Education Major

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Program Overview

The Educational Studies and Teacher Preparation Department, located in the School of Education and Human Development, in close collaboration with the College of Arts and Sciences, offers a Fifth Year Accelerated Teacher Preparation Program, a 15-credit minor in educational studies, and an 18-credit minor in special education, open to all interested undergraduates.

We offer the Fifth Year Accelerated Teacher Preparation Program in Secondary Education (science, math, English, social studies, and world languages), Elementary Education, or Special Education.

Our programs are organized around reflective inquiry and socially responsible professional practice. We are committed to educating scholar-practitioners who:

  • Have the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to enact meaningful connections between theory and practice
  • Promote a developmental model of human growth and learning
  • Exercise ethical professional judgment and leadership
  • Advocate for quality education for all learners

As a student in the Fifth Year Accelerated Teacher Preparation Program, you will:

  • Earn a BA or BS in your selected major
  • Minor in educational studies (15 credits) or special education (18 credits) and take 2-4 additional teacher preparation courses, depending on certification area
  • Continue teacher preparation coursework as a graduate student
  • Complete a 30-credit MA teacher preparation program (about 14 months)
  • Earn an MA in Secondary, Elementary, or Special Education and CT teaching certification
  • Be eligible for a paid teaching internship during your graduate year (up to $15,000 tuition remission)

Our teacher preparation programs are accredited by the State of Connecticut and nationally recognized by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and by their respective national professional associations. Students completing the teacher preparation programs at Fairfield qualify for an initial teaching certificate as secondary educators (grades 7 through 12), elementary educators, or special educators (grades K-12) in the state of Connecticut. This certificate is recognized by 38 other states and the District of Columbia, all participants in the NASDTEC Interstate Contract.

Requirements

Candidates will be advised by the faculty advisors in their majors and by faculty in the Department of Educational Studies and Teacher Preparation, located in the School of Education and Human Development.

Decisions for formal admission to the minor in education studies and special education are made on a rolling basis during the Fall and Spring semesters. Decisions for admission to Level 1 of the Fifth Year Teacher Education Program are made on a rolling basis within the Fall and Spring semesters. Admission decisions into the Graduate phase (Level 2) of the Fifth Year Program are made on or before February 1. Information sessions for the minors in educational studies and special education, as well as the teacher education program, are offered each semester, and the faculty of the Educational Studies and Teacher Preparation Department are available for individual advising by appointment throughout the year.

Candidates interested in pursuing certification to teach Elementary Education (1-6), Secondary Education (7-12), or Special Education (K-12) can do so through one of three 5-year Bachelor’s- Master’s Programs in Teacher Education. The Teacher Education Programs prepare scholar-practitioners who have the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to enact meaningful connections between theory and practice, promote a developmental model of human growth and learning, exercise ethical professional judgment and leadership, and advocate for quality education for all learners. As members of an inclusive community of learners, we (university faculty, experienced and aspiring classroom teachers, and community members and leaders) work together to create and sustain exemplary learning environments that empower K-12 students to become engaged, productive citizens in their communities. Across all programs, our foci for inquiry and action include the socio-cultural and political contexts of education and schooling, the complexities of teaching and learning, teacher work and professional cultures, culturally relevant understandings of human growth and development, and socially responsible uses of technology in schooling and society.

Descriptions of all the required education undergraduate and graduate courses are found in the School of Education and Human Development catalog. Descriptions of undergraduate courses are found under appropriate departmental course listings.

To be admitted to the Fifth Year Accelerated Teacher Preparation Program, students must first declare a minor in Educational Studies or Special Education; successfully earn 45 credits; and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.67 and 3.0 GPA in their certification major.

Admission to Elementary & Secondary Education Programs

There are two phases of the admission process to the Fifth Year Accelerated Program: Level I and Level II, Admission to Level I does not guarantee admission to Level II.

To be admitted to the undergraduate phase of the teacher education program (Level I), students must:

  1. Declare a minor in Educational Studies and engage in at least one course;
  2. Major in an approved discipline;
  3. Possess and maintain a minimum of 2.67 overall GPA;
  4. Maintain a 3.00 GPA in their certification area major;
  5. Complete Level I Application to the undergraduate phase of the Five-Year Program (contract program director for application).
    1. Meet with the Director of the Five-Year Program and appropriate Educational Studies & Teacher Preparation Program faculty to discuss major and minor requirements.
    2. Submit an application as early as Spring of Freshman year and no later than spring of junior year.

