis on child and adolescent psychology, the nature of learning, and basic concepts of learning theories.

EDUS   305. Educational Psychology. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. The application of psychological principles to the teaching-learning process, with special emphasis on theories of learning and development. Crosslisted as: PSYC   305.

EDUS   400. Independent Study. 1-6 Hours.

Semester course; 1-6 hours. 1-6 credits. Opportunities are provided for supervised research and independent study in selected areas. Designed for advanced students. All work offered on an individual basis with the approval of instructor and departmental chair.

EDUS   476. Methods for Residence Hall Assistants. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: serve in VCU residence halls or permission of instructor. Course designed primarily to present resident assistants and others with student development concepts, peer assistance and helping skills, and group techniques. Residence halls will be used as primary learning laboratories.

EDUS   494. Topical Seminar in Education. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. 1-3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits. A seminar intended for group study by personnel interested in examining topics, issues or problems related to the teaching, learning and development of students.

Reading and Study Skills

RDSS   100. Reading and College Study Skills. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A study of effective reading and study skills at the college-level. Emphasis is placed on vocabulary development as well as reading and study strategies.

RDSS   101. Advanced Reading, Study and Communication Skills. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture and laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: RDSS   100, adviser's recommendation, or instructor's permission. A study of advanced reading and study skills at the college-level. Students develop and apply critical reading-thinking skills, library research skills and advanced vocabulary.

Special Education and Disability Policy

SEDP   330. Survey of Special Education. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Presents an overview of the historical basis and regulatory requirements related to special education, including the individual education program as a legal document and the rights and responsibilities of parents, teachers and schools. The characteristics of learners with disabilities and their educational and medical implications are also examined, as well as the cultural, familial and ethical issues involved.

Teacher Education

TEDU   101. Introduction to Teaching. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Provides undergraduate students with an introduction to teaching and learning in elementary settings. Students will explore current educational reforms and their influences on elementary schools and students. Service-learning activities will enable students to gain firsthand experiences in urban elementary classrooms.

TEDU   203. Focus on Choice. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. 1-3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 3 credits. A career planning experience for adults focusing on discontinuity in life patterns and a review of current educational and occupational opportunities. Consideration of the world of work, fields of education and volunteer service, and the development of one’s own potential will be featured.

TEDU   310. Elementary School Practicum A. 2 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture hours. 2 credits. Corequisites: TEDU   410, TEDU   414 and TEDU   426. Restricted to students admitted to the Extended Teacher Preparation Program. A field placement that precedes student teaching/internship. Includes planned observations, tutorials and small-group involvement. Graded pass/fail.

TEDU   311. Middle School Practicum. 2 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture hours. 2 credits. Corequisite: TEDU   537. Restricted to students admitted to the Extended Teacher Preparation Program. A field placement that precedes student teaching/internship. Includes planned observations, tutorials and small-group involvement. Graded pass/fail.

TEDU   312. High School Practicum. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 lecture hour. 1 credit. Pre- or corequisite: TEDU   311; corequisite: TEDU   540, 545, 547 or 548. Restricted to students admitted to the M.T. program with concentrations in secondary education. A field placement that precedes student teaching/internship. Includes planned observations, tutorials and small-group involvement. Course graded as pass/fail.

TEDU   313. Elementary School Practicum B. 2 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture hours. 2 credits. Prerequisite: TEDU   310; corequisites: TEDU   517, TEDU   522 and TEDU   591. Restricted to students admitted to the M.T. program with a concentration in early and elementary education. A field placement that precedes student teaching/internship. Includes planned observations, tutorials and small-group and whole class involvement.

TEDU   386. Children's Literature I. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: ENGL   201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206, 211, 215, 236, 291 or 295. Designed to give students an appreciation of children's literature; includes biography, fable, myth, traditional and modern fanciful tales and poetry, as well as a survey of the history of children's literature. Crosslisted as: ENGL   386.

TEDU   387. Literature for Adolescents. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: ENGL   201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206, 211, 215, 236, 291, or 295. Designed to acquaint the prospective middle and secondary school English teacher with the nature, scope and uses of adolescent literature. The student is acquainted with reading materials for meeting the varied needs and interests of adolescents. Crosslisted as: ENGL   387.

TEDU   389. The Teaching of Writing Skills. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Studies the theory and methods for teaching writing to students in middle and secondary schools. Teaches strategies for prewriting, composing, peer revision, evaluation and topic construction. Includes extensive journal and essay writing. Crosslisted as: ENGL   389.

TEDU   390. Physical Education for the Elementary Teacher. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Methods and curriculum planning in physical education for the elementary school teacher and physical education specialist. Emphasis is placed on using activities and games to foster the growth and development of the child with a focus on the psychomotor and affective domains.

TEDU   400. Independent Study. 1-6 Hours.

Semester course; 1-6 hours. 1-6 credits. Opportunities are provided for supervised research and independent study in selected areas. Designed for advanced students. All work offered on an individual basis with the approval of instructor and departmental chair.

TEDU   410. Classroom Management in Elementary Schools. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Designed to help students develop their understanding of effective classroom management techniques. Students will examine management models and research and evaluate antecedent factors of a management scheme such as their philosophy of education, management style, learning styles and school and classroom climate.

TEDU   411. Integrating the Arts in Curriculum for Young Children. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Provides pre-service teachers with an understanding of how experiences in visual art, music, drama and movement can be used to support the growth and development of children ages 3 to 8. Students will learn of the importance of all of the arts for children's cognitive, socio-emotional and psychomotor development. Emphasis will be given to integrating developmentally appropriate experiences in the arts into early childhood curriculum.

TEDU   414. Curriculum and Methods for Early/Elementary Children. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 4 lecture hours. 4 credits. Prerequisite: admission to teacher preparation program. Corequisites: TEDU   310 (Practicum A) and 426. A study of developmentally appropriate curriculum and methods for early/elementary children, including diversity, assessment, behavior guidance and management, planning instruction and creating positive learning environments. Includes an overview of the history of early/elementary education and issues currently facing the profession.

TEDU   426. Teaching Reading and Other Language Arts. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Presents teaching strategies and materials in reading and the other language arts based on current theory and research. Emphasizes the interrelatedness of listening, speaking, reading and writing and the importance of naturalistic language experiences.

TEDU   485. Directed Student Teaching I. 6 Hours.

6 credits. Prerequisites: admission to TEDU   310 or equivalent with a minimum grade of C, recommendation of practicum supervisor and passing score on the VCLA test. A classroom teaching experience in a public school or other approved setting, which includes opportunities for increasing involvement with children. Culminates in full responsibility for planning, implementing and evaluating classroom activities.

TEDU   486. Directed Student Teaching II. 6 Hours.

6 credits. Prerequisites: admission to TEDU   310 or equivalent with a grade of C or better and recommendation of practicum supervisor. A classroom teaching experience in a public school or other approved setting, which includes opportunities for increasing involvement with children. Culminates in full responsibility for planning, implementing and evaluating classroom activities.

TEDU   494. Topical Seminar in Education. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. 1-3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits. A seminar intended for group study by personnel interested in examining topics, issues or problems related to the teaching, learning and development of students.