The University of Texas at Tyler College of Education and Psychology has made significant revisions to its bachelor of science in interdisciplinary studies degree plans, Dr. William Geiger, dean of the UT Tyler College of Education and Psychology, announced.
Degree plans prepare candidates for teacher certification in early childhood through grade four and grades four through eight.
The new plans will emphasize candidates’ acquisition of the knowledge, skills and dispositions needed by beginning teachers. In addition, the new plans will require fewer semester credit hours than existing plans, according to Geiger.
Effective fall 2007, students enrolling in educator preparation programs for EC-4 generalist and 4-8 language arts/social studies will be required to complete 120 semester credit hours, including the six hours of student teaching. The 4-8 math/science program will require 125 hours.
Previous EC-4 and 4-8 degree plans required 125 to 138 semester credit hours, depending on the certification option. Once those requirements were met, students would complete an additional six semester credit hours for student teaching or an internship. As a result, students were required to complete a total of up to 144 hours.
“With the revised degree plans, we’ve basically eliminated, at the very least, a full semester,” said Reg Killingley, director of the college’s center for undergraduate advising and clinical experiences.
For more information on the degree plans, contact Killingley, 903.566.7284, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.uttyler.edu/epp.
Under the revised plans, students will complete student teaching and certification exams before graduation.
“Students in the revised programs will be guaranteed the safety net student teaching provides. Student teachers work under the close supervision of a mentoring classroom teacher, which is really beneficial to anyone who’s starting in a profession, particularly in schools where there’s so much high-stakes testing,” said Killingley.
Decreasing the number of required hours enhances the existing quality of the program by eliminating some duplication of course material and allowing for a more focused course of study.
“We’re also creating an assessment system that will establish benchmarks at several steps throughout the program to further ensure that students are making the progress we expect them to make,” Killingley added.
The revisions also help transfer students by bringing the university closer to a seamless transition from the area community colleges, according to Killingley.