WCSU Undergraduate Catalog 2021-2022 : School of Professional Studies

Education and Educational Psychology: Secondary Education

Dr. Katherine Roe, Chair
White Hall 321A, Midtown campus
(203) 837-3510
(203) 837-8413 (fax)



K. Roe, Chair A. Brewer T. Canada
J. Caruso M. Daria M. Delcourt
N. DeRonck S. Kuhn D. Mariotti
L. Monte D. Naddeo C. O’Callaghan
J. Prio T. Stewart A. D’Arms

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; 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 advisors and attend Education Department information sessions for updates and new requirements.

Important note for all Music Education and Health Education majors: Only the Secondary 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.

Program Summary

Secondary Education students will become dual majors: they will major in Education AND they will major in a content area offered within the School of Arts and Sciences; students must select an academic major in arts and sciences in addition to completing their professional education courses. Students must select one of the following academic majors.

Learning Outcomes

The goals, objectives and learning outcomes of WCSU’s Secondary Education Program are varied and are critical to facilitate the development of secondary educators to work in diverse classrooms. The program is designed to prepare educators to:
  1. Graduates of the program will 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 secondary students 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 students’ development and achievement as indicated by performance in student teaching.
    2. Accurately assess and analyze student learning, reflecting on adjustments needed for both instruction and assessment as indicated by the impact on student 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;
  4. Use foundational knowledge to design and/or implement an integrated, comprehensive, and balanced curriculum as indicated by clinical performance in student teaching.
    1. Graduates of the program will demonstrate professional dispositions that are consistent with the conceptual framework and in accord with professional, state, and institutional standards.
  5. Demonstrate expertise in working collaboratively with colleagues to design instruction as indicated by clinical performance in student teaching.

Transfer Students

  1. Before meeting with Admissions or an advisor, transfer students should download, print and read the Education section from the online undergraduate catalog available on the WCSU website. Bring your program sheet to every meeting with an advisor.
  2. It may take more time for transfer students to complete the Secondary Education program at WCSU because some electives taken at other colleges/community colleges may not transfer into the Education major. Because of the demanding coursework in the Secondary Education program at WCSU, the number of courses taken as free electives is restricted. (Please consult Secondary Education program sheets for information related to free electives.)
  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.

Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education (B.S.) (Grades 7–12)

Secondary Education (grades 7-12) with Arts and Sciences Majors in:

History (with Minor option in Social Studies)

Secondary Education Content Area coursesSee specific content area program summaries listed in online undergraduate program summaries on the WCSU website. 

For content area specific questions, students should contact one the following Arts & Sciences Department Chairs:

Theodora Pinou, Chair 
Science Building 243, Midtown campus
(203) 837-8569

Paula Secondo, Co-chair
Science Building 339, Midtown campus
(203) 837-8795

Shouhua Qi, Chair
White Hall, Midtown campus
(203) 837-9048

Wynn Gadkar-Wilcox. Co-chair
Warner Hall 221, Midtown campus
(203) 837-8565

Stavros Christofi, Chair 
Higgins Hall 102G, Midtown campus
(203) 837-9351

Spanish (World Languages & Literature) 
Galina Bakhtiarova, Chair 
Higgins Hall 218B, Midtown campus
(203) 837-8734

Exams: required for Eligibility for State Teacher’s Certification

In addition to all the coursework required by the Education Department as well as the content area major, the following two exams are required:

  • PRAXIS Core

The Praxis Core is no longer required for certification, however it is required by 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 Subject Assessment
    • Although not a graduation requirement, passing scores on appropriate PRAXIS Subject Assessment exams are necessary for program completion and subsequent recommendation for certification. The exam tests the essential subject area knowledge unique to each certification teaching area.
    • Secondary Education students must pass PRAXIS Subject Assessment before being admitted to the Professional Development Semester (PDS).
    • Students will not be recommended by WCSU for state teacher’s certification until passing scores 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 121. Detailed information on PRAXIS Subject Assessment testing is available in the Office of E&EP in Westside 249. Additional information is available online from the Educational Testing Service.
    • Once a student has completed all his/her bachelor’s degree teacher certification requirements and passed PRAXIS Subject Assessment, the university’s teacher certification officer will file with the Connecticut State Department of Education (CDE) the necessary documents for the student’s receipt of CDE teacher certification.
  • 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.

Declaring an Education Major/Acceptance into the Program

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

Students who fail to meet this GPA requirement will not be eligible to declare an Education major. Once accepted as Education majors, students 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 professional development and student teaching semesters during the senior year is also contingent on the 3.0 GPA or higher standard (subject to change based on state mandates).

Criteria for Professional Development Semester (PDS) Acceptance

The Secondary Education program at WCSU is rigorous and not all candidates applying for PDS admission are accepted. Students seeking admission to WCSU’s Professional Development Semester must have completed and met the following criteria:

  • Pass a Connecticut State Department of Education mandated subject area examination (PRAXIS II). (See the detailed requirements for this exam in a previous section.)
  • 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: Students 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 as well as complete a writing intensive course. Students should refer to their concentration area program sheet for a list of specific courses that meet individual degree program criteria.
  • Pass the courses below with a minimum grade of “B.” If a student receives grades in these three courses that are lower than a “B,” the student will be blocked from PDS and 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 212 Educational Psychology: Children and Adolescents II

After all these criteria have been met, then students must fulfill these additional requirements:

  • Present at least two letters of recommendation from persons who are able to testify to the candidate’s suitability as a prospective teacher.
  • 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 Professional Developmental Semester Acceptance

  • Secondary education candidates may only apply in the spring semester of their junior year for the fall semester PDS.
  • Students must have all their materials submitted to content area advisor and/or Arts and Sciences Department Chair. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that all materials are submitted by the deadline date of April 1. Once materials are received, students are contacted for an interview. Only complete files are reviewed for PDS.

