Education / Teacher Education

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Elementary Education & Special Education

Mission Statement

The teacher education programs take a practical, multifaceted, student centered approach to preparing teachers. Content knowledge and pedagogy are developed to prepare teacher education students for teaching all learners. Professionalism in diverse school contexts is modeled and practiced through courses and related field experience. Teacher education students create a portfolio focused on self-reflection to document growth toward program goals.

School of Education Standards

The School of Education has adopted the Utah Effective Teaching Standards for the teacher education program, effective with students beginning the program in the fall of 2015.  Students must satisfy these ten standards to complete one of our programs and be recommended for a teaching license. These standards are education-specific manifestations of the college-wide learning goals described on page 6 of this catalog.

Utah Effective Teaching STANDARDS

Standard 1: Learner Development
The teacher understands cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas of student development.

Standard 2: Learning Differences

The teacher understands individual learner differences and cultural linguistic diversity.

Standard 3: Learning Environments

The teacher works with learners to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, positive social interactions, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.

Standard 4: Content Knowledge

The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline.

Standard 5: Assessment

The teachers uses multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, monitor learner progress, guide planning and instruction, and determine whether the outcomes described in content standards have been met.

Standard 6: Instructional Planning

The teacher plans instruction to support students in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, Utah Core Standards, instructional best practices, and the community context.

Standard 7: Instructional Strategies

The teacher uses various instructional strategies to ensure that all learners develop a deep understanding of content areas and their connections and build skills to apply and extend knowledge in meaningful ways.

Standard 8: Reflection and Continuous Growth

The teacher is a reflective practitioner who uses evidence to continually evaluate and adapt practice to meet the needs of each learner.

Standard 9: Leadership and Collaboration

The teacher is a leader who engages collaboratively with learners, families, colleagues, and community members to build a shared vision and supportive professional culture focused on student growth and success.

Standard 10: Professional and Ethical Behavior

The teacher demonstrates the highest standard of legal, moral, and ethical conduct as specified in Utah State Board Rule R277-515.

Admission to the Program

All students who wish to pursue an undergraduate education licensure program must make formal application for admission to the Teacher Education Programs. Students who enter Westminster as freshmen are encouraged to complete all or most of their Liberal Education courses in the first three semesters and register for EDUC 302 in their fourth semester. Students who apply for admission to the School of Education as transfer students are encouraged to contact the Westminster College Office of Admissions at least a semester before they plan to transfer. The admissions process includes the following steps:

  1. While enrolled in EDUC 302, students complete an admissions packet for the School of Education, which includes:
    • Declaration of Intent form and letter
    • Background Check form and fingerprints
    • A transcript demonstrating a 2.75 cumulative GPA
    • Three letters of recommendation
  2. Undergraduate applicants to the teacher education program will take the Elementary Education Praxis II exams during the semester they are enrolled in EDUC 302.  Students who are accepted to the program but do not pass all sections of the Praxis II exam will be allowed to continue taking Education courses as long as they retake the needed Praxis sub-tests each semester they are enrolled in courses.  Students will not be allowed to apply for student teaching until they have passed all sections of the Elementary Education Praxis II exam.
  3. While enrolled in EDUC 302, students will meet with an education advisor and appropriate advisor in the minor to complete a program plan.

Students are admitted each semester and acceptance or denial to the program is based upon the review of applications by the Education faculty.

The following courses may be taken prior to formal admission to the Education Programs: EDUC 201, 205, 220, 221, 252, 300, 302, 303, 311, 312, and SPED 303. Students may not enroll in other education classes without being admitted to the program.

Note: All upper division, education transfer courses must be approved by the Dean or Program Director. Transfer courses in content areas (i.e., academic and/or teaching majors and minors) will be reviewed by content area advisors to assure that they meet Westminster degree requirements and State of Utah teacher licensure requirements.

Student Teaching

To student teach, students must have been admitted to the Teacher Education Program and must complete the requirements listed below.

  • Submit the completed Request for Student Teaching form by the first Monday in March to
    student teach in the fall or by the first Monday in October to student teach in the spring.
  • Submit the Major/Minor/Education Advisor Recommendation and audit forms.
  • Be approved to student teach by the Teacher Education faculty.
  • Obtain a Student Teaching License on the USOE website.
  • Must have a passing score on the appropriate Praxis II test(s).

Appeal Process: A student has the right to appeal a decision denying admission to the Teacher Education Programs or denying the opportunity to student teach. The student has fifteen days after receiving a denial letter to petition the Dean, in writing, for reconsideration.

Note: Formal admission to the Teacher Education Program does not guarantee a recommendation
for licensure. Recommendation for licensure is made upon development of teaching competence in designated areas after successful completion of the student’s specific teacher education program and completion of state approved licensure tests.

Program Requirements

All students must maintain a 2.75 cumulative GPA and a 3.0 cumulative GPA in education courses and have a minimum grade of C+ in all education courses. In credit/no credit education courses, students must perform work at the level of C+ or higher to receive credit. Education courses may only be repeated once.

All students must complete the appropriate state required content test(s) in order to meet the requirement for an initial Utah Level I teaching license.

Students must meet the college-wide graduation requirements:

  • 124 total hours
  • 30 upper division hours
  • Liberal education distribution

Degree-Seeking Students

All degree-seeking students must satisfy general program requirements listed above and must also satisfy requirements detailed under the specific education program.
Students seeking Secondary Education licensure who also wish to complete second bachelor’s degrees are subject to the Second Bachelor’s Degree section of this catalog. We will generally encourage these students to enter our Master of Arts in Teaching program instead.

