College of Education

Dean and Professor: Dr. Diana Pounder, 450-3175
Assistant Dean and Clinical Instructor II: Ms. Debbie Barnes, 450-5403
Director of Admissions/Licensure: Mr. Ken Vaughn, 450-3131
Middle/Secondary/MAT Field Experience Coordinator: 450-3131
Elementary Field Experience Coordinator: Ms. Sue Farris, 450-3131
Technology Learning Center Coordinator: Ms. Brenda Stewart, 450-5058
Technology Learning Center/Technology Specialist: Mr. Adam Stone 450-3400

[1] Introduction

The College of Education at the University of Central Arkansas, as Arkansas' 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, the Leadership Institute, and the “We the People” program.

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. 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://www2.uca.edu/panda/reports/title2.

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: Early Childhood 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 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

  • Early Childhood Education (Preschool–4th Grade), BSE
    • Preschool - 4th Grade Special Education Option
  • 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 & Consumer Science, BSE
    • Mathematics (UCA STEMteach)
    • Science: Life/Earth or Physical/Earth (UCA STEMteach)
    • Social Studies, BSE
  • Elementary/Secondary Education Programs (Kindergarten–12th Grade)
    • Art, BA with Licensure
    • Foreign Language: French & Spanish, BA with Licensure
    • Kinesiology/Physical Education/Health, BSE
    • Music: Instrumental/Vocal, BM with Licensure

Graduate Programs (See Graduate Bulletin for more details)

  • Graduate Program Initial Licensure
    • Master of Arts in Teaching - post-baccalaureate teacher preparation program
  • Graduate Programs (Masters Degrees and Licensure Endorsement/Certificate)
    • Advanced Studies in Teacher Leadership
    • College Student Personnel Services and Administration
    • Gifted (Licensure Endorsement/Certificate)
    • Instructional Facilitator (Licensure Endorsement/Certificate)
    • Library Media & Information Technologies
    • Reading
    • School Counseling
    • School Leadership, Management, & Administration (Degree and Licensure Endorsement/Certificate)
    • School Psychology
    • Special Education (Degree and Licensure Endorsement/Certificate)
  • Graduate Program (Specialists Degree)
    • Educational Leadership
  • Graduate Programs (Doctoral Degree)
    • 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 finger-printed, 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 and Exit Requirements

Admission to teacher education is required for all candidates expecting to complete a teacher education program leading to initial licensure in any teaching field. Level I admission is required for enrollment in designated upper division professional education courses.

[3.1.1] Level I Admission

Candidates seeking admission into Level I of the teacher education program will initiate the process for admission in the Office of Candidate Services upon completion of minimum requirements mandated by the Arkansas Department of Eduction and the University of Central Arkansas. Full admission will not be granted to candidates enrolled in prerequisite courses until those courses are successfully completed. Level I admission is required for enrollment in designated upper division professional education courses.

During the semester candidates seek Level I admission, they will submit the Admission Affidavit (item A below) to the Office of Candidate Services where an active file on each candidate initiating the process of admission will be maintained. The Office of Candidate Services will verify items B-F below, and place the appropriate data on each candidate into the College of Education candidate database. Level I applicants are also responsible for securing faculty recommendations (item G below) and successful completion of an entrance interview (item H below).

