Teacher Education Programs

College of Professional Studies and Social Sciences

Department Chair Kingsley Banya, PhD

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

Mission

Misericordia University's Teacher Education Department is committed to preparing excellent teachers. One of the university's first majors, Teacher Education embraces the university mission and continues to reflect the values of our founders: mercy, justice, service and hospitality. The program seeks to develop effective teachers who are masters of the content they will 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 program provides a variety of learning opportunities to facilitate a thorough knowledge of human development and an appreciation of diversity so that, as teachers, 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 that are conducted in collaboration with partnering schools and agencies, teacher candidates study, observe and apply strategies to structure learning experiences and environments responsive to students' needs. Through teaching, supervision, and personal example, education faculty establishes 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.

The Teacher Education Department

Since its inception in 1924, Misericordia University has prepared thousands of excellent teachers for our nation's classrooms. Currently, the Teacher Education Department (TED) sponsors undergraduate majors in primary education (PreK-Grade 4 with Special Education, middle level education (Grades 4-8), and in five areas of secondary education – biology, chemistry, citizenship/social studies, English, and mathematics. At the graduate level, the Teacher Education Department sponsors specializations in Instructional Technology, Special Education, and Reading.

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 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has made regulatory changes in the law governing teacher certification, effective for candidates graduating after January 1, 2013. The university's programs are in compliance with these regulations. They qualify students for instructional, specialist, or supervisory certifications awarded by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Undergraduate Certifications

Misericordia University Teacher Education Department’s areas of certification – ECE/SE, MLE, and Sec Ed – are defined by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. All of MU’s programs are approved by PDE. Program completers become candidates for Pennsylvania "Instructional I" certifications.

Early Childhood Education/Special Education Dual Major (Grades PreK-4)

This program prepares teachers to work in pre-school through fourth grade and results in certification in both Early Childhood PreK-Grade 4 and Special Education PreK-Grade 8.

Middle Level Education (Grades 4-8)

This program prepares teachers to work in grades 4 through 8. Graduates specialize and meet the standards for "Highly Qualified" in two content areas: Mathematics/English, Language Arts-Reading, Mathematics/Social Studies, Mathematics/Science, Science/English-Language Arts, or Science/Social Studies.

Secondary Education (Grades 7-12)

This program prepares teachers to work in secondary education (junior and senior high schools). They are prepared in one of the following content areas: biology, chemistry, citizenship/history, English, or mathematics.

Graduate Specializations

Reading Specialist

This program enables teachers who are already certified to obtain both a Reading Specialist Certificate and a Master's Degree in Education with a specialization in Reading. The program meets PDE General Standard IV.

Instructional Technology

This program prepares teachers currently certified to plan and direct technology-based programs in schools and organizations.

Graduate Special Education

This program prepares teachers currently certified in other areas, as well as individuals who do not hold an Instructional I certificate, to teach in Grades K-12 with Individualized Education Plans.

Undergraduate Programs

Undergraduate Admissions Process (traditional and transfer students):

Initial admissions decisions are made by the admissions office. They suggest that applicants be accepted to the university to participate in programs offered by the TED only if they meet the following criteria:

  1. Participation in a rigorous high school curriculum, with posted grades that placed them in the top half of their graduating high school classes or in which they earned a “B” or better average.
  2. External (from other colleges) and internal transfers (from other Misericordia majors) must have a 3.0 GPA. Prospective transfer students must meet with the TED’s chair before enrolling in any TED courses.
  3. Demonstration of an interest and commitment to becoming teachers by participating in volunteer, extracurricular, and/or independent activities in which they interacted with groups of children.
  4. The ability to demonstrate that they can meet a series of essential performance skills typically expected of classroom teachers.

