College of Education

Dean and Professor: V. Groves-Scott (EdD), (501) 450-5402
Associate Dean: D. Wake (EdD), (501) 450-5403
Director of Admissions / Licensure: G. Bunn (EdD), (501) 450-5057
Pre-Admission Education Advisor: W. Johnson, (501) 450-5306
Pre-Admission Education Advisor: N. Eslinger, (501) 450-1015
Technology Learning Center / Technology Specialist: A. Hankins (MA), (501) 450-3400

[1] Introduction

The College of Education at the University of Central Arkansas, as Arkansas’s premier educator preparation college, is dedicated to providing exemplary programs for the preparation of professional educators, including teacher preparation, educational leadership, school counseling, library media, instructional technologies, higher education student personnel administration, and other related professional fields. With an emphasis on teaching, research, and service, the members of the College of Education, along with their counterparts in supporting programs across campus, demonstrate a commitment to the improvement of educational programs and services by collaboratively working with organizations that have teaching and human development as their mission. The professional education programs in the College prepare professionals who demonstrate the content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to help all students learn.

To accomplish this mission the College of Education

  • Provides programs of study at both the undergraduate and graduate levels based on empirically-supported pedagogical and clinical practices.
  • Prepares educators to effectively teach and enhance learning conditions and outcomes for diverse learners.
  • Promotes a commitment to understanding and working effectively with children and adults in geographically and culturally diverse settings.
  • Employs a faculty who demonstrate excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service.
  • Establishes a professional environment conducive to both student and faculty growth and development.
  • Supports faculty to establish prominence and visibility through state and national professional contributions and to maintain UCA’s prominence as the premier educator preparation institution in Arkansas.
  • Maintains and supports resources such as the Technology Learning Center, the Child Study Center, partner schools, multimedia classrooms, and outreach programs such as the Mashburn Center for Learning, the Leadership Institute, and various summer camps.

To help achieve this mission, the college is committed to working collaboratively with elementary and secondary schools, post-secondary institutions, state agencies, and other public and private groups to address educational issues. Faculty members are actively involved with organizations at the state, regional, and national levels, with schools, and with human service agencies.

Faculty members involved in the preparation of professional educators, as well as professional education candidates, public school representatives, and members of the community share a vision for the Professional Education Unit (PEU) at the University of Central Arkansas. This vision is to enhance educator efficacy through reflective decision-making. The PEU defines reflective decision-makers as those who think systematically about their practice, engage in thoughtful assessment of their effectiveness, and attempt to understand the consequences of their actions while contemplating alternative possibilities.

The university’s teacher preparation programs are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and approved by the Arkansas Department of Education. Questions about CAEP accreditation should be directed to

Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation
1140 19th Street, NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC, 20036
Telephone: (202) 223-0077
Web: http://www.caepnet.org/about/contact-us

Graduates of UCA’s teacher education programs typically perform well on examinations of professional preparation. In Arkansas, the Department of Education provides the Praxis II pass rates for all teacher preparation units in the state to the U.S. Secretary of Education as mandated by the Higher Education Amendments of 1998. The pass rate for each academic year since 1999-2000 is published as part of the Title II Teacher Education Report Card. The pass rate is available to the public and may be accessed online at http://uca.edu/panda/panda-reports/title-ii-reports/.

The college is housed on campus in Mashburn Hall, and the Child Study Center is adjacent to the university campus. The college comprises three academic departments: Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education; Leadership Studies; and Teaching and Learning. The Office of Candidate Services coordinates teacher education admissions, early field experiences, internships, and licensure. The Technology Learning Center serves faculty, candidates, and the community with technology labs and with a media resource center for the design and development of instructional materials.

[2] College of Education and Professional Education Unit (PEU)

The Professional Education Unit (PEU) is the umbrella organization under which teaching faculty, academic administrators, and practicing professionals come together to collaborate on the design, delivery, approval, and accreditation of all education programs. The faculty number approximately 90 full-time and part-time, and the administrators represent over thirteen different instructional departments in five colleges. The Dean of the College of Education leads the PEU and provides university-wide coordination for all education programs, working in partnership with the other deans of the university.

Within the Professional Education Unit, the following functions are centralized in the College of Education in support of all teacher education programs at UCA:

  • Formal admission to Teacher Education – Office of Candidate Services
  • Admission to Internship – Office of Candidate Services
  • Recommendations for Licensure – Office of Candidate Services
  • Coordination for Program Accreditation – Dean of the College of Education
  • Coordination of the PEU and Program Coordinators – Dean of the College of Education
  • Oversight of the Professional Education Council (PEC) (the college-level policy and curriculum committee for all education programs at UCA) – Dean or Associate Dean of the College of Education

Within the PEU, most of the responsibilities for designing, implementing, and administering individual degree programs in teacher education are decentralized and assigned to different colleges and academic departments. Each program has a UCA faculty member who serves as the program coordinator in the department responsible for that program. Degree programs within the College of Education and the Professional Education Unit are listed below.

