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Florida SouthWestern State College’s School of Education provides a rigorous learning environment ensuring teacher candidates will achieve their greatest potentials through a course of study based upon a strong pedagogical, ethical and socially-conscious foundation that fosters creativity and innovation. Florida SouthWestern State College’s School of Education produces graduates equipped to contribute to the diverse community of life-long learners in Southwest Florida.
Florida SouthWestern State College’s School of Education will provide the community with reflective practitioners possessing the knowledge and skills to educate learners in a world-class global environment.
Principles of Excellence
The teacher candidate will…
- Synthesize academic content, pedagogical skills and educational technology to instruct digital natives.
- Continually explore new methods, best practices and instructional designs to impact k-12 learning.
- Employ strong written, verbal and non-verbal communication skills.
- Emulate and foster caring and ethical behavior in order to build teaching and learning environments that build upon the strengths of students’ diverse cultures and learning styles.
- Collaborate with key stakeholders such as, administrators, colleagues, parents and leaders in the local community.
- Engage in reflective practice with an understanding that learning is a lifelong process.
The School of Education at Florida SouthWestern State College offers pathways for candidates interested in working in educational settings from birth to high school. All programs focus on preparing candidates for their roles as positive and engaging educational practitioners. Through transformational education initiatives focusing on social justice and practical experiences, candidates will learn to educate in today’s diverse classrooms. The School of Education offers rigorous and demanding education programs. Setting high expectations and requiring all teacher candidates to meet these expectations, enables teacher candidates to glean the knowledge and skills needed to be successful educators. Teacher candidates will graduate from the School of Education’s Elementary Education program and certified with both Reading and ESOL endorsements. The Elementary Education program is fully state approved.
The Early Childhood Education program prepares educators to serve as paraprofessionals in schools, VPK teachers, or early care and education professionals. We also offer the Florida Director’s Credential and courses to accomplish completion of the FCCPC or Child Development Associate certificate.
Faculty and staff continually strive towards excellence in preparing candidates to work in diverse environments. Through the School of Education programs, teacher candidates will develop the ability to build a strong sense of community and support among students and faculty.
Teacher candidates engage in diverse Field Experiences at the onset of every program and continue honing their pedagogical skills and knowledge throughout the program. Teacher candidates are assessed on their knowledge, dispositions and performance throughout each of the education programs.
Early Childhood Education, AS
Elementary Education, BS
Field Experience Model
The School of Education prepares individuals to work in diverse learning environments in the professional field of education. In accordance with state and national standards, teacher education candidates at Florida SouthWestern State College are assessed on their knowledge, dispositions, and performance. The Field Experience enhances pre-service teacher education by empowering quality teachers to mentor teacher candidates through the three phases of field experience: foundation, practicum, or internship. Teacher mentors play a vital role in the development and preparation of high quality teacher candidates.
Florida SouthWestern State College’s innovative model of Field Experience minimizes disruptions to the classroom setting caused by faculty supervisor visitations and sanctions “teachers as leaders.” The School of Education provides training for teachers interested in mentoring our teacher candidates. Once mentor teachers have met the Field Experience criteria, they will be added to our database and can request that FSW teacher candidates be placed in their classroom for any one of the three phases of Field Experience. The State-mandated classroom observations, as well as mentoring during co-teaching experiences, will be conducted by qualified k-12 mentor teachers. FSW faculty in consultation with the Coordinator of Assessment and Student Success and the Director of Field Experience will serve as counselors, resource personnel, and liaisons for teacher candidates and mentor teachers. It is our goal to support the mentor teachers, as well as our teacher candidates through open communication, resource and information sharing, and curricula alignment. Mentor teachers are the experts in their field. Allowing them to share their expertise and providing a platform for shared best practices benefits the students, as well as teacher candidates.
In applying to Field Experience, mentors teachers agree to work with teacher candidates during any of the three field-based components: foundations, practicum or final internship hours. Mentor teachers are responsible for (but not limited to) the following:
- Completing all necessary training (including, but not limited to, FLDOE Clinical Educator Training for the B.S. in elementary Education program)
- Documentation of teacher candidate with regards to knowledge of content area, performance, and disposition
- Observation and conferencing with candidate, as required with Clinical Education Training
- Providing teacher candidates with on-going support, guidance and strategies to become effective teachers
- Regularly communicating with college faculty and/or Field Experience coordinator
Mentor teachers are expected to be sensitive to the needs and concerns of teacher candidates while maintaining a positive co-teaching learning environment. Persons interested in becoming mentor teachers should contact the School of Education https://www.fsw.edu/fieldexperience/becometeacher
Candidate Disposition Assessment Process
The School of Education prepares individuals to work in diverse learning environments in the professional field of education. In accordance with state and national standards, teacher education candidates at Florida SouthWestern State College are assessed on their knowledge, dispositions, and performance. Knowledge assessment occurs primarily through courses and is reflected in course grades and the candidate’s grade point average (GPA). The Florida Teacher Competency Exams also demonstrate a candidate’s acquisition of knowledge. Dispositions are assessed and monitored continuously throughout the program. The assessment of dispositions takes place at all times while students are on campus and during student teaching. Dispositions shall be assessed under the premise of educational equity and the belief that all students can learn.
