Graduate students in the Elementary School Teaching M.A.E.d. program complete a 45-semester hour program that includes educational foundations course work, methods courses in elementary school subject fields, clinical and student teaching experiences.
The Elementary Education program leads to initial certification and is open to, and only to, people who are not already certified. This program is designed as a full-time, 12-month (summer, fall, spring) semester program in which students complete all requirements in a cohort group. Classes typically begin the day after Memorial Day and the program concludes in May of the following year.
This program is organized so that full-time students complete the program according to a set three semester course sequence. Students also have important field experiences prior to their student teaching semester. Because these students will be placed in the same school for fall and spring semester, they will be better prepared for their ten week student teaching experience. The seminar that accompanies student teaching also allows more group discussion and university instructor feedback about their teaching experiences.
General Education Licensure Requirements
In addition to the program in Elementary Education, you must also satisfy the state's general education licensure requirements. To be eligible for the K-6 license, you must have completed at least three college credits in each of the following areas:
- Social Science
- Science with accompanying lab
This may have been completed as part of your bachelor's degree, but these courses can be taken at any accredited institution and may be taken pass/fail. It is recommended that you have a bachelor's degree in a liberal arts and sciences discipline to apply to this program, but it is not required.
Optional Literacy Emphasis
Graduate students in the Elementary Education program have the opportunity to earn an emphasis in Literacy as part of their master's degree. In order to earn the Literacy emphasis, students would take two additional courses during a summer term, CRIN R07 Language Acquisition and English Language Learners and CRIN R21 Diverse Children’s Literature. These additional 6 credit hours, plus the 6 credits that elementary students already take in the area of reading during the Elementary program complete the requirements for the emphasis.
Why pursue an emphasis in Reading? Research indicates that better prepared teachers of reading:
- produce higher student reading achievement
- are more successful and confident than other beginning teachers in making the transition into the teaching profession
- are so well grounded in their vision of literacy and their ability to teach reading that they are more comfortable finessing the system, enriching the program, and drawing from a repertoire of strategies to help struggling readers
- are perceived by principals and other supervisors as more able to hit the ground running when they start teaching than more experienced teachers in reading instruction within their first three years of teaching.
Advantages for students completing an area of emphasis in literacy:
- They will be better prepared to meet the needs of their students when they start teaching.
- They will be more competitive for shrinking teaching positions when competing with applicants from other teacher preparation programs/alternative preparation programs.
- They will have earned six hours that can be applied to an endorsement as a reading specialist.
If you are interested in pursuing the Literacy emphais, please contact [[cdjohn, Dr. Denise Johnson]] for more information.
Licensure Testing Requirements
Students are required to achieve passing scores on assessments prescribed by the VA State Board of Education, both for program completion and for licensure. To satisfy the state of Virginia's Testing Requirement in the Elementary Initial Licensure Programs, students must pass Praxis I and II, the Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment (VCLA), and the Reading for Virginia Educators (RVE) .
- Praxis I is an academic skills assessment of mathematics, reading, and writing and must be passed before student teaching.
- Praxis II is a content knowledge exam for teachers and must be passed before program completion.
- VCLA is a test of communication, reading, and writing skills.
- RVE is a test of knowledge of reading instruction.
Students are responsible for providing copies of test results to the Office of Professional Services prior to student teaching (Praxis I) and prior to program completion (Praxis II, VCLA, and RVE). When reporting results for Praxis II, students must submit a paper copy of the “Examinee Score Report” directly to the Office of Professional Services. The Examinee Score Report is sent to the student by ETS, and it provides detailed score information that the Office of Professional Services is required to collect. (This information is NOT available on the “Designated Institution Score Report” sent to William & Mary by ETS.) Information about test registration is available in the Office of Teacher Education and Professional Services.
Meeting the Praxis I Requirement
There are three alternate means by which a teacher candidate may meet the Praxis I requirement in lieu of taking the full battery of Praxis I subtests (i.e., reading, writing, and math).
- SAT Qualifying Score Option: A composite score of 1100 on the SAT, taken after April 1, 1995, with at least a 530 on the critical reading and a 530 on the mathematics tests or a score of 1000 on the SAT, taken prior to April 1, 1995, with at least a 450 on the critical reading and a 510 on the mathematics tests may be used as a substitute for Praxis I.
- ACT Qualifying Score Option: A composite score of 24 on the ACT may be substituted for Praxis I if taken after April 1, 1995, with the ACT mathematics score no less than 22 and the ACT English plus Reading scores no less than 46, or a composite score of 21 may be substituted, if taken prior to April 1, 1995, with the ACT mathematics score no less than 21 and the ACT English plus Reading scores no less than 37.
- VCLA Qualifying Score combined with a Qualifying Score on the Mathematics Subtest of Praxis I or SAT or ACT: A composite score of 470 on the VCLA with subtest scores of at least 235 on writing and 235 on reading may be combined with a qualifying score on the mathematics portion of the Praxis I mathematics subtest (minimum 178) or the SAT mathematics subtest (530 after April 1, 1995, or 510 prior to that date) or the ACT mathematics subtest (22 after April 1, 1995, or 21 prior to that date).
Elementary Education Contact
[[gamcea, Dr. Gail McEachron]]