[2.1] College of Education and Professional Education Programs

Undergraduate Programs

  • Elementary Education (Kindergarten–6th Grade), BSE
  • Middle Level Education (4th–8th Grade), BSE
    • Language Arts/Social Studies/Mathematics/Sciences (choose two)
  • Secondary Education (7th–12th Grade)
    • English, BA with Licensure
    • Family and Consumer Science, BSE
    • Mathematics (UCA STEMteach), BS
    • Science: Biology, Chemistry, Physics (UCA STEMteach), BS
    • Social Studies, BSE
  • Elementary/Secondary Education Programs (Kindergarten–12th Grade)
    • Art, BA with Licensure
    • Foreign Language: Chinese, French, and Spanish, BA with Licensure
    • Kinesiology/Physical Education/Health, BSE
    • Music: Instrumental/Vocal, BM with Licensure
    • Special Education, BSE

Graduate Programs (See the Graduate Bulletin for more details.)

  • Graduate Program (Initial Licensure)
    • Master of Arts in Teaching – post-baccalaureate teacher preparation program
  • Graduate Programs (Master’s Degrees, Licensure Endorsements, Graduate or Post-Master’s Certificates)
    • Advanced Studies in Teacher Leadership (degree)
    • College Student Personnel Services and Administration(degree)
    • Dyslexia Therapist (licensure endorsement, graduate certificate)
    • Early Childhood/Special Education Integrated Birth-Kindergarten (licensure endorsement, graduate certificate)
    • Gifted and Talented Education (licensure endorsement, graduate certificate)
    • Instructional Technology (degree, graduate certificates)
    • Library Media and Information Technologies (degree)
    • Reading (degree)
    • School Counseling (degree)
    • School Leadership, Management, and Administration (degree, licensure endorsements, post-master’s certificates)
    • School Psychology (degree)
    • Special Education (degree, licensure endorsement, graduate certificate)
  • Graduate Program (Specialist Degree, Licensure Endorsement, Post-Master’s Certificate)
    • Educational Leadership
  • Graduate Programs (Doctoral Degrees)
    • Leadership Studies
    • School Psychology

[3] Teacher Education Program: Admission, Exit, and Retention Requirements

The state of Arkansas requires all applicants for a teacher’s license, within one year of making application for the teaching license, to be fingerprinted, to undergo a successful background checks from the FBI and the Arkansas State Police, to have clearance from the Arkansas Child Maltreatment Registry, and to complete the maltreatment mandated reporter training as specified by Act 1236 of 2011. Questions about this procedure and/or its impact upon a candidate’s personal situation should be directed to the Director of Admissions and Licensure. If evidence becomes known that would render the candidate ineligible to receive a teaching license in the state of Arkansas, then this information may become grounds to refuse admission to or retention in the teacher education program.

Programs in the College of Education that lead to licensure relating to K–12 schools require a passing score on the appropriate Praxis exam(s) and satisfactory completion of all key assessments identified by the individual program area. Candidates cannot complete their program unless both of these criteria have been met. Individual programs may have additional entrance and exit requirements.

[3.1] Admission, Retention, and Exit Requirements

Throughout the teacher education program, candidates are periodically reviewed for dispositional and academic readiness to advance through the program. At each of these reviews (or “gates”), candidates may be approved to continue, may be subject to remedial steps before continuing, or may be dismissed from the program.

Remediation may include:

  • Repeating course(s) where performance did not meet expectations
  • Creating professional growth plans to detail necessary areas of improvement
  • Additional work or activities to gain the sufficient experience to continue

[3.1.1] Teacher Education Admission [Gate 1]

Candidates seeking admission into the teacher education program will initiate the process for admission in the Office of Candidate Services upon completion of minimum requirements. Full admission will not be granted to candidates enrolled in prerequisite courses until those courses are successfully completed. Admission is required for enrollment in designated upper-division professional education courses.

The following minimum requirements must be met for admission to the teacher education program. Individual programs may have further requirements for admission.

  1. Submission of application for admission to teacher education, internship waiver, and admission affidavit. The admission affidavit states that the candidate has never been convicted of any crime that would prevent the issuance of a teaching license (Act 1313 of 1997 and Act 752 of 2001).
  2. Complete preliminary background check.
  3. A minimum cumulative 2.7 GPA on all coursework attempted or a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA with a 3.0 or better GPA on the last 30 credit hours.
  4. Complete the following foundation coursework with grades of C or better:
    1. Written communication (WRTG 1310 and 1320)
    2. Oral communication (COMM 1300, Principles of Communication)
    3. Mathematics (MATH 1360 or above as required by the major)
    4. Introduction to Education
      1. EDUC 1300 (for middle level and secondary majors)
      2. ELSE 2300 (for elementary and special education majors)
      3. STEM 1301 (for STEM Education minors)
  5. Demonstrate basic skills proficiency.
    1. For reading and mathematics, unconditional admission to UCA with a minimum 19 ACT (or SAT equivalent) reading and mathematics subtest scores.
    2. For writing, minimum score of 6 on ACT writing subtest or minimum score of 162 on Praxis Core Writing.
  6. Successful completion of forty-five semester credit hours.
  7. Receive a satisfactory program review, which may include candidate interview, faculty recommendations, or other measures to determine the candidate’s dispositional and academic readiness for the teacher education program.

