Professional Expectations in Teacher Education Programs Policy

Sponsor:

School for Graduate Studies

Contact:

Director of Graduate Student Services

Category:

Graduate Studies

Number:

310.011

Effective Date:

2011/07/01

Review Date:

2012/07/01

Implementation History:

Revised 2011

Keywords:

Professional, Expectations, Teacher, Education, Program

Background Information:

Purpose

To explain professional expectations for students in teacher education programs.

Definitions

Teacher Education Programs: Programs in which the intended outcome is state teacher certification(s).

Statements

Part I: Professional Expectations

  1. Professional Criteria for Admission, Retention, Graduation and Recommendation for State Certification:
    1. The teacher education programs prepare students to function as professionals who serve pupils and clients who may be minors or individuals in circumstances of significant vulnerability.  In pursuing their academic programs, students come into direct contact with such vulnerable pupils and clients as part of their field experiences and teaching roles.  Empire State College has an obligation to protect those pupils and clients and cannot tolerate student behavior that exploits, endangers, compromises or threatens the welfare, safety or rights of those pupils or clients.  Empire State College expects students in professional education to demonstrate a set of values and attitudes consistent with the highest professional standards and to comply with relevant local, state and federal law.
    2. In deciding whether to admit to, retain in, or graduate from a program, or to recommend an individual for state certification, the teacher education program considers not only the college’s admission and academic requirements but also the individual’s competencies related to serving in the teaching profession, including, but not limited to, personal characteristics, conduct, and potential to serve effectively and ethically in the profession, and advancement in a teacher education program.
      1. Professional Competencies and Criteria:  In deciding whether to admit to, retain in, or graduate from a program, or to recommend an individual for state certification, a teacher education program considers:
        1. The individual’s educational, work, and other life experiences related to the teaching profession;
        2. The individual’s ability to communicate and work effectively with others, including individuals from different backgrounds, individuals with exceptional needs or limitations, individuals from different religious, cultural, racial or ethnic populations, and individuals of different genders and sexual orientations;
        3. The individual’s moral character and fitness for the profession, including but not limited to any formal charge of professional misconduct or any felony conviction(s);
        4. The individual’s behavior in light of appropriate professional and ethical standards;
        5. The individual’s general and specific knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to successfully complete the particular program and to function effectively in the profession;
        6. The legal requirements and professional expectations as set out in the applicable laws and regulations governing state certification;
        7. The standards and rules adopted or recognized by a teacher education program and applicable professional organizations; and
        8. Whether the individual has met all the other program requirements for retention, graduation, or recommendation for state certification as set forth in the Graduate Catalog and the program’s written policies and procedures.
      2. Advancement in a teacher education program: students must advance in the program within the timeline established by that program.
        1. Students must follow the prescribed course sequence unless the program chair or designee makes an exception for reasons including but not limited to workload, lack of teaching position availability, or issues related to certification.
        2. In order to enroll in a mentored teaching course and/or be observed by program faculty, students must be both certified and teaching in a qualifying position.  If a student enrolls in a mentored teaching course and/or is observed by program faculty and is not certified, the program may notify the district, decline to supervise or enroll the student, and/or warn, suspend, or dismiss the student.  The certification requirement does not apply to building or long-term substitute positions.
  2. Disclaimer
    Admission to or graduation from a teacher education program does not constitute a guarantee that the student will be recommended for or granted state certification, extension, endorsement, or license or a teaching position.

