Director of Teacher Education: Richard Fulton
Fort Lewis College offers the Teacher Education Licensure Program to enable students with specific majors to qualify for a Colorado teaching license. The program makes it possible both to complete a bachelor’s degree and qualify for a teaching license within four academic years. All students are encouraged to schedule a meeting with the Director of Teacher Education during their first term regarding Teacher Education Licensure, approved majors, and requirements necessary for licensure. The Teacher Education Department is located on the top floor of Education and Business Hall (Director’s Office: EBH 244). Students may also visit the Teacher Education website.
The Fort Lewis College Teacher Education Department endeavors to attract individuals with a high potential for successfully completing teacher preparation courses and fieldwork. The Director of Teacher Education serves as the contact person for curriculum advising.
Steps for Undergraduate Students to Becoming a Licensed Teacher
Undergraduate students interested in seeking teaching licensure at Fort Lewis College should fully understand that there are several steps in the process. The Director of Teacher Education can answer any questions about the process. Interested students, particularly transfer students, are encouraged to schedule an appointment with the Director (EBH 244) for this purpose. The steps to teacher licensure for undergraduate students are as follows:
- Students must select the approved major for their chosen licensure area, as indicated below under Teacher Education Licensure Programs Offered at Fort Lewis College and Approved Corresponding Majors. In consultation with an academic advisor in the appropriate major, and during their first term, students should plan a program of studies that will qualify them to graduate and meet licensure requirements in a four year period, if that is their goal. Elementary Education and Early Childhood majors seeking elementary education licensure should be advised by a Teacher Education faculty member. Students must meet with their academic advisor prior to registration each term. Students seeking licensure in a K-12 or 7-12 area will typically be advised by a faculty member in their major. These students also should meet with the Director of Teacher Education during their first term at Fort Lewis College to be assigned to a Teacher Education advisor. The Teacher Education advisor will help the student understand the requirements and policies leading to licensure, and will help them in developing their program of studies. Students must meet with their academic advisors prior to registration each term.
- Upon earning at least 30 credits or sophomore standing, students may apply for admission to the Teacher Education Licensure Program. To do so, students who meet all requirements listed below should complete the following application online. Applicants who meet these requirements will receive a letter indicating their admission. Students who have not been admitted to the Teacher Education Licensure Program are not eligible to take the 400-level methods courses needed for licensure. Students who do not meet one or more of the requirements below are eligible to petition the Professional Education Review Committee (PERC) by downloading the PERC petition form and guidelines and return the form and supporting documents to Administrative Assistant of the Teacher Education Program, Michelle Celeste, in EBH 249, 970-247-7291. The PERC is composed of three TED faculty members who review the applicant’s petition. The PERC will review each case on its merits and not all PERC requests are granted. The PERC meets once per month during the academic year and accept petitions between mid-September through mid-April. They do not meet during the last two weeks of the semester. Petitions are responded to at least four weeks after complete petition is accepted.
- Students who have been admitted to the Teacher Education Licensure Program must attend a student teaching application meeting on the first Friday of the first week of the fall or spring semester that precedes their student teaching term. Requirements for admission to student teaching are indicated below.
- Students who complete student teaching must apply to the Colorado Department of Education for Colorado licensure. Requirements for being recommended for licensure are indicated below.
Teacher Education Licensure Programs Offered at Fort Lewis College and Approved Corresponding Majors
Undergraduate students interested in being licensed as a teacher in Colorado must first choose an academic major that corresponds to a specific licensure program. The licensure programs and their corresponding academic majors follow. The requirements for the selected licensure program are found under each major’s teaching option.
- Early Childhood Education Licensure (birth to 3rd grade)
> Academic Major: Early Childhood Education
- Elementary Education Licensure (grades K-6)
> Academic Major: Elementary Education
- Secondary Drama Licensure (grades 7-12)
> Academic Major: Theatre - Secondary Drama Teaching Option
- Secondary English Licensure (grades 7-12)
> Academic Major: English - English for Secondary Teachers Option
- Secondary Mathematics Licensure (grades 7-12)
> Academic Major: Mathematics - Mathematics for Secondary Teachers Option
- Secondary Science Licensure (grades 7-12)
> Academic Majors (one of the following two majors): Biology - Biology for Secondary Teachers Option,
Chemistry - Chemistry for Secondary Teachers Option
- Secondary Social Studies Licensure (grades 7-12)
> Academic Major: History - Social Studies for Secondary Teachers Option
- Art Licensure (grades K-12)
> Academic Major: Art- Art K-12 Teaching Option
- Music Licensure (grades K-12)
> Academic Major: Music - Music K-12 Teaching Option
- Physical Education Licensure (grades K-12)
> Academic Major: Exercise Science - Exercise Science K-12 Teaching Option
- Spanish Licensure (grades K-12)
> Academic Major: Spanish K-12 Teaching Option
Additional Licensure Options
Students in all licensure programs may seek an add-on licensure in Linguistically Diverse Education (often referred to as English as a Second Language). Students who have added licensure in Linguistically Diverse Education may also seek an add-on licensure in Linguistically Diverse Education Specialist: Bilingual Preparation. As both of these add-on licensure programs entail additional coursework, students should expect that the time needed to complete both the primary licensure program and an add-on will exceed four years. Interested students should speak with Jennifer Rider, Program Coordinator, EBH 252, to determine specific courses they will need to take.
