ProTeach: A program for the preparation of Professional Teachers.
The College of Education is responsible for teacher education at the University of Florida. University teacher education programs are approved by the State of Florida Department of Education and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
Teaching is a more difficult and demanding task today than ever before. Conditions teachers face in the classroom are more complex and stressful than those in the past. At the same time, parents, other adults, and young people are increasingly aware that a sound educational background is essential to success in later life. More is expected of professional teachers. In response to this challenge, the College of Education has developed a program to prepare teachers in Elementary and Special Education, Early Childhood Education, and the various areas of Secondary Education. ProTeach is a rigorous program consisting of five years of intensive work, general background knowledge, professional studies and academic specializations designed to culminate in award of a Bachelor of Arts in Education (BAE) and a Master of Education (MEd).
The curriculum of ProTeach incorporates the best available information about effective teachers’ knowledge, skills and personal attributes. The latest developments in instructional approaches and new technologies are used. ProTeach is not built upon previous programs but upon a re-conceptualization of what a beginning teacher should know, should be able to do and should be as a model for youth. ProTeach incorporates increased course work outside the College of Education and expanded foundational studies and clinical experiences.
Master’s Program Admission
Requirements for admission to the ProTeach master’s degree program are based on minimum requirements for admission to the Graduate School. Currently, a successful applicant must present both a 3.0 upper-division grade point average and an acceptable score on the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination. Applicants who do not meet minimum requirements may be granted admission upon review and approval of the College of Education faculty and the Dean of the College of Education.
An internship is included in the master’s year of ProTeach. Student teaching assignments are made at various sites in Florida, in accordance with program objectives and the student’s professional goals. In addition to regular tuition expenses, students are responsible for transportation to and/or housing in the community where student teaching is to occur. Fees which school districts may impose relating to requirements for personnel screening (e.g., finger printing, background checks, and substance abuse testing) are the responsibility of the student.
Unified Elementary Education
The changing demographics and the movement to include students with disabilities in general education classrooms create a context where general education teachers often feel ill prepared to meet the diverse needs of students, particularly those with disabilities. At the same time, special education teachers often feel ill-prepared teaching in the content areas and thus have difficulty collaborating with regular education teachers in meaningful ways.
Until now, most teacher preparation programs in Florida, as in other states have prepared general education and special education teachers in separate programs. The Unified Elementary ProTeach program is a program that will prepare pre-service teachers in both special education and elementary education to work effectively in our increasingly diverse schools.
The program is designed to prepare teachers with a dual emphasis in elementary education and mild disabilities. All graduates also will be prepared to work with students who are English Speakers of Other Languages. The purpose of this program is to prepare teachers who are capable of: (a) creating and maintaining supportive and productive classrooms for diverse student populations and (b) working collaboratively with school personnel, families, and members of the community to develop alternative ways of educating all children, including those who have traditionally been labeled hard-to-teach and hard-to-manage.
During the fifth year, which may be a master’s degree program or a non-degree post-baccalaureate program, students will choose to continue their studies in elementary or special education. Those selecting elementary education will be eligible for certification in Elementary (K-6) and endorsements in ESOL and Reading. Those electing special education will be eligible for certifications in Elementary (K-6) and Exceptional Student Education (K-12) with an endorsement in ESOL.
Unified Early Childhood Education
The Unified Early Childhood Education Program unifies studies in early childhood education and early childhood special education to prepare candidates to teach all students from the earliest ages to grade three.
Through foundational studies, professional methods classes, clinical experiences, and classroom experiences, graduates are well prepared to teach young children with a wide variety of capabilities at the preschool and primary levels.
Students earn a bachelor’s degree with a major in special education and a master’s degree with a major in early childhood education. Graduates of the program will be eligible for certifications in Preschool Education (age 3 – grade 3) and Pre-kindergarten/Primary (birth – age 4), and endorsements in ESOL and Pre-kindergarten Disabilities.
The Proteach Secondary Education program prepares English, science, and social science teachers for today’s classrooms. Students first complete a bachelor’s degree with a major in their intended subject area.
The English Education program requires a bachelor’s degree with a major in English or an English-related subject with 30 credits of approved English courses.
The Science Education program has three tracks: biology, chemistry, and physics. Students in the biology track must complete a bachelor’s degree with a major in biology, botany, entomology, microbiology, wildlife ecology, or zoology. Students in the chemistry and physics tracks must complete a bachelor’s degree with a major in chemistry or physics.
The Social Science Education program requires a bachelor’s degree with a major in anthropology, economics, geography, history, political science, or sociology. In addition to major requirements, students must take courses in the other major areas for this broad-field certification area.
Graduates of the ProTeach Secondary Education master’s degree program are eligible for professional certification for grades 6-12 in their subject area.