Department of Teacher Education
Dr. Kathy E. Stephens, Chair
Associate Professors: Stephens, Teel
Assistant Professor: McElroy
The demand for qualified, competent, and caring teachers to fill our nation's classrooms is at an all-time high. Choosing to pursue teaching as a profession offers students an avenue to make an immediate impact on America's youth. At LeTourneau University, the Teacher Education Program is designed to assist you in exploring the challenge of pursuing teaching as a career, while providing opportunities to develop the knowledge and skills necessary for becoming an effective elementary, middle, or secondary school teacher. Professional development courses include "hands-on" field-based experiences that allow students to apply educational theory and practices in actual elementary, middle, and secondary classroom settings. Our faculty members emphasize the integration of Christian worldview principles with contemporary educational theory and policies regarding teaching and learning.
Our balanced approach to teacher education includes three important elements: general education, content specialization (teaching field) preparation, and professional development. The general education curriculum offers a solid foundation of the basics, while the teaching field courses allow for development of subject area mastery. The professional development curriculum provides opportunities for discovering a personal philosophy and style of teaching, developing motivational techniques for student learning, and formulating strategies for classroom management, assessment, and planning.
The aims of the LeTourneau University Teacher Education Program are: (1) to prepare students to be caring teachers through positive learning experiences with Christian role models; (2) to prepare students to be knowledgeable teachers through a comprehensive academic program in appropriate teaching fields; (3) to prepare students to be effective teachers through a sequenced professional development program including field and student teaching experiences; and (4) to prepare students to be certified teachers in Texas through preparation for state testing requirements.
Admission to LeTourneau University does not guarantee admission into the Teacher Education Program. There are specific university and state regulations that must be met before a student can be admitted to the Teacher Education Program. For this reason, all students should declare their intention to work toward certification as early as possible.
Because future teachers need to spend time both in university courses to study educational theory, and in PK-12 schools to begin to put theory into practice, the LeTourneau University teacher preparation program provides ample opportunities for both types of experiences.
Students in the teacher education program must successfully complete LeTourneau University teacher education requirements, including student teaching, to be recommended as a graduate of LeTourneau University. Students must pass appropriate state TExES tests to be recommended for certification in Texas. Students licensed to teach in Texas typically have no difficulty in obtaining licensure in other states.
Students transferring from other colleges must take the student teaching semester at LeTourneau University and meet all teacher education requirements.
Persons who hold a degree from a recognized college or university and who have an overall GPA of 2.5 may apply to LeTourneau University and the teacher education program to prepare for certification in teaching fields offered by the university. These persons must complete the professional development core, including field experiences and student teaching, and meet course requirements for a teaching field or concentration. Advisors will determine whether previous courses meet state and university requirements for certification, including such factors as how recently the courses were taken. Further information is available from the Department of Teacher Education.
Admission to Teacher Education
Students must complete the application procedure and be accepted into the Teacher Education Program in the fall of their sophomore year. Requirements for formal admission into the Teacher Education Program are:
- Admission to the LeTourneau University academic program.
- Verification of oral language skills as evidenced by successful completion of COMM 1113 Introduction to Speech Communication.
- Completion of a course sequence and degree plan in conjunction with the major advisor and teacher education advisor.
- A personal interview with the Chair of Teacher Education or designated faculty member.
- Successful completion of state requirements for demonstration of basic skills in reading, writing, mathematics, and critical thinking. (See the department chair for details.)
- A cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.5.
- A GPA of at least 2.5 in secondary teaching field(s) or elementary concentration.
- No grade lower than a C in teaching field(s), concentrations, reading courses, technology course, and education courses.
- Recommendations of personal and academic fitness by a major/concentration faculty member, the Chair of Teacher Education, and Student Affairs.
Failure to meet all the requirements will delay entry into the Teacher Education Program.
Students will take two academic courses and student teach for at least 12 weeks at local public or accredited non-public school campuses. Students must participate in the first three days of school in August at the campus where they will be student teaching in the spring. Requirements for participation in student teaching include:
- Admission to teacher education.
- Participation in the first three days of school in August.
- Continued cumulative GPA of at least 2.5.
- Continued GPA of at least 2.5 in teaching field(s) or concentrations.
- GPA of at least 2.5 in education classes.
- No grade lower than a C in teaching field(s), concentrations, reading courses, technology course, and education courses.
- Positive assessments from university supervisor(s) and cooperating teacher(s).
- Remaining teaching field course requirements of no more than 8 hours under Secondary Option I or IV or All-Level Option II, or 4 hours for each field under Option II; or remaining elementary concentration requirements of no more than 4 hours for each of two content area concentrations.
Failure to meet all requirements will delay the student teaching semester.
NOTE: Students who choose to change to a different teaching field, or option will probably experience a delay in meeting the requirements of the Teacher Education Program. Students who change from education options to other degree programs are required to meet the requirements of the program to which they change.
Due to the importance of taking courses that address the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and the TExES (certification examination) competencies, education students are required to take the majority of the courses in their teaching field(s) or concentrations at LeTourneau University. LeTourneauís Department of Teacher Education considers student requests for substitutions of credit earned at other institutions for required education-related courses very carefully to ensure compatibility with state and university education requirements.
Meeting high academic requirements is essential for those who wish to become teachers in elementary, middle, or secondary schools. Future teachers must be able to maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 and GPAs of at least 2.5 in teaching field(s) or concentration and in their education courses (including reading and INTC 3003). Students who make a D or F in a course will be required to retake it.
Students must meet the 2.5 cumulative requirement and the 2.5 teaching field/concentration requirement before the Fall Semester of their senior year. To improve their cumulative GPA, students may choose to retake LeTourneau courses in which they made a D or F and/or take additional courses at LeTourneau. To improve their teaching field or concentration GPA, students may take additional courses in the field/concentration.
Cumulative GPA is computed by the Academic Records Services Office and is printed on semester grade reports and transcripts. Grades in courses transferred from other institutions are not considered in calculating cumulative GPA. Teaching field and education course GPAs are calculated by the Department of Teacher Education, using records from the Academic Records Services Office. Teaching field, concentration, and education GPAs are calculated using all courses in the area, regardless of where the courses are taken.
Retention in Program
Students will be retained in the program as long as they maintain GPA requirements and personal qualities and professional characteristics conducive to employment in a teaching position. Students may lose admitted status because of poor academic performance or evidence of lack of fitness for the education profession. The question of fitness may be raised by a LeTourneau University faculty member or cooperating educator from a school district. Students who lose admitted status or who withdraw from the Teacher Education Program must meet requirements of the degree program to which they change.
Evaluation of student teaching will be based on data from teacher(s) in the cooperating school district and the university supervisor. The decision to recommend for certification will be made by the university in conjunction with the cooperating district.
State Certification Examinations
Students admitted to teacher education will begin preparing for state TExES examinations in areas of academic content and professional development. Students interested in applying to take a TExES exam must enroll in the appropriate seminar course (EDUC 4101, EDUC 4201, or EDUC 4301) during the semester in which they wish to test. Students will be assigned to content area or professional development TExES coordinators for the review process. During this time, students will be allowed to take departmental practice tests in the appropriate certification areas. Prior to program completion, students who pass a practice test with a score of 80% or above will be allowed to take the state TExES test.
State Approval of LeTourneau's Teacher Education Programs
Any changes in Texas State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) requirements take precedence over statements in this catalog.
LeTourneau University received approval of its secondary teacher education program from the Texas Education Agency on April 30, 1992. The elementary program was approved by the State Board for Educator Certification on January 9, 1998.
Elementary/Middle School Education
Students should declare their interest in elementary education as freshmen, so they will not miss any courses in the required sequence.
Elementary/Middle School education students will work toward a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies degree. Elementary/Middle School education students may choose from the following certifications:
- Early Childhood - 6th Grade Generalist certification
- 4th - 8th Grade Generalist certification
- 4th - 8th Grade Language Arts/Social Studies certification
- 4th - 8th Grade Math/Science certification
The first interdisciplinary concentration is Education and the second and third Interdisciplinary concentrations are Language Arts and a combination of courses.
Students successfully completing the following three courses will be eligible to take the Supplemental Special Education TExES exam:*
- EDUC 4113 Overview of Special Education
- EDUC 4233 Teaching Students with learning Differences and Behavior Disorders
- EDUC 4313 Education Strategies for Individuals with Disabilities.
Students successfully completing the following three courses will be eligible to take the Supplemental English as a Second Language TExES exam: *
*Students pursuing the EC-6 Generalist certification must choose either the Supplemental Special Education or the Supplemental English as a Second Language certificate courses.
Secondary EducationStudents pursuing a career in secondary education work toward a major in their area of academic concentration. Those planning to teach high school math, for example, would major in math; English teachers major in English, and so on. Requirements for a degree in a major with a secondary education option will be different from those for a regular degree in a major. Students should consult their major advisors to determine specific requirements.
LeTourneau offers programs leading to secondary or all-level teacher certification in the state of Texas under four of the options specified by the state.
- Secondary Option I requires one teaching field (the major) of at least 36 semester hours with a supporting field. The choices are English/Language Arts with a supporting field of Reading: Mathematics with a supporting field of Computer Information Systems or Physics: Applied Technology with a supporting field of physical sciences: or History with a supporting field of Spanish.
- Secondary Option II requires two teaching fields of at least 24 semester hours each, one of which will be the declared major and the other a declared second field. The only Option II is Business Administration as the major field with a second field of Computer Information Systems.
- Secondary Option IV is a composite teaching field (the major) of at least 48 semester hours. The choices are Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Science, or Social Studies.
- All-level Option II is a teaching field (the major) of at least 36 hours. The choice is Kinesiology.
4th-8th and 8th-12th Combination Certification
A student who wishes to work toward this combination certification may do so by adding the recommended courses listed under the certification additional course requirements to one of the following areas:
The combination certification will add 9 hours to the minimum hours required for the area.
- History, B.A., with Spanish as a supporting field
- Mathematics, B.S., with Computer Information Systems as a supporting field
- Mathematics, B.S., with Physics as a supporting field
- Life Sciences, B.S.
- Physical Sciences, B.S.
- Science, B.S.
- Language Arts, B.A., with Reading as a Supporting Field
- Social Studies, B.A.
Students who have already completed an undergraduate degree and are interested in pursuing teacher certification are eligible to enroll in the Teacher Education Postbaccalaureate Program. Formal acceptance into the Teacher Education program generally occurs during the semester of the first professional development course.
Acceptance is determined by:
- Admission to LeTourneau University as a special student.
- Verification of critical thinking skills, and college level reading and writing proficiency as evidenced by graduation from an accredited institution with an overall GPA of 2.5.
- Verification of oral language skills as evidenced by successful completion of a speech course.
- Completion of College Algebra or higher with a grade of C or above.
- Completion of a content area TExES test or completion of a deficiency plan for core courses, area(s) of specialization, and professional development core.
For additional information and requirements contact the Department of Teacher Education at 903-233-3860 or see the web site.
An opportunity is available through the Postbaccalaureate Accelerated Certification for Teachers (P.A.C.T.) program offered through the School of Graduate and Professional Studies. Please contact the Director of P.A.C.T. for more information at 903-233-4050.