The University of Texas at Tyler
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UT Tyler School of Education

SOE Director's Message

Dr. Colleen Swain

 

Welcome to the School of Education website! Within these pages, you'll gain information about how the faculty and students within the School of Education are making a difference in our local community and the education profession.

For this fall 2015 message, I want to address the state and national climate surrounding policy for teacher preparation programs. Educational policy set forth at the state and national levels, think tanks, and other organization groups are calling for changes in the preparation of teachers, both for initial and advanced certifications.  Some of the calls for change are extremely valid in nature and are based in research indicating best practice, then other calls are purely political and economical in nature. Faculty within the UT Tyler's School of Education are carefully examining these calls for change and determining where and how to implement needed and appropriate changes within our programs. During the 2015-2016 academic year significant curricular revisions are taking place in our undergraduate programs and graduate programs. We are also exploring new ways to advancing our students' abilities to become strong reflective practitioners. One such example is in our new approach to supervision that we are working along in collaboration with numerous school districts. These new developments will be seen in the near future.

As the Director of the School of Education, I want to assure you of the quality of teacher preparation programs provided by the School of Education at UT Tyler.  Let me share some information about our programs in their current state:

UNDERGRADUATE AND POST-BACCALAUREATE PROGRAMS

Initial Teacher Preparation Programs: 

  • Students in our initial teacher preparation programs experience a mediated induction approach to fieldwork.  That means as our students progress in their degree program, the students spend more and more time in classrooms working with students along with their academic coursework.  A classroom mentor teacher and university supervisor supervise each student.  We know that carefully meshing the academic content students learn with experiences in the field allows for stronger teachers to be prepared. 
  • With all but a few exceptions, courses are taught by full-time UT Tyler faculty, enabling program-long relationships to be built and developed with our students.  These faculty-student connections allow for a deeper and more supported preparation program for students. 
  • Students receive an abundance of resources to assist with their preparation for certification exams.
  • These initial teacher preparation programs are accredited by the Texas Education Agency (TEA), providing our state accreditation, and UT Tyler is accreditation by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

GRADUATE PROGRAMS

For all of our master's programs, although the primary delivery platform is at a distance, students are highly connected with faculty and fellow students as part of their program.  We do allow for face-to-face cohorts of teachers to receive specific courses when arrangements are made in advance. I hope that you will explore our website to learn more about the high quality degree programs offered in the School of Education at UT Tyler.

 Master of Education in Reading:

  • This is an online degree program allowing busy practicing educators to grow and refine their knowledge in the field of reading.
  • This program is designed based upon the International Reading Association standards and requirements set forth by the Texas Education Agency.  Students in this program can earn an additional reading certification.
  • Students receive significant support and supervision as they complete the required practicum hours in this degree.
  • This program is aligned with the International Reading Association (IRA) standards for best practices in reading and the preparation of reading professionals and the certification requirements established by the Texas Education Agency.
  • This advanced teacher certification program has state accreditation by the Texas Education Agency (TEA), and UT Tyler is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern
    Association of Colleges and Schools.

 Master of Special Education with Educational Diagnostician Certification:

  • This is an online degree program allowing teachers who desire to become educational diagnosticians to meet that goal. 
  • This degree program is designed based upon the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) standards for educational diagnosticians and the requirements established by the Texas Education Agency.
  • Students learn the newest assessments used by practicing educational diagnosticians in educational organizations and school districts.
  • This is a very innovative online program due to the camera shots provided as students learn to administer, score, diagnose, and report results of various assessments.  For example, when learning how to administer an assessment, three screens are provided:  a screen showing what the test administrator is doing, a screen on the assessment, and a screen on the person being tested.  Additional videos show how to score and interpret each video.
  • Students receive significant support and supervision as they complete the required practicum hours in this degree.
  • This advanced teacher certification program has state accreditation by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and UT Tyler is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern
    Association of Colleges and Schools.

 Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction:

  • This online degree program allows practicing educators to advance their knowledge about teaching and learning as well as specialize in a specific area.  Often secondary teachers elect to take a specialization in their content area to become eligible to teach dual credit courses at the high school.
  • Students also have the opportunity to specialize in areas that propel them to the front edge of content related to teaching and learning.  Examples of these specializations include: Academic Coaching; STEM; and Special Education.  The School of Education faculty are constantly working to increase the specialization options for teachers to meet the pressing needs in education.
  • Students in this degree program are exposed to numerous web technologies that benefit not only their learning but enhance the teaching and learning environment of their own K-12 classrooms.
  • This advanced teacher degree program has state accreditation by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and UT Tyler is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Again, although we have sound academic programs, the faculty within the School of Education work to continuously improve these programs to prepare the next generation of teacher needed in Texas and across our nation. We encourage you to come along with us on these new pathways to excellence.

Sincerely,

Colleen Swain
Professor and Director
cswain@uttyler.edu

 

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