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Mission of the School of Education
The mission of the School of Education at the College of William and Mary is the pursuit of excellence in the education of diverse learners across the life-span. The School of Education fulfills this mission through its three-fold commitment to teaching, research and service:
• As the recognized organizational unit within the College with responsibility for initial and advanced preparation of professional educators, the School of Education prepares teachers, specialists and administrators to be leaders in their respective roles committed to culturally responsive, reflective practice and to working in partnership with others to improve educational programs.
• The School of Education engages in scholarship and research addressing critical problems in education to generate and disseminate ideas that inform and advance educational discourse, policy and practice to benefit all learners.
• Through a variety of outreach activities, the School of Education provides model programs in direct service to children, adolescents and their families, as well as technical assistance and professional development opportunities for educators in preK-12, higher education and agency settings.
Within the framework of general College regulations, faculty in the School of Education formulate and implement policies and procedures related to initial licensure programs, including instructional goals, requirements, admissions criteria and curricula for these programs. The Associate Dean of Teacher Education and Professional Services of the School of Education is the Certification Officer for The College of William and Mary recognized by the Virginia Department of Education.
A Teacher Education Advisory Council (TEAC) advises the Dean and Faculty of the School of Education on the effective preparation of elementary, secondary and preK-12 teachers in direct support of the mission of K-12 schools. Members of the committee include administrators and instructional staff from the School of Education and departments in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and representatives from area public schools. Its charge includes ensuring ongoing collaboration in future implementation, evaluation and refinement of teacher education programs; formally and informally advocating teaching as a profession and the College’s teacher preparation programs; and consideration of specific needs in teacher education related to children in special populations, including minority groups and children with special needs and exceptionalities.
Programs in the School of Education are accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), and through consultation with advisors in the School of Education, students can plan programs of study leading to professional licensure by the Virginia Department of Education. By means of the Interstate Certification Compact, graduates who qualify for licensure in Virginia may qualify for certification in many other states.
The Conceptual Framework
The Conceptual Framework of the School of Education at the College of William and Mary incorporates a shared view of how to best prepare our graduates to deliver services to children, schools, families, and communities in a manner that will promote educationally and psychologically healthy environments in a pluralistic society. This framework embodies the essential elements for our programs, courses, teaching, student and faculty scholarship, and student performance. As an integrative whole, the framework is comprised of the four main strands of the Content Expert, the Reflective Practitioner, the Educational Leader, and the Effective Collaborator, which we believe constitute a highly qualified professional who will positively and productively contribute to the lives of students, clients, community, and the profession.
- Content Expert
We believe fundamentally that professionals must have specific knowledge to learn in context and problem solve throughout a career. A profound understanding of disciplinary subject matter is vital. Content knowledge must be accompanied by pedagogical content knowledge for educational practitioners to be able to interpret, communicate, and construct knowledge that promotes learning (Shulman, 1987; Abell, Rogers, Park, Hauscin, Lee, & Gagnon, 2009) and to understand the role of identity in knowledge construction (Tatum, 1999). The value of our long-standing commitment to intellectualism by our faculty is confirmed by recent research conducted by Hill, Rowen and Ball (2005), Krauss, Brunner, Kunter, et al.,(2008), Goldhaber and Anthony (2003), and Griffen, Jitendra, and League (2009) that validates the need for intellectual rigor in subject matter. The role of our programs is to provide opportunities and a local, national, and international context for students to build and evaluate knowledge that equips them to work in a diverse global society (Banks, 2008). To accomplish this goal, we encourage students to master content appropriate to their disciplinary foci, consider diverse perspectives, participate in engaged learning, reflect on their actions, and generate responses based on research and best practice. The organization and transfer of knowledge and skills across these experiences results in deeper learning for our students and those whom they will serve.
- Reflective Practitioner
Our beliefs and preparation programs emanate from the continuing scholarship on reflective practice by Dewey (1901, 1933), Schon (1983, 1987), Kolb (1984), Johns (1994), Zeicher and Liston (1996), Newman (1999), Sherwood (2005), and others. We believe that ideal professional preparation produces an educator who can “reflect-in-action” and “reflect-on-action.” According to research-based principles of reflective practice, learning does not occur through direct transmission of knowledge from instructor to student. Instead, instruction provides students in all fields of education with multiple opportunities to articulate their own ideas, experiment with these ideas, construct new knowledge, and make connections between their professional studies and the world in which they live and work. To this end, the School of Education cultivates a style of reflective practice that embraces the role of data, active inquiry, careful analysis, and thoughtful decision-making that leads to effective and culturally responsive pedagogy (Gay, 2000; Ladson-Billings, 1994). This reflective practice begins with self-examination of one’s own identity and the myriad ways that identity and life experiences influence one’s view of the world. We believe that teaching is a cognitive process that involves decision making (Sergiovanni & Starratt, 1993), and we hold that our responsibility is, in large part, to educate our students to reason soundly and to perform skillfully. Although students in our programs prepare for specialized roles, we focus overall on the development of analytic and creative practices through which they can approach new issues and problems in a proactive way throughout their educational careers.