Formal Program Acceptance Process:

Faculty considers the results of the initial review process along with other information such as GPA and PAPA (Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment (please see item "h." for more information))test scores, before it formally admits students to the Teacher Education Department. To apply for formal program acceptance at the end of the sophomore year, students must present:

  1. an application for TED formal acceptance;
  2. satisfactory grades/reports from Freshman and Sophomore fields;
  3. satisfactory completion of ENG 103 English Composition, ENG English Literature Core (American or British Literature), ENG English literature core (any), MTH Mathematics Bank I, MTH Mathematics Bank II (Statistics) as required by major;
  4. evidence of participation in professional associations and organizations, including the education club or the secondary education club, and at least one major-related professional organization,
  5. the information that indicates respect of TED's ethics policy;
  6. at least one TED faculty recommendation;
  7. a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above after at least 48 credits, (at least 24 credits for transfer students) which include English composition, American literature, and two college-level math courses. In all TED courses, students must earn a “C+” or better; and,
  8. The basic skills testing requirements for all TED majors are as follows:

Effective April 2012, the Pennsylvania Department of education (PDE), the Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality and the Evaluation Systems group of Pearson launched a new testing program for Pennsylvania teacher certification: the Pennsylvania Educator Certification Tests (PECT). One of the tests in the PECT program, the Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment (PAPA), is now the means of assessing reading, mathematics, and writing skills for undergraduate candidates seeking a state-approved Pennsylvania educator preparation certificate.The PAPA replaces the PRAXIS I testing series. This change does not affect PRAXIS II testing. Testing information can be found at: www.pa.nesinc.com

All undergraduate candidates for initial certification will be required to pass the PAPA as well as the PECT test corresponding to the specific certification/major area:

Dual ECE/SpEd:

Pennsylvania Educator Certification Test (PECT) PreK - 4

Pennsylvania Educator Certification Test (PECT) PreK – 8

Middle Level (ALL Concentrations):

PRAXIS Grades 4 – 8 Core Assessment Tests (3 Modules) (ETS)

PRAXIS Grades 4 – 8 Concentration Tests (per subject area) (ETS)

Secondary Level (ALL Concentrations):

PAPA: Reading, Writing, Mathematics

PRAXIS: Appropriate content area test for secondary subjects(s)

Speech Language Pathology - (SLP) considered a K – 12 Program):

PRAXIS: Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge

PRAXIS: Speech / Language Pathology

All candidates for certification must meet the qualifying score for all applicable tests at the time their application for certification is received by the Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality. The required tests and qualifying scores may change; current qualifying scores are published on the PDE website: www.pde.state.pa.us

  • The basic skills tests are not required of program candidates who already have a bachelor’s degree
  • Students who have already begun the PRAXIS I series should complete that series as soon as they are able; this will be accepted as meeting the basic skills requirement. Effective Spring 2012, students who have not yet taken any PRAXIS I tests MUST take the PAPA tests as the PRAXIS I will no longer be accepted (please see section "Student Teaching Acceptance Process" for more information). PAPA/ PECT testing information can be found at: www.pa.nesinc.com
  • A Testing Fee Waiver Request Form, offered by Pearson Education, can be obtained at: http://www.pa.nesinc.com/Content/Docs/PECT FeeWaiverRequestForm.pdf

Retention, Advancement, and Graduation Criteria, Undergraduate

To ensure quality, the TED uses a series of assessments to monitor students’ progress through their programs. Information gathered from these assessments is used to make admission, program entry, retention, advancement, and graduation decisions. Procedures specific to the policies that govern retention in the teacher education program are delineated in the teacher education department guide book. All students will enter TED programs as pre-education majors and are eligible to register for 100 and 200 level TED courses only. Students must qualify for education major status in order to be eligible to register for 300- and 400-level courses.

Public Presentation Requirements:

  1. Junior Independent Project: During the fall semester, juniors must individually suggest, develop, and publicly present a poster session on a topic approved by their TED advisors. The presentations take place during American Education Week (third week of November.)
  2. Junior Group Project: During the spring semester, juniors, in cooperation with a least two and no more than four peers, must suggest, develop, and publicly present a poster session on a topic approved by their TED advisors. The presentations take place during the last week of the semester (i.e., in relation to National Teacher Recognition Day).