Prospective teachers must be able to demonstrate that they are individuals of strong moral character who can make mature decisions. Teachers are responsible for the education, safety, and well-being of anyone in their charge. As such, students enrolled in Florida SouthWestern State College’s Elementary Education programs must adhere to the Principles of Professional Conduct for the Education Profession in Florida, 6A-10.081. Students enrolled in Florida SouthWestern State College’s Early Childhood Education program must adhere to the NAEYC Principals of Professional. All teacher education candidates, faculty, and staff will be provided with a copy of the Principles of Professional Conduct for Florida Educators, Dispositions to be Assessed, and a Disposition Assessment Form. Furthermore, a signed contract must be on file for every teacher candidate prior to enrolling in any course requiring Field Experience components. Candidates who do not have such forms on file are subject to appropriate violations of disposition procedures as stated in this School of Education policy.
This process shall apply to candidates’ dispositions as reflected in Field Experience and related course work. Candidates will be made aware that repeated violations of these dispositions will constitute grounds for a decision regarding separation from the School of Education at Florida SouthWestern State College. This information will also be published in appropriate teacher education documents and reinforced throughout the program.
Procedure for Addressing Disposition:
Professors monitor dispositions throughout the education programs. If a problem arises, the Disposition Assessment Form (Form D-2, p.33) may be utilized by all faculty, staff and classroom teachers to bring a deficiency with regard to professional conduct to the attention of the Dean of the School of Education and possibly escalate to the Teacher Education Special Cases Committee. The Coordinator of Field Experience will monitor all teacher candidates to ascertain if a D-2 form has been issued to the candidates by a faculty member, staff or mentor teacher. If two D-2 submissions have been submitted, the faculty and/or Director of Field Experience will send notice to the Dean of the School of Education. The Department Chair (or coordinator) will schedule a meeting with the candidate and all relevant personnel. The deficiency observed will be discussed with the individual within 14 days of the D-2 form being submitted. If notification of the second D-2 form falls at the end of a term, the Department Chair (or coordinator) will schedule a meeting within 14 days after the beginning of the next full term in which the candidate is enrolled. If an on-going dispositional issue does exist, a list of actions that the candidate agrees to follow will be prepared in memo form. The candidate, Department Chair (or program coordinator) and Field Experience Director will sign the memo that clearly lists the agreed course of action to be taken. A copy of actions will be placed in the candidate’s file. The candidate may also submit an additional statement to be included in the record.
If a candidate receives a D-2 form for a third separate incident, the Director of Field Experience will notify the Dean within 14 days of the filing. The Dean will notify the candidate of any future action to be taken. The decision to submit to the Teacher Education Special Cases Committee may be warranted and action will be taken according to the deficiency.
The candidate will be asked to provide any information he/she wishes regarding the three D-2 forms in writing to the Special Cases Committee. D-2 forms submitted to the Special Cases Committee will be reviewed bi- monthly unless the offense warrants immediate action. The Special Cases Committee shall provide one of three rulings to the Dean of the School of Education: continue in the program, removal from the program, or not enough evidence was provided to make a recommendation in which case the committee may request further information from prior faculty, mentor teachers, or peers. Within 14 days of receiving the recommendation from the Special Cases Committee, the Dean of the School of Education shall affirm or negate the committee’s decision on the case and notify all parties involved. The teacher candidate may appeal the affirmed decision to the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs within five days of receiving notice of the committee’s decision.
Egregious Violations of Dispositional Standards
A candidate may be subject to expedited dismissal from the School of Education for an egregious violation of dispositional standard. Examples of possible egregious violations include, but are not limited to: engaging in illegal or unethical conduct involving minor children or conduct which would be grounds for dismissal from a teaching position, mishandling of private and confidential student information, and serious violations of Principles of Professional Conduct for the Education Profession in Florida, 6A 10.081. The following Criminal Disclosure form outlines the requirements of reporting criminal history. All teacher candidates must sign and return the form prior to conducting ANY field experience hours.
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