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

A Submission of an Admission Affidavit stating 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).  This form must be submitted in person to the Office of Candidate Services (Mashburn 119) during the semester the candidate is seeking admission into the teacher education program.Effective 1-19-2011, candidates applying for admission must have an approved background check. Effective 8-1-2011, candidates placed in an early field experience must have an approved background check.  Information regarding acceptable background checks is available in the Office of Candidate Services, Mashburn 119.
B Submission of Internship Waiver.  This form was completed in EDUC 1300 (or upon arrival for transfer students); however, candidates seeking admission will want to verify that their signed form is on file.
C A cumulative 2.5 GPA on all coursework attempted.  Prior to full admission, transfer students with no previous coursework at UCA must also establish a 2.5 GPA in a minimum of twelve semester hours completed at UCA.
D Courses in written communications (WRTG 1310 and 1320), oral communications (SPCH 1300), mathematics (MATH 1360 or above), and Education as a Profession (EDUC 1300), must be completed with no grade less than a C.  Some majors require College Algebra (MATH 1390) for admission.  Additionally, candidates must pass the Educational Technology Competency Exam OR successfully complete with a grade of C or better a computer literacy class emphasizing Microsoft competencies - an appropriate community college technology class, EDUC 1240 (offered summer only), MIS 2343, or CSCI 1300.  Computer literacy tutorial opportunities are available online or through UCA Outreach and Community Engagement workshops. Majors in P-4 education must also complete Foundations of Early Childhood Education (ECSE 3300) with at least a C grade.
E Completion of the Praxis I Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST) according to current UCA established minimum scores: PPST Reading 172; PPST Math 171; PPST Writing 173.  Candidates are advised to take the Praxis I during the freshman year.  Admission to the program will be delayed until minimum scores on each section are achieved.  The UCA Writing Center offers one-on-one Praxis I training for the reading and writing portions of the exam. The College of Education's Office of Candidate Services also provides online resources to assist candidates with preparation for the Praxis I reading, writing, and mathematics exams.
F Successful completion of forty-five semester hours.
G Submission of two recommendations for admission from UCA faculty (one recommendation must be completed by the instructor of EDUC 1300 or EDUC 3300). Candidates must complete the Teacher Recommendation Request Form for each of the selected UCA faculty to request a recommendation for admission.
H Successful candidate interview and recommendation for admission by major area faculty. Candidates will register for the interview in the Office of Candidate Services. Interview dates may not be scheduled prior to the mid-term of any semester. Items A–F will be forwarded to the candidate's major academic department prior to the interview dates established by the department.

The Office of Candidate Services will observe the following deadlines for the application process. Candidates are encouraged to submit all requirements for admission prior to the established deadlines.

October 1 Final date for interview registration for candidates seeking admission for the following spring semester.
November 1 Final date for completion of admission requirements for candidates seeking full admission the following spring semester.
March 1 Final date interview registration or candidates seeking admission for the following summer or fall semester.
April 1 Final date for completion of admission requirements for candidates seeking full admission the following summer or fall semester.
*July 1 Final date for interview registration for candidates seeking admission for the following fall semester.
*August 1 Final date for completion of admission requirements for candidates seeking full admission the following fall semester.

*Summer interviews are offered at the discretion of the academic department.

[3.1.2] Level II Admission

Level II 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 admitted into Level II of the teacher education program upon successful completion of the following:

  • Minimum cumulative and major GPA of 2.5
  • Acceptable scores on the summative evaluation of the Level I performance standards based upon the Teacher Performance Outcomes Assessment (TPOA) and supported by the professional portfolio and field assessments
  • Recommendation of major area faculty
  • Submission of scores on the Praxis II subject area exam(s)
  • Completion of all major and professional education requirements with a grade of C or better

[3.1.3] Level II Exit Requirements

  • Minimum cumulative and major GPA of 2.5
  • Acceptable scores on the summative evaluation of the Level II performance standards based upon the Teacher Performance Outcomes Assessment (TPOA) and supported by the professional portfolio
  • Submission of scores on the Praxis II Principles of Learning and Teaching or subject-specific pedagogy exam
  • Completion of Internship II with a grade of C or better
  • Successful completion of the Praxis II subject area exam(s)
  • Successful completion of all Key Assessments

[3.1.4] Program Exit Requirements

  • Baccalaureate degree
  • Minimum cumulative and major GPA of 2.5
  • Successful completion of the Praxis II Principles of Learning and Teaching or subject-specific pedagogy exam

[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 2.5.
  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). Exceptions to the placement policy will not be made.

[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.

Page updated: May 11, 2013