The M.A.Ed. Programs in Curriculum & Instruction with concentrations in Elementary and Secondary Education are full-time, three-semester programs beginning in the summer, continuing in the fall and finishing in the next spring. Having a single cohort move through a fixed sequence of courses reduces duplication and allows courses to build on learning from the previous semester. The application deadline for these two programs is January 15.
Initial Licensure Programs - The M.A.Ed. programs in Curriculum & Instruction with concentrations in Elementary (PK-6) and Secondary Education (6-12, as well as Foreign Language K-12) lead to initial licensure and are open only to people who are not already licensed teachers.
The Program - During the summer, students take classes in social foundations; educational psychology; current issues in curriculum, instruction & assessment; and educational research. During the fall and spring semesters, students complete courses specific to their intended endorsement area. In the spring semester, elementary and secondary program students complete full-time, supervised student teaching experiences. Students in the special education program complete student teaching experiences in both the fall and the spring.
The conceptual focus of the teacher preparation program is on developing "reflective practitioners" who carefully collect information about students and student learning to make informed teaching decisions. Eight important strands are articulated throughout the M.A.Ed. Program.
- Development of content area expertise, including both general studies and pedagogical content knowledge;
- Focus on instructional design principles, including a common unit planning and lesson plan format;
- Emphasis on classroom management strategies and techniques;
- Attention to student diversity issues;
- Acquisition of knowledge and skills in instructional technology;
- Attention to issues in working with families and collaborating with school personnel;
- Examination of student assessment strategies, especially in curriculum-based assessment that informs classroom teaching;
- Maintenance of a portfolio documenting acquisition of professional competencies.
Students complete field experiences prior to their student teaching semester. Because students are placed in the same school for fall and spring semesters, they are more deeply prepared for their fulltime student teaching experience. The seminar that accompanies student teaching allows group discussion and problem-solving, as well as university instructor feedback about teaching experiences. Additional policies and procedures that govern students in the teacher preparation programs during field experiences are included in the Handbook for Practica and Student Teaching Experiences available on the Office of Teacher Education and Professional Services website.
Additional Courses for Licensure
Elementary students must complete General Studies Requirements in addition to the courses required by the master's program. Elementary students must obtain at least three college credits in each of the following areas: English, history, social science, mathematics, and a lab Science. Elementary students should have a bachelor's degree in a liberal arts and sciences discipline.
Secondary (including K-12 foreign language) students should hold a baccalaureate degree in the subject that they intend to teach. Secondary students must also satisfy Subject Area Endorsement Requirements in English, mathematics, foreign languages (Chinese, French, German, Latin, or Spanish), science, (biology, chemistry, earth science, or physics) or social studies. For specific details, see the section that follows titled Secondary Education - Subject Area Endorsement Requirements.
Transportation - All field experiences take place in K-12 classroom settings. Students are placed in schools within a 60 mile radius of the School of Education. This placement could be up to a 45 minute drive from campus. Students are responsible for getting to practica and student teaching placements. Students should provide their own transportation. Taking public transportation is an option, but not always practical, and will only work if placed in the Williamsburg-James City County School Division. Relying on others for rides is never an optimum arrangement but may be necessary.
Student Teaching Semester - To be eligible to student teach, students must meet the Praxis I requirement (see Licensure Testing Requirements below) and successfully complete all education program courses with passing grades. Earning an F or I in any of these courses will prevent students from participating in student teaching.
Exit Criteria and Procedures - To complete a program in education, students must successfully complete all of the designated licensure assessments, general studies or subject area content requirements, and the education courses described in this section, including student teaching. The student's university supervisor and cooperating teacher are each required to verify and evaluate the student's performance during a full-time student teaching experience of at least 400 contact hours with pupils in a state-accredited K-12 school. After verification by the Associate Dean for Teacher Education and Professional Services that the students have successfully completed all course and program requirements, the Office of Teacher Education and Professional Services helps the students to obtain the appropriate teaching license in Virginia or other state of their choice.
Field Experiences - Students must be able to show verification of a current tubercular examination prior to beginning their first field experience. In addition, some school divisions may require a police background check and finger printing prior to engaging in clinical experiences in the schools.
