Teacher Education at NGU

Program Accreditation

Approval was granted for three teacher education programs, Elementary, Elementary/Early Childhood, and Music Education by the South Carolina State Department of Education on May 14, 1997, and reaffirmed in June, 1999.  Approval was granted for Secondary Education program English Language Arts in August 2007.  Approval was granted for Social Studies Education in August 2008, Mathematics Education also in 2008. Students who graduate from an approved program and pass the state-required examinations are recommended to the State of South Carolina for certification.

The Elementary Education program was approved by the Specialty Program Area, Association of Childhood Education International (ACEI) in the spring of 2005, the Early Childhood Education program was approved by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) in spring of 2009, and the Music Education program was approved by National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) in Fall 2004.  NCATE accreditation was bestowed upon the College of Education in spring 2005.

Purpose

The purpose of the Teacher Education Program at North Greenville University is to develop teacher candidates who possess the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that prepare them to be facilitators of learning for students, caring leaders, and lifelong learners.

Vision

The College of Education seeks to prepare teachers who have not only deep understanding of subjects and methods of teaching, but also deep understanding of students; who not only facilitate students’ learning, but also promote students’ holistic wellbeing; who desire not only to see others continually grow and develop, but themselves also.  We envision our graduates teaching effectively, leading through example and continually learning the art and science of the teaching profession.

Mission

In alignment with the purpose and mission of North Greenville University, the mission of the College of Education is to develop teachers who possess the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that empower them to foster learning in all students.

Aim

The College of Education continues to meet the need for highly effective and highly qualified teachers, for public and private schools, throughout the state and the nation with our NCATE accredited Teacher Education Program.  Our collaborative partnerships (with various public schools in Greenville and Spartanburg counties) strengthen the educational training and preparation for those aspiring to become early childhood, elementary, music education, or secondary teachers (grades 9-12 Science, Social Studies or English Language Arts).  Parents and students can be assured that North Greenville University’s Teacher Education Program will provide a challenging, innovative, and inspiring means of training the mind, the spirit, the attitude, to be a successful teacher.  Our aim is to prepare dedicated teachers who are effective practitioners, caring leaders, and lifelong learners.

In addition to the extensive field-based teacher education experience, the College of Education program provides practical, hands-on opportunities for hopeful future teachers, including various opportunities for preservice teachers to interact with specialists in their fields.  Local school systems continue to express their high regard for our students and have enabled us to open doors of opportunity to our students and graduates alike.

Currently, the College of Education Teacher Education Program offers certification in:

  • Early Childhood Education (PK-3)
  • Elementary Education (2-6)
  • English Language Arts Education (9-12)
  • Music Education (PK-12)
  • Broad Field Science with Biology Education (9-12)
  • Social Studies Education (9-12)

The teacher education program at North Greenville University, a Christ-centered institution, prepares teacher candidates to become effective practitioners, caring leaders, and lifelong learners in a diverse, changing society.

Philosophy

Our beliefs about how best to prepare teacher candidates to become effective, reflective and facilitative practitioners rest, first of all, on the Bible as the solid foundation for a philosophy of education and of life, in keeping with the Christian commitment of North Greenville University.  Other knowledge bases that provide direction to our efforts include educational theory and research, the wisdom of practice, and state and national policy directives.

The College of Education recognizes that learner-centered, constructivist, experiential, collaborative and reflective approaches to instruction promote deep, powerful, meaningful learning, both in teacher education and K-12 education (e.g., Darling-Hammond, 1997; Gardner, 1999; Zemelman, Daniels & Hyde, 1998).  We find ourselves on a trajectory of growth toward deeper understanding, more effective practice and enhanced capacity to facilitate such learning with our teacher candidates.

Based ultimately on a spiritual foundation, the program prepares candidates according to these principles:

  • Candidates prepare to become caring, committed practitioners through a logical, coherent, knowledge-based program which allows them to develop their abilities through guided experience in the field.
  • The program is aligned with professional (INTASC) and state (ADEPT) standards and policies.
  • Desired outcomes for candidates are clearly articulated and constitute the objectives for each course and learning experience conducted within the program.  Candidates who meet these objectives for knowledge, skills and dispositions articulated as proficiencies, will be competent in subject matter knowledge, as well as be able to facilitate learning and to nurture the self-concept and self-efficacy of all learners.  They will also be able to serve schools as caring leaders and be practicing members of the “club of lifelong learners” (Smith, 1983).

