WCSU Undergraduate Catalog 2023-2024 : School of Professional Studies

Education and Educational Psychology: Elementary Education

Dr. Katherine Roe, Chair
White Hall 321A, Midtown campus
(203) 837-8510
(203) 837-8413 (fax)

Therese Richardson, Department Secretary
White Hall 321, Midtown campus
(203) 837-8510
(203) 837-8413 fax


K. Roe – Chair A. Brewer T. Canada
M. Daria M. Delcourt
N. DeRonck A. Giannakakos-Ferman S. Kuhn
J. Piro D. Mariotti D. Naddeo
L. Monte C. O’Callaghan T. Stewart


Mission Statement

The mission of the Education and Educational Psychology Department is to prepare candidates for careers as teachers, counselors, and specialized professionals committed to the continuous support and development of collaborative projects with area schools and community agencies. We embrace the broader mission of Western Connecticut State University by providing our students with a quality education by fostering their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals, and leaders in a global society.  To achieve this mission students will:

  • Participate in field experiences and service in the community,
  • Demonstrate academic competence in their selected fields,
  • Value and infuse cultural diversity,
  • Demonstrate a spirit of inquiry, the use of critical thinking skills, and the habits of the reflective practitioner, and,
  • Demonstrate the ability to incorporate appropriately the use of technology in instructional practice.

PROGRAM DISCLAIMERPlease note that Connecticut teacher certification regulations are subject to change due to legislative proposals and mandates, and that the information in the catalog may not reflect the most recent modifications in the WCSU Education program. Therefore, it is imperative that students check often with their advisers and attend Education Department information sessions for updates and new requirements.

Important note for all Music Education and Health Education majors: Only the Elementary Education degree program is detailed in this part of the WCSU Undergraduate Catalog.

  • For students seeking a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Education (B.S., PK – 12):  Information for this education degree is listed in this catalog in the Health Promotion and Exercise Sciences section.
  • For students seeking a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education (B.S., PK – 12): Information for this education degree is listed in this catalog in the Department of Music section.

Learning Outcomes

The goals, objectives and learning outcomes of WCSU’s Elementary Education: Interdisciplinary Program are varied and are critical to facilitate the development of elementary educators to work in diverse classrooms. The program is designed to prepare educators to:
  1. Graduates of the program will be demonstrate and apply knowledge of content;
    1. Synthesize and apply central concepts, structures of the discipline, and tools of inquiry of the content areas; organize this knowledge, integrate cross-disciplinary skills, and develop meaningful learning progressions for elementary candidates as indicated by the design of learning segments.
  2. Graduates of the program will demonstrate the ability to plan, develop, and adjust services that meet the needs of diverse learners;
    1. Understand the role of professional judgment and practical knowledge for improving all candidates’ development and achievement as indicated by performance in residency.
    2. Accurately assess and analyze candidate learning, reflecting on adjustments needed for both instruction and assessment as indicated by the impact on candidate learning.
  3. Graduates of the program will demonstrate the ability to use relevant pedagogical skills and educational psychology knowledge in the planning, development, delivery and assessment of professional services in support of relevant educational goals;
    1. Use foundational knowledge to design and/or implement an integrated, comprehensive, and balanced curriculum as indicated by clinical performance in residency.
  4. Graduates of the program will demonstrate professional dispositions that are consistent with the conceptual framework and in accord with professional, state, and institutional standards.
    1. Demonstrate expertise in working collaboratively with colleagues to design instruction as indicated by clinical performance in residency.


Transfer Students

  1. Before meeting with Admissions or an adviser, transfer students should download, print and read the Education section from the online undergraduate catalog available on the WCSU website: http://www.wcsu.edu/academics/programsheets/. Bring your program sheet to every meeting with an adviser.
  2. It may take more time for transfer students to complete the Elementary Education program at WCSU because some electives taken at other colleges/community colleges may not transfer into the Education major.
  3. Grades from previous colleges or universities will be calculated when determining the cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher (subject to change based on state mandates) for admission to and retention in the Education program. However, in order to graduate as an Education major from WCSU, students must maintain a 3.0 GPA (subject to change) which is calculated solely on grades earned at WCSU.


Interdisciplinary Major

Program Summary

Elementary Education candidates major in Interdisciplinary Studies which reflect the content of the elementary school curriculum.