- Educational Leader
Given the strengths of our students and preparation programs, we expect that our graduates will assume leadership roles in a variety of educational and societal settings. We broadly define educational leadership to include traditional positions such as preK-12 and university administrative assignments, as well as emerging and expansive roles such as leaders in research and scholarly positions, teacher-leaders, and leaders in the counseling and school psychology professions. To prepare our graduates for these varied roles within their respective specializations and career settings, we aspire to equip them with the essential skills and dispositions requisite for successfully supporting innovation and excellence across the field of education (Fullan, 2005; Fullan, Bertani, & Quinn, 2004; Hattie, 2009). Among the important abilities that will inform the leadership practices of our graduates are research-based technical skills, conceptually sound decision making, thoughtful and informed problem solving, and clear and inclusive communication. We expect our students to embrace and model ethical principles in all aspects of their work. As reflected in these ideals, we hope our graduates develop a personal sense of competence and confidence in leadership roles that encourages resilience in coping with and promoting desired change within the context of a globally connected environment (Zhou, 2009). Further, we expect our graduates to conduct and apply research for the public good through their schools, clinics, and community and state organizations (Anyon, 2005; Ladson-Billings & Tate, 2006). Ultimately, we believe that our graduates will contribute significantly to the educational organizations in which they work and thereby improve the quality of life of the students and other individuals they serve (Hallinger & Heck, 1996; Leithwood, Louis, Anderson, & Wahlstrom, 2004; Marzano, Waters, & McNulty, 2005).
- Effective Collaborator
Finally, we promote and develop the use of a collaborative style for working effectively and cooperatively in professional communities, no matter how broadly or narrowly defined. As Glaser (2005) states, a collaborative style empowers individuals and groups to make changes necessary for improvement. We find the evidence compelling that partnerships among professionals, as well as between academic and non-academic realms, are critical for the successful education of all students, as such collaboration allows students to take full advantage of their schools’ academic opportunities (Baker et al, 2009). Collaboration aids in the interpretation of data, the development of goals and interventions, and the measurement of progress (Camizzi, Clark, Yacco, & Goodman, 2009; INTASC, 2007), which are all integral to understanding students and meeting their individual needs. In addition to professional partnerships, it is vital for educators to build positive and effective relationships with the racially, culturally, economically, and linguistically diverse families and communities we serve (Delpit, 1995; Sleeter, 2008). We believe that programs that prepare individuals who will assume roles of teaching, service, and leadership must expect graduates not only to demonstrate effective collaborative skills but also to model these skills for their students (INTASC, 2007).
A Dynamic and Core Framework
The Conceptual Framework of the School of Education must be adaptable to the experience and background of the candidates within programs, the relative importance of the four strands within program areas, and to the external forces of our society. The dynamic nature of the framework is most clearly demonstrated by the relative emphasis placed on the four strands by each program. While all of our graduates embody the core qualities of the Content Expert, Reflective Practitioner, Educational Leader, and Effective Collaborator, we recognize and account for the valid and important degrees of emphasis, distinction, and definition that these core concepts take not only in a program area, but also with regard to the unique strengths and weaknesses of each student and over the duration of the professional life of a graduate and beyond.
Ultimately, the Conceptual Framework reflects the core elements of a graduate of the School of Education and, as such, it provides a structure for our programs and a process for generating and responding to new knowledge. The framework guides the experiences we require of students in their programs. The framework also provides the basis for the expectations and the evaluation of candidates and their programs. Through the process of candidate and program evaluation, we expect that our programs will produce highly qualified professionals and continuously evolve in response to our students’ experiences within the program and our graduates’ contributions to the profession as practitioners.
