Chair, Undergraduate Education: Dr. Stephanie Ivory, firstname.lastname@example.org, 814-472-2844
Director, Graduate Education: Mrs. Melissa Peppetti, email@example.com, 814-472-3068
The Education Department provides the learning environment in which prospective early childhood, middle childhood, special education, and secondary teacher candidates develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values that will enable them to become reflective decision-makers. Through active participation, the department’s educational program emphasizes connections between theory and research-based practice. Successful completion of the Saint Francis University program is accomplished when teacher candidates complete all college, program, and certification requirements, and demonstrate their ability and competence to carry out the roles for which they have been prepared according to standards, including the following:
- teachers are committed to all students and their learning;
- teachers know the subjects they teach and how to teach those subjects to diverse learners;
- teachers are facilitators of learning who are responsible for managing and monitoring student learning;
- teachers are reflective decision-makers who think analytically about their practice, learn from their experiences, and adjust their instruction appropriately;
- teachers are members of learning communities.
Education Department Mission Statement:
The mission of the Education Department of Saint Francis University is to provide a curriculum for pre-service and in-service educators that will develop and reinforce reflective practices. We will strive to instill in teachers the belief that teaching and learning comprise a holistic process that connects ideas and disciplines to each other and to the personal experiences, environments, and communities of students.
The teacher preparation and certification programs offered at Saint Francis University at the undergraduate and graduate level are approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), 333 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA, 17126; (717)783-6788. PDE approved preparation programs are designed to prepare and certify educators to teach or serve in the schools of the Commonwealth. www.education.pa.gov
Student Learning Outcomes:
- Content and Pedagogical Knowledge: Pre-service teachers will acquire knowledge of teaching content and pedagogy including understanding and knowledge of developmentally appropriate practice, teaching standards, varying forms of assessment, differentiated instruction, technology integration, state and federal mandates, behavior management, and implementation of best practices.
- Clinical Competence: Pre-service teachers will possess the ability to provide effective instruction to a diverse population of students. Students within the professional program will utilize assessment and observation to guide instructional practices. Graduates will possess the necessary content knowledge as well as clinical reasoning and problem-solving abilities to provide appropriate instruction for all learners in an educational environment conducive of learning.
- Interpersonal and Communication Skills: Pre-service teachers will possess interpersonal and communication skills including verbal, nonverbal, and written forms that result in effective information exchange with students, parents, administration, and colleagues.
- Professionalism: Graduates will demonstrate effective academic and professional skills, attributes, attitudes, and behaviors necessary to function as a practicing educator. Program completers will demonstrate qualities and characteristics as defined by the Teacher Information Management System (TIMS) for recommendation for Level I teaching certification.
Secondary Education Concentration:
The Secondary Education Concentration program at Saint Francis University is a collaborative effort between the Education Department and other academic departments to provide a major in a specific discipline along with a teacher preparation program that imparts the knowledge, understandings, and skills needed to enable secondary students in Pennsylvania to achieve academic success.
Secondary Education Concentration program are options for degree-seeking students majoring in the following areas:
- Biology, B.S., Secondary Education Concentration
- Chemistry, B.S., Secondary Education Concentration
- English, B.A., Secondary Education Concentration
- History, B.A., Social Studies/Secondary Education Concentration
- Mathematics, B.S., Secondary Education Concentration
- Spanish, B.A., Secondary Education Concentration
Courses and field experiences in educational settings are included in each program of study that meet the Pennsylvania Department of Education requirements for certification in secondary education (Grades 7-12) in Biology, Chemistry, English, Mathematics, Social Studies, or Spanish and (grades 7-12) Special Education.
Admission to the University:
Students may declare their intent to major in Early Childhood or Middle Childhood Education or to seek a degree in a content area with secondary education concentration when they apply to Saint Francis University. Standards have been established for admission to and retention in the Professional Teacher Education Program.
Admission to the Professional Teacher Certification Program:
A student must complete an application for admission and be accepted into the Professional Teacher Preparation Program prior to registering for 300/400 level Education courses.
