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University of Pittsburgh    
 
    
 
  Nov 24, 2017
 
2016-2017 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

School of Education



The mission of the School of Education is to create and disseminate knowledge that improves teaching and learning, and to develop and implement effective programs for the preparation of education professionals who will enhance both the practice and outcomes of education.

The School of Education is primarily a graduate school that offers certificate and certification programs and masters and doctoral degree programs. All certificate and certification programs are offered at the graduate level only.

Faculty

School of Education Faculty

Contact Information

Office of Admissions and Enrollment Services
School of Education
5500 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
412-648-2230
Fax: 412-648-1899
E-mail: soeinfo@pitt.edu
www.education.pitt.edu

Program Information

The School of Education offers a variety of programs as outlined below. In addition, the school coordinates the Commonwealth Teacher Education Certification Programs. (For more detail, see the individual descriptions listed under the appropriate department.)

Administrative and Policy Studies

This department offers the following degrees in administrative and policy studies with programs (areas of concentration) in higher education management, school leadership, and social and comparative analysis in education:

  • Master of Arts (MA)
  • Master of Education (MEd)
  • Doctor of Education (EdD)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Health and Physical Activity

This department offers the following degrees in health and physical activity with areas of concentration in health and fitness; and health, physical activity, and chronic disease. Two focus areas are available with each option: clinical/practitioner track and research track:

  • Master of Science (MS)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Instruction and Learning

This department offers the following degrees in instruction and learning with areas of concentration in English and communications education, foreign language education, reading education, social studies education, mathematics education, science education, vision studies special education, special education, early intervention special education, general special education, early childhood education, preK-4 education, foreign language education and language, literacy and culture:

  • Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)
  • Masters of Education (MEd)
  • Master of Science (MS)
  • Doctor of Education (EdD)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Learning Sciences and Policy

A PhD degree in Learning Sciences and Policy is available.

Psychology in Education

This department offers the following degrees in psychology in education with areas of concentration in research methodology and applied developmental psychology:

  • Master of Arts (MA)
  • Master of Education (MEd)
  • Master of Science (MS)
  • Doctor of Education (EdD)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Commonwealth Teacher Education Certification Programs

Teacher education certification programs are offered in both general and special education.

Option 1. Initial Certification-Available for Primary Plus PreK-4, Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI) PreK-12, and secondary content areas - Math, English, Foreign Language, Science and English Education 7-12.  These programs result in eligibility for a teaching certification without a graduate degree.

Option 2. Certification Plus a Graduate Degree-for students seeking initial general or special education teacher certification along with a master’s degree (e.g., Master of Arts in Teaching  [MAT] or Master of Education [MEd]).

Option 3. Dual certification (MOSAIC/CASE) e.g. Secondary Certification and 7-12 special education; PreK-4 and preK-8 special education.

Option 4. Additional Field Certification-for students already certified in one or more teaching fields who are seeking teacher certification in an additional specialty area but who are not pursuing a graduate degree.

Advanced certification programs include:

  • Supervisory Certification (e.g., Curriculum and Supervision, Special Education)
  • Educational Specialist Certification (e.g., as a reading specialist, TVI, Special Ed Teacher Prep.)
  • Administrative Certification (e.g., as a principal, superintendent)

University certificates are awarded to non-degree students who complete commonwealth teacher education certification programs offered in instruction and learning (certificates in teaching or reading specialist) and in administrative and policy studies (certificates in educational administration or educational supervision). Students in these programs must apply for graduation at the beginning of the term in which they expect to complete their programs.  Eligibility for the University certificate is verified at the same time that a student’s application for commonwealth certification is endorsed by the School of Education and sent to the Pennsylvania Department of Education in Harrisburg.

In addition, a University certificate in orientation and mobility is awarded from the Department of Instruction and Learning to non-degree students receiving vision study certification through the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals.

Teacher education certification programs and advanced certification programs are described further in the sections for the departments that offer those programs.