It is also possible for either Early Childhood Education or Elementary Education students to become licensed in both Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education without additional coursework. Students interested in this option should speak with their advisors or with the Director of Teacher Education.
Requirements for Admission to the Teacher Education Licensure Program
To gain admission to the Teacher Education Licensure Program, students who meet all requirements listed below should complete the following online application. Admission requirements follow:
- Completed a minimum of 30 credits with sophomore standing and enrolled in approved teacher licensure major.
- Completed ED 222 with a minimum grade of B-. They also need to have completed ED 322 with a minimum grade of B-.
- Submission of fingerprints for a Colorado Department of Education background investigation.
- Attained a cumulative Fort Lewis College GPA of at least 2.75.
- Degree seeking students only: Completed COMP 126 or COMP 150 or COMP 250 with a minimum grade of C (not C-).
- Degree seeking students only: Completed one college level math or approved equivalent course with a minimum grade of C (not C-). Remedial courses are not accepted as a fulfillment of this requirement.
PERC Petition: Applicants who have not attained one or more of the above requirements, except requirement #3, may submit a petition to the department’s Professional Education Review Committee for approval to be admitted. The PERC petition may be obtained from the Director of Teacher Education. The PERC is composed of three Teacher Education faculty members who will review the applicant’s petition. The PERC will review each case on its merits; not all requests to the PERC are granted.
Required Field Experiences
Fort Lewis College students in the Teacher Education Licensure Program will complete a minimum of 800 hours of field experience activities throughout their program. Students must have submitted fingerprints for a background check in order to enroll in any course with a field-study component.
300-Level courses: Students will take 300-level courses that include field study components. The number of courses differs among the various programs.
400-Level courses: Students will take courses that include field study components with the focus on planning and teaching lessons under the direction of veteran classroom teachers. Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education students will be involved in a three-term immersion program that combines teaching methodology courses with practical application in field study.
Student Teaching: Students in the Secondary and K-12 licensure programs complete a full term of student teaching. The third immersion term is considered the official student teaching term for students in the Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education majors.
Requirements for Admission to Student Teaching
Secondary and K-12 students and Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education second-term immersion students will attend a special meeting in the first week of the fall or spring semester prior to their intended student teaching term/third immersion term. Applications for student teaching/third immersion term are distributed at this meeting and must be submitted by the deadline announced at this meeting, typically three weeks after the meeting. For more information, students should contact Will Camp, Coordinator of Field Experiences, EBH 242. Students may apply to student teach in the Durango area or, with Teacher Ed Faculty approval, in out-of-area school districts.
Requirements for Admission to Student Teaching/Third Immersion Term:
- Senior standing.
- Pass the approved PRAXIS II or PLACE content test.
- Successful completion of 100% of coursework prior to the student teaching term.
- Achievement of a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 and a minimum 2.75 GPA in courses with an ED designation.
- Earn a minimum grade of C (not C-) in all courses with an ED designation. In addition, students must have earned a minimum B- grade in ED 222 and minimum of B- in ED 322 .
- Demonstration of proficiency on all KATS assignments completed in courses to date. See below for explanation of KATS.
- Maintain the support of teacher education faculty members. Such support may be withheld for violations of academic integrity or irresponsible actions in field experiences or course work or criminal behavior.
PERC Petition: Students not meeting the above requirements may petition for a review by the Department’s Professional Education Review Committee (PERC), which may stipulate conditions in order to be allowed to student teach. Not all PERC requests are granted.
Out-of-Area Student Teaching: Reasonable attempts will be made to approve students’ requests to student teach out-of-area (more than 70 miles from Durango). Students approved to teach out-of-area must have demonstrated consistently responsible behaviors in pre-student teaching field study and coursework. Students interested in this option should speak with Will Camp, Coordinator of Field Experiences, EBH 242, well in advance of the student teaching/third immersion term. Students who student teach out-of-area are charged an additional fee to cover the additional cost of supervision.
