WCSU Undergraduate Catalog 2019-2020 : School of Professional Studies

Education and Educational Psychology: Elementary Education

Catherine O’Callaghan, Chair 
White Hall 128
(203) 837-3267
(203) 837-8413 (fax)

Ana Cangialosi, Department Secretary
White Hall 126
(203) 837-8510
(203) 837-8413 (fax)


C. O’Callaghan, Chair J. Burke K. Tassinari
T. Canada J. Caruso M. Daria
M. Delcourt N. DeRonck J. Jaslow
S. Kuhn G. Lomas P. Michael
K. Roe T. Stewart D. Mariotti


Education Department 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.

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

Katherine Roe, Coordinator of Elementary Education Program
WS 119, Westside Classroom Building
(203) 837-3263
(203) 837-8413 (fax)

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 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 residency.
    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;

1.      Use foundational knowledge to design and/or implement an integrated, comprehensive, and balanced curriculum as indicated by clinical performance in residency.

D.  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.


Program Summary

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

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 students take this reading exam at the end of their student teaching semester. Additional information is available online at http://www.ct.nesinc.com

edTPA Exam

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


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 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 students should take PRAXIS Multi-subject exam according to the study plan provided by the program advisors.
  •  Students will not be recommended by WCSU for state teacher’s certification until passing scores on PRAXIS Multi-subject exam 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 student 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 (CDE) the necessary documents for the student’s receipt of CDE teacher certification

Declaring an Education Major

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 GPA of 3.0 or higher (subject to change based on state mandates) upon completing 30 credits.

Students who fail to meet this grade point average 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 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. Students 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: 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 Students 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 student receives grades in these three courses that are lower than a “B,” the student 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 students 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. Students must have all of 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 student’s responsibility to insure that all materials are submitted by the deadline date. Once materials are received, students 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 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

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 students 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. Student teaching courses and the field components must be taken in the sequence specified.

Residency Year

  • Students are not eligible for residency course work (Residency I and II) unless they have received professional program acceptance.
  • During their last year, students 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.
  • Students are responsible for providing their own transportation to and from the school to which they are assigned for residency.

Students are responsible for providing their own transportation to and from the school to which they are assigned for student teaching.

Residency Grading Policy

Students earning less than a “P” 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, students 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 resident 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 resident 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 resident’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 resident’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 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 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 student 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. 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.

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 exception of 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&EPY 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. 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

  1. 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.Candidates may complete the fingerprinting process at Danbury Public Schools’ Central Office or through EdAdvance in Danbury, Connecticut. Candidates who complete the fingerprinting process at Danbury Public Schools’ Central Office must bring the following with them to their fingerprinting appointment: