||Schofield Hall 218|
||Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004|
Curriculum and Instruction Implements|
New Admission Guidelines
MAILED: Feb. 16, 1999|
In an effort to ensure that those students most likely to succeed as teachers are able to earn education degrees, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has revised its criteria for admittance to the School of Education in five programs. The programs certify teachers for grades one to six, one to nine, six to 12, nine to 12 and kindergarten to 12.
Students apply for admittance to a program and the school concurrently, but for years more students have applied than there were available slots, said Dr. Susan McIntyre, chair of curriculum and instruction. Students with the highest grade point averages were admitted while the rest were turned away, she said.
A new process will be used to select the students who will be admitted to the school/programs for the fall 1999 semester, taking into account more than a GPA, McIntyre said.
"We have no confidence that a high GPA automatically means someone will make a good teacher," McIntyre said of the change. "Indicators of a good teacher go beyond a grade point average."
But a minimum 2.75 GPA is among the requirements, primarily because the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction requires it of anyone applying for a teaching license, McIntyre said. But things such as teaching philosophies, experience working with children, recommendations from faculty, interpersonal qualities, a sense of commitment and maturity, and leadership skills will now come into play as well, she said.
"It's a new, more responsive approach to the admissions process," McIntyre said. "We know that a 4.0 does not guarantee a good teacher."
For example, the admissions process will include feedback from home departments such as foreign languages, history or physical education. A letter of recommendation from a designated person in a student's disciplinary department must be part of an student's application, McIntyre said. And those departments have their own sets of criteria that must be met before such an endorsement will be given, she said, citing as an example the foreign language department's requirement that a student pass an oral proficiency test before being recommended for admission to the School of Education.
A portfolio must be submitted that contains a written teaching philosophy, a degree plan, evidence of experience with children and evidence of a diverse experience.
"We want there to be more of an emphasis on good teaching characteristics," she said. "We're looking at performance indicators instead of just GPAs."
The changes were needed as the number of students applying for admission to the School of Education continued to grow but the numbers of available slots stayed the same, McIntyre said. For example, 132 students have indicated they wanted to get into the middle/secondary program this semester but there are only 60 seats, she said, adding that the numbers were similar for the elementary education program.
Before applying for admission to the school/program, students must still apply for and complete the required pre-program process, which includes directed field experiences. But the School of Education has increased the number of seats available in those pre-program classes, McIntyre said.
"We want to give people an opportunity when they're younger to be in the schools and to decide if they really like it," McIntyre said.
The quality of written materials from those pre-program courses will be considered when applications are reviewed, and a recommendation will be made by the instructor as a result of the final interview in those courses.
Students will be allowed to apply to the School of Education twice, McIntyre said. "So students should apply smart," she said.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: Feb. 16, 1999