Catherine O’Callaghan, Coordinator of Elementary Education Program

DescriptionThe goals, objectives and learning outcomes of WCSU’s Elementary Education: Interdisciplinary Program are varied and are critical to facilitate the development of elementary educators to work in diverse classrooms. 

Degree Requirements 

All degrees at WCSU require 120 semester hours (SH). This includes major requirements, general education requirements, cognates (where applicable), and free electives. This structure provides room for minors, internships, and study abroad.   

Required Courses in the Major: Elementary Education: Interdisciplinary  

Interdisciplinary Major 
MAT 131 College Algebra for Teachers  3 SH 
MAT 209 Mathematics for Elementary Teachers I  3 SH 
MAT 210 Mathematics for Elementary Teachers II  3 SH 
MAT 211 Math in Elementary Grades  3 SH 
MAT 311 Connections in Mathematics   3 SH 
IDM 201 STEM I for Elementary Education  4 SH 
IDM 202 STEM II for Elementary Education   4 SH 
ENG 314 Teaching English Grammar  3 SH 
ENG 402 Teaching Literature in Schools  3 SH 
WRT 337W Teaching Writing in Schools (Elem & Middle)  3 SH 
ED 315 Early Elementary Math Methods (K-3)  3 SH 
ED 316 Technical Writing for Education Majors  1 SH 
ED 431 Integrating the Emerging Literacies Across Elementary Content  3 SH 
Certification Requirements   
ED 101 FY for Elementary Education Majors  1 SH 
ED 206 Introduction to Education (IL, OC) Must earn a B or better.   3 SH 
ED 210 Foundations of Literacy I  3 SH 
ED 213 Inquiry & Assessment in the Classroom I  2 SH 
ED 220 Digital Literacy: Integrating Technology in the Classroom  1 SH 
HPX 215 Health Issues in the Schools  3 SH 
ED 301 Foundations of Literacy II  3 SH 
ED 314 Multicultural Education  3 SH 
EPY 405 Introduction to Special Education  3 SH 
ED 415 Elementary School Science  3 SH 
ED 416 Elementary Residency I  3 SH 
ED 417 Elementary Residency II  6 SH 
ED 418 Inquiry & Assessment in the Classroom II  1 SH 
ED 419 Inquiry & Assessment in the Classroom III  1 SH 
ED 425 Elementary School Social Studies  3 SH 
ED 430 Foundations of Literacy III 3 SH
General Education (This is a cohort program with a fixed Gen-Ed curriculum). 
WRT 101 Composition I (W1)  3 SH 
ANT 100 Intro to Cultural Anthropology (IC)  3 SH 
BIO 100 Concepts of Biology (SI)  4 SH 
COM 163 Intro to Human Communication 3 SH
CS 110 Website Production  3 SH 
ED 211 Ed Psych Children and Adolescents I  3 SH 
ED 212 Ed Psych Children and Adolescents II  3 SH 
ENG 276 English Language Skills  3 SH 
GEO 100 Principles of World Geography 3 SH
HIS 148 American History to 1877 (CT)  3 SH 
HIS 149 American History Since 1877 (CT)  3 SH 
MAT 120 Elementary Statistics (QR)  3 SH 
THR 201 Playmaking with Children (CP)  3 SH 
HPX 177 Fitness for Life (Lecture & Lab)  2 SH 
Minimum GPA for the BS in Elementary Education: Interdisciplinary 3.0 

General Education
: All students must complete the General Education curriculum. General Education Requirements include both competency and breadth requirements. In some cases, major courses will satisfy competencies. These are indicated in the parentheses after the course title. For a complete description of the General Education program, follow this link. https://catalogs.wcsu.edu/ugrad/academic-programs-degrees/ 

Cognates: In some programs there are courses outside of the major that are required as pre-requisites or enhancements to the major course work. These courses may satisfy competencies and they will count toward the general education breadth requirement. If cognate courses are required, they are included in the list of courses required in the major.  

Electives: All degrees require 120 semester hours.  Elective credits are opportunities for minors, internships, study abroad, and just following general interests. We encourage all students to speak with their advisors about great opportunities for their elective courses.  