Education Program Requirements
Program Objectives for Students
Students who complete one of the Education programs are expected to develop and demonstrate a variety of knowledge, skills and attitudes considered by the faculty to be essential characteristics of an effective liberally educated school teacher. For instance, students are expected to develop and demonstrate knowledge of the disciplines and subject matter related to school curriculum; the developmental characteristics of children; cultural and individual differences among children; principles of learning; principles of curriculum and instructional theory; principles of measurement and evaluation; principles of classroom management and discipline; the use of media and computers in education; the role of the school in society; federal, state and local policies and procedures; and support services, professional organizations and resources relevant to education. With respect to skills, students are expected to develop and demonstrate their ability to communicate effectively; to assess the characteristics and learning of students; to develop and implement an instructional plan appropriate for K-12 children; to organize and manage a classroom; and to interact effectively with students, parents and other professionals. Lastly, as they progress through the program, students are expected to develop and demonstrate respect for individual differences; respect for principles of fairness and justice; commitment to teaching and professional growth as evidenced by responsibility and enthusiasm; a positive self-concept; willingness and ability to collaborate professionally; and willingness and ability to consider alternatives judiciously.
Admissions Criteria and Procedures
Admission to baccalaureate study at The College of William and Mary does not automatically include admission to programs in the School of Education. Rather, students apply for admission to a program during the second semester of the sophomore year or first semester of the junior by completing an application form that can be obtained on the web at http://education.wm.edu/documents/admissions/Undergradapp.pdf. Admission to the undergraduate education program requires an overall grade point average of at least 2.0 in course work completed to date. After the application forms are submitted, the Office of Academic Programs verifies the applicants’ prior course work and grade point average. The applicants’ admission folders are then reviewed. Questions pertaining to the admissions process should be directed to The Office of Academic Programs in the School of Education or by calling 221-2317.
Students are urged to take full advantage of the advisement services in the School of Education. During their freshman and sophomore years, they are encouraged to talk with faculty in the School about potential careers in teaching. Upon admission to an education program, individual students are assigned academic advisors who are faculty members in the program. Before registering for education courses, students should meet with their advisors to discuss academic, personal and professional goals; to review both the academic regulations of the College and the specific course requirements for teacher licensure; and to plan a program of studies in education. Advisors work with the students throughout their junior and senior years.
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.
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 web site.
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, an Arts and Sciences major, and the education courses described below, including student teaching. The students’ university supervisor and cooperating teacher are each required to verify and evaluate the students’ 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.
Licensure Testing Requirements
Students are required to achieve passing scores on assessments prescribed by the Virginia State Board of Education, both for program completion and for licensure. These assessments include Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators Test (or an allowed substitution), Praxis II, the Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment (VCLA), and the Reading for Virginia Educators (RVE) assessment, if applicable. Complete information about assessments can be found on the Virginia Department of Education web site at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/teaching/licensure/profassessment.pdf.
Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators Test is an academic skills assessment of reading, writing, and mathematics. Registration information for the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators Test is available on the ETS website (http://www.ets.org/praxis/register). There are three alternate means by which a teacher candidate may meet the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators Test requirement in lieu of taking the full battery of subtests (i.e., reading, writing, and math).
- 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 Core Academic Skills for Educators Test.
- 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 Option: A qualifying VCLA score combined with a Qualifying Score on the Mathematics Subtest of Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators Test 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 Core Academic Skills for Educators Test mathematics subtest (minimum 150) 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 Core Academic Skills for Educators Test must be passed or substitution made the semester before student teaching.
Praxis II is a general content knowledge exam for elementary and secondary education teachers. The Praxis II exam must be passed prior to program completion.
VCLA - The Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment (VCLA) is a test of communication, reading, and writing skills. This test is required for individuals seeking an initial Virginia teaching license and program completion. Current information is available on the web at www.va.nesinc.com. The Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment must be passed prior to program completion.
RVE- The Reading for Virginia Educators: Elementary and Special Education (RVE) assessment is a test of knowledge of reading instruction. This test is required for individuals seeking licensure in elementary education and program completion. Registration information for the RVE is available on the ETS web site (http://www.ets.org/praxis/register). The Reading for Virginia Educators assessment must be passed prior to program completion.
Students are responsible for providing copies of official score reports for all required assessments to the Office of Teacher Education and Professional Services.
Registration information for all tests is available in the Office of Teacher Education and Professional Services or on the Office of Teacher Education and Professional Services web site. Complete information about assessments can be found on the Virginia Department of Education web site at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/.
(Note: Teacher candidates must take and pass the state of Virginia’s mandated licensure assessments for program completion. 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.)
