Education and Educational Psychology: Elementary Education

Dr. Adeline Merrill, Chair
      WS 250, Westside Classroom Building
      (203) 837-3267
      (203) 837-8413 (fax)

Ana Cangialosi, Department Secretary
      WS 249, Westside Classroom Building
      (203) 837-8510
      (203) 837-8413 (fax)


A. Merrill, Chair J. Burke K. Burke
K. Campbell T. Canada J. Caruso
M. Daria M. Delcourt M. Gilles
N. Heilbronner R. James G. Lomas
B. Rabe D. Shaw M. Wilson

Education Department Mission Statement

The School of Professional Studies and the Education and Educational Psychology (E&EPY) Department are recognized by the Connecticut Department of Education as the principal units for the university with regard to teacher education preparation, serving to coordinate all the university’s teacher education degree and related programs.

The mission of the department is to prepare candidates for careers in teaching. We believe in initiating and maintaining professional relationships with the broader educational community and are committed to the continuous support and development of cooperative projects and services with area schools and community agencies. We embrace the broader mission of WCSU to empower students to “… attain the highest standards of academic achievement,… personal development, and ethical conduct.”

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: 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. Because of the demanding coursework in the Elementary Education program at WCSU, the number of courses taken as free electives is restricted. (Please consult Elementary Education program sheets for information related to free electives.)
  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.


Marsha Daria, Coordinator of Elementary Education Program
WS 307, Westside Classroom Building
(203) 837-9359
(203) 837-8413 (fax)

Learning Outcomes

Candidates in the elementary teacher education program must demonstrate achievement of the following learner outcomes:

  1. Demonstrate academic competence in their selected fields;
  2. Know the historical, social, economic, political, comparative and philosophical foundations of education;
  3. Understand the variety of patterns of human growth and development;
  4. Value and infuse cultural diversity;
  5. Demonstrate proficiency in and working knowledge of the Common Core State Standards that will establish what Connecticut’s public school students should know and be able to do as they progress through Grades K-12. The following links will guide elementary education majors to a clear understanding of the standards that shape the professional role of the Connecticut teacher:

    a) 2010 Common Core of Teaching (CCT) 

    b) Connecticut Code of Professional Responsibility and

    c) 2010 Common Core of Teaching: Foundational Skills 

  6. Demonstrate a spirit of inquiry, the use of critical thinking skills, and the habits of the reflective practitioner;
  7. Demonstrate the ability to incorporate appropriately the use of technology in instructional practices;
  8. Possess the knowledge and skills to successfully plan, implement, and evaluate classroom differentiated instruction to effectively maximize students’ learning potentials, including the use of instructional technology and literacy;
  9. Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge and skills for effectively assessing all school children’s learning in the classroom;
  10. Conduct themselves at all times in a professional and ethical manner as students, classroom teachers and as school leaders, and embrace the professional values and commitments according to the Connecticut Code of Professional Responsibility;
  11. Possess classroom management skills that will assist students to take responsibility for their own behavior while maintaining a classroom that is conducive to learning;
  12. Continually improve their professional growth through the practice of inquiry and reflection as a classroom teacher and leader.

Program Summary

Elementary Education students will become dual majors: they will major in Education AND they will major in a content area offered within the School of Arts and Sciences; students must select an academic major in arts and sciences in addition to completing their professional education courses. Students must select one of the following academic majors.

*Elementary Education (grades K-6) with Academic Arts & Sciences Majors in:
American Studies
Mathematics (see note below)
Political Science
Social Sciences

NOTE: Option to Minor in Mathematics

At least 17 credits to include MAT 171 or 181, MAT 182, MAT 222, MAT 242 and at least one of the following: MAT 211, MAT 251 or MAT 363. Additionally, MAT 105 and 106 are required, as they are for all elementary education certification students.

Elementary Education Content Area courses — See specific content area program sheets 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


Candidates must pass a Connecticut state mandated basic skills examination (PRAXIS I) in mathematics, reading and writing, or must obtain a waiver from the State Department of Education by presenting a combined score of 1,100 or more with no less than 450 on either the verbal or math subtest.

If the SAT was administered prior to March 31, 1995, the candidate must present a combined score of 1,000 with at least a score of 400 on both the verbal and the math sections. It is the student’s responsibility to apply for this waiver. (Students may present a passing score on a similar test for another state with which Connecticut has certification reciprocity agreements.)

Information concerning the PRAXIS I exam and waiver information is available in the Office of the Dean of Professional Studies, Midtown campus, 123 White Hall, (203-837-8575) or in the Office of E&EPY in Westside 249.