Sample Four Year Plan: BS Elementary Education: Interdisciplinary

Semester 1  SH  Semester 2  SH 
ED 101 First Year for Elem Ed (FY)  1  MAT 131 College Algebra for Teachers (QR) 3 
MAT 120 Elementary Statistics (QR) 3  BIO 100 Concepts of Biology (SI) 4
HIS 148 American History I (CT)  3 THR 201 Playmaking with Children (CP) 3 
ANT 100 Intro to Anthropology (IC) 3  HIS 149 American History II (CT, RPT2)  3 
GEO 100 Principles of World Geography 3  CS 110 Website Production 3
HPX 177 Health and Wellness 2    
Semester 3  SH  Semester 4  SH 
ED 211 Ed Psych: Children & Adolescents I (W2)  3  ED 212 Ed Psych: Children & Adolescents II (IL, RPT 3)  3 
ENG 276 English Language Skills 3  MAT 210 Math for Elem. Teachers II  3 
MAT 209 Math for Elementary Teachers I 3 IDM 202 STEM for Elem Ed II  4 
ED 206 Intro to Education (IL, OC) 3  ED 210 Foundations of Literacy I  3 
IDM 201 STEM I for Elementary Ed  4 ED 213 Inq. & Assess. in the Classroom I  2 
    ED 220 Digital Literacy: Integrating Technology 1
Semester 5 SH Semester 6 SH
ED 314 Multicultural Education (IC) 3 ENG 314 Teaching English Grammar 3
MAT 211 The Mathematics Lab 3 ED 316 Technical Writing for Education Majors 1
WRT 337W Teaching Writing in the Schools – Elementary and Middle 3 ED 315 Early Elementary Math Methods (K-3) 3
ED 301 Foundations of Literacy III 3 ED 425 Elem. School Social Studies 3
EPY 405 Intro to Special Education 3 ED 415 Elementary School Science 3
HPX 215 Health Issues in the Schools 3
Semester 7 SH Semester 8 SH
ED 416 Elem. Residency I (CE) 3 ENG 402 Teaching Literature in the Schools 3
MAT 311 Connections to Math 3 ED 417 Elem. Residency II: Student Teaching 6
ED 431 Integrating Emerging Literacies 3 ED 419 Inquiry and Assessment in the Classroom III 1
ED 418 Inquiry and Assessment in the Classroom II 1 COM 163 Intro to Human Communication 3
ED 430 Foundations of Literacy III 3
Total Credits Required for the BS in Health Education = 120; Minimum GPA 3.0 

*Students who place into MAT 100 or MAT 100P are strongly encouraged to complete this requirement the summer prior to admission. If you choose to take it during your first fall you will need to enroll in COM 163 during your final semester. 

Suggested Course Sequence

NOTE: At this time, we cannot provide more specific course requirement details due to changes from the Connecticut State Department of Education and pending state legislation; course sequence decisions will be contingent on these state mandates. Therefore, you MUST meet regularly with your assigned Elementary Education adviser and attend ALL information sessions.

The Elementary Education program is demanding, so it is important for candidates to adhere to the suggested course sequence in order to complete the program in four years. General education requirements should be taken during the freshman year and sophomore year. Education foundation courses should be taken in the recommended sequence. Some education courses have specified prerequisites and GPA requirements; please see course listings. Candidate teaching courses and the field components must be taken in the sequence specified.

Elementary Education Interdisciplinary courses — See the specific program sheet listed on the WCSU website

Exams: Required for Eligibility for State Teacher’s Certification

In addition to the Education program coursework, the following three exams are required:

  • CT Foundations of Reading

A passing score on this reading exam is a requirement for Elementary Education state certification. It is strongly recommended that Elementary Education candidates take this reading exam at the end of their candidate teaching semester. Additional information is available online at http://www.ct.nesinc.com

  • edTPA Assessment

Beginning Fall 2019, all program completers must pass the edTPA assessment to be recommended for certification. The edTPA assessment is a teaching portfolio that demonstrates candidates’ skills in planning, instruction, and assessment.

  • PRAXIS Core

The Praxis Core is no longer required for certification, however, it is required by the Connecticut State Department of education (CSDE) for diagnostic purposes. Candidates must take Connecticut state mandated basic skills examination (PRAXIS Core) in mathematics, reading and writing or present their SAT/ACT scores to demonstrate proficiency in basic skills.

  • PRAXIS Multi-subject Exam

Although not a graduation requirement, passing scores on appropriate PRAXIS II exams are necessary for program completion and subsequent recommendation for teacher certification. The exam tests the essential subject area knowledge unique to each certification teaching area.