[3.1.2] Approval to enroll in Internship I [Gate 2]

Prior to enrolling in Internship I, candidates are reviewed for satisfactory progress in the teacher education program. This review includes both academic and dispositional indicators.

  • Complete all requirements to be approved for professional education courses [Gate 1].
  • Maintain cumulative GPA of 2.7 or better.
  • Receive recommendation by program coordinator who will review class performance and verify that candidate has sufficient preparation for Internship I.
  • Receive satisfactory candidate review by program or program coordinator(s) to determine if candidate demonstrates appropriate dispositions and academic preparedness for Internship I.

[3.1.3] Approval to enroll in Internship II [Gate 3]

The final semester of the teacher education program consists of a one-semester full-time placement (Internship II) in an accredited and approved public school setting. During this time the candidate will be placed with a mentor teacher who is fully licensed in the candidate’s major area of study. Candidates will be approved to enroll in Internship II upon successful completion of the following:

  • Minimum cumulative and major GPA of 2.7.
  • Acceptable scores on the summative performance evaluation from Internship I.
  • Submission of scores on the Praxis subject-area assessment(s).
  • Completion of all major and professional education requirements with a grade of C or better.
  • Clear criminal history and child maltreatment background checks.
  • Demonstrate appropriate dispositions as measured by College of Education rubric.
  • Receive satisfactory review by program or program coordinator(s).

[3.1.4] Program Exit Requirements [Gate 4]

  • Minimum cumulative and major GPA of 2.7.
  • Satisfactory completion of program key assessments.
  • Submission of scores on the Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching or subject-specific pedagogy exam.
  • Completion of Internship II with a grade of C or better.
  • Earned baccalaureate degree.

[3.2] Retention in Teacher Education

Following acceptance to a teacher preparation program, a candidate’s good standing will be reviewed before admission to Level II and upon completion of Level II and possibly revoked by program faculty if

  1. The candidate fails to exhibit responsible and professional behavior in all classes, field experiences, and interactions with peers and faculty, as judged by the program faculty, mentor teachers, and other school personnel.
  2. The candidate violates the student code of conduct or criminal law.
  3. The candidate earns a grade less than C in any required lower- or upper-division course in the candidate’s major.
  4. The candidate’s UCA GPA falls below 2.7.
  5. The candidate fails to meet the required course or program prerequisites, especially for field-based teaching methods courses and internships.
  6. The candidate’s knowledge, skills, and dispositions are judged by two or more faculty instructors and/or mentor teachers to be unsatisfactory.
  7. The candidate does not complete an internship satisfactorily.

A formal review by the program faculty will occur before a candidate will be allowed to enroll in internships. The outcomes of this review will determine whether the candidate will be permitted to continue in the teacher preparation program. The review may result in a remediation plan rather than dismissal. Decisions to remove a candidate from the teacher education program will be made by the program faculty and forwarded by the Program Coordinator to the Department Chair, the appropriate representative in Candidate Services, and the Assistant Dean in the College of Education.

[3.2.1] Retention in Field Experiences/Internship

A candidate may be removed from a field experience when any of the following occurs:

  1. The appropriate school authority states that the teacher education candidate’s presence in the classroom is not in the best interest of the public school’s students and/or requests that the teacher preparation candidate be removed.
  2. The joint decision of the appropriate Program Coordinator and Department Chair in consultation with the appropriate representative in Candidate Services, Mentor Teacher, and University Supervisor states that the circumstances are such as to prevent the development and/or maintenance of a satisfactory learning environment.
  3. The candidate exhibits unprofessional/unethical behavior.
  4. A decision has been reached that the teacher education candidate cannot receive a satisfactory grade in a field experience course.

[3.2.2] Placement Decisions

Academic program areas and the appropriate representative in Candidate Services will determine field placements (including Internship I and II).

[3.2.3] Appeals of Admission, Retention, and Placement Decisions

If the candidate so desires, he/she may submit a formal appeal of an admission, retention, or placement decision related to these policies. The candidate must first request exception to the policy in writing to the program coordinator and department chair. An appeal must be based on exceptional and extenuating circumstances and other pertinent information not previously available or considered. Should the request be granted, the program coordinator and department chair will send written notification of the exception with their signatures to the Office of Candidate Services. If the candidate is not satisfied with the decision of the program coordinator/department chair, he/she may appeal to the next level. This second-level formal appeal must be submitted in writing to the Dean of the College of Education (COE) within five business days of being notified of the departmental appeal decision. The COE Dean will transmit the appeal to the Standard 1 Standing Committee. If the candidate is not satisfied with the decision of the committee, he/she may make formal appeal to the COE Dean in writing within five business days of the committee’s decision. If unsatisfied with the Dean’s decision, the candidate may appeal to the Provost in writing within five business days of the Dean’s decision.

All appeals concerning Internship II policies should be submitted by October 15 for spring Internship II and by February 15 for fall Internship II.

[4] Courses in Education (EDUC)

Follow this link for EDUC course descriptions: course link.