Additional policies and procedures that govern students in the teacher preparation programs during their field experiences are included in the Handbook for Practica and Student Teaching Experiences, which is available through the Office of Teacher Education and Professional Services or on the Office of Teacher Education and Professional Services website.
Licensure Testing Requirements - Students are required to achieve passing scores on assessments prescribed by the Virginia State Board of Education, for program completion, graduation, and licensure. These assessments include Praxis I (or an allowed equivalent), Praxis II, the Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment (VCLA), and the Reading for Virginia Educators (RVE) assessment. Complete information about assessments can be found on the Department of Education web site at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/teaching/licensure/.
Praxis I is an academic skills assessment of mathematics, reading, and writing. There are three alternate means by which a teacher candidate may meet the Praxis I requirement in lieu of taking the full battery of Praxis I subtests (i.e., reading, writing, and math). Registration information for the Praxis I exam is available on the ETS website (http://www.ets.org/praxis/register).
- SAT Qualifying Score Option: A composite score of 1100 on the SAT, taken after April 1, 1995, with at least a 530 on the verbal and a 530 on the mathematics tests or a score of 1000 on the SAT, taken prior to April 1, 1995, with at least a 450 on the verbal and a 510 on the mathematics tests may be used as a substitute for Praxis I.
- ACT Qualifying Score Option: A composite score of 24 on the ACT may be substituted for Praxis I if taken after April 1, 1995, with the ACT mathematics score no less than 22 and the ACT English plus Reading scores no less than 46, or a composite score of 21 may be substituted, if taken prior to April 1, 1995, with the ACT mathematics score no less than 21 and the ACT English plus Reading scores no less than 37.
- VCLA Qualifying Score combined with a Qualifying Score on the Mathematics Subtest of Praxis I or SAT or ACT: A composite score of 470 on the VCLA with subtest scores of at least 235 on writing and 235 on reading may be combined with a qualifying score on the mathematics portion of the Praxis I mathematics subtest (minimum 178) or the SAT mathematics subtest (530 after April 1, 1995, or 510 prior to that date) or the ACT mathematics subtest (22 after April 1, 1995, or 21 prior to that date). Registration information is available on the NES web site (http://www.va.nesinc.com).
The Praxis I exam must be passed or a substitution made the semester before student teaching.
Praxis II is a content knowledge exam for elementary and secondary education teachers. Students are responsible for providing copies of Praxis II results to the Office of Teacher Education and Professional Services. The Praxis II exam must be passed prior to graduation.
VCLA - The Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment (VCLA) is a test of communication, reading, and writing skills. Current information is available on the web at www.va.nesinc.com. Students are responsible for providing copies of VCLA results to the Office of Teacher Education and Professional Services. The Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment must be passed prior to program completion.
RVE- The Reading for Virginia Educators (RVE) assessment is a test of knowledge of reading instruction and is required for individuals in the elementary and special education programs. Registration information for the RVE is available on the ETS website (http://www.ets.org/praxis/register). Students are responsible for providing copies of RVE results to the Office of Teacher Education and Professional Services. The Reading for Virginia Educators assessment must be passed prior to graduation.
(Note: Teacher candidates must take and pass the state of Virginia's mandated licensure assessments for program completion, graduation and licensure. In the event that the Virginia Department of Education implements a change in the required assessment for basic communication/literacy, reading, pedagogy, or content knowledge, then the new state-mandated assessments(s) will be required for program completion in lieu of the former assessment.)
CPR/AED/First Aid Training - Candidates seeking initial license in Virginia are required to complete training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the use of an automated external defibrillator, and first aid. Training courses are available through national emergency care organizations such as the American Heart Association and the American Red Cross. Documentation of training (typically in the form of a current certification card) must be provided to the Office of Teacher Education and Professional Services as part of the licensure application packet.
Advanced Programs / Add-On Endorsements - Advanced M.A.Ed. programs are available in Mathematics, Special Education, Gifted Education, and Literacy Leadership. Licensure endorsements may be earned in Gifted Education; Algebra I (licensure add-on only); or as a Reading Specialist or Math Specialist. The advanced M.A.Ed. programs may be completed through either full-time or part-time study. For part-time study, the programs will not necessarily be completed in the sequence described in this catalog.