To be admitted to the graduate phase of the Fifth Year Program (Level II) students must complete and submit the following, online, by February 1 of their senior year (the application fee is waived for current students).

A complete application (apply online at fairfield.edu/applynow), which includes:

  1. A professional resume
  2. A personal statement describing intent for studying in the program
  3. Official transcript (minimum GPA of 2.67 and 3.0 in major)
  4. Two recommendations
  5. Have taken one of the following tests: the Praxis Core, SAT, ACT, or GRE and provide official scores for their file. Applicants who do not have passing scores on one or more sections may be required to remediate any deficient area. Remediation may include re-taking and passing the sections that were not passed, taking additional coursework*, or other remediation activities.
  6. An admission interview with program faculty
  7. Record of immunizations

*If additional courses are required the candidate must complete the coursework at a grade of B (3.0) or higher and provide an official transcript to the School of Education and Human Development Dean’s Office prior to starting student teaching or internships. Students should contact their advisor for additional details and recommendations. If students provide their social security number to ETS at ets.org/praxis when registering for the Praxis Core exam, the reported score will automatically be uploaded to their Fairfield application file. Fairfield University’s code is 3390.

Students seeking certification must maintain at least a B (3.0) average in their major or the relevant content area courses in order to pursue the fifth year. In view of the teacher’s role in the school and community, candidates whose relevant academic productivity is marginal or inadequate, who do not embody a socially responsible professional disposition, or who demonstrate unsuitable personal qualities, will not be recommended for continuation in the teacher preparation program, student teaching placement, or state certification. In addition, all prospective and admitted candidates to an undergraduate teacher education program are expected to demonstrate the personal and professional dispositions that are embodied in the Mission Statement of the School of Education and Human Development and outlined in the ethical codes of their chosen profession.

The minor in educational studies provides an expanded opportunity for Fairfield University undergraduates to incorporate the study of education into their undergraduate living and learning experiences, whether as prospective teachers or as prospective citizens, or to enhance their preparation as policy makers, practicing professionals or scholars in other fields.

Requirements

The minor in educational studies, open to any interested undergraduate student, has the following requirements:

Requirements for the Minor in Educational Studies can be found here.

Academic Advisement Note

Teacher education candidates should seek academic advisement from the advisor for education certification in their major and an educator advisor to ensure that planned program requirements are fulfilled for their major and core requirements, educational studies or special education minor, and their teacher education program.

The minor in special education is designed to meet the needs of all interested students who wish to deepen their understanding of education, teaching, and learning in preparation for a variety of careers, including, but not limited to, careers as special education teachers, in grades K-12, and for students with varying disabilities in a range of settings and classroom models.

The minor in special education is open to all undergraduates and applications are reviewed on a rolling basis for currently enrolled Fairfield University students. There is no need to enroll in the teacher education program to declare this minor.

Prerequisite to declare the minor:

  1. 15 credits
  2. Permission from the School of Education and Human Development undergraduate special education advisor
  • Requirements for the Minor in Special Education can be found here.

To be admitted to the Special Education Five-Year Integrated Bachelors-Master’s degree teacher education programs, students must first declare the minor in Special Education; successfully earn 45 credits; maintain a minimum GPA of 3.00 in their major and 2.67 cumulative.

LEVEL I:

To be admitted to the undergraduate phase (Level 1) of the special education teacher education program, students must:

  1. Contact program director
  2. Declare a minor in Educational Studies: Special Education
  3. Major in any discipline and maintain a 3.0 GPA
  4. Possess and maintain a minimum of 2.67 overall GPA.
  5. Earn a minimum grade of B in EDUC 2201 Explorations in Education and EDUC 3350 Special Learners in the Mainstream.
  6. Meet with the director of the Special Education Program to discuss major and minor requirements and complete the Level I application for the undergraduate phase of the Special Education Fifth Year Program. Applications can be completed as early as spring of a student’s sophomore year and no later than spring of their junior year. Level I applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Level II: Application to the Masters Year

To be admitted to the graduate phase of the Fifth Year Program (Level II) students must complete and submit the following, online, by February 1 of their senior year (the application fee is waived for current students).