Elementary Education (Grades K–6) Program Requirements (ELED)

Students who are seeking their first licensure must take a minimum of 30 credit hours in education at Westminster College and must also meet college residency requirements. All coursework must be planned with the student’s advisor. Elementary education majors must have an academic or teaching content minor.

Acceptable academic or teaching minors and acceptable transfer academic or teaching minors must be approved by the dean or program director.

  Credit Hours Prerequisites
Liberal Education Courses
The following courses, which fulfill LE requirements, are required for the Education major:
PSYC 105 Introduction to Psychology, LE (4)
MATH 141 College Algebra, LE (4) MATH 105 or placement test
Requirement Description
Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. Admission to the Program 0
Completion of Teacher Education Program Admission
II. Cultural Awareness 0–4
While the themes of diversity and cultural awareness run throughout the program, a specific cultural awareness requirement is also included to help our students become better teachers of the diverse student populations in Utah and the U.S. This requirement may be met by successfully completing one of the following:

  1. Demonstrate proficiency in a second language:
    -Complete a second semester college-level language course
    -Receive a passing score on a Level 1 CLEP language exam
    -Receive a passing score on a 102-level BYU language proficiency   exam
    -Provide evidence of another language as your first language
  2. A May term study experience approved by the School of Education
  3. A semester of study abroad approved by the School of Education
  4. Student teaching in a foreign country or other alternate placement approved by the School of Education
III. Prerequisite Courses 8
PSYC 105 Introduction to Psychology, LE (4)
MATH 141 College Algebra, LE (4)—offered every semester MATH 105 or placement test
IV. Required Courses 57
EDUC 220† Math for K–6 Teachers I (3) MATH 141 (LE)
EDUC 221† Math for K–6 Teachers II (3) MATH 141 (LE)
EDUC 252† Developmentally Appropriate Teaching & Learning (4)
EDUC 302† Foundations of Education in a Diverse Society (4) co-requisites: EDUC 303
EDUC 303† Teaching with Technology (1) co-requisites: EDUC 302 (LE)
EDUC 305§ Classroom Management (3) EDUC 302 (LE)
EDUC 311‡ English Learners in All Classroom (2) EDUC 302 (LE)
EDUC 312†§ Specialized Education Services (2)
EDUC 342* Science Methods (3)
EDUC 344* Creative Arts Methods (3)
EDUC 346* Social Studies Methods (3)
EDUC 359 Using Assessment Data to Improve Teaching (2) EDUC 252, 302 (LE)
EDUC 362 Physical Education Methods (1) EDUC 302 (LE)
EDUC 363* Literacy Foundations, Assessment & Instruction (3) EDUC 252, 302 (LE)
EDUC 364* Teaching Methods: Reading & Language Arts (3) EDUC 252, 302 (LE)
EDUC 368* Math Methods for K–6 Teachers (3) EDUC 220 and 221
EDUC 369 Literacy Assessment & Intervention (1) EDUC 252, 302 (LE)
EDUC 391 Portfolio Development (1) consent of instructor
EDUC 418 ELEM Student Teaching Seminar (2) consent of instructor
EDUC 480 Elementary Student Teaching (10) consent of instructor
† May be taken prior to admission to the program.
*Students are required to spend fifteen clock hours in a field placement.
‡ Not required for students completing a minor in English as a Second Language
§ Not required for students completing a minor in Special Education
TOTAL HOURS FOR THE ELEMENTARY EDUCATION MAJOR 51–69

Completion of an approved academic or teaching minor is required (see individual program listings for details). Students must pass the requisite Praxis Test before applying for student teaching.

Recommended Plan of Study for Elementary Education (K–6)

*The program plan below is a sample plan for students wishing to complete an accelerated 3-year program.  Please contact the Undergraduate Program Director for a plan tailored to your specific needs and interests*

Fall Year 1 Spring Year 1 Summer Year 1
Liberal Education Courses
MATH 141
EDUC 302
EDUC 303
Liberal Education Courses
PSCY 105
EDUC 252
Liberal Education Courses
EDUC 305
Fall Year 2 Spring Year 2 Summer Year 2
EDUC 220
EDUC 344
EDUC 346
EDUC 359
EDUC 311
EDUC 312
EDUC 221
EDUC 362
EDUC 363 & 369
Liberal Education Courses
EDUC 342
Fall Year 3 Spring Year 3 Summer Year 3
EDUC 364
EDUC 368
EDUC 391
EDUC 418/480

Secondary Education (Grades 6–12)

Westminster undergraduates interested in secondary education are encouraged to consider the Accelerated Master of Arts in Teaching Secondary Program, open only to graduates of Westminster College who have completed the following courses as part of their undergraduate studies:

  • EDUC 303 Teaching with Technology
  • EDUC 311 English Learners in All Classrooms
  • EDUC 312 Specialized Education Services
  • EDUC 315 Learning Theory

This program allows students who have completed a bachelor’s degree in a teaching subject to complete the requirements for a Masters Degree and a secondary teaching license in one year after graduation. Students who choose this program will take only the four Education courses listed above as undergraduates, allowing them to focus on preparation in their teaching discipline. Students who are considering applying for the Accelerated MAT Secondary program should meet with the program director early in their undergraduate career, preferably before their junior year.