Transition to Teaching
The School of Education at the University of Evansville takes its responsibility to provide a path for those holding degrees to enter the teaching profession very seriously. We attempt to provide a rich and effective means for persons to put their content knowledge, maturity, experience, motivation, and sense of purpose to work learning the art, craft, and science of teaching. It is a difficult task, given the restrictions we face, but we feel it is an important way the University and the School can contribute to our society and our state. We feel that by contributing in this manner we are helping the School and its faculty fulfill the University's maxim "Civic Mission...Sacred Trust.
Entrance Requirement Summary
Candidates for the Transition to Teaching program are required to:
- Hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution
- Have Indiana passing scores on the Praxis I and, if appropriate, Praxis II exams
- Interview with the program director and School of Education chairperson
- Work with the program director to create an appropriate program plan.
The process by which a person enters the program is straightforward: a potential student meets with and is interviewed by the director of the program who matches the person's transcripts and credentials with the Indiana requirements and teacher standards. A plan is then created by which the person can complete the requirements as efficiently and rapidly as the student deems possible. In some cases, the person's current family and employment situations are limiting factors as the teaching internship course requires students to complete a daily half-day field experience in an appropriate elementary or secondary setting.
Courses are completed in a fairly quick sequence and most students complete the pre-requisite courses during the summer before fall courses begin, allowing them to continue working and attending to family matters. In addition, we do NOT require that content or pre-requisite courses be completed at the University of Evansville; in many cases, we have found that the required content or pre-requisite course can be completed in a timely fashion through another accredited institution that has a strong on-line or distance-learning delivery system. Often, many of these pre-requisite courses are completed during previous undergraduate studies and may be transferred to the University of Evansville (with a grade of 'C' or better).
The required student teaching course is the same as that for our undergraduate program - that is, it is full-time for 16 weeks with both a cooperating teacher as a guide and a university supervisor for additional support. In some cases, Transition to Teaching students have been contracted to teach in a local school and can therefore complete their internships and student teaching in their own classrooms. The supervisory and other supports remain the same in those cases.
- All approved School of Education secondary programs at the University of Evansville are available to Transition to Teaching candidates; in addition, candidates may complete a K-12 approved program in music or visual arts.
- Candidates for initial licensure must successfully complete the Praxis I before entering the program. Passing Praxis scores are:
- Reading 176 *
- Writing 172 *
- Math 175 *
* Praxis exams can be taken at Sylvan Learning Center - 812-479-1150
Prior Knowledge and Experience
Transition to Teaching candidates have the right to request that coursework be waived based on evidence of learning and knowledge that may not appear on traditional transcripts. However, due to the rapid rate of change in many fields of knowledge (biochemistry, genetics, biology, nanotechnology, data communication, etc.) it is necessary to ensure reasonable recent, up-to-date compatibility with current disciplinary knowledge, especially with respect to the high school disciplines.
Prior learning can be documented in two ways: through competency examinations and through the Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) portfolio process. Examples of examinations that can be used to demonstrate competency are CLEP (College Level Examination Program), DANTES (Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support), University of Evansville departmental proficiency examinations, and Praxis II. The Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) portfolio process follows guidelines from the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning and requires the Transition to Teaching candidate to develop a comprehensive course-specific portfolio. The portfolio will be evaluated by full-time faculty members who have expertise in the content area. If the faculty members determine that documentation provides evidence that a candidate possesses prior learning equivalent to a needed course, the candidate will not be required to take that course. It should be noted that Prior Learning Assessments are based on evidence of learning and not simply on types or periods of experiences.
Examples of Prior Knowledge and Experience
- Candidate has completed and passed the CLEP test for Human Growth and Development. The Transition to Teaching required course PSCY 226 (the equivalent undergraduate course as determined by the University of Evansville registrar) would be waived and the competency considered met.
- Candidate has submitted a prior learning portfolio for EDUC 320 - Teaching Strategies in the K-12 Schools. A faculty member who teaches EDUC 320 has evaluated the portfolio based on guidelines from the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning and determined that it documents knowledge equivalent to that gained from EDUC 320. The Transition to Teaching requirement of EDUC 320 would be waived.
- Candidate has taken the University of Evansville Mathematics Department proficiency examination and earned a score that demonstrates proficiency in the knowledge and concepts contained in MATH 202 Mathematics for Elementary Teachers. The requirement of MATH 202 would be waived.
- Candidate takes Praxis II English Language, Literature, and Composition exam and achieves a score above the required score for state licensure. The candidate is deemed to hold sufficient knowledge for teaching the content and can begin taking pedagogy coursework.