A complete application (apply online at fairfield.edu/applynow), which includes:

  1. A professional resume
  2. A personal statement describing intent for studying in the program
  3. Official transcript (minimum GPA of 2.67 and 3.0 in major)
  4. Two recommendations
  5. Have taken one of the following tests: the Praxis Core, SAT, ACT, or GRE and provide official scores for their file. Applicants who do not have passing scores on one or more sections may be required to remediate any deficient area. Remediation may include re-taking and passing the sections that were not passed, taking additional coursework*, or other remediation activities.
  6. An admission interview with program faculty
  7. Record of immunizations

If additional courses are required the candidate must complete the coursework at a grade of B (3.0) or higher and provide an official transcript to the School of Education and Human Development Dean’s Office prior to starting student teaching or internships. Students should contact their advisor for additional details and recommendations. If students provide their social security number to ETS at ets.org/praxis when registering for the Praxis Core exam, the reported score will automatically be uploaded to their Fairfield application file. Fairfield University’s code is 3390.

The School of Education and Human Development offers teaching internships for both certified and non-certified teachers studying for a Master’s Degree or Certificate at Fairfield.

The internship gives you a full-time, hands on experience in a public school setting and up to $15,000 towards your studies, while offering local schools additional competent staff members and potential future employees.

For more information or an application, students should email the internship coordinator, specifying whether they are interested in the internship for certified or non-certified teachers.

All applications for the internship program are reviewed on a rolling basis. You must be formally admitted to the Master’s Degree Program to be eligible.

The Minority Teacher Incentive Grant Program provides up to $5000 a year for two years of full time study in a teacher preparation program, usually junior or senior year, as long as the student is an admitted education minor and completes all the requirements.

As an added bonus, students may receive up to $2500 a year, for up to four years, to help pay off college loans if they teach in a Connecticut public elementary or secondary school.

To qualify, students must be a full-time college junior or senior of African-American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian-American, or Native American heritage, and be nominated by the chair of the Educational Studies and Teacher Preparation Department. To apply, obtain a nomination form from the Connecticut Office of Higher Education's website.

Course Offerings

Specific course requirements will vary depending on certification area. See Education course descriptions from our catalog for more information

Undergraduate Courses (21 credits)

  • EDUC 2201: Explorations in Education: Introduction to Teaching, Learning And Schooling.
  • EDUC 3241: Educational Psychology
  • EDUC 2329: Philosophy of Education: An Introduction
  • EDUC 3350: Special Learners in the Mainstream Classroom
  • EDTC 4301: Introduction to Educational Technology
  • 1 Diversity course: 
    • EDUC 2341 The Culturally Responsive Teacher     

OR

  • SOCI 2300 Sociology of Education
  • Cognate course from educational studies minor menu (NOTE: Elementary education candidates are required to take a state-approved US History course as their cognate course)

Graduate Courses taken by undergraduates (6 credits)

  • EDUC 5431: Extending Literacy in the Elementary School: Grades 3-6
  • EDUC 5437: Developing Literacy in the Elementary School: Primary Grades

Graduate Courses (30 credits)

  • EDUC 5405: Contexts of Education in the Primary Grades (meets HG&D requirement)
  • EDUC 5447: Learning Mathematics in the Elementary Classroom
  • EDUC 5497: Teaching Science in the Elementary Classroom
  • EDUC 6552: Research for Action and Advocacy in School and Community Settings
  • EDUC 6999: Educating for Social Responsibility and Civic Engagement: A Capstone Seminar
  • EDUC 6545: Developing Integrated Curriculum for Elementary Students: Inquiry and Action
  • ED 559: Empowering Struggling Readers And Writers in the Elementary Grades
  • EDUC 6583: Student Teaching; Immersion in a Community of Practice (six credits)
  • EDUC 6584: Reflective Practice Seminar: Elementary Education
  • SPED 6565: Evidence-Based Strategies in the Inclusive Classroom
Course Requirements for the Five Year Accelerated Teacher Preparation Program in Secondary Education with Initial 7-12 Certification

Undergraduate Courses (21 credits)

  • EDUC 2201: Explorations in Education: Introduction to Teaching, Learning And Schooling
  • EDUC 3241: Educational Psychology
  • EDUC 2329: Philosophy of Education: An Introduction
  • EDUC 3350: Special Learners in the Mainstream Classroom
  • ENGL 2220: Teaching and Writing
  • ENGL 2230: Teaching and Learning Grammar
  • EDUC 5455: Developmental Reading in the Secondary School
  • 1 Diversity course: 
    • EDUC 2341 The Culturally Responsive Teacher     

OR

  • SOCI 2300 Sociology of Education

Graduate Course taken as an Undergraduate (3 credits)

