Teacher Education Programs

College of Professional Studies and Social Sciences

Department Co-Chairs Susan Tomascik, Ph.D., and Molly Vitale, D.Ed.

Faculty

Kingsley Banya, Professor of Education, BA University of Sierra Leone; MEd Queen's University; MA University of London, Institute of Education; PhD University of Toronto

Michele Brague, Assistant Professor of Education, BS Keene State College; M.Ed. Plymouth State College

Stephen Broskoske, Associate Professor of Education, BS College Misericordia; MS Wilkes University; EdD Lehigh University

Joan L. Krause, Associate Professor Emeritus of Education, BS College Misericordia; MS Marywood University; MS University of Scranton

Jodi P. Loughlin, Assistant Professor of Education, BA Moravian College; MEd Bloomsburg University; DEd The Pennsylvania State University

Patricia Marie McCann, RSM, Associate Professor of Education, BS College Misericordia; MS University of Scranton; EdD Lehigh University

Joseph P. Rogan, Professor of Education, BA Kutztown University; MA Marywood University; EdD Lehigh University

Susan R. Tomascik, Associate Professor of Education, BA Wilkes College; MS College Misericordia; PhD Marywood University

Molly S. Vitale, Associate Professor of Education, BS College Misericordia; MS, DEd The Pennsylvania State University

Introduction

The Teacher Education Department is one of the university’s oldest departments. Many of the original students who entered College Misericordia in 1924 became teachers. Since then, Misericordia University has prepared thousands of excellent teachers for our nation's classrooms.

The Teacher Education Department (TED) sponsors an undergraduate major in Elementary/Special Education (PreK-Grade 4 with Special Education PreK- Grade 8).

In concert with the College of Arts and Sciences, the department also offers:

  • Middle Level Education (Grades 4-8) with five concentration options
  • Secondary Education (Grades7-12) in Biology, Chemistry, Citizenship, English, and Mathematics.

At the graduate level, the Teacher Education Department sponsors specializations in:

  • Instructional Technology,
  • Reading Specialist, and
  • Special Education.

All of the teacher education programs have been reviewed and approved by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The Teacher Education Department is a candidate for accreditation by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP, formerly NCATE). Graduates earn a Pennsylvania Instructional I certification appropriate to their program of study. Pennsylvania has signed an Interstate Agreement through the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification which facilitates certification in other states.

Teacher Education Department/Curriculum Structure

Each of the university's undergraduate teacher education programs has five components.

1. The University Core: All education majors must complete the university's liberal arts general education requirement (i.e., the "Core"). Information regarding the Core Curriculum purpose and structure can be found in the Core Curriculum section of this catalog. The Core requirements are reflected in the Plan of Study for each TED program.

2. TED Core Courses: All education majors complete a set of teacher education requirements. These courses provide knowledge and skills that are common to all education majors and are reflected in the Plan of Study for each TED program.

3. Specializations:Undergraduate teacher education program students must complete the requirements of one or more of the TED's specializations. They include:

Elementary Education Pre K-4 & Special Education

Certifications:

Elementary Education: Prekindergarten-Grade 4

Special Education: Prekindergarten-Grade 8

Degree:BS, Elementary Education and Special Education

The Pennsylvania Department of Education requires that teachers certified in Special Education hold another instructional certificate. The dual major allows students to qualify for both the Elementary PreK-Gr 4 and Special Education Pre-K-Gr 8 Pennsylvania "Instructional I" certificates in a four year program.

See Program of Study, below

Middle Level Education (Grades 4-8)

Certifications:

Middle Level Education: Mathematics &English-Language Arts-Reading

Middle Level Education: Mathematics &Social Studies

Middle Level Education: Mathematics & Science

Middle Level Education: Science & English-Language Arts-Reading

Middle Level Education: Science & Social Studies

Degree: BS, Middle Level Education (with two Content Area Specializations)

The Pennsylvania Department of Education requires that teachers who work in the middle grades master the content they will teach. The department offers content specializations in English Language Arts/Reading, Science, Math, and Social Studies; students must complete two content areas.

See Program of Study

Secondary Education ("High School")

Certifications:

Secondary Education/ Biology

Secondary Education/ Chemistry

Secondary Education/ English

Secondary Education/Citizenship (History)

Secondary Education/ Mathematics

Degree: BA or BS in Content Area with Certification in Secondary Education

The Pennsylvania Department of Education requires that teachers who work in secondary schools have mastered the content they will teach. The department offers content specializations in Biology, Chemistry, English, Citizenship (History, Economics, Geography, and Civics and Government), and Mathematics.

