Education and Educational Psychology: Secondary Education

Dr. Catherine O’Callaghan, 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)

Dr. Robin James, Secondary Education Program Coordinator
       WS 249, Westside Classroom Building
        (203) 837-8676



C. O’Callaghan, Chair J. Burke K. Burke
K. Campbell T. Canada J. Caruso
M. Daria M. Delcourt M. Gilles
R. James G. Lomas B. Rabe
D. Shaw M. Wilson  

Education Department Mission Statement

The School of Professional Studies and the Education & Educational Psychology (E&EPY) Department are recognized by the Connecticut Department of Education (CSDE) 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; 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 advisors and attend Education Department information sessions for updates and new requirements.

Important note for all Music Education and Health Education majors: Only the Secondary 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 advisor, 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 Secondary 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 Secondary Education program at WCSU, the number of courses taken as free electives is restricted. (Please consult Secondary 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.

Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education (B.S.) (Grades 7–12)

Learning Outcomes

Candidates in the Secondary 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 secondary 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 will 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

Secondary 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.

Secondary Education (grades 7-12) with Arts and Sciences Majors in:

Earth Science
Social Sciences

Secondary Education Content Area courses—See specific content area program sheets listed in online undergraduate program sheets on the WCSU website. 

For content area specific questions, students should contact one the following Arts & Sciences Department Chairs:

Mitch Wagener, Chair
Science Building 145, Midtown campus
(203) 837-9790

Paula Secondo, Co-chair
Science Building 339, Midtown campus
(203) 837-8795

Russell Selzer, Co-chair
Science Building 334, Midtown Campus
(203) 837-8448

Earth Science (Physics, Astronomy, Meteorology)
Dennis Dawson, Chair
Science Building 278, Midtown campus
(203) 837-8671

Donald Gagnon, Co-Chair
Berkshire Hall 223, Midtown campus
(203) 837-3283

Jennifer Duffy, Co-Chair
Warner Hall 224, Midtown campus
(203) 837-3283

David Burns, Chair
Higgins Hall 102F, Midtown campus
(203) 837-9346

Social Sciences
Oluwole Owoye, Co-chair
Warner Hall 204, Midtown campus
(203) 837-8456

Spanish (World Languages & Literature)
Alba Skar, Chair
Berkshire Hall 215D, Midtown campus
(203) 837-8734

 Exams: Required for Eligibility for State Teacher’s Certification

In addition to all the coursework required by the Education Department as well as the content area major, the following two exams are required:


  • 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&EP 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 certification. The exam tests the essential subject area knowledge unique to each certification teaching area.
  • Secondary Education students must pass PRAXIS II before being admitted to the Professional Development Semester (PDS).
  • Students will not be recommended by WCSU for state teacher’s certification until passing scores 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 in the Office of E&EP in Westside 249. Additional information is available online from the Educational Testing Service.
  • 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 grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher (subject to change based on state mandates) upon completing 30 credits.

Students who fail to meet this GPA 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 is 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 Secondary Education program at WCSU is rigorous and not all candidates applying for professional program admission are accepted. Students seeking admission to WCSU’s secondary teacher education certification programs must have completed and met the following criteria:

  • Pass a Connecticut state mandated basic skills examination (PRAXIS I). (See the detailed requirements for this exam in a previous section.)
  • Pass a Connecticut State Department of Education mandated subject area examination (PRAXIS II). (See the detailed requirements 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.
  • 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 204 Adolescent Development in the School


After all these criteria have been met, then students must fulfill these additional requirements:

  • 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 candidate’s 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.  There is also a performance based task during the interview that will assess candidate’s content knowledge and ability to orally communicate conceptual uderstanding effectively to others.

Submission Deadline Dates Applying for Professional Program (Professional Developmental Semester-PDS) Acceptance

  • Secondary education candidates may only apply in the spring semester of their junior year for the fall semester PDS.
  • Students must have all of their materials submitted to content area advisor and/or Arts and Sciences Department Chair. It is the student’s responsibility to insure that all materials are submitted by the deadline date of April 1. Once materials are received, students are contacted for an interview. Only complete files are 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.

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, which is offered only during the spring semester, secondary education majors must present at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA (subject to change due to state mandates) for all courses taken in their academic and professional education course work. The student teaching requirement for secondary education majors consists of one full semester (70 contact days) of supervised teaching.
  • Secondary Student Teaching (ED 342) is offered only in the spring semester. 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 November 1 (available in Education Office, WS 249)
  • During the student teaching semester, students must concurrently register for ED 342 (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.

Professional Education Fees

  • 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.
  • Fingerprinting and Background Check. Effective July 1, 2010 the CT 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 204, ED 342. 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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