Students preparing for teacher certification must be formally admitted to the Teacher Education Program at Wilkes University. Students are expected to review and comply with policy documents available in the Education Department office (Breiseth Hall, Rm. 204). Policies may change due to new or updated PDE regulations.
The criteria for formal admission to the Teacher Education Program are as follows:
- complete 48 semester hour credits (including 6 credits of Mathematics and 6 credits of English as required by the PDE);
- attain a minimum GPA of 2.5 to register for ED 190 (Effective Teaching with Field Experience) and ED 191 (Integrating Technology into the Classroom);
- achieve final grades of 2.5 or higher in ED 180, ED 190, and ED 191;
- achieve an overall GPA of 2.85 in order to proceed from 100-level ED courses to 200-level ED courses;
- achieve an overall GPA of 3.0 to be formally admitted into the Teacher Education Program and to continue in courses at the 300-level;
- take and pass a test of basic skills (Preservice Academic Performance Assessment [PAPA] or the Praxis Core) in Reading, Writing, and Mathematics or have earned SAT scores of 1550 with at least 500 in each area or have earned a composite score of 23 on the American College Test (ACT) in order to be formally admitted into the Teacher Education Program and to register for 300-level Education courses;
- maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA in order to be retained in the program following formal admission (as required by PDE);
- submit current, valid Act 34 State Police Criminal Record Check, ACT 151 Child Abuse History Clearance, Act 114 FBI Fingerprint Check, and Act 24 Arrest/Conviction Report and Certification Form, which report "no record;" and
- complete and submit formal Teacher Education Program Application, personal Philosophy of Education, Disposition Assessment, signed Code of Professionalism and Academic Honesty, and signed Agreement of Understanding of GPA and Test of Basic Skills Policies. This process is completed during ED 190 or upon transfer from another institution.
NOTE: Post-baccalaureate candidates for initial certification are not required to take the Test of Basic Skills. Post-baccalaureate candidates must take the specific certification area test(s). Individuals who are already certified and seek additional certification(s) must take the test(s) corresponding to the new certification area(s).
Student Teaching Requirements
- Successful completion of the requirements for TEP Admission and Retention;
- Achievement of the major and minor GPA requirements;
- Attendance at the Student Teaching Placement Meeting in the semester prior to student teaching;
- Completion of all required paperwork obtained at the Student Teaching Placement Meeting in the semester prior to student teaching;
- Submission of all clearances with no offenses;
- Completion of all required course work and fieldwork, with the exception of ED 390: Student Teaching and EDSP 388: Inclusionary Practice;
- Registration form with advisor's signature for PK-4 and Middle Level Education majors; or
- Approval For Secondary Education minors, approval of student teaching eligibility by the major academic department chair and advisor, the Education Department, and the Teacher Education Committee.
NOTE: Student teaching placement is contingent upon availability of supervisors and decisions of school administrators. Students may not student teach in a school from which they have graduated. Students are expected to reside within driving distance from Wilkes University when completing the student teaching semester. Students should not plan to work while student teaching.
Program Requirements for Graduation and Certification
- Meet the major and minor GPA requirements;
- Completed all Wilkes University and TEP requirements;
- Successfully complete Student Teaching, including satisfactory scores on each category of the Pennsylvania Statewide Evaluation Form for Student Professional Knowledge and Practice (PDE 430);
- Provide evidence of passing scores on all relevant PRAXIS II tests or PECT (PA Educator Certification Tests) for the appropriate area or subjects. NOTE: A student may graduate without passing all PRAXIS II tests or PECT, but cannot obtain PDE certification;
- Complete the Wilkes University application for graduation, which is provided by the University Registrar;
- Review and complete the graduation audit with academic advisor and submit documentation to Student Services;
- Submit PDE Application online via TIMS (Teacher Information Management System).
NOTE: Program Requirements may change at the discretion of the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
Tests Required for Specific Certification Areas
- PreK-4: Pennsylvania Educator Certification Test, which is administered by Pearson Education, Inc.
- Special Education PreK-8: Pennsylvania Educator Certification Test, which is administered by Pearson Education, Inc.
- Special Education 7-12: Pennsylvania Educator Certification Test, which is administered by Pearson Education, Inc.
- Middle Level: Praxis II for PA Grade 4-8 Core Assessment and appropriate Subject Concentrations, which are administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS).
- Secondary 7-12: Praxis II in appropriate content area, which is administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS)
ED-180. Educational Psychology (Formerly ED 200)
This course is designed to present Education Psychology as a distinct discipline concerned with understanding the processes of learning and teaching and developing ways of improving these processes. In this course, students will identify and apply knowledge derived from the behavioral sciences to the solutions of educational problems. The course focuses on the psychology and the development of learners, psychosocial principles of learning and motivation, and their applications, and research based classroom management techniques. Emphasis is placed on effective classroom communication and interpersonal relationships. Offered fall and spring semesters.