The certificate in Secondary Education empowers teachers to work in Grades 7 through 12. Pennsylvania’s "Instructional I" certificates are recognized in most other states.

See individual Programs of Study.

4. Field Experiences: The program’s series of course-related field experiences which allow students to participate in a variety of classrooms throughout the area. Field experiences are arranged by the department with the cooperation of partnership school districts, private schools, and charter schools

Field experiences begin during the first year and continue every semester until graduation. Department faculty supervise the three Practicum placements (50 hours each) that typically take place in the Junior and Senior year.

During their final semesters, students complete a fifteen-week supervised student teaching assignment - two separate placements.

The Field Experiences include:

Education Seminar Field

Freshman Field

Sophomore Field I

Sophomore Field II

Practicum I

Practicum II

Practicum III

Student Teaching

By the time they graduate, students complete approximately 750 hours of observation and practicum in community classrooms.

To participate in field placements, students must possess medical, criminal, and child abuse clearances required by the state.

Students must arrange their own transportation.

5. Professional Involvement: Students must participate in activities and organizations related to the profession of teaching. Students must participate in the department’s Education Club and at least one major-related professional organization (e.g., Council for Exceptional Children, National Association of Educators of Young Children, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, National Council of Teachers of English, National Council of Social Studies, or the National Council of Science Teachers).

Teacher Education Department Mission Statement

Since its inception in 1924, Misericordia University’s Teacher Education Department [TED] has been and continues to be committed to preparing excellent teachers. One of the University’s first majors and still one of its largest, Teacher Education embraces the University’s mission and reflects the values of our founders, the Religious Sisters of Mercy: mercy, service, justice and hospitality.

With all of its programs, the TED seeks to develop effective teachers who are masters of the content they teach and who teach in pedagogically-sound ways that inspire students to learn. Using educational theory and methods courses with the liberal arts core as a base, the TED provides a variety of learning opportunities to facilitate our students’ mastery of a thorough knowledge of human growth and development with an appreciation of diversity so that, as teachers, our graduates will understand, respect and respond to the unique strengths, needs, and desires presented by individual students and their families.

Through coursework and field-based activities conducted in collaboration with partnered schools and agencies throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania, teacher candidates study, observe, and apply strategies to structure learning experiences and learning environments that are responsive to students’ needs.

Through teaching, supervision, and personal example, TED faculty establish the expectation that students will conduct themselves at all times in accordance with the highest standards of ethical practice and professionalism. The faculty strives to develop in our graduates a commitment to on-going personal and professional growth.

In addition to preparing excellent teachers, the TED also offers graduate teacher education to foster excellence in teaching, research, and service needed to help develop a skilled and educated citizenry that will generally enhance the well-being of our area, the state, the nation, and the international community. The advanced specializations offered at the graduate level attract experienced and dedicated classroom teachers who wish to become educational specialists and leaders who should be highly valued by their school districts and communities. Our programs are not designed to help teachers become administrators or otherwise prepare them for roles outside their classrooms. Instead, our graduate program prepares highly skilled classroom teachers who can respect, communicate, and use research-based findings. Through our program, we hope to empower these professionals to participate in making important educational decisions about their districts, about their schools and programs, and especially about the students they serve.

Admissions

Admission to the undergraduate teacher education programs offered by the university is a two-step process. Those interested must be first be admitted to the university and then, when they have successfully completed a set of preliminary courses and experiences offered by the teacher education programs, they must be admitted to the department.

Admission to the University

Persons interested in participating in any of the university’s teacher education programs must apply for admission to the university. They should submit:

  • a hard copy or electronic application (www.misericordia.edu/apply),
  • an official copy of their secondary school transcripts,
  • the results of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) of the College Entrance Examination Board or the American College Testing (ACT) Program, and
  • a written recommendation from a high school principal, guidance counselor, or teacher.

The university’s Admissions Office reviews and approves applicants who have

  • participated in rigorous high school curriculum in which they earned grades that placed them in the top half of their graduating high school classes and/or in which they earned a "B" or better average,
  • demonstrated an interest and commitment to becoming teachers by participating in volunteer, extracurricular and/or independent activities with groups of children or adolescents,

meet a series of Essential Performance Skills typically expected of classroom teachers (See TED Guidebook). Reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities may be arranged by the university’s Office of Disability Services.

Students for whom English is a second language must demonstrate proficiency in written and spoken English as demonstrated by a minimum score of 500 on the TOEFL.