  •  Elementary Education candidates should take PRAXIS Multi-subject exam according to the study plan provided by the program advisors.
  •  Candidates will not be recommended by WCSU for state teacher’s certification until passing scores on PRAXIS Multi-subject exams are received and filed with the university’s teacher education certification officer, the Associate Dean of the School of Professional Studies, who is located in White Hall C121. Detailed information on PRAXIS Multi-subject testing is available online from the Educational Testing Service at http://www.ets.org/praxis
  • Once a candidate has completed all his/her bachelor’s degree teacher certification requirements and passed PRAXIS Multi-subject exam, the university’s teacher certification officer will file with the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) the necessary documents for the candidate’s receipt of CSDE teacher certification

Declaring an Education Major

At the end of the freshman year, candidates may apply to enter the Education Department. All freshman candidates who wish to become Education majors must demonstrate a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher (subject to change based on state mandates) upon completing 30 credits.

Candidates who fail to meet this grade point average requirement will not be eligible to declare an Education major. Once accepted as Education majors, candidates must continue to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher (subject to change based on state mandates) in order to remain in the Education program. Admission into the Residency semesters during the senior year are also contingent on the 3.0 GPA or higher standard (subject to change based on state mandates).

Criteria for Professional Teacher Education Program Acceptance

The Elementary Education program at WCSU is rigorous and not all candidates applying for professional program admission are accepted. Candidates seeking admission to WCSU’s elementary education certification programs must have completed and met the following criteria:

  • Present at least a 3.0 cumulative average (subject to change based on state mandates) for undergraduate courses taken prior to professional program acceptance (approximately 90 credits and reflecting courses in progress). All work done both at WCSU and other colleges will be considered in the computation of the cumulative grade point average. Note: Candidates with less than a cumulative 3.0 GPA (subject to change based on state mandates) will not be admitted to or retained in the program.
  • Complete the university’s general education requirements.  Candidates should refer to their concentration area program sheet for a list of specific courses that meet individual degree program criteria and competencies.
  • The courses below must be completed with a minimum grade of “B.” If a candidate receives grades in these four courses that are lower than a “B,” the candidate will be blocked from student teaching, with likely suspension and possible dismissal from the Education program.
    • HPX 215 Health Issues in the Schools (Grades PK-12)
    • ED 206 Introduction to Education
    • ED 211 Educational Psychology: Children and Adolescents I
    • ED 212 Educational Psychology: Children and Adolescents II
    • Residency I and II


After all of these criteria have been met, then candidates must fulfill these additional requirements for admissions to the Residency Year (Residency I and II):

    • Prepare and present an essay demonstrating a command of the English language and explaining the reasons for enrolling in the teacher education program, emphasizing experience relevant to teaching.
    • Participate in an interview by a teacher education faculty team, which will assess candidate’s personal attributes and perceived teaching dispositions.

Submission Deadline Dates Applying for Residency Year (Residency I and II)

Elementary Education candidates apply for Residency in the fall of their junior year. Candidates must have all their materials submitted to the elementary education program coordinator by the deadline date. The deadline is November 1 of the junior year. It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure that all materials are submitted by the deadline date. Once materials are received, candidates are contacted for an interview. Only complete files will be reviewed for Residency.

Reapplication Process if Denied Program Acceptance

If the interview team from the professional program recommends that a candidate not be admitted to the teacher education program, the candidate may reapply for admission one semester after the notification of denial. Candidates have the right to review a copy of the completed interview form.

Residency Year

    • Candidates are not eligible for residency course work (Residency I and II) unless they have received professional program acceptance.
    • During their last year, candidates enter the residency phase of the program. In order to register for residency, elementary education majors must present a 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher (subject to change based on state mandates) for all courses taken in their academic and professional education course work. The residency requirement for elementary education majors consists of two semesters.
    • Applications must be filed in the Office of E&EPY by November 1 of their junior year for following fall semester placement.
    • Candidates are responsible for providing their own transportation to and from the school to which they are assigned for residency.

Residency Grading Policy

Candidates earning less than a “B” grade in residency may be required to complete additional placement and/or course work before receiving a recommendation for graduation and certification.