To be accepted into the Professional Teacher Preparation Program, the candidate must have:
- Completed no less than 48 credits as required by the PDE;
- Achieved at least a 3.0 cumulative QPA;
- Achieved no grade lower than C in major and collateral courses;
- Demonstrate proficiency in Basic Skills: Reading, Writing, and Mathematics (SAT exemption, ACT exemption, PAPA, and/or CORE, EDUC 421);
- Completed at least 6 semester hour credits in college level English;
- Complete at least 6 semester hour credits in college level Math;
- Completed EDUC 150;
- Met with advisor in the Education Department;
- A brief essay (“Why I Want to Pursue Teaching as a Career”);
- Letter of recommendation (Candidate must have a letter endorsed by a faculty member outside the education department).
Technical Standards or Essential Functions:
Saint Francis University is committed to the principle that no qualified individual, on the basis of disability, be excluded from participation in or denied the benefits or services, programs or activities of the University, or be subjected to discrimination by the University as required by the Americans with Disability Act. The Education Department adheres to the policies for academic accommodation as determined by the Center for Academic Success. The Center’s Office of Disability Services assists eligible students in receiving basic services as determined by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disability Act. Every effort is made to arrange appropriate academic accommodations for students who experience physical or mental disabilities. Students are required to provide appropriate documentation to the accessibility coordinator upon request of the accommodation.
Progression and/or Retention Criteria:
In order to be retained in the Professional Teacher Education Program, Early Childhood and Middle Childhood Education majors and students in secondary education content area concentrations (those having at least 96 credits) must maintain a QPA no less than a 3.0 with no grade lower than a C in professional courses or clinical experiences.
An applicant for a teaching certificate must complete, in addition to all legal requirements, a program of teacher preparation approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). Certification programs offered by Saint Francis University are in compliance with the requirements of the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
Teacher candidates seeking certification through the Teacher Information Management System (TIMS) must meet the requirements set by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Once a student has successfully completed their course of study and all exams required by PDE, Saint Francis University recommends the student to the PDE for issuance of the appropriate teaching certificate.
Instructional I Certification:
Pennsylvania’s initial state certification is known as ”Instructional I” and is valid for a total of six years of service. (The six years need not be continuous.) To continue teaching after six years, teachers must receive an Instructional II Certification.
Instructional II Teacher Certification:
If you have been teaching in Pennsylvania on a Level I certificate for 3-6 years of satisfactory service and have earned 24 post-baccalaureate credits, you can apply for a Level II certificate through the PDE. The following conditions must be met:
- Six credits must be associated with your area(s) of certification and/or must be designed to improve professional practice;
- You must have three years of satisfactory service on a Level I certificate, verified by the chief school administrator of the employing school entity;
- You must have completed a PDE induction program verified by the chief school administrator of your employing entity. (Source: PDE website.)
Teacher Certification Licensing Exams:
The Pennsylvania Department of Education requires that individuals seeking an Instructional I certificate pass a series of licensing exams, known as the PAPA (Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment)/CORE (Praxis ® CORE Academic Skills for Educators test), PECT, and Praxis Series. The Education Department publishes a recommended timeline for taking PAPA, PECT, and Praxis Exams. Students must have taken all PAPA and Praxis exams in order to receive a student teaching placement. Students are responsible for all examination costs. Students who completed SFU’s teacher education program have a high pass rate on all examinations.
Field experiences are off-campus activities that provide teacher education candidates with opportunities to apply theories and concepts studied in coursework. These experiences are directed by University faculty, facilitated by teacher mentors, and are an integral part of all education courses leading up to student teaching. Activities include, but are not limited to, observing, tutoring, mini-lesson teaching, lesson planning, and developing instructional materials. Field experiences may take place in public or non-public schools, or in community agencies or educational settings approved by University faculty. Students must find transportation to field experience sites.
Clearances must be obtained by the student at his/her own expense prior to field experience observations.
- ACT 24: Arrest/Conviction Report and Certification Form
- ACT 34: Pennsylvania State Criminal History
- ACT 126: Mandated Reporter Training
- ACT 151: Pennsylvania Child Abuse History
- FBI Federal Criminal History Fingerprint Clearance
- Saint Francis University Sexual Misconduct/Shine A Light Course
- The Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown Youth Protection Course
- Tuberculin - TB Test with Negative Results
Clearances must be updated every three years and copies secured in the Education office. Act 24 form must be completed/signed yearly.