Although personal interviews are not required, prospective applicants are welcome to visit the campus to personally interact with the faculty and students in the Teacher Education Department.

Admission to the University for transfer students

Students interested in transferring from another institution to the university to participate in its teacher education programs must also apply for admission. External transfers must submit:

  • a hard copy or electronic application (www.misericordia.edu/apply),
  • an official copy of their college/university transcripts which demonstrate that they have earned a 3.0 GPA or better.

Students already admitted to the university and enrolled in another of its programs who want to transfer to participate in the university’s teacher education programs must apply directly to the department. Transfer students’ transcripts will be evaluated on an individual basis in order to determine if courses are acceptable alternatives to the requirements.

Prospective external and internal transfer students must meet with and be approved by the TED’s Transfer Coordinator before enrolling in courses sponsored by the department.

Admission to the Teacher Education Department

Students must be formally admitted to the department before being allowed to take upper division teacher education courses and experiences.

Toward the end of their sophomore year (or first semester for transfer students), students interested in being formally admitted to the department’s teacher education programs must apply for admission (see TED Guidebook for a copy of the Application for Formal Acceptance to the TED). Once approved by the department’s faculty, they may participate in upper division courses and experiences.

In addition to submitting an application for formal admission to the department, students must also submit:

a Curriculum Vita (i.e., an unofficial transcript downloadable from the university’s records site) which documents that they completed at least 48 credits (24 credits for transfer students), achieved a cumulative MU GPA of 3.0 or above, earned a C+ of better in all courses sponsored by the department, and earned satisfactory grades in all freshman and sophomore field experiences; and earned satisfactory grades for ENG 151-University Writing Seminar, ENG XXX-English Literature Core (American or British Literature), MTH XXX- Mathematics Bank I, and MTH-115 Statistics);

  • a letter in which they explain that they have participated in the university’s Education Club and have joined at least one major-related professional organization (e.g., Council for Exceptional Children, National Association of Educators of Young Children, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, National Council of Teachers of English, National Council of Social Studies, or the National Council of Science Teachers);
  • score sheets which evidence that they have satisfactorily completed the Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment (PAPA), which is mandated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality (the PAPA assesses reading, mathematics, and writing skills);
  • copies of current medical, criminal, and child abuse clearances required by PDE;
  • verification that they have thus far respected the university’s and the department’s Academic Integrity Policies (see TED Guidebook); and
  • at least one faculty recommendation.

The department’s faculty review applications using its Initial Review Process (See TED Guidebook).

Students formally admitted are referred to as "candidates," and may enroll in upper division courses and experiences offered by the department.

Teacher Education Department Advising

During their first semester at the university, students accepted by the university to participate in the department’s teacher education programs are assigned faculty advisors who post and keep office hours and who share their phone numbers and email addresses with their advisees.

Students may meet with their advisors for various reasons during the semester either by visiting during their advisors’ office hours or by making special appointments.

Students majoring in the university’s Secondary Education programs are assigned two faculty advisors – one who is a member of the department who helps with department-related matters and a "Content Area Advisor" who focuses on the university’s general education requirements and their content area courses.

Each semester, students who participate in teacher education programs must meet with their advisors to plan their next semester. During the meeting, faculty advisors review students’ progress and status, ensure that they have completed applications for planned field experiences, and help them select courses for the next semester. Advisors pay special attention to ensuring that candidates have a rich array of field experiences, including placements:

  • in urban, suburban, and rural schools;
  • with students with disabilities;
  • with students for whom English is a Second Language;
  • with students whose families are in economic poverty; and
  • in public, private, and charter schools.

Advisors also monitor students’ development of Presentation Portfolios (See TED Guidebook for details) which are collections of about two-dozen artifacts such as sample units and lesson plans, sample tests they have constructed and administered, and educational reports they have written. Candidates present the first-draft of their Professional Portfolios when they apply for Student Teaching. They complete final editions in hard copy and electronically during their student teaching semesters and present them for review by the faculty while enrolled in TED 411-Professional Practices which they take while student teaching. Graduates may use their Presentation Portfolios during employment interviews and/or when applying for admission to graduate schools.

Teacher Education Department Retention and Advancement

Annually, the department’s faculty reviews the progress of all candidates. To continue in the department’s programs, candidates must:

  • maintain at least an overall 3.0 GPA;
  • earn at least a C+ in all education courses;
  • satisfactorily complete all required field/practicum requirements;
  • maintain current state-required medical, criminal, and child abuse clearances,
  • participate in professional associations; and
  • remain in good standing with the university and the department.

