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Teacher Education Programs

Mount Union's Teacher Education Program is based on the guidelines suggested by the Ohio Department of Education and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Composed of all departments at Mount Union, the Teacher Education Program is guided by a conceptual framework that gives the program "an underlying structure" that gives conceptual meanings through an articulated rationale to the unit's operation and provides direction for programs, courses, teaching, candidate performance, faculty scholarship and service, and unit accountability. Mount Union's Teacher Education Program's Conceptual Framework focuses on its theme, candidate performance, program areas, and commitments to diversity, technology, and assessment.

The Teacher Education Program has established criteria for candidate performance. Key elements in understanding Mount Union's Teacher Education Program's teacher candidates' performance are the descriptors competent, capable, and caring.

  • Competent reflects our commitment to grounding our teacher candidates in knowledge of content, pedagogy, and child development appropriate to each area of licensure.
  • Capable reflects the nexus of theory to practice. This criterion refers to Mount Union's teacher candidates' ability to apply the theories regarding instructional techniques, classroom management, reflection, and the varying needs of students in microteaching situations as well as actual school settings.
  • Caring reflects the disposition that is most essential to the theme, Caring Teachers Live What They Believe. Our teacher candidates must demonstrate that they are committed to service and to the betterment of children's lives.

The Teacher Education Program licensure programs are aligned with state, national, and international standards. Licensure standards ensure that only those teachers who can perform the work will do the work. The standards emphasize performance from the time a teacher enters the classroom throughout his or her career. The ultimate benefit of this new direction is a better education for Ohio's students.

These standards increase the rigor in the teaching profession because they:

  1. Strengthen Ohio's teacher preparation programs,
  2. Require successful performance of beginning teachers,
  3. Achieve higher standards through licensure, and
  4. Intensify professional development.

Licensure requirements are subject to the authority of the Ohio State Department of Education and Ohio law. All program curricula, requirements, and policies are subject to change given the nature of the ongoing review process between Mount Union and the Ohio Department of Education.

Mission and Goals 

The Education Department’s Teacher Education Program’s mission statement is derived from the vision expressed in the University’s mission statement, but it offers a version more particular to the preparation of teacher candidates.

The Teacher Education Program prepares candidates for meaningful careers in the field of education. Building upon a solid liberal arts foundation, the Teacher Education Program assists candidates in developing knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to become effective and caring teachers in an ever-changing society. Candidates are prepared to become reflective, lifelong learners.

This mission is realized for all candidates through the attainment of eleven common goals that are aligned with Ohio Teacher Education and Licensure Standards, INTASC, PRAXIS, and NCATE Program standards. The Teacher Education Program has established programs in Early Childhood, Middle Childhood, Adolescence to Young Adult, and Multiage Education to assist candidates to:

  • develop an understanding of subject matter areas and to create meaningful learning experiences based on this knowledge.
  • develop an understanding of students' cognitive, social, physical, and emotional development and to create learning opportunities that support student academic development.
  • recognize and value student diversity and the differences in how students learn and provide instruction to accommodate such diversity.
  • develop instructional plans based on students' needs, curricular goals and models, subject matter, and community.
  • develop pedagogical knowledge and skills and to use this expertise to encourage each student to develop critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • create a classroom environment that facilitates learning and a climate that
  • encourages fairness, positive social interactions, active learning, and self- motivation.
  • develop effective verbal, nonverbal, written, technological, and media communication skills to support and enhance student learning.
  • understand the role of assessment and the use of formal and informal assessment strategies to evaluate student learning.
  • develop skills necessary for self-reflection and to use this knowledge to analyze past experiences and to pursue professional development opportunities.
  • collaborate with students, candidates, parents, community members, and professional colleagues in order to support student learning and development.
  • demonstrate a sense of caring.

Performance-based assessments are used to monitor candidates' performances and to determine the extent to which candidates meet goals and standards. The predominant assessment tool relied upon in the Teacher Education Program is the candidates' professional portfolios. The portfolio is used as a continuous assessment tool not only for individual candidates but also to determine and re-examine trends in candidate development within and across programs. The portfolio contains products/artifacts chosen by the candidate with the guidance of professional community members in order to provide evidence of content, pedagogical and professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to help all students learn. The artifacts/projects included in the portfolio are judged at transition points by using holistic and analytical rubrics as evidence of goal attainment with the aim of becoming Competent, Capable, and Caring teachers.