Call (203) 837-8510. Go online to the Educational Testing Service for detailed information about PRAXIS I:


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 II while student teaching
  • Students will not be recommended by WCSU for state teacher’s certification until passing scores on PRAXIS II are received and filed with the university’s teacher education certification officer, the Assistant Dean of the School of Professional Studies, who is located in White Hall 003C. Detailed information on PRAXIS II testing is available online from the Educational Testing Service at
  • Once a student has completed all his/her bachelor’s degree teacher certification requirements and passed PRAXIS II, 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:

  • Pass a Connecticut state mandated basic skills examination (PRAXIS I) exam- See detailed requirments for this exam in a previous section.
  • 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 (42 semester-hour minimum) in communication, humanities, social and behavioral sciences, natural sciences and mathematics/computer science, and exercise science, as well as complete a writing intensive course. Students should refer to their concentration area program sheet for a list of specific courses that meet individual degree program criteria.
  • 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
      • EPY 203 Child Development in the School [Note: students who choose to fulfill the course requirements for EPY 203 Child Development in Schools by taking PSY 210 Child Psychology must complete the one credit, 15-hour school observation requirement by taking EPY 201.]


After all of these criteria have been met, then students must fulfill these additional requirements for admissions to the Professional Development Semester (PDS):

  • 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.
  • Present at least two letters of recommendation from persons outside the university who are able to testify to the candidates’ suitability as a prospective teacher.
  • 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 Professional Program (Professional Development Semester – PDS)

Elementary Education candidates apply for PDS for the next semester in either the spring or fall semester of their junior year. The submission deadline date for fall semester admittance into a professional teacher education program is noon on April 1, and the submission deadline date for spring semester admittance is noon on November 1. Students must have all of their materials submitted to the elementary education program coordinator by the deadline date. 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 PDS.

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.

Student Teaching Process — See Student Teaching Handbook:

  • Students are not eligible for student teaching course work unless they have received professional program acceptance.
  • During their last year, students enter the student teaching phase of the program. In order to register for student teaching 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 student teaching requirement for elementary education majors consists of one full semester (70 contact days) of supervised teaching.
  • Elementary student teaching (ED 341) is offered only in the fall and spring semesters; applications must be approved by the Arts & Sciences content area advisor and the chair of the E&EPY department.
  • Applications must be filed in the Office of E&EPY by April 1 for following fall semester placement and November 1 for following spring semester placement (application forms available in Education office, WS 249).
  • During the student teaching semester, students must concurrently register for ED 341 (Student Teaching) and ED 340 (Assessment of Teaching Strategies); students should not register for any other courses during the student teaching semester; students are also advised not to work during this semester due to the high time commitment required of planning lessons and grading student work after official school hours.
  • Students are responsible for providing their own transportation to and from the school to which they are assigned for student teaching.

Student Teaching Grading Policy

Students earning less than a “P” grade in student teaching may be required to complete additional student teaching and/or course work before receiving a recommendation for graduation and certification.

During their last year, elementary education majors enter the student teaching phase of the program. In order to register for student teaching in an elementary school, which is offered in both the fall and spring semesters, 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.

During the student teaching semester, students must concurrently register for ED 341 (Student Teaching) and ED 340 (Assessment of Teaching Strategies); students should not register for any other courses during the student teaching semester. Students are also advised not to work during this semester due to the high time commitment required of planning lessons and grading student work after official school hours.

Students earning less than a “P” grade in student teaching may be required to complete additional student teaching and/or course work before receiving a recommendation for graduation and certification. Students must present at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA (subject to change based on state mandates) in academic and professional required courses to graduate in the elementary education programs.

Dismissal from the Student Teaching Experience

On occasion, difficulties may arise during the PDS Clinical Experience or during the Student Teaching semester. In these instances, Elementary Education Coordinator, PDS liaison or Student Teacher Supervisor works with the student and other school or university stakeholders to resolve these situations. Note: the Elementary Education coordinator, the PDS liaison and the student teacher 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 PDS or student 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.

See the Student Teaching Handbook for specific details.

Student Teacher Dismissal Appeal Process: The student teacher 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 student teaching, 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. See the Student Teaching Handbook for specific details.

Dismissal from the Professional Teacher Education 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 has the authority to make final decisions. 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. TK 20. Each student in the Education Program is required to obtain a Tk20 license. Tk20 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. Information on obtaining this license is at (see link in lower left hand corner). The license fee is $103.
  2. Fingerprinting and Background Check. Effective July 1, 2010, Connecticut House Bill 6901 stipulates that local or regional boards of education must fingerprint individuals seeking placement in the district for the purpose of completing educator preparation requirements in nonpaid, noncertified positions (e.g., student teachers, interns, observations, etc). A criminal history background check is also required in accordance with chapter 166, sec 29-12a. Courses with clinical experiences that require proof of fingerprinting and background check include: ED 206, EPY 203, ED 341. Contact the Regional Education Service Center, Education Connection, at (203) 791-1904 or (860) 567-0863. There is a fingerprinting/background check fee payable to Education Connection.


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