Teacher Education Programs

College of Professional Studies and Social Sciences

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

Faculty

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 Emerita 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, Professor Emerita of Education, BS College Misericordia; MS University of Scranton; 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 dual major in Early Childhood/Special Education (Grades PreK-4 with Special Education Grades Pre K- 8). TED also offers an Elementary Education major in Middle Level Education (Grades 4-8) with five concentration options.

In concert with the College of Arts and Sciences, the department also offers Secondary Education certification (Grades 7-12) for majors in Biology, Chemistry, English, History (Citizenship) 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). 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.

The Vision of the Teacher Education Department

“Preparing teaching professionals who effectively educate children in technology-rich, diverse classrooms, steeped in the values of the Sisters of Mercy.”

The vision of the TED is to prepare teacher candidates who are have the skills, abilities, and values to make a positive contribution to the education of children. We strive to provide our candidates with a firm background and understanding of pupil learning growth and development. Candidates have a mastery of the content that they will teach, and be versed in pedagogical skill and communication skills, including through technological means, to be able to effectively impart information effectively to students. In the process, candidates should have respect for diversity that is found in the modern classroom, and be engendered into values-based professionalism.

Teacher Education Department Program Goals

Communication Skills

Graduates of Misericordia University's TED shall demonstrate that they have the knowledge and skills needed to confidently and effectively communicate orally, in writing and through various communication technologies, with students, other professionals, families, and members of their communities.

Students' Growth and Development

Graduates of Misericordia University's TED shall explain how students grow and develop and demonstrate a willingness and ability to adjust their teaching to meet the needs of individual students, including students with special needs. Graduates shall be especially sensitive to the challenges faced by female students, students with disabilities, and members of minority groups.

Learning

Graduates of Misericordia University's TED shall use research to explain the cognitive processes and complexities of learning and use this knowledge to plan and implement teaching/learning activities that support the intellectual, social/emotional, career, and personal development of students.

Curriculum Structure

Graduates of Misericordia University's TED shall explain how curriculum is developed, structured, regulated, and used by teachers to plan, monitor, and evaluate instruction and students' learning.

Content Mastery

Graduates of Misericordia University's TED will demonstrate mastery of the curriculum they will be expected to teach and a willingness to engage in professional development activities, which ensure their continued mastery.

Teaching Processes

Graduates of Misericordia University's TED shall effectively analyze data and situations to make decisions which benefit students; plan, implement, and assess direct instruction within a mastery learning paradigm and implement a variety of advanced teaching procedures, including various educational and assistive technologies, that allow students, independently and cooperatively, multiple pathways to learning and which challenge them to explore and understand challenging concepts, topics, and issues.

Graduates shall describe how to integrate a variety of technologies into instruction and shall be reflective regarding how these new approaches can be used most effectively with students from diverse backgrounds. Graduates will have developed the following dispositions: a) to view technology as a rich set of tools with much potential for addressing educational challenges, b) to choose to use information and technology legally and ethically, and c) to be committed to exploring how the use of new and emerging technologies can support and promote student learning.

Classroom Management

Graduates of Misericordia University's TED shall demonstrate a willingness and ability to use an understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior to create learning environments which encourage positive social interaction, active learning, critical thinking, and independence. They will be devoted to creating schools and classrooms which are welcoming, caring, stimulating, inclusive, and safe places in which students are challenged to take risks, make choices, work independently and collaboratively, and be supported in their growth and development.

Family Involvement

Graduates of Misericordia University's TED shall acknowledge and respect the roles and responsibilities of parents and families and be willing to enter into partnership arrangements with those interested in the education of students.

Respect for Diversity

Graduates of Misericordia University's TED shall see "diversity as normal" and evidence an authentic respect for all students, families, co-workers, and school personnel. They should see themselves as teachers prepared to work with all students without regard to factors related to gender, race, creed, economic status, sexual orientation, physical attributes, or ability.

Values Based Professionalism

Graduates of Misericordia University's TED shall know and be comfortable with themselves in ways which cause them to reflective practitioners who are be willing and able to work effectively with students, other professionals, and parents.

They will be fully aware of their profession's standards and practices, including its codes of ethics; look forward to being contributing members and active leaders of their profession; and function ethically and responsibly as members of their communities.

They shall adopt the disposition of being a lifelong learner in order to remain an effective educator in a rapidly changing environment. Graduates shall demonstrate a willingness to engage in professional development activities that ensure continued mastery of content and pedagogy by embracing the challenge of continuous improvement and change, and by committing to staying current on the latest advances and understandings in the specific discipline.

