New Internship Major for Elementary and Special Education Candidates
March 5, 2013 - The Union University Teacher Education Initiative (UUTEI) continues to bear the fruit of change. At the February meeting of the Greater Faculty, new Teaching and Learning (T&L) and Interdisciplinary majors were approved for Union University students seeking to teach children in Preschool through Eighth Grade. The new majors emphasize clinically-based practice culminating in a year-long internship the senior year. The internship is an incremental immersion clinical experience beginning with 2 days weekly in schools in the fall semester, moving to 5 days a week in the spring semester. The T&L and Interdisciplinary majors lead to a 4-year baccalaureate degree with teacher licensure.
Teaching candidates may also opt to couple a traditional school subject major (in English, Mathematics, Science, Language, History, etc.) with the Interdisciplinary Studies major and graduate in five years with a bachelor’s degree and the master’s internship degree. This option is called a 4+1 degree program and has the advantage of counting the graduate internship as the first year of teaching.
Both tracks emphasize rich preparation for the challenges of the 21st century classroom. Dr. Ann Singleton, Associate Dean of the School of Education, comments, “Our Union students are being offered cutting edge preparation to meet the rapidly changing demands of schools. We want our graduates to be fully ready, even as they begin their first year of teaching.”
The Greater Faculty also approved a newly revised Special Education 4-year internship degree. Dr. Michele Atkins, chair of the undergraduate UUTEI committee, is pleased with the results: “This degree program incorporates all the good things we have been doing and adds the improvements we needed to make to ensure the best teacher preparation anywhere.”
And, Dr. Tom Rosebrough, Executive Dean, adds, “We have created curriculum that offers preparatory strands of diversity, integrated technology, data-driven assessment, transformational teaching concepts of student goals and teacher roles, and enhanced clinically-based experiences. Our faculty members have carefully studied current national trends in consultation with local schools and are excited about this new set of majors for our students.”
The first internship year is scheduled to begin fall 2014.