ED-190. Effective Teaching with Field Experience
Education 190 emphasizes concepts and skills for effective teaching. These skills include instructional techniques, research, writing, and field experiences. Students will be involved in their first 40-hour field experience. ED-190, Effective Teaching, provides a critical overview of historical, intellectual, social and political foundations of American education. Analysis of differing views on the relationship of public schools and American society is stressed. The course explores current controversies and issues that will impact schools and teachers in the years ahead. Departmental permission required. Offered fall and spring semesters.
ED-191. Integrating Technology into the Classroom (Formerly ED 215)
This course is designed to build upon a basic foundation in educational technology. Future teachers develop knowledge and skills in selection, evaluation, and utilization of various instructional technologies. The application of new technologies to teaching and learning will be emphasized, along with performance-based activities in instructional design. A major portion of the course is devoted to the integration of technology-based instructional activities in the PK-12 curriculum.
ED-220. Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners (OPO course)
This course will address the urgent need for multicultural education by covering topics such as racism, bias, and cultural information in order to help students develop strategies for creating within their classrooms knowledge of, appreciation of, and respect for diversity. Teaching strategies for English Language Learners and issues relevant to ELLs, particularly immigration and globalization, will be discussed. The course will also help students develop the knowledge base and instructional skills necessary to teach their future students basic world geography in order to understand the cultural and political effects that geography has had on the diverse cultural groups included in the American educational system.
ED-263. Child Development and Cognition
This course is designed for students to understand developmental patterns of change and physical cognitive, and psychosocial areas for each stage of development (birth to age 5). Multiple influences on the development and learning will be studied including biological, psychological and sociological, cultural, familial, environmental, gender, family and community, language differences, brain development, and health, nutrition, and safety. Students will observe and record children’s behavior in their 15-hour field experience. Departmental permission is required.
ED-264. Child Development and Cognition -- Classroom Application
Through this course, students must learn and be able to apply major concepts and theories related to the development of young children and they must be able to develop, implement, assess, and modify curriculum and lessons. Students must demonstrate understanding of the way in which classroom environments influence children’s learning. Students must demonstrate proficiency with Pennsylvania’s Early Childhood Learning Standards. A 30-hour field experience accompanies this course. Departmental permission is required.
ED-300. Teaching of Foreign Language with Field Experience
This course is a study of instructional methodology in foreign language acquisition at the secondary education level. A 40-hour field experience is required. Departmental permission is required.
ED-310. Health, Physical Education and Safety
This course is a study of the methods and materials appropriate for teaching health, physical education, and safety. Emphasis is on understanding the developmental levels, needs, and interests of children in these areas from infancy to early adolescence.
ED-321. Literacy Foundations I
This course will provide students with basic concepts of literacy instruction: emphasis on the nature of literacy development; the nature of the learner; and literacy development as an interactive process. This course requires completion of a 30-hour field experience. Departmental permission is required.
ED-322. Literacy Foundations II
The course is designed to investigate and analyze major instructional methods for teaching literacy. The material is based upon current research theories and findings and includes topics recognized by theorists and practitioners as being most critical to developing effective school literacy programs. The course will include literature based reading programs, classroom organization, and assessment. The class will also require students to become more familiar with Pennsylvania standards and anchors and apply that knowledge to their planning.
ED-323. Differentiated Reading
The purpose of this course is to develop knowledge and skill in classroom-based reading assessment to diagnose students’ reading strengths and needs. A range of assessment devices and their use in the diagnosis of reading difficulties will be studied. An analysis of data and the determination of instructional interventions will be emphasized.
ED-324. Children's Literature
This course will involve students in actively reading a wide range of children’s and adolescent literature accompanied with an analysis of literary elements and genre. Emphasis will be placed on instructional methods that incorporate the use of literature across the curriculum with attention given to the careful selection of books to match the instructional levels of young readers.
ED-325. Applied Reading Strategies
This course is designed to extend the foundational knowledge of reading instruction learned in ED-321: Literacy Foundations I, with an emphasis on the application of this knowledge in the design of instructional planning and delivery. Application of the course content is demonstrated in the teaching of children enrolled in the Wilkes University Reading Academy or in a regional school. The ability to develop effective reading plans and activities and apply these strategies with children in an interactive setting is the essence of this course.
ED-326. Adolescent Literature
This course will involve students in actively reading a wide range of adolescent literature accompanied with an analysis of literary elements and genre. Emphasis will be placed on instructional methods that incorporate the use of literature across the curriculum with attention given to the careful selection of books to match the instructional levels of young readers.
ED-330. Mathematics in Early Childhood and Elementary Education
This course is designed to present a study of research, concepts and methodologies pertinent to the teaching of mathematics from the PK through 4th grade levels. In this course, emphasis is placed on 1) the knowledge necessary to guide children to become mathematically literate, 2) the implementation of planning and instructional techniques based on the NCTM Curriculum Standards, the PA Academic Standards and the PDE Assessment Anchors as well as principles of the NAEYC, and 3) the use of concrete manipulation to facilitate the learning process.