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. Students in Teacher Education are advised by TED regarding the Core courses that support their program of study; Core requirements are reflected in the Plan of Study for each TED program.
  2. TED Core Courses: All teacher education program students must complete a set of Teacher Education requirements. These courses provide knowledge and skills that are common to all education programs. Included in this group are nine credits (three courses) in Special Education and three credits (two courses) in working with English Language Learners. In addition, seniors will have to complete Student Teaching (TED 498) concurrently with the student teaching professional seminar (TED 411 Professional Practice). These courses are reflected in the Plan of Study for each TED program.
  3. Specializations: Undergraduate students in the Teacher Education Program must complete the requirements of one or more of the TED's specializations. They include:
    1. Early Childhood Grades Pre K-4 & Special Education Grades PreK-8: The dual major allows students to qualify for both the Early Childhood Grades PreK-4 and Special Education Grades Pre K- 8 Pennsylvania Instructional I certificates in a four year program.
    2. Middle Level Education (Grades 4-8): TED offers content specializations in Mathematics &English-Language Arts-Reading, Mathematics &Social Studies, Mathematics & Science, Science & English-Language Arts-Reading, and Science & Social Studies. Middle Level majors can add a certification in Special Education Grades Pre K-8 by taking 18 additional credits in special education.
    3. Secondary Education (Grades 7-12): Students seeking Secondary Education certification would have a content major in one of the following areas: Biology, Chemistry, English, History (Citizenship), and Mathematics.
  4. Field/Practicum Experiences: All TED students must complete a developmental series of field experiences that begin during the first year and culminate with a full semester of student teaching. By graduation, students will have completed approximately 750 hours of observation and practicum in community classrooms
  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).

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 will 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 (External and Internal)

Students interested in transferring from another institution to the University to participate in its Teacher Education Program 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 into the University’s Teacher Education program 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.

Formal Admission to the Teacher Education Department

To become “candidates” for teacher certification, students must be formally admitted to MU TED.

Toward the end of their sophomore year (or first semester for transfer students), students interested in being formally admitted must apply for admission. They do so by submitting the appropriate documentation. MU TED’s faculty review applications.

Students must submit:

  • A Curriculum Guide (i.e., an unofficial transcript downloadable from the University’s records site) which documents that they:
    1. completed at least 48 credits (24 credits for transfer students);
    2. achieved a cumulative MU GPA of 3.0 or above;
    3. earned a C+ or better in all courses sponsored by MU TED;
    4. earned satisfactory grades in all freshman and sophomore field experiences;
    5. 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
    1. have participated in the university’s Education Club and
    2. have joined at least one major-related professional association (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);
  • Evidence of meeting the PDE mandated basic skills competency requirement.
  • Verification of health and Federal and State clearances required for school personnel by school districts.
  • Verification that they have thus far respected the University’s and the department’s ACADEMIC INTEGRITY POLICIES.
  • Verification that they have established a PROFESSIONAL PORTFOLIO;
  • Verification that they have completed a self-evaluation using the PROFESSIONAL DISPOSITIONS CHECKLIST
  • A faculty recommendation supporting admission.

The department’s faculty review applications using its Initial Review Process.

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.

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. While students must meet with their advisors each semester prior to registration to facilitate course selection and receive approval to register, the student is ultimately responsible for the selection and registration of courses.

Advisors also monitor students’ development of Presentation Portfolios (See TED Guidebook for details).

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 health and Federal and State clearances required for school personnel
  • 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 work independently, except when cooperative projects are assigned.

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

Field Experience/Practicum

All TED students must complete a developmental series of field/practicum experiences that begin during the first year and culminate with a full semester of student teaching (see below). Candidates have a rich array of field experiences, including placements in urban, suburban, and rural schools and in public, private and charter schools. Candidates have experiences with students with disabilities, with students for whom English is a Second Language and with students whose families are in economic poverty. By the time they graduate, students will have completed approximately 750 hours of observation and practicum in community classrooms. The program’s series of course-related field experiences which allow students to participate in a variety of classrooms throughout the area.

Field/practicum experiences are arranged by the department with the cooperation of partnership school districts, private schools, and charter schools. Field/practicum 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 years. Students must arrange their own transportation.

To participate in field/practicum experiences placements, students must obtain the Federal and State clearances required for school personnel by school districts and keep these current throughout their participation in the Teacher Education program.

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. One of these placements must be in a public school setting. 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 Guide (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. For students in Secondary Education, one recommendation must be from 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.

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 Certification

Graduates of the University’s Teacher Education programs are eligible to apply for Instructional I 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 (A current list of tests required and the qualifying scores are published on the PDE website (www.pde.state.pa.us);
  • document that they have completed all certificate requirements; and
  • complete PDE’s online application for certification.

For additional information, graduates may contact:

The Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality

Pennsylvania Department of Education

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. Pennsylvania has signed an Interstate Agreement through the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification which facilitates certification in other states. States’ requirements vary; graduates should determine what they have to do to become certified in a state other than Pennsylvania.