The entire philosophy can be read in The Teacher Education Handbook.

Goals

The goals of the Teacher Education Program, determined by the College of Education faculty in collaboration with other North Greenville University faculty, administrators, students, graduates, public personnel, and representatives of professional organizations, are to provide teacher candidates with:

  • An environment in which they can realize their fullest potential by developing the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that foster learning for self and for PK-12 students.
  • A broad background of general knowledge and skills necessary for the development of cultural literacy and an understanding of our intellectual heritage.
  • Professional coursework and field experiences that will form the philosophical, sociological, historical, and methodological basis of teaching and learning.
  • Effective models, methods, materials, and resources for teaching and learning for the candidate.
  • A depth of knowledge, skills, and an ability to effect student learning in their chosen teaching area.
  • An invitation to become life-long learners.

Proficiency Objectives

The specific proficiencies and objectives for these outcomes may be found in the Teacher Education Handbook, the Student Teaching Handbook, and the  Field Experience Handbooks.  The proficiencies and objectives are woven throughout the coursework to ensure all are addressed on multiple levels through the program.

The Program

The Teacher Education Program is an important part of the curriculum at North Greenville University.  The program has three components: general education, professional education, and a major area of specialization (elementary, early childhood, secondary education, or music education).  All students in the Teacher Education Program are required to take a core of general education requirements to insure a broad exposure to our intellectual heritage.  In addition to this core curriculum, students must complete a professional education curriculum after being formally admitted to the program (see Admission, following this section).  The professional education curriculum consists of foundational studies in the field of education as well as concentrated study in elementary, early childhood, secondary education or music education.  Methods courses and field-based experiences are a major part of preparation for service in these areas.

Specific objectives for each component of the program, course sequences, required examinations and procedures, and descriptions of field experiences and academic standards are given in the North Greenville University Teacher Education Handbook.  Students contemplating a major in education should consult this handbook and schedule an interview with the Director of Teacher Education during their first semester at North Greenville.  Because education programs are sequential and cumulative, completing a program in four years requires careful, early planning.

Course requirements are approved by the State Department of Education and may not be changed by the University without their approval. However, the requirements for a teaching credential in South Carolina are subject to change by the State Board of Education and by the South Carolina General Assembly during the period of preparation for such a credential.  The University reserves the right, therefore, to change the Teacher Education Program to comply with changing requirements of the State at any time and cannot assume responsibility for such changes or additional courses that new State regulations may require.

Admission

All students who wish to major in either early childhood, elementary,  music education, or secondary education must be admitted to the Teacher Education Program and successfully complete its admission requirements, which include the Letter of Requirements for the Teacher Education Program.  This process should be started in the freshman year.  Application forms are available in the College of Education office.  Students must be admitted to the Teacher Education Program during the second semester of the sophomore year in order to follow the suggested curriculum.  Delayed admissions may require additional semester(s) to complete the program.

Admission to North Greenville University does not guarantee admission to the Teacher Education Program.  All requirements for the Teacher Education Program set forth by the Teacher Education Handbook must be met.

Requirements for admission to the North Greenville University Teacher Education Program include documentation of the following:

  • Completed and returned application form for Teacher Education Program.  (Return to the College of Education Records Coordinator).
  • Successful completion of all areas of PRAXIS I or an original copy of SAT or ACT scores that meet a passing standard.
  • Completion of at least 45 hours toward a degree.
  • Grade of “C” or better in English 1310, English 1320, a 2000 Level English, and Communication 2300 or appropriate substitute.
  • Grade of “C” or better in all completed Education Courses.  Secondary Education majors must have a “C” or better in all content courses.
  • Grade of “C” or better in chapel and satisfactory completion of all cultural events.
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.50.
  • Assessment of Dispositions form from the following:
    • Early Childhood Education majors:
      • EDUC 1210 – Introduction to Education instructor (English instructor of choice)
    • Elementary Education majors:
      • EDUC 1210 – Introduction to Education instructor (English instructor of choice)
    • Secondary Education majors:
      • EDUC 1210 – Introduction to Education instructor (Content instructor of choice)
    • Music Education majors:
      • EDUC 1210 – Introduction to Education instructor (Music instructor of choice)