ED-338. Teaching ESL: Materials and Methodology
This course will address the methodology and materials needed for professional educators who wish to teach English as a Second Language to non-native speakers, grades K-12. Students will explore the mechanics involved in second language acquisition and will apply that knowledge in developing instructional strategies appropriate for the ESL Classroom. Students will examine cross-cultural information in order to develop an understanding of the richly diverse members of the ESL classroom, with the goal of creating a supportive and safe classroom environment, free from cultural and political bias, in which English usage is developed and acculturation is supported. Students will review current ESL instructional materials and software. All classroom activities are designed to develop the students’ knowledge of and respect for diversity while enhancing their instructional skills. A 15-hour field experience in ESL is incorporated into this course.
ED-341. Language Arts in Early Childhood and Elementary Education (OPO Course)
The purpose of this course is to inform and actively involve prospective teachers in the most developmentally effective methods for teaching language arts at the early childhood and elementary school levels. The course focuses on the language arts skills of writing, speaking, listening, viewing, and reading with emphasis on the writing process, literature-based lesson planning, and integrated language arts approaches. The incorporation of children’s literature and the study of various genres are fundamental to this course.
ED-344. Assessment in Early Childhood and Elementary Education
This course acquaints students with guidelines for use of developmentally appropriate formal and informal assessment for early childhood education and early intervention programs. Feature are commonly used standardized evaluation instruments, tests aligned with PA Early Learning Standards, as well as systems of authentic assessment.
ED-345. Assessment in Education
This course will address a number of different professional areas both of theoretical importance and practical significance. Assessment concepts will provide a framework to critically analyze any assessment, whether commercial of teacher-made. Practical skills will enable the pre-service teacher to assess a wide variety of learning goals and teaching experiences within cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains. Finally, these assessment concepts and skills will be examined within the context of Pennsylvania Academic Standards and the Pennsylvania mandated assessment (PSSA).
ED-350. The Arts in Early Childhood and Elementary Education
This course is designed as an exploration of the importance of the arts in the development of children in the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains. Students will discover how the arts are related to our natural and manmade environments and learn specific teaching methodologies that foster creativity and the integration of the arts with other subject areas.
ED-360. Social Studies in Early Childhood and Elementary Education
In this course, students will gain an understanding of teaching Social Studies at the early childhood and elementary school levels. Students will develop their personal philosophy of the purpose of Social Studies, review National curriculum guidelines and PA state standards, and explore a variety of teaching strategies.
ED-363. Family, School, and Community
This course focuses on current research and best practices in developing skills, techniques, and attitudes needed to form successful collaboration with diverse family systems and communities in an early childhood education setting.
ED-370. Science In Early Childhood and Elementary Education
This course presents a study of the methods and curriculum for teaching science to young children. Emphasis is placed on instruction that is activity oriented and leads to the development of science process skills, problem-solving strategies, and well-developed conceptual frameworks.
ED-371. Teaching Methods in Science with Field Experience
The activities required for this course are aimed to meet the pedagogical needs of the middle level and the secondary science teacher. Emphasis is on content organization, teaching strategies, evaluation of existing curricular materials, literature research, and understanding the cognitive components of science learning, familiarity and competence with current teaching technology and current national and state standards. Additional emphasis will be placed on specific strategies for classroom management to aid the participants in becoming effective middle level and secondary classroom teachers. Department permission is required.
ED-375. Middle Level and Secondary Education Methods with Field Experience
This course will address the educational perspectives that pertain to middle level (grades 4-8) and secondary (grades 7-12) instructional methodologies, curriculum, and classroom management, including strategies for transition, inclusion, and differentiation as recommended by the National Middle School Association and the Pennsylvania Department of Education. A 40-hour practicum is required. Departmental permission is required.
ED-380. Content Area Literacy
This course is designed to provide literacy instruction theory and skills for teaching content area subjects in grades 4 through 12. The course’s strategy-based approach includes developing vocabulary, evaluating reading materials, constructing meaning in texts, developing comprehension skills, and learning techniques for the adaptation and development of study materials to address the diverse reading levels of students in middle level and secondary schools.
ED-381. Teaching Methods in Social Studies
This course provides a study of instructional methodology in the concentration area of Social Studies at the middle and secondary level with a 40-hour field practicum. Departmental permission is required.
ED-385. Classroom Management
This course is designed for students to establish and maintain a positive social context for learning in Pre-K through grade 4 education by applying developmentally appropriate motivational and management strategies. Researchers and theories will be identified, analyzed, evaluated, and demonstrated.
ED-390. Student Teaching with Seminar [PK-4], [4-8], [7-12], and [K-12] (OPO Course)
Student teaching is the capstone learning experience for prospective teachers. Student
teachers are assigned to work with experienced classroom teachers. Under supervision,
they assume responsibility for teaching and for managing a classroom. Conferences
are regularly scheduled with cooperating teachers and college supervisors. In addition
to fieldwork, students attend regularly scheduled seminars designed to facilitate
the integration of theory and practice.As part of the seminar experience, the student
teachers receive workshop training in areas such as classroom management strategies
and techniques, health and emergency guidelines, legal, ethical, and professional
issues, and in career and certification procedures. In addition, the Gardner’s Issues
in Education Forum Series offers candidates workshops and lectures based on current
topics in teaching and learning. Departmental permission is required.
Click here for course fees.