  • EDUC 5455: Development Reading in the Secondary School

Graduate Courses (30 credits)

  • EDUC 5441: Teaching & Learning Within Multicultural Contexts of Education
  • EDUC 5466: English Methods
  • EDUC 6552: Research for Action and Advocacy in School and Community Settings
  • SPED 6565: Evidence-Based Strategies in the Inclusive Classroom
  • EDUC 6581: Directed Observation and Supervised Student Teaching (6 credits)
  • EDUC 6589: English Seminar
  • EDUC 5410: Literature for Young Adults
  • EDTC 5401: Introduction to Educational Technology
  • EDUC 6999: Educating for Social Responsibility and Civic Engagement: A Capstone Seminar

Undergraduate Courses (18 credits)

  • EDUC 2201: Explorations in Education: Introduction to Teaching, Learning And Schooling
  • EDUC 3241: Educational Psychology
  • EDUC 2329: Philosophy of Education: An Introduction
  • EDUC 3350: Special Learners in the Mainstream Classroom
  • 1 Diversity course: 
    • EDUC 2341 The Culturally Responsive Teacher     

OR

  • SOCI 2300 Sociology of Education
  • Cognate course from educational studies minor menu

Graduate Course taken by undergraduates (3 credits)

  • EDUC 5455: The Literate Learner: Using Critical and Strategic Literacy in the Content Areas, Grades 5-12

Graduate Courses (30 credits)

  • EDTC 5401: Introduction to Educational Technology
  • EDUC 5464: Mathematics Methods
  • EDUC 6552: Research for Action and Advocacy in School and Community Settings
  • SPED 6565: Evidence-Based Strategies in the Inclusive Classroom
  • EDUC 6581: Directed Observation and Supervised Student Teaching (6 credits)
  • EDUC 6591: Mathematics Seminar
  • Two graduate-level mathematics courses (in Statistics and Geometry, if not already taken) from the Mathematics Master's Program and the following:
  • EDUC 6599: Professional Writing Seminar: Product of Learning (3 credits)

Undergraduate Courses (18 credits)

  • EDUC 2201: Explorations in Education: Introduction to Teaching, Learning and Schooling
  • EDUC 3241: Educational Psychology
  • EDUC 2329: Philosophy of Education: An Introduction
  • EDUC 3350: Special Learners in the Mainstream Classroom
  • 1 Diversity course: 
    • EDUC 2341 The Culturally Responsive Teacher     

OR

  • SOCI 2300 Sociology of Education
  • Cognate course from educational studies minor menu

Graduate Course taken by undergraduates (3 credits)

  • EDUC 5455: The Literate Learner: Using Critical and Strategic Literacy in the Content Areas, Grades 5-12

Graduate Courses (30 credits)

  • EDTC 5401: Introduction to Educational Technology
  • EDUC 5462: Science Methods
  • SPED 6565: Evidence-Based Strategies in the Inclusive Classroom
  • EDUC 6572: Guided Research in Science
  • EDUC 6573: Independent Study in Science
  • EDUC 6581: Directed Observation and Supervised Student Teaching (6 credits)
  • EDUC 6592: Science Seminar
  • EDUC 6552: Research for Action and Advocacy in School and Community Settings
  • EDUC 6999: Educating for Social Responsibility and Civic Engagement: A Capstone Seminar

Undergraduate Courses (18 credits)

  • EDUC 2201: Explorations in Education: Introduction to Teaching, Learning And Schooling.
  • EDUC 3241: Educational Psychology
  • EDUC 2329: Philosophy of Education: An Introduction
  • EDUC 3350: Special Learners in the Mainstream Classroom
  • 1 Diversity course: 
    • EDUC 2341 The Culturally Responsive Teacher     

OR

  • SOCI 2300 Sociology of Education
  • Cognate course from educational studies minor menu

Graduate Course taken by undergraduates (3 credits)

  • EDUC 5455: The Literate Learner: Using Critical and Strategic Literacy in the Content Areas, Grades 5-12

Graduate Courses (30 credits)

  • EDUC 5468: Social Studies/History Methods
  • EDUC 6515: Teaching Economic and Physical Geography
  • SPED 6565: Evidence-Based Strategies in the Inclusive Classroom
  • EDTC 5401: Introduction to Educational Technology
  • One history or social studies elective from the American Studies offerings, with advisor approval
  • EDUC 6581: Directed Observation and Supervised Student Teaching (6 credits)
  • EDUC 6594: Social Studies Seminar
  • EDUC 6552: Research for Action and Advocacy in School and Community Settings
  • EDUC 6999: Educating for Social Responsibility and Civic Engagement: A Capstone Seminar