Part II.  Warning or Dismissal From a Teacher Education Program

  1. Academic Warning or Dismissal
    The graduate student Evaluation and Grading Policy, Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy, and Academic Honesty Policy contain college policy and procedures for academic warning and dismissal.
  2. Professional Warning or Dismissal
    1. Grounds for Professional Warning or Dismissal.
      The dean of the School for Graduate Studies may issue a warning or dismiss a student from the program for failure to meet, satisfy, or demonstrate satisfactory performance with respect to one or more of the program’s professional criteria (see Part I).  The dean of the School for Graduate Studies may issue a warning or dismiss a student from the program for failure to meet one or more of the following:
      1. The student fails to advance in a teacher education program according to the requirements of that program (see Part I).
      2. A school or a school district decides not to hire or retain the student, dismisses the student from field experience, disciplines the student for misconduct, or determines that the student has behaved inappropriately with respect to any of the professional criteria in Part I.
      3. The dean of the School for Graduate Studies determines that the student does not meet the criteria in Part I.
    2. Procedure for Warning or Dismissal
      1. Once notified of a complaint/incident, the program chair and/or director of teacher education will consult with the student as well as his/her academic advisor and course instructor(s).  The program chair and/or director of teacher education will make a recommendation to the dean of the School for Graduate Studies.
      2. Upon receipt of this recommendation, the dean of the School for Graduate Studies may warn or dismiss the student from the program. In making this decision, the dean may obtain information, documentation, or consult with others as deemed necessary.
      3. The dean notifies the student in writing.  The warning or dismissal notice includes the effective date and reason for the warning or dismissal.  The dean provides a copy to the program chair, director of teacher education, the student’s academic advisor and course instructor(s). 
      4. If the student is in a field experience or teaching role and is dismissed, the dean also notifies appropriate school personnel of the dismissal.  If the student has been issued Transitional B Certification and is dismissed, the director of teacher education also notifies appropriate NYS Education Department personnel.
      5. In cases where the student’s behavior appears to present an immediate danger to the welfare and safety or rights of pupils or clients, the dean suspends the student pending a decision on possible dismissal.
      6. A student who receives a warning or is dismissed may make an appeal following the college’s policy on Student Academic Appeals.

Part III. Decision not to Recommend for Certification

  1. Grounds for Decision Not to Recommend a Student for Certification
    1. The program does not recommend any student for certification who has been dismissed from the program.
    2. The program does not recommend any student for certification who fails to meet NYS Education Department requirements.
    3. The program director and/or director of teacher education may decide not to recommend a student for certification who fails to meet, satisfy, or demonstrate satisfactory performance with respect to one or more of the program’s academic and/or professional criteria, as described in Part I.
    4. The program director and/or director of teacher education may decide not to recommend a student for certification if a school or school district disciplines the student for misconduct, dismisses the student from field experience, or determines that a student has behaved inappropriately with respect to any of the professional criteria in Part I.
  2. Procedure for Decision Not to Recommend a Student for Certification
    1. The program chair and/or director of teacher education may decide not to recommend a candidate for certification.  In making this decision, the program chair and/or director of teacher education may obtain information, documentation, or consult with others as deemed necessary.
    2. The program chair and/or director of teacher education notify the student in writing. This notice includes the reason for the decision not to recommend the student for certification.  The program chair and/or director of teacher education provide a copy to the student’s academic advisor and the dean of the School for Graduate Studies.
    3. A student who is not recommended for certification may make an appeal following the college’s policy on Student Academic Appeals.

Part IV. Incident Reporting

  1. Violations of Criminal Law by Teacher Education Students
    1. Students charged with violations of criminal law must report such charges immediately to the program chair and director of teacher education.  The dean is responsible for determining the student’s status upon receipt of the information.  The dean makes an evaluation and determination concerning the seriousness of the offense or offenses charged and the bearing, if any, that the criminal charges have on the student’s fitness or ability to perform the duties and responsibilities of field experiences or teaching, until the charges have been dismissed.
    2. Depending on the nature of the charges and the information available, the dean may immediately remove such students from participation in field experiences or teaching. 
    3. If further action is required, including interim suspension from the college, the dean follows the procedures outlined in the Student Conduct Policy and Procedures.
  2. Legal Notice
    1. Students in field experiences are covered by New York State Education Law §3023, which requires that each school district “save harmless and protect all teachers, practice or cadet teachers… from financial loss arising out of any claim, demand, suit or judgment by reason of alleged negligence or other act resulting in accidental bodily injury to any person, or accidental damage to the property of any person within or without the school building, provided such teacher, practice or cadet teacher… at the time of the accident or injury was acting in the discharge of his duties within the scope of his employment or authorized volunteer duties and/or under the direction of said board of education….”  A student who is involved in any such accident must immediately inform the school administrator and the program chair and director of teacher education.
    2. A student who is served with a summons, complaint or other legal process involving an incident which occurred during the course of their teaching or field experience while participating in a teacher education program must immediately forward a copy of the legal papers to the school administrator, program chair and director of teacher education.

Applicable Legislation and Regulations

New York State Education Law §3023

Related References, Policies, Procedures, Forms and Appendices