Requirements for admission into the Teacher Education Program for students who have not taken the above-reverenced classes because of transferring to North Greenville or changing majors include recommendations from other instructors as designated by the College of Education.

All completed forms are to be submitted to the College of Education Records Coordinator.

  • Upon receipt of a student’s application for admission to the Teacher Education Program, the Director of Teacher Education and the Student Records Coordinator review the application for completeness.
  • The Director of Teacher Education and the Records Coordinator examine each student’s cumulative file for compliance to all of the above requirements before presenting the candidate to the College of Education Faculty/Content Program Coordinators for recommendation for admittance to the program.  Candidate recommendations are then presented to the Teacher Education Committee for final approval for admittance into the program.
  • The Director of Teacher Education informs candidates through written communication of the decision of the Teacher Education Committee.  Candidates are officially notified of the Teacher Education Program requirements to follow for graduation and program completion based upon the date of entry into the Teacher Education Program.
  • The Dean of the College of Education, in conjunction with the Director of Teacher Education, Teacher Education Committee and Teacher Education Advisory Council, establishes and reviews the procedures by which qualified students are formally admitted into the Teacher Education Program.  The University follows the South Carolina Department of Education guidelines as a minimum to establish admission criteria for students who seek entry into the Teacher Education Program.

Retention

Admission to the Teacher Education Program does not insure continuation in the program. Students are subject to additional requirements of the department for continuing in the program. A professor may ask that a student be re-evaluated at any time by submitting a request to the Director of Teacher Education.  To be retained in the program the student must:

  • Maintain a 2.50 Grade Point Average on a 4.0 scale.
  • Complete satisfactorily the prerequisite professional education courses, prescribed field experiences, and all education courses with a grade of “C” or better prior to taking ELED 4600, ECED 4650, EDSE 4600, or MUED 4655, Directed Student Teaching.
  • Adhere to all Policies of North Greenville University.
  • Complete, with a passing score, the South Carolina state-required examinations (Praxis II Series) in the student’s chosen field.  Students must pass Praxis II Series examinations required in their area before being placed in Directed Student Teaching.  A list of the required tests and dates for the Praxis Preparation class may be obtained from the Director of Teacher Education.

Remediation

Candidates who fall below retention requirements and are in the Teacher Education Program may be

  • Counseled to decide on another major
  • Given an individual remediation plan depending on the nature of the deficiencies noted. 

The remediation policy is voted on by the Teacher Education Committee.  Remediation will be administered by a committee of at least three members to include the Director of Teacher Education, the program coordinator for area of needed remediation, and a third member of either the College of Education or Teacher Education Committee who will design an individual plan for the student needing remediation.

The committee devises the plan, presents it in writing, and the advisor and student sign the plan.  When deficiencies have been sufficiently remediated, the student may be restored to full admission to the Teacher Education Program.

Each candidate’s cumulative file is reviewed at the end of the junior year, second semester by the Student Records Coordinator and the Director of Teacher Education.  This review allows the professional education faculty and others, as needed, to assist individual students toward successful completion of the Teacher Education Program.

Course Requirements

Course Work

The curriculum in the Teacher Education Program is planned to provide a systematic and coordinated program of study, free from course isolation and fragmentation.  The curriculum is an outgrowth of the Conceptual Framework.  Theory, higher order thinking, practical applications including real and simulated situations, working with diverse student populations, assessment, technological support, planning, and evaluation are all part of the program.  Candidates have opportunities in their professional education and methods courses to engage in authentic teaching experiences in a variety of classrooms, make various types of presentations, participate in classroom simulations, prepare lesson plans (long and short range), and prepare and use a variety of assessment strategies.  They also evaluate the impact their teaching has on student learning, reflect on their own teaching practice and on the practice of models in the field, use a variety of audio-visual equipment, use technology in teaching, participate in school-to-work activities, and have hands-on experience with service learning.

