Federal CIP: 13.1202 Elementary Education and Teaching
The degree in Elementary Education is intended for those who plan to teach in second through fifth grade, and/or sixth grade if housed in an elementary school. As a part of the coursework, the teacher candidate will engage in four field experiences that will introduce the candidate to a variety of grade levels and school cultures. The Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education ensures that future teachers will be able to provide a high level of instruction in Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, the Arts, Health, and PE, as well as provide instruction that addresses the diverse needs of elementary-age students. This degree is recognized by the Association for Childhood Education International and the South Carolina Department of Education.
Students completing the Bachelor of Science (BS) in Elementary Education are expected to demonstrate the required knowledge according to each of the following standards.
- Standard 1: Development, Learning and Motivation
- Standard 2: Curriculum
- Standard 3: Instruction
- Standard 4: Assessment of Instruction
- Standard 5: Professionalism
All education programs include a general education strand, an appropriate content area strand, and a professional education strand specific to the major. The syllabi of courses required for the preparation of educational personnel in each professional education program reflect knowledge bases, current research, effective practice, and school effectiveness. Further, the course content has been aligned to the principles of the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC), the respective Specialized Professional Association (SPA) standards, the South Carolina state curriculum standards, the ADEPT assessment instrument, and the Southern Wesleyan University School of Education and Music Studies dispositions.
Responsibility of the Teacher Candidate
Southern Wesleyan University places the responsibility of fulfilling all requirements for graduation with the teacher candidate. A teacher candidate should be familiar with the appropriate graduation requirements as stated in the Southern Wesleyan University General Catalog and the additional requirements explained in the School of Education Teacher Candidate Handbook, available online at http://www.swu.edu/academics/education.
State law requires that each person enrolled in a teacher education program in South Carolina be advised by the University that a prior criminal record could prevent certification as a teacher in this state. The South Carolina State Department of Education requires each teacher candidate to submit fingerprints and undergo a state criminal-records check by the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and a national criminal records check by the FBI before the candidate is cleared to participate in clinical experiences. Teacher candidates who have questions about this requirement should see the Coordinator of Field Studies.
A teacher candidate may not graduate or participate in commencement exercises unless all academic and extra-academic requirements have been satisfied. The teacher candidate is responsible for completing all the necessary paperwork and submitting it to the School of Education and Music Studies and/or the Office of the Records before graduation deadlines.
Failure to follow University and State requirements, schedules, and deadlines may result in a delay of one or more semesters in the teacher candidate’s program and planned graduation.
The Lock System of Assessment
The teacher-education candidate is responsible for reading the full explanation of the Lock Assessment System in the School of Education Teacher-Candidate Handbook, available online at http://www.swu.edu/academics/education.
Field Experience Placements
It is the strong belief among the faculty members of the School of Education and Music Studies that the teacher candidate’s preparation for the education profession should include field experiences in classrooms that reflect a diverse student population. These classrooms should include students who are characterized by differences in race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and abilities. Accordingly, the Coordinator of Field Studies will assign the teacher candidate to varying cooperating schools and grade levels that include a demographic makeup that approximates that of the diverse communities comprising the local school districts. Specifically, the teacher candidate will be assigned to a minimum of three different grade levels in three different schools in fulfillment of the requirements of the field experiences.
This is the last field experience prior to the clinical experience (student teaching) and involves the teacher candidate in cooperating classrooms at two different levels. At least one of these assigned pre-clinical classrooms will usually serve as the classroom in which the teacher candidate will partially fulfill the requirements for the clinical experience. A total of 80 hours is required in the cooperating classrooms, half of which must be fulfilled in each academic setting. The teacher candidate will prepare lesson plans and teach lessons in the cooperating classrooms. In order for the teacher candidate to continue to the clinical experience, the cooperating teachers must submit favorable evaluations regarding the student’s role in their classroom.
The capstone courses for the education major are EDUC 4627 Clinical Experience I and EDUC 4637 Clinical Experience II, which occur during the teacher candidate’s last semester. The clinical experience must be considered the highest priority among the teacher candidate’s other activities. The fact that the student’s schedule has been arranged so that all academic requirements have been fulfilled prior to the Clinical Experience attests to the importance the School of Education and Music Studies faculty assigns to the Clinical Experience semester. The teacher candidate must provide evidence that the Praxis II content area tests have been passed before admission to Lock II and Expanded ADEPT Plan. (Before state licensure can be obtained the teacher candidate must pass both the Principles of Learning and Teaching and the Praxis II: Subject Assessments exams). Because of the demands inherent with Clinical Experience responsibilities, maintaining outside employment during the clinical experience semester is strongly discouraged. Permission from the Coordinator of Field Studies must be obtained to maintain outside employment, when necessary.
The teacher candidate is evaluated for competency in each of the ten Performance Standards of the South Carolina System for Assisting, Developing, and Evaluating Professional Teaching (ADEPT). The ADEPT instrument is used to evaluate the teacher candidate in a fashion that simulates the formal-evaluation process of a teacher employed in the state of South Carolina with at least a provisional contract.
Detailed information regarding the entire Clinical Experience semester is contained in the School of Education Clinical Experience Handbook. This document is distributed to all teacher candidates during the orientation sessions that are scheduled prior to the beginning of the semester during which the teacher candidate plans to complete the Clinical Experience. It is also available online at http://www.swu.edu/academics/education when the teacher candidate clicks on the “Education Resources” link.
Attendance at all orientation sessions is mandatory in preparation for the clinical experience.
The teacher candidate must complete professional education courses and the required number of courses in each major to fulfill the certification standards mandated by the South Carolina Department of Education. The teacher candidate should refer to the School of Education Student Handbook for detailed information regarding the requirements for the teacher-education program.