During their last year, elementary education majors enter the residency phase of the program. In order to register for residency in an elementary school, candidates must present at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA (subject to change based on state mandates) for all courses taken in their academic and professional education course work.

A variety of consequences are considered when the residency candidate is in danger of failing, or fails the clinical experience. Depending on the resident’s evaluative situation, some options that may be available to the resident include:

    • extension of the residency experience so that the residency candidate can demonstrate competence in the relevant domain, as agreed upon by the resident, the University, and the participating cooperating teacher. This extension would require approval by the participating school district’s administration and may result in a delay in the residency candidate’s graduation date.
    • withdrawal from the IDM program prior to the final evaluation and switch to a content area major. This may cause a delay in the residency candidate’s graduation date.
    • withdrawal from the current residency assignment, and a re-assignment to a new residency experience during a later semester; providing the resident agrees to complete a series of appropriate remedial modules as determined by the Student Academic Review Committee (SARC) prior to the replacement experience.

Residency Dismissal Appeal Process: The residency candidate has the right to submit a written appeal within seven days of a notification of dismissal, to the chair of the E&EPY Department, the coordinator of clinical experiences, and the university supervisor. The affected residency candidate also has the right — within two weeks of the hearing date — to appeal, in writing, his/her dismissal to the Dean of Professional Studies.

Dismissal from the Residency Experience
On occasion, difficulties may arise during the Residency I or Residency II semester. In these instances, Elementary Education Coordinator, Residency instructor or University Supervisor works with the residency candidate and other school or university stakeholders to resolve these situations. Note: the Elementary Education coordinator, the Residency instructor and the university supervisors are WCSU Department of Education faculty members.

Every effort is made to assess the situation quickly and to establish a plan of action. Based upon the specifics of the situation, the student may: (1) be reassigned to a different t teaching placement; (2) be removed from the clinical school experience by the chair of the department. Residency candidates will be informed in writing of decisions regarding their status and may appeal these decisions to the Dean of the School of Professional Studies.

Dismissal from the Elementary Education Interdisciplinary Program

Strict guidelines for admission to, and retention in, the teacher education certification programs are part of academic excellence. Students who fail to meet or maintain established admission and retention criteria will be suspended from the program. Students may be given one year according to the school’s academic calendar to retake a course and regain good standing for consideration of readmission with the except for ethical issues, felonies and violations of the professional code. At the end of one year, candidates will be dismissed if their GPA has not met the 3.0 minimum standard (subject to change based on state mandates) which includes all WCSU and transfer credits.

  • Dismissal from the Education Department program by the E&EPY Department Chair may occur when a candidate fails to maintain the academic standards of the university and Department (see this catalog, “Good Standing: WCSU Student Handbook, “Student Rights and Responsibilities,” WCSU Candidate Teacher Handbook), and/or when a candidate in class or the field is considered inappropriate for the teaching profession, based on behavior which is not consistent with the standards of ethical conduct and professional behavior prescribed by the Connecticut Code of Professional Responsibility.
  • In such cases, discussions take place among the candidates, faculty involved, and Department chair. The Chair may call a meeting of the Student Academic Review Committee to decide the case. Decisions reached are communicated in writing by the Chair to the student in a timely fashion.
  • The candidate may appeal these decisions to the Dean of the School of Professional Studies or employ the university process for appeal. The university maintains guidelines for student rights and responsibilities and judicial procedures which can be found in the WCSU Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook. The Department adheres to these guidelines in all such matters and may establish additional responsibilities based upon professional training criteria.

Professional Education Fees

  1. LiveText. Each candidate in the Education Program is required to obtain a LiveText license. LiveText is a comprehensive data management system used to collect, store, and analyze the results of selected assessments. These data are used to improve the degree and certificate programs in education and to provide evidence to external accrediting bodies that accreditation standards have been met. Fingerprinting and Background Check. (Subject to change pending CT regulation)
    The State of Connecticut requires that any person who observes in a public school as part of a teacher preparation program submit to a state and national criminal history record check within the first 30 days of the date of the first observation. The process includes the checking of fingerprints by the State Police Bureau of Identification and the F.B.I. The results of the criminal history record checks (both state and federal) are reported to the employing school district. If the district receives notice of a conviction of a crime by a person holding a certificate, authorization or permit issued by the State Board of Education, the district shall notify the Bureau Educator Standards and Certification.