Required Content Tests: Students will not be placed into student teaching/ISM third immersion term until they have passed the required content test for their licensure area by the established testing dates. Thus, students should take their content test prior to the date they will apply for admission to student teaching/ third immersion term.
- For students planning to student teach/enter third immersion term in a fall semester, they should have taken their content test by November of the prior year. Students’ final opportunity to pass their required test in order to student teach in the fall semester will be the March testing date.
- For students planning to student teach/take their third immersion term in a spring semester, they should have taken their content test by June or July of the prior year. Students’ final opportunity to pass their required test in order to student teach in the spring semester will be the September testing date.
Students register on-line and can find additional information about the tests and study guides by linking to PRAXIS and PLACE from the Teacher Education website. Information on test dates also can be found on the bulletin board outside EBH 242.
Required Tests by Licensure Area
- Early Childhood Education: PLACE Test 02
- Elementary Education: PLACE Test 01 or PRAXIS II 5014
- Secondary Drama: PLACE Test 30
- Secondary English: PLACE Test 07 or PRAXIS II 5038
- Secondary Mathematics: PLACE Test 04 or PRAXIS II 5161
- Secondary Science: PLACE Test 05 or PRAXIS II 5435
- Secondary Social Studies: PLACE Test 06 or PRAXIS II 5081
- K-12 Art: PLACE Test 28
- K-12 Music: PLACE Test 29
- K-12 Physical Education: PLACE Test 32
- K-12 Spanish: PLACE Test 09
Add-on Licensure Tests (must be passed to be eligible for licensure, but not required for student teaching):
- Linguistically Diverse Education: PLACE Test 17
- Linguistically Diverse Education Specialist: Bilingual Preparation: PLACE Test 16
Completion of Student Teaching
To complete the Teacher Education Licensure Program, all students must receive a satisfactory grade in their student teaching course. To earn a satisfactory grade, all students must meet three criteria:
- Satisfactory Performance in the Student Teaching Placement,
- Proficiency in all Key Assignments in the KATS System, and
- Successful Completion of the Professional Exhibition
Each of the requirements is explained in turn.
Satisfactory Performance in the Student Teaching Placement: During student teaching students will be evaluated by educational professionals on a number of factors critical to effective teaching. These factors include pedagogical skills, content knowledge, and dispositions. Students are rated on a 1 (low) to 5 (high) scale on each element of each factor, with a rating of 3 being the minimum indicator of satisfactory performance. Students must earn a minimum 3 rating in all elements of all factors as one requirement for earning a satisfactory grade in student teaching.
Proficiency in all Key Assignments in the KATS System: KATS is the acronym for the Key Assignment Tracking System, an electronic program that monitors students’ proficiency on all 45 elements of the eight Performance-Based Standards for Colorado Teachers (PBSCT). Students demonstrate proficiency by completing Key Assignments linked to the PBSCT. These Key Assignments are included in a number of pre-student teaching and student teaching courses. For each Key Assignment, students are rated on a Not Proficient, Proficient, Exemplary scale. Students must attain a minimum rating of Proficient in all Key Assignments for all PBSCT elements as one requirement for earning a satisfactory grade in student teaching. If a student does not complete a proficient ranking in a KATS assignment they will either have to re-submit the assignment or re-take the course based on the instructors’ syllabus policy. If a student does not complete a proficient ranking in a KATS assignment they will either have to re-submit the assignment or re-take the course based on the instructors’ syllabus policy. If a student does not complete a KATS assignment the semester prior to student teaching, they will not be able to student teach.
Successful Completion of the Professional Exhibition: During the final weeks of the student teaching term, all students design and present a Professional Exhibition demonstrating, through various modes, their ability to reflect on their strengths, weaknesses and goals in a number of areas critical to effective teaching. This Professional Exhibition is evaluated by educational professionals as Not Satisfactory or Satisfactory. Students must earn a Satisfactory rating on their design and presentation as one requirement for earning a satisfactory grade in student teaching.
Recommendation for Licensure
Upon successful completion of the Teacher Education Licensure Program, students may apply for a Colorado Teaching License. The Teacher Education Department will recommend students for Colorado licensure if they meet the following requirements:
- Successful completion of a Bachelor’s Degree in the approved major.
- Successful completion of student teaching (which includes the demonstration of proficiency in all KATS assignments and successful presentation of the professional exhibition).
- Passing the approved PRAXIS II or PLACE content test.
- Submission of required materials to the Director of Teacher Education.
Students wishing to apply to another state are advised to contact the appropriate State Department of Education for information about specific requirements.