Support Services, Facilities and Programs
Office of Academic Programs
This office serves as the point of contact for School of Education undergraduate admissions; course scheduling and other curriculum and programmatic offerings; and advisor assignments. Although the Office of the University Registrar processes registration and any subsequent changes in registration, this office works closely with the registrar’s office to insure close and effective coordination of all course registration and any changes which might emanate from registration. Further, although specific advisors are assigned to admitted undergraduate students, professionals in this office are prepared to respond to questions regarding undergraduate curricular programs and academic policies and practice. You may reach this office by calling 221-2317.
In collaboration with faculty, the Associate Dean for Teacher Education and Professional Services and the Director of Clinical Placements and Licensure are responsible for arranging and coordinating all clinical educational experiences, including early field experiences, clinical experiences within courses and student teaching. These clinical experiences are closely coordinated in an effort to enhance learning and reduce duplication for students, faculty and public school personnel.
Learning Resource Center
The School of Education maintains a Learning Resource Center (LRC). This center supplements the resources of Swem Library and supports the particular needs of the School of Education with curriculum materials, teaching aids, periodicals, psycho-educational tests and Virginia Department of Education adopted textbooks. The center houses a growing collection of curriculum software and videodisc products. Also included in the LRC are a debit card operated photocopier, three videotaping labs and a variety of audiovisual equipment. Use of these facilities by students in the School of Education may be scheduled by contacting the LRC staff at 221-2311.
Books and periodicals that support the various teacher education programs in the School of Education are ordered on a continuing basis by faculty in the School of Education for the collection in Swem Library.
The Associate Dean for Teacher Education and Professional Services processes all applications for teaching licenses in Virginia and in other states. Completed applications and all required fees should be filed with the Director of Clinical Placements and Licensure two weeks prior to graduation.
Office of Career Services
The Office of Career Services assists both current students who plan to teach and graduates who wish to change their employment. All students and graduates of the School of Education are urged to avail themselves of this service by filing and maintaining complete and current placement records with the office. Undergraduates are urged to begin developing their placement files as early as the first semester of their junior year.
Kappa Delta Pi Alpha Xi Chapter
Kappa Delta Pi, an international honor society in education, was first organized in 1911, and the Alpha Xi Chapter at the College of William and Mary was chartered in 1927. The purpose of Kappa Delta Pi is to encourage high professional, intellectual and personal standards and to recognize graduates of the College for their outstanding contributions to education. To this end, the organization invites to membership persons who exhibit commendable personal qualities, worthy educational ideals and sound scholarship. The organization endeavors to maintain a high degree of professional fellowship among its members and to quicken professional growth by honoring achievement in educational work. Both men and women are eligible for membership. Invitation to the honor society is based on completion of at least 12 semester credit hours in education and a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.25.
The Alpha Xi Chapter of Kappa Delta Pi annually sponsors grants and initiates service projects to benefit members of the School of Education. Inquiries about this scholarship and the organization should be forwarded to the Chapter’s counselor, Dr. Kelly Whalon (221-2063; email@example.com) or to the Associate Counselor, Carlane Pittman (221-2296; firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Study abroad opportunities are available for education students in Bath, England, through the Advanced Studies in England (ASE) Program. Normally, students may earn six hours of education elective credit for the ASE experience beyond the 35 elementary credits or 30 secondary credits by individually petitioning the Committee on Degrees for transfer credit for EDUC 400 . The total hours for a degree will still be 120. For program information, please contact Global Education in the Reves Center. Specific information pertaining to transfer credit should be directed to the Associate Dean for Academic Programs. Other opportunities are available and questions may be directed to Dr. Brian Blouet in the School of Education at 221-2350.
Graduate study in education is available to all who have completed with merit an undergraduate degree program at an accredited institution. The School of Education awards a Master of Arts in Education in Curriculum and Instruction with majors in Elementary Education, Secondary Education; Reading, Language, and Literacy, Gifted Education and Special Education (initial licensure and advanced specialization in collaborative teaching); a Master of Education in the fields of Counseling, Educational Leadership (with majors in Education [preK-12] Administration and Supervision, Gifted Education Administration and Supervision, and Higher Education Administration), and School Psychology, and both an Educational Specialist (39 semester hours beyond the Masters degree in School Psychology) and a Doctor of Education/Doctor of Philosophy in the fields of Counselor Education and Educational Policy, Planning & Leadership (with majors in General [K-12] Administration, Gifted Education Administration, Higher Education, Special Education Administration, Curriculum Leadership, and Curriculum & Educational Technology). For detailed information about these graduate programs, interested persons are advised to consult the School of Education Graduate Program Catalog or contact the Office of Academic Programs in the School of Education (221-2317.) Information is also provided online at http://education.wm.edu.
Programs and Course Descriptions
CoursesSchool of Education