Elementary Education Program Requirements
The School of Education uses rigorous, authentic, and integrated learning experiences to foster student learning in content, skills and attributes critical to success in each program. We emphasize the joining of theory and practice, through meaningful inquiry, exploration, and critical reflection. We strive to grow students’ abilities to build on student and community assets, reduce structural and societal inequalities, and strengthen democratic processes. These holistic and integrated approaches are designed to enable all students to succeed as effective teacher and practitioners in educational and community settings.
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.
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.
All students who wish to pursue an undergraduate education licensure program must make formal application for admission to the Teacher Education Programs. EDUC 252 is the course where students apply for admission to the program.
Students who enter Westminster as freshmen are encouraged to meet the Program Director before registering for EDUC 252. 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:
- While enrolled in EDUC 252, 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 3.0 cumulative GPA (insert) Submission of SAT scores (composite minimum 1000, reading minimum 450, math minimum 450) or ACT scores (composite minimum 21, verbal minimum 20, math minimum 19) from the past 6 years
- Three letters of recommendation
- Undergraduate applicants to the teacher education program will take the Elementary Education Praxis II exams during the semester they are enrolled in EDUC 252. 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.
- While enrolled in EDUC 252, students will meet with an education advisor and appropriate advisor in the minor to complete a program plan.
Students are admitted Fall/Spring semesters and acceptance or denial to the program is based upon the review of applications by the Program Directors.
The following courses may be taken prior to formal admission to the Education Programs: EDUC 201, 220, 221, 252, 300, 302, 312, TESL 324 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 advisor to assure that they meet Westminster degree requirements and State of Utah teacher licensure requirements.
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 in early March to student teach in the fall or by early October to student teach in the spring.
- Submit the Major/Minor/Education Advisor Recommendation and audit forms.
- Be approved to student teach by the SOE Program Directors. 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 four weeks 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.
All students must maintain a 3.0 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
- WCore or Honors College requirements
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 are encouraged to consider the accelerated Master of Arts in Teaching program.
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.
|Requirement Description||Credit Hours||Prerequisites|
|I. Admission to the Program||0|
|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:
|III. Prerequisite Courses||8|
|IV. Required Courses||56|
|Total Hours for the Elementary Education Major||50-68|
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.
|Fall Semester||Spring Semester|
|Year 1||WCore Courses
|Year 2||EDUC 220
|Year 3||TESL 324
|Year 4||EDUC 312
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 302 Foundations of Education in a Diverse Society (3)
- EDUC 312 Specialized Education Services (3)
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 two 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.