Reapplication Process if Denied PDS Acceptance

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


Suggested Course Sequence

The Secondary Education program is demanding, so it is important for students to adhere to the suggested course sequence in order to complete the program in four years. Note that some of these courses have minimum grade requirements. (See courses with asterisks.) **These courses must be completed with a minimum grade of “B.”

Freshman Year
General Education and Content Area requirements — SEE CONTENT AREA PROGRAM SHEET FOR SPECIFIC DETAILS

Sophomore Year
**ED 206 Introduction to Education
**ED 212 Educational Psychology: Children and Adolescents II
**HPX 215 Health Issues in Schools
General Education and Content Area requirements — SEE CONTENT AREA PROGRAM SHEET FOR SPECIFIC DETAILS

Junior Year
General Education and Content Area requirements — SEE CONTENT AREA PROGRAM SHEET FOR SPECIFIC DETAILS

Fall Semester of Senior Year (Professional Development Semester)**
ED/BIO/CHE/ENG/ES/HIS/MAT/SPA/SSS 385 Methods of Teaching in the Secondary Schools
ED/BIO/CHE/ENG/ES/HIS/MAT/SPA/SSS 386 Secondary Education Professional Development School Experience
** EPY 405 Introduction To Special Education
** ED 440 Integrating Language
** ED/HIS/SS 441 Teaching History and Social Studies in Secondary Schools or
** ED/BIO/CHE/ES 442 Teaching Science in Secondary Schools or
** ED/ENG 447 Teaching English in Secondary Schools or
** ED/SPA 448 Teaching Spanish in Secondary Schools or
** ED/MAT 449 Teaching Mathematics in Secondary Schools 

Spring Semester of Senior Year (Student Teaching Semester)
ED/MED 340 Assessment of Teaching Strategies
ED 342 Student Teaching for Secondary Education Majors–Pass/Fail Grade Only
Note: Field experience components require that students provide their own transportation to and from their assigned schools.

Student Teaching Process
(see Student Teaching Handbook.)

  • Students are not eligible for student teaching course work unless they have received professional program acceptance.
  • During their last year, students enter the student teaching phase of the program. In order to register for student teaching, which is offered only during the spring semester, secondary education majors must present at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA (subject to change due to state mandates) for all courses taken in their academic and professional education course work. The student teaching requirement for secondary education majors consists of one full semester (70 contact days) of supervised teaching.
  • Secondary Student Teaching (ED 342) is offered only in the spring semester. Applications must be approved by the Arts & Sciences content area advisor and the Chair of the E&EPY department.
  • Applications must be filed in the Office of E&EPY by November 1
  • During the student teaching semester, students must concurrently register for ED 342 (Student Teaching) and ED 340 (Assessment of Teaching Strategies); students should not register for any other courses during the student teaching semester; students are also advised not to work during this semester due to the high time commitment required of planning lessons and grading student work after official school hours.
  • Students are responsible for providing their own transportation to and from the school to which they are assigned for student teaching.

Student Teaching Grading Policy

Students earning less than a “P” grade in student teaching may be required to complete additional student teaching and/or course work before receiving a recommendation for graduation and certification.

Dismissal from Student Teaching or Professional Semester

On occasion, difficulties may arise during the PDS Clinical Experience or during the Student Teaching semester. In these instances, the Secondary Education Coordinator, PDS liaison, or Student Teacher Supervisor works with the student and other school or university stakeholders to resolve these situations.

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 PDS or student teaching placement; (2) be removed from the clinical school experience by the Chair of the department. Students will be informed in writing of decisions regarding their status and may appeal these decisions to the Dean of the School of Professional Studies.

Superintendents, school district TEAM facilitators, cooperating teachers, principals, university supervisors and faculty members of the E&EPY department, in consultation with the appropriate arts and sciences, health education, or music education faculty members, reserve the right to remove a student teacher from any student teaching/clinical experience. (For specific details, see Student Teaching Handbook.)

See the Student Teaching Handbook for specific details.

Student Teacher Dismissal Appeal Process    

The student teacher has the right to submit a written appeal within seven days of a notification of dismissal, to the Chair of the E&EP department, the coordinator of student teaching, and the university supervisor. The affected student 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 Professional Teacher Education 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 except for ethical issues, felonies and violations of the professional code.  At the end of one year, students 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&EP department chair may occur when a student fails to maintain the academic standards of the university and department (see this catalog, “Good Standing: WCSU Student Handbook, “Student Rights and Responsibilities,” WCSU Student Teacher Handbook); and/or when a student 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 student, faculty involved, and department chair. The Chair may call a meeting of the Student Academic Review Committee to decide the case. The Chair has the authority to make final decisions. Decisions reached are communicated in writing by the Chair to the student in a timely fashion.
  • The student 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

  • LiveText. Each student 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.