The student teaching semester is a significant period in the teacher preparation program. It is the culmination of undergraduate professional education and the beginning of a potential career of teaching. It is a requirement for certification and an opportunity for the student to demonstrate his/her ability and commitment to the teaching profession.
Student teaching applications are carefully screened by the student teaching supervisor to ensure that all candidates are properly qualified. To be eligible for student teaching, candidates must have a GPA of no less than a 3.0, have met PDE’s basic skills requirements in Reading, Writing, and Mathematics, have taken the Praxis II or PECT, have completed all education courses with no grade less than a C, and received a C or above in any collateral courses taken. Clearances for Act 34 Criminal Record, Act 151 Child Abuse, Federal Criminal History, and a negative tuberculin test must be submitted to the Education Department. Failure to meet departmental requirements and/ or district expectations can result in exclusion from or withdrawal from placements.
Student teaching is a full-time responsibility, and candidates are encouraged to set aside other pursuits, including jobs and activities, during the student teaching semester. The Education Department will not permit candidates to be enrolled in other coursework while student teaching, with the exception of EDUC 407 Education Seminar: Teacher as Reflective Practitioner . Transportation for student teaching is the responsibility of each student.
Saint Francis University teacher candidates will be required to develop a portfolio, a purposeful collection of materials that documents a pre-service teacher’s knowledge and skills. The key concepts in portfolio development revolve around collection, organization, reflection, and culminate with the development of a presentation portfolio.
Student teaching is the culminating experience for the senior student enrolled in the professional phase of the teacher preparation program at Saint Francis University. University faculty and cooperating teachers place emphasis on helping student teachers develop as reflective decision makers while applying educational theory to practice. Experiences include lesson observation, planning, and teaching; using a variety of instructional strategies, resources, materials, and technology; adapting instruction for special needs students; teaching diverse populations; assessing student achievement; and participating in all activities normally expected of a teacher. Student teachers are required to attend weekly seminars designed to reinforce and enhance the standards and expectations of the program. EDUC 407 Education Seminar: Teacher as Reflective Practitioner , the student teaching seminar, aligns with the requirements for the Keystone Seminar, CORE 407 .The discussion-based forum will meet once per week for the duration of an entire semester. Content will include in-depth discussion of complex issues including: instructional best practices, ethical considerations, community collaboration, professional etiquette, school safety, technology and the Danielson Framework for Teaching.
The course will also address the criteria of EDUC 407 through presentations and lectures/speakers:
- Ethical and Moral Decision-Making Skills
- Critical Reasoning Skills
- Communication Skills
- Research Skills
- Interdisciplinary Synthesis and Reflection
- Leadership and Collaborative Skills
Development of an electronic student teaching portfolio documenting artifacts as related to the Danielson Framework is the final project of the student teaching experience. Portfolio presentations are open to University faculty, staff, and students. Presentations are scheduled during finals week.
Field experiences are off-campus activities that provide opportunities to apply theories and concepts studied in the classroom. These mandatory experiences are directed by University faculty, facilitated by teacher mentors, and are an integral part of all education courses leading up to student teaching. Activities include, but are not limited to, observing, tutoring, lesson planning, and developing instructional materials. Field experiences may take place in public or non-public schools, or in community agencies approved by University faculty.
ProgramsEducation MajorsEducation MinorsGraduate Education Degree Programs
Graduate Education - Endorsement ProgramsGraduate Education - Post-Baccalaureate Programs and Certifications
- Master of Education, M.Ed.
- Master of Education, M.Ed., Autism Spectrum Disorder Endorsement Specialization
- Master of Education, M.Ed., Leadership Specialization
- Master of Education, M.Ed., Mathematics Coach Endorsement Specialization
- Master of Education, M.Ed., Principal Certification Specialization
- Master of Education, M.Ed., Reading Specialist Specialization
- Master of Education, M.Ed., Special Education (prek-8)/Special Education (7-12) Certification Concentration
- Master of Education, M.Ed., Special Education Supervisory Certification Specialization
- Master of Special Education, MS.Ed.
- Master of Special Education, MS.Ed., Autism Spectrum Disorder Endorsement Specialization
- Master of Special Education, MS.Ed., Special Education Supervisory Certification Specialization