Education programs have many unique aspects and requirements due to the fact that we, as a university, are held accountable to multiple groups. As a university, our job is to prepare candidates for certification, but we do not actually certify teacher candidates. We recommend teacher candidates for certification to the State Department of Education (SDE) upon the successful completion of student teaching. As such, there are many standards and requirements that our programs MUST contain in order for the SDE to accept our certification recommendations.
One of the primary elements to which we must adhere is sending “highly qualified” teacher candidates to student teaching. Student teaching is not an automatic right or course that anyone can take, just because they have met the course pre-requisites. There are multiple elements that define a “highly qualified” teacher candidate. These elements are listed in detail below.
Teacher candidates, in order to be considered “highly qualified” for student teaching, and thus permitted to be placed in a student teaching experience, must complete ALL of the following BEFORE student teaching:
- All coursework must be completed with a C- or better in all major and minor courses.
- Both Praxis exams for a candidate’s major and minor (the only exception to this is if they are a composite major which means they would only have one test) must be passed by the following dates (depending on when they are planning on student teaching):
- Winter Semester – December 1st
- Fall Semester – July 1st
NOTE: Although these are the due dates, keep in mind that it is HIGHLY recommended that candidates plan on taking exams well before these dates in case they don’t pass them. If candidates have a question about the suggested semester in which they should take their exams, they may contact their program directors.
- Candidates must pass all parts of the Technology Assessment (which is currently housed in SPED 360) by the same due dates for Praxis exams.
- Pass all other required exams – i.e Literacy
- Candidates must show proof of performance based on the Danielson Framework (this is currently part of ED 461/ED 449/individual program practicums)
- Candidates must show a continued professional disposition toward education throughout everything they do during their time in the program.
Student Teaching, as described by the SDE, must be done under the supervision and evaluation of someone trained and certified in the Danielson Framework and must be completed in an experience that is authentic (it represents a typical teaching experience). As such, these are the requirements for student teaching placements:
- Candidates are placed in the Fall and Winter semesters. Spring placements are limited and only offered for ELED majors.
- Student teaching placements are limited to one of our partner schools, found in the following locations:
- Rexburg, Idaho
- Rigby, Idaho
- Idaho Falls, Idaho
- Weber, Utah
- Jordan, Utah
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Mesa, Arizona
NOTE: Candidates will be encouraged to leave the local area if at all possible. Local placements will be filled first with those candidates who require a local placement. If a candidate is not able to leave the local area, they will need to visit with the directors in Field Services BEFORE the interviews are held (March for fall semester and September for winter semester).
Candidates must keep in mind that since these requirements have been put in place by the State Department of Education, there are no exceptions to the above policies and statements.