The University of Dallas Department of Education adheres to a set of strict academic policies in the governance of its programs.
Retention in Degree/ Certification Programs
The academic progress of each student admitted to the department for degree and/or certification is reviewed each semester. Students who fail to maintain the minimum grade point averages, as specified by degree and certification program, are placed on Departmental probation. Continued unsatisfactory work will result in dismissal from the program. Grades below a C- in upper division (numbered 3000 or higher) Education and teaching field courses cannot be used for degree and/or certification.
Pre-Teaching Field Experience
The pre-service teacher has the opportunity to observe and aid students in the learning process in several courses: Education 3101, 3102, 3103 (Elementary); Education 3111, 3112, (Secondary). Under the guidance of University faculty, the pre-service teacher observes and aids the classroom teacher who functions as stimulator, diagnostician, prescriber, and model.
There are also courses that are related directly to principles and approaches, and these are designed to balance the field experience with theory and application.
Directed Teaching (Student Teaching)
Successful completion of Directed Teaching is required of students who seek certification. It is taken in the final year. Students who have received a "D" or "F" in required Education or academic emphasis (teaching field) courses may not take Directed Teaching until the course has been repeated and a grade of "C" or higher obtained. Applications and supporting documents for Directed Teaching must be filed with the Coordinator of Directed Teaching no later than the middle of the semester immediately prior to the desired assignment. Before a Directed Teaching assignment will be made, a student must meet the following requirements:
1) Submit a Directed Teaching Application.
2) Submit transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.
3) Achieve an overall grade point average of 2.75 (on a 4.0 scale) and a 2.75 in teaching field and pedagogical courses; no incompletes allowed.
4) Complete three-fourths of the courses in the academic emphasis or teaching field(s) and 12 credits in Education for Secondary teachers or 27 credits in Education for Elementary and Middle School teachers.
5) Submit two academic recommendations.
6) Demonstrate professional conduct consistent with the Texas Educators' Code of Ethics.
7) Receive favorable recommendations from all members of the teacher education faculty.*
*If any faculty member judges a student to exhibit behavioral characteristics or communication skills that indicate potential problems in school settings, he may refer the student to the Teacher Education Review Committee (TERC) for review and evaluation. The TERC may recommend specific courses of action to the student and/or the faculty member.
In order to accommodate the time required to effectively complete directed teaching, the student must plan ahead in consultation with the Certification Officer. No more than 15 credits, including Directed Teaching, may be taken that semester.
Directed teaching is not required of those students who have two or more years of verified, successful teaching experience in an accredited school. The University may require six hours of upper-division education or related coursework as a substitute. Letters from the student's supervisor(s) attesting to successful teaching must be provided.
Departmental Comprehensive Examinations
During their final year in the degree and/or certification programs, Education students must pass written and oral examinations consisting of questions in the history and philosophy of education and in principles and approaches of education. The examination committee includes education faculty and faculty representing the areas of the student's undergraduate academic curriculum. The examination is designed and evaluated by the Department in concert with the outside examiner.
Grades that can be earned on the examination are: Pass with distinction, pass, provisional pass, or fail. Failure means that the exam must be retaken. The student must correct major weaknesses before re-examination can be scheduled. At least one semester's work is usually involved.
State Certification Examinations
Texas Senate Bill 50 requires that persons seeking certification in Texas perform satisfactorily on criterion-referenced examinations administered by the State. The purpose of these examinations is to ensure that each educator has the necessary content and professional knowledge required to teach. These TExES examinations are usually taken during the Directed Teaching semester. Registration and study guides for the TExES are available from the Department. Several states require additional tests for certification. Details about these tests may be obtained from the Certification Officer.
Residency Requirements Candidates for certification must complete the equivalent of one semester's work (12 credits minimum) before the Department considers their recommendation for certification. The courses required are decided by the Department upon the recommendation of the certification officer. In the case of a student seeking additional certification, the number of credits to be taken at the University is determined by the Department in consultation with the pertinent academic department. This requirement also applies to graduate students who want only to complete certification at the University.
Credentials and Placement
Each candidate must complete certification forms and a placement file with the Department Certification Officer the last semester prior to graduation. The Certification Officer represents the Department in recommending candidates to the State Board.
Undergraduate Transfer Credits
Undergraduate students transferring from other accredited institutions must submit transcripts and other documentation to the Associate Provost for evaluation before completing degree and/or certification plans. The Associate Provost makes all decisions regarding the general transfer of courses to the University of Dallas. Decisions regarding the acceptability of education courses taken at other universities for use in degree and/or certification plans are made by the Department Chair.
Post-Baccalaureate Students in Teacher Education
Students who hold degrees from other accredited institutions may submit transcripts and other documentation directly to the Certification Officer at the University of Dallas for evaluation. The Certification Officer will develop a certification plan based on documentation provided. Decisions regarding the acceptability of education courses taken at other universities for use towards certification are made by the Department Chair.