Student Teaching Acceptance Process

At the end of the junior year, the TED faculty review all juniors. The review is used to determine which students will be recommended for student teaching and graduation. Data which must be submitted by students include:

  1. a completed application for Student Teaching (TED 497);
  2. evidence of satisfactory completion of Practicums I, II and III;
  3. evidence of participation in professional associations and organizations, including the education club or secondary education club, and at least one major-related professional organization,
  4. evidence of completed the PRAXIS II ~Fundamental subjects: Content knowledge test [All K-6 & K-12 Instructional Areas (not 7-12)];
  5. information which indicates respect of the Teacher Education Department’s ethics policy;
  6. at least two TED faculty recommendations; and,
  7. a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above.

National Teachers Examination

Senior students must complete sections of PRAXIS II - The National Teachers Examination (i.e., those required of their specialization–see www.pde.state.pa.us), and meet or exceed the cut scores established by PDE in order to apply for certification.

Senior Portfolio Presentation

Throughout their programs, teacher education students are expected to continually develop portfolios, which they may eventually use in employment interviews. In Senior Seminar (TED 401), students receive guidance in developing presentation portfolios, and during the spring semester of their senior year, students must share their presentation portfolios with the TED faculty. Presentation portfolios must include:

  1. a letter written by the student which reviews why he or she wants to be a teacher, and introduces portfolio reviewers to the contents of his or her portfolio;
  2. a current résumé;
  3. a transcript, the results of all assessment activities (i.e., PECT/PAPA and Praxis II scores), and clearances (e.g., Act 24, Act 34, 114 and 151);
  4. a photographic essay of their work during student teaching;
  5. a video/audio taped sample lesson;
  6. sample projects done in courses and field experience, including student teaching;
  7. as appropriate, parts of ten complete TED Cross Course Modules; and,
  8. three letters of recommendation, one written by a peer, two by TED faculty.

Grading

The TED faculty believes it is dangerous to allow students who know only a small 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 TED's objectives. Students must earn a “C+” or better in all TED courses.

The TED faculty uses module-based assessments formatively. Students who earn less than a mastery level score on an assessment may be required, with certain restrictions (and perhaps with additional instruction) to make a second attempt to demonstrate mastery. While it would be ideal to allow additional attempts, the TED faculty believes that, at the college level, two opportunities to demonstrate mastery are sufficient.

Because they are usually not done or submitted until close to the end of a semester, the TED faculty can only use 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 will be graded.

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

Although the TED faculty refuse to “teach to the test,” they construct and administer assessments and final examinations to parallel the format of the PRAXIS II- The National Teacher Examination.

TED faculty convert assessment and exam raw 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, against rubrics.

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

Academic Integrity and the Teacher Education Department Honor Code

At the beginning of every course, instructors inform students of the details of the TED’s academic integrity policy (see TED Guidebook). The policy states that students are expected to do their own work (except when cooperative projects are assigned). If it is demonstrated that a student has submitted work done by others of falsified information; the student’s work is awarded a failing grade and the student is charged with a violation of the TEDs academic integrity policy.

Student Teaching

Student Teaching (TED 497) is a semester-long formal experience that takes place during a student's last semester before graduation and/or certification. It is a culminating experience and is accompanied by a student teaching professional seminar that meets several times throughout the semester. The PA Department of Education requires the formal evaluation of all students with the Pennsylvania Statewide Evaluation Form for Student Professional Knowledge and Practice (PDE 430 Form). The PDE 430 Form is a performance-based assessment that serves as a permanent record of a student teacher’s professional performance on specific criteria during the student teaching experiences. To comply with the PDE 430 mandate the TED faculty believe it is in the best interest of each student to be supervised by a Misericordia University trained supervisor. As a result, students applying for student teaching are required to select student teaching placements that fall within a 50-mile radius from Misericordia University.

Graduation

Students must meet all of the requirements for at least one TED program to be recommended for graduation. If students have met all requirements except student teaching and if they have completed at least 120 credits, they may graduate with a degree in Professional Studies but will not be candidates for teacher certification.

Teacher Certifications

Students who have completed one or more of the programs sponsored by the TED and a series of other requirements set by accrediting organizations (PECT/PAPA and PRAXIS II scores, Act 24, Act 34, 114 and 151 clearances, etc.), may be recommended for certification to the Pennsylvania Department of Education and/or other certifying organizations. Students may also opt to qualify for certifications provided by other states.