Additionally, except for those enrolled in Secondary Education programs, by the end of their junior year candidates (i.e., prior to student teaching) must also submit score sheets that evidence they have successfully completed the state-required PRAXIS II: Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge Test.

Teacher Education Department Assessment and Grading

The department’s faculty believes it is inappropriate to allow students who know only a percentage of what they are supposed to know to progress in their programs. Therefore, TED students are not allowed to progress, to student teach, or to graduate until and unless they have demonstrated (through quizzes, projects, examinations, etc.) that they have mastered all of the department's objectives. Students must maintain at least an overall GPA of 3.0 and earn a "C+" or better in all department courses.

The department’s courses include modules (sets of teaching/learning activities), one for each objective. The department’s faculty uses module-based assessments formatively. Students who earn less than a mastery level score on a module-based assessment may be required, with certain restrictions and at the discretion of the faculty, to make a second attempt to demonstrate mastery.

Because they are usually not done or submitted until close to the end of a semester, the department faculty assess course projects summatively. While students are working on their projects, they may seek help and feedback from instructors; however, once they submit their projects, they are graded.

Final exams, which in all cases are cumulative (all of a course’s objectives are assessed), are also graded summatively.

Department faculty convert assessment and exam scores to produce percentage scores for objective items (multiple choice, etc.) and, eventually, letter grades. They score essays included on quizzes and final examinations, and projects, using rubrics.

The grade conversion system is presented below:

Grade

Points / Percentage (%)

Honor Points

A

95+

4.0

A-

92 - 94

3.7

B+

89 - 91

3.3

B

85 - 88

3.0

B-

82 - 84

2.7

C+

80 - 81

2.3

C

75 - 79

2.0

C-

72 - 74

1.7

D

67 - 71

1.0

F

0 - 66

0.0

Teacher Education Department Academic Integrity Policy

At the beginning of every course, instructors inform students of the details of the department’s Academic Integrity Policy (see TED Guidebook). Students are expected to do their own work, except when cooperative projects are assigned.

If it is determined that a student submitted work done by others or falsified information, the course faculty member will award the offending student a failing grade for the test/project and report the student to the faculty for review. Students guilty of violating the department’s Academic Integrity Policy may be dismissed from the department and/or dismissed from the university.

Student Teaching

During their last semester, candidates complete two seven-week long student teaching experiences which are arranged by the department in collaboration with area school districts, private schools, and/or charter schools. Student Teachers serve under veteran Cooperating Teachers recommended by their districts and are supervised by University Supervisors.

At the end of their junior year, candidates apply to participate in TED 498-Student Teaching. The department’s faculty review applications to determine candidates’ readiness for student teaching. Candidates must submit:

  • an Application for Student Teaching (See TED Guidebook);
  • a Curriculum Vita (i.e., an unofficial transcript) which documents that they completed all required courses with a cumulative MU GPA of 3.0; earned a C+ or better in all courses sponsored by the department; and earned satisfactory grades in all seminars, fields, and practicum assignments;
  • current state-required medical, criminal, and child abuse clearances; and
  • recommendations from at least two members of the department’s faculty, one of which must be their advisors. Students in Middle Level and Secondary Education must also be approved by their Content Area Advisors.

Additionally, candidates who apply for student teaching must submit to their advisor for review a first-draft copy of their Presentation Portfolios, including materials such as sample units and lessons plans, sample tests they have constructed, and educational reports they have written.

Student Teachers participate in the university’s professional liability insurance program. They are additionally insured if they are members of their professional associations.

Graduation

Candidates eligible for graduation from the university must complete an Application for Graduation, which is provided by the office of the Registrar. Their applications for graduation must be reviewed by the advisor and as appropriate by the department’s Chairperson(s).

Teacher Certifications

Graduates of the university’s teacher education programs are eligible to apply for teacher certifications offered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. To be considered eligible, they must:

  • complete a state-approved teacher education program that includes a student teaching or intern experience (the university’s programs are state approved);
  • complete all state-required certification tests (e.g., PAPA, PECT, and PRAXIS). The tests required and their qualifying scores are published on the PDE website (www.pde.state.pa.us);
  • document that they have completed all certificate requirements; and
  • submit their applications for certification to PDE.

For additional information, graduates may contact:

Chief/Division of Certification Services
Pennsylvania Department of Education - School Leadership and Teacher Quality
333 Market Street

Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
Phone: 717-787-3356

Graduates of the university’s teacher education programs may be eligible for certifications offered by other states. States’ requirements vary; graduates should determine what they have to do to become certified in a state other than Pennsylvania.