For the history and social studies endorsement, candidates must earn a major awarded by an approved institution in history, or a major in political science; economics; geography; anthropology or sociology, including at least 18 semester hours of credit in history, or an interdisciplinary major consisting of 39 semester hours of credit in subjects covered by the endorsement, each of which shall include 18 semester hours of credit in history including United States history, western civilization or European history and nonwestern history, provided that for the interdisciplinary major, study shall include a minimum of one course in each of the following areas: political science; economics; geography; sociology or anthropology or psychology.

Undergraduate Courses (18 credits)

  • EDUC 2201: Explorations in Education: Introduction to Teaching, Learning And Schooling
  • EDUC 3241: Educational Psychology
  • EDUC 2329: Philosophy of Education: An Introduction
  • EDUC 3350: Special Learners in the Mainstream Classroom
  • 1 Diversity course: 
    • EDUC 2341 The Culturally Responsive Teacher     

OR

  • SOCI 2300 Sociology of Education
  • Cognate course from educational studies minor menu

Graduate Course taken by undergraduates (3 credits)

  • TSLA 5467: Language Acquisition

Graduate Courses (30 credits)

  • EDUC 5455: The Literate Learner: Using Critical and Strategic Literacy in the Content Areas, Grades 5-12
  • EDUC 5463: World Language Methods
  • SPED 6565: Evidence-Based Strategies in the Inclusive Classroom
  • EDUC 6581: Directed Observation and Supervised Student Teaching (6 credits)
  • EDUC 6593: World Language Seminar
  • EDUC 6552: Research for Action and Advocacy in School and Community Settings
  • EDTC 5401: Introduction to Educational Technology
  • TSLA 6439: Methods of Foreign Language Teaching for Elementary School
  • EDUC 6999: Educating for Social Responsibility and Civic Engagement: A Capstone Seminar

Undergraduate Courses (18 credits)

  • EDUC 2201: Explorations in Education: Introduction to Teaching, Learning, And Schooling
  • EDUC 3350: Special Learners in the Mainstream Classroom
  • SPED 4410: Autism Spectrum Disorders: Theories and Interventions
  • SPED 4411: Introduction to Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities
  • SPED 4413: Theories of and Introduction to Learning Disabilities
  • SPED 4417: Introduction to Children and Youth with Emotional Disturbances

Graduate Courses taken by undergraduates (6 credits)

  • SPED 5432 Classroom Management Techniques in Special Education 
  • SPED 5487 Fundamentals of Reading and Language Development II
  • SPED 6999 Comprehensive Examination (0 credits)

Graduate Courses (30 credits)

  • SPED 5401 Augmentative, Alternative Communications and Assistive Technologies
  • SPED 5419 Special Learners in the Bilingual/ESL
  • SPED 5486 Fundamentals of Reading and Language Development I
  • SPED 6534 Skill Development for Individualized Education Plans
  • SPED 6537 Curriculum Planning, Methods and Strategies for Students with ELN 
  • SPED 6550 Collaboration and Consultation for the Special Educator
  • SPED 6561 Diagnostic and Evaluation Procedures in Special Education 
  • SPED 6593 Student Teaching in Special Education (6 credits)
  • SPED 6594 Student Teaching and Practica Seminar 
  • EDUC 6598 edTPA Portfolio (0 credits)

More About Teacher Education

Field Experiences

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Field Experiences

Preparing for a career as an educator, or for a career in which a sophisticated knowledge of educational issues is important, takes more than the completion of a list of courses. At Fairfield, you will have the encouragement of professionals who have devoted their own lives to this profession. We will help you to form a personal philosophy of education that will guide you for many years to come.

You will come to understand how and why school systems are organized, and be encouraged to become an active, engaged participant in the processes of change and transformation necessary to meet the needs of our learners and of our society.

In our teacher preparation programs and educational studies minor, you will study and work in local schools, developing your understanding of students, as well as their families and communities. In our teacher preparation programs, you will teach - mentored carefully by our faculty and local teachers - during an extensive and intensive sequence of field and student teaching experiences, service learning, and internships in local schools.

Faculty

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Faculty

The College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University is home to a vibrant community of engaged faculty, dedicated staff and budding scholars devoted to the process of invention and discovery and excited by the prospect of producing knowledge in the service of others.
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