Admission

Admission Deadlines and Requirements

http://www.education.pitt.edu/FutureStudents/AdmissionsProcedures.aspx

Admission Application

https://app.applyyourself.com/AYApplicantLogin/fl_ApplicantLogin.asp?id=up-ed

Admission Procedure

Faculty members in the program to which the student applies evaluate the applicant’s credentials and recommend admission for those applicants meeting the criteria set by the program.

Approved applicants will be notified of their admission for a specific term and asked to indicate whether or not they accept the offer of admission. Should they be unable to register for courses for the term specified in their admission letter, they should notify the Office of Admissions and Enrollment Services. Approved applicants may defer admission for up to one year from the term specified in their admission letter. Approved applicants unable to register for courses within one year of the term specified in their admission letter must reapply for admission.

Changing Programs for Graduate Study

A student wishing to change programs for graduate study must file a new application for admission, noting the request for the change, in the Office of Admissions and Enrollment Services. All work taken both in undergraduate and graduate study will be reviewed by the program to which the student is applying before a decision will be made about admission to the new program. Any change from one program to another in the School of Education while the student is on active status will not alter that status. Thus, the student must register within the dates set for continuing active students.

Financial Assistance

http://www.education.pitt.edu/FutureStudents/TuitionFinancialAid.aspx

Financial assistance is available to graduate students through graduate student assistantships (GSA), teaching assistantships (TA), teaching fellowships (TF), graduate student researchers (GSR), a variety of scholarships and fellowships, and loan programs. GSA, TA, TF, and tuition scholarship awards are primarily merit-based. GSA, TA, and TF awards provide a stipend and tuition in return for carrying out assigned duties. (See Teaching and Research Appointments under Financial Aid  for further detail.) Other merit-based scholarships and fellowships established through gifts or grants both within and outside the University are also available to students.

Advising

Each student is assigned an academic advisor at the time of admission to a program. All course work scheduled must be approved by the academic advisor, who assists in the preparation of a student’s plan of studies and who regularly meets with the student to review the student’s academic progress. Most School of Education faculty members are not in residence from May until late August. Thus, students should consult with their academic advisors prior to the end of the Spring term to complete registration forms for the upcoming Summer and Fall terms.

Each graduate student who is completing a master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation selects a research advisor to provide guidance during the conduct of the thesis or dissertation research. The research advisor may be the same faculty member as the academic advisor or another faculty member. Whatever the case, the faculty member’s consent to serve as the research advisor must be formally obtained. A student continuing from a master’s program involving a thesis to a doctoral program may select a different research advisor to provide guidance for the doctoral dissertation.

The student, the advisor, the program, or the department may initiate a change of the academic advisor or the research advisor. Any such change must be made according to applicable departmental policy. Notification of such a change must be sent to the student, to the new and former advisors, and to the Office of Admissions and Enrollment Services.

Commonwealth Teacher Education Certification Regulations

The following section details regulations pertaining to the school’s teacher education certification programs.

Instructional I and II Certification

The Instructional I, or provisional, certificate is issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to applicants who:

  • possess a baccalaureate degree with a 3.0 grade point average;
  • have successfully completed a PDE-approved teacher certification program;
  • pass all required PRAXIS, PECT and/or PAPA Examinations; and
  • are recommended for certification by the college or university offering the PDE-approved teacher certification program.

An Instructional I certificate is valid for six years.

The Instructional II, or permanent, certificate is issued by PDE to applicants who have completed all of the following:

  • A PDE-approved induction program for beginning teachers.
  • Three years of satisfactory teaching in the field specified on an Instructional I certificate, attested to by the chief school administrator of the approved public or non-public school in Pennsylvania in which the most recent service of the applicant was performed.
  • Twenty-four credit hours of post-baccalaureate study or in-service courses approved by PDE. (Some credits earned beyond the baccalaureate degree in teacher education study at the University of Pittsburgh may be used to satisfy this requirement.)