The current curricula from Early Childhood, Elementary, Secondary Education, and Music Education are designed to reflect the Conceptual Framework.  The objectives found in the Conceptual Framework are correlated with the courses for each program.  Each course syllabus reflects the outcomes and proficiencies designated for each course.  This ensures that all outcomes and proficiencies are addressed in each program.

Field Experiences

Candidates for certification in South Carolina are required to spend at least 100 hours of observation/teaching in the schools prior to Student Teaching.

Student Teaching

The semester prior to student teaching, candidates MUST complete with a passing score the South Carolina required examinations (Praxis II series), in their chosen teaching field.  (A list of the required tests and passing scores may be obtained from the College of Education Office).  
Students are encouraged to schedule a pre-student teaching conference with the Director of Teacher Education.  A review committee examines the student’s records for compliance in all areas, assesses his/her strengths and weaknesses in both academics and professional demeanor, and decides whether or not to recommend the candidate to the Teacher Education Committee for placement in Directed Student Teaching.

All candidates seeking teacher certification must complete 12 semester hours of Directed Student Teaching. Elementary Education majors must complete ELED 4600, Directed Student Teaching for Elementary School Teachers.  Early Childhood Education Majors must complete ECED 4650, Directed Student Teaching for Early Childhood Teachers.  Secondary Education Majors must complete EDSE 4600, Directed Student Teaching for Secondary Education Teachers.  Music Education majors must complete MUED 4655, Directed Student Teaching, PK-12, which requires a dual placement of elementary/middle school and high school.

Candidates seeking admittance to student teaching will have to answer the following question as required by the South Carolina Department of Education:

Have you ever been arrested, convicted, found guilty, entered a plea of no contest, or had adjudication withheld in a criminal offense (including DUI) other than minor traffic violation; or are there any criminal charges now pending against you? 

Failure to answer this question accurately could cause denial of teacher certification.

The next benchmarking point is reached when candidates apply for Directed Student Teaching.  Assessments used to decide whether candidates are prepared to enter student teaching include:

  • A grade of “C” or better in all Education courses.
  • An overall GPA of 2.50 or better.
  • A passing score on all Praxis required examinations for certification
  • An average of 3.0 on the Assessment of Dispositions

The Director of Teacher Education reviews the assessment evidence and discusses with the candidate perceived strengths and weaknesses.  The Director of Teacher Education then recommends either that the candidate be admitted to Directed Student Teaching or that the candidate be required to engage in remediation before re-applying for admission to Directed Student Teaching.  Remediation is designed on an individual basis. The Director of Teacher Education works with the Department Chair for this design.  College of Education faculty ratifies the Director’s recommendations.  All recommendations are presented to the Teacher Education Committee for final approval.

Exit Requirements

Once a student has completed the Teacher Education Program, the Dean of Education and the Director of Teacher Education must verify information required by the South Carolina Department of Education for recommendation for certification. The items needed are:

  • Completed application for certification, completed fingerprint card, and application fee.
  • Completed transcript request form.
  • Final-Semester Summary of Student Teacher Performance completed and signed by candidate.
  • Completed Student Teaching Portfolio.
  • Completed Teacher Work Sample.
  • One file copy of official score report for the required specialty area examinations (Praxis II).
  • One file copy of official score report for the required Principles of Learning and Teaching (Praxis II).
  • Written evaluation of the student teacher by the North Greenville University Supervisor.
  • Written evaluation of the student teacher by the cooperating teacher.
  • Dated entries to the College of Education’s copy of the student’s Individual Teacher Education Program Worksheet for the teaching major.

Before recommendation for certification in South Carolina or elsewhere, the student’s cumulative record must include documentation of all necessary information.  In addition, all program requirements must be successfully completed, and the student must have passing scores on all required examinations.  Passing scores for each examination are established by the South Carolina State Department of Education.