Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education K-6 Licensure
The B.A. in Elementary Education prepares students for professional work in the field of education. Course and practicum experiences provide knowledge of the theories, research, standards, and practices that shape both school and informal educational settings today. The Education Department faculty regards learning as a fundamental human endeavor involving curiosity and meaning, imagination and logic, creativity and reason. Careful attention is paid to children as individuals, with unique perceptions, interests, joys, strengths and challenges. JSC's Elementary Education majors are prepared to help children succeed in school and beyond.
Students in the Elementary Education major will gain both an academic understanding of the discipline of education and a practical grasp of effective practice. Connecting these two aims provides a foundation for achieving the department's objectives for each student, including the pursuit of personal growth, the development of intentional pedagogical skills, the formation of a collaborative professional disposition, and the confidence to serve as a progressive public intellectual.
Learning Outcomes for Elementary Education Majors
Students who successfully complete the major in elementary education will:
- Use self-study grounded in an understanding of diverse world-views to rethink long-standing, conventional notions toward an open-minded, strength-based perspective.
- Use a thorough grasp of academic content and inclusive instructional strategies to design creative, integrated, and engaging learning experiences that are relevant and meaningful.
- Blend qualities of humanism with pragmatism grounded in theory, research, and best practice to examine conditions that enable organizational and individual efficacy.
- Use critical analysis grounded in social, political, ethical, and leadership perspectives to reframe educational endeavors toward more vibrant and just ends.
Initial Teacher Preparation Program for Elementary Teachers
Working as a classroom teacher in a public elementary school requires a teaching licensure with an endorsement in elementary education. Students who wish to obtain a Vermont teaching license and the endorsement for classroom teaching in the elementary grades (PK-6) must complete the Initial Teacher Preparation Program for Elementary Teachers and earn a recommendation from the Department of Education faculty. In order to complete the Initial Teacher Preparation Program for Elementary Teachers, student must:
- Complete the three application benchmarks (program entry, program midway, and program completion) of the Initial Teacher Preparation Program (contact the Education Department for the specifics);
- Complete the JSC General Education coursework and Graduation Requirements, or their equivalent;
- Complete the B.A. in Elementary Education with a B- or better in all teacher preparation courses;
- Complete a full major or a 30-credit concentration in an approved liberal arts or science discipline which include anthropology/sociology, art, biology, English, environmental science, health sciences, history, mathematics, music, political science, psychology, or theater & drama.
- Complete a Level I Licensure Portfolio and all other licensure requirements such as suitable scores on the SAT, ACT or PRAXIS I examinations, as well as PRAXIS II;
- Have an overall grade point average of 3.0 or better; and
- Obtain the recommendation of the Department of Education faculty.
In order to be fully admitted into an undergraduate Initial Teacher Preparation Program, students must:
- Complete the General Education Fundamental Skills requirement in English and Math or their equivalent (MAT-1080, Quantitative Reasoning, and MAT-2030, Probability and Statistics, are recommended for math);
- Complete PSY-1010, Introduction to Psychology;
- Complete a minimum of three EDU credits through JSC (EDU-2320, Engaged in Creative Teaching and Learning, is recommended as the first course) with a B- or better;
- Have a 2.75 grade point average;
- Have satisfactory scores for the SAT, ACT or PRAXIS I examinations according to Vermont Department of Education requirements; and
- Complete the Application for an Initial Teacher Preparation Program which includes submitting an application binder to the Education Department (contact the Education Department for information on the Application and Application Binder);
Fieldwork and Student Teacher Practicum
Elementary Education majors pursuing the Initial Teacher Preparation Program complete numerous fieldwork experiences attached to their coursework and two extensive practicum experiences. Students will be required to arrange transportation to the fieldwork sites. The first practicum (EDU-3811, Elementary Student Teaching I) is a semester-long teaching apprenticeship in a classroom at one of our approved partnership schools. Three methods courses are embedded in the experience and taught on site. (This embedded model is recommended for all students; an alternative model is available for a limited number of students who are unable to complete the standard model. Students should consult with an Education Department advisor for details and permission.) The second practicum (EDU-4820, Elementary Student Teaching II) involves student teaching for a full semester in a public school classroom and may occur during either the fall or spring semester of the final year of study.
The Level I Licensure Portfolio
All candidates for an initial teaching license are required to construct a Level I Licensure Portfolio in accordance with the current format established by the Vermont Standards Board for Professional Educators. The portfolio is an organized collection of materials that demonstrates a candidate's knowledge, skill, and disposition. More specifically, it documents the student's competence in meeting the Vermont Five Standards for Professional Educators.
The portfolio is an assessment tool that is constructed as a series of assignments throughout a teacher preparation program and finished during the Student Teaching Practicum. Each portfolio entry is scored by two independent reviewers: A recommendation for licensure requires a passing score from each reviewer. Students receive guidance for completing portfolio entries throughout their program. Students are expected to complete the portfolio prior to graduation but may apply for an extension. Portfolios submitted beyond the extension may not be accepted, or otherwise may incur an additional review fee.