Applicants already holding the Instructional I certificate who are seeking admission to the School of Education in pursuit of Instructional II certification may be admitted under special graduate status. Applicants desiring to combine Instructional II certification with a master’s or doctoral degree must apply for admission to an academic program offering the desired degree.

Additional Field Certification

The School of Education offers additional field certification study opportunities to students already holding a Pennsylvania Instructional I or Instructional II certificate. Students must complete major field prerequisites, course work in the subject area pedagogy, and an advanced teaching practicum (modified student teaching) and pass the PRAXIS or PECT Examination specialization test in the additional area. They must also successfully complete a PDE 430 in the additional area. Individuals who possess an Instructional II certificate and who complete requirements for an additional certification area will receive Instructional II certification in the additional certification area.

Grade Point Average/Academic Probation

All students enrolled for teacher education study are required to maintain a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.00. The cumulative GPA is based on all course work taken after enrollment for teacher education study. A student is automatically placed on academic probation when the cumulative GPA, exclusive of transfer credits, falls below 3.00. No student on academic probation is permitted to participate in student teaching, a teaching internship, or an advanced teaching practicum. Although the credits allowed for acceptable work completed elsewhere by transfer students count toward the total number of credits required for teacher education study, the grades earned in such courses are not included in GPA computations, except in determining GPA’s required for admission to the School of Education.

Credit Requirements

Teacher education study in the Instructional I certification program requires the satisfactory completion of a minimum of 30 credits of course work approved by the department and the school. The Master of Arts in Teaching option requires 36 credits. Credit requirements for other certification options vary. Certification by the Pennsylvania Department of Education is recommended only for those students who have satisfactorily completed all courses required for certification with at least a 3.00 GPA.

Teacher Certification Testing Program

The PAPA battery of tests, required for some students seeking their first Instructional I certificate, consists of a series of examinations to assess basic communication skills, general knowledge, professional knowledge, and specialized area knowledge. Persons with an undergraduate degree already holding a Pennsylvania Instructional I or II certificate are exempt from the PAPA series. Individuals seeking Instructional I certification in more than one area must take and pass specialization area tests in all areas in which certification is sought. Individuals seeking additional field certification must pass the PRAXIS Examination in the specialization area.

Students completing an Instructional I certificate in preK-4 education, a certificate in preK-4/preK-8 special education or a secondary/7-12 special education certificate must pass the appropriate PECT tests.

Students may take the PRAXIS Examinations at any point during or after attendance at a post-secondary institution. The tests are administered four times each year at the University of Pittsburgh. Some tests are offered every day (when the testing sites are open) while others are administered during a “testing window” which is usually a two week period, usually occurring monthly. Go to the PRAXIS website for information on registering to take the exams.

Student Teaching

In most programs, field experience in local public schools is required throughout the academic year (August to June). When a student accepts their offer of admission, they are required to complete information about student teaching. Applicants must also submit results from a tuberculin test, child abuse clearance, and criminal history check, as required by Pennsylvania Acts 33 and 34. Students must also submit results from a Federal Criminal History Record check by obtaining fingerprint results through the FBI. Lastly, students must successfully pass an online training, Protecting Children from Abuse and also read the PA Mandated Reporter law and sign to indicate understanding.

Student teaching usually begins in early January and sometimes sooner than the opening day of University classes. Specific procedures and regulations governing student teaching practicum can be found in the student teaching handbook.

Teaching Internship

Students in the Master of Arts in Teaching option must complete an academic year (August to June) teaching internship in lieu of student teaching. The internship requires a minimum of 20 hours per week in the Fall term and 30 hours per week in the Spring and Summer terms. To qualify for the internship and the Pennsylvania Teacher Intern certificate, applicants must:

  • As required by Pennsylvania Acts 33 and 34 submit the following clearances: Federal Criminal History Record; Pennsylvania State Criminal Record Check; Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance. If there is a criminal infraction on any of these clearances, school placement for the school is unlikely, which will require the student to withdraw from the class. The University cannot guarantee that a person with entries in their criminal record will be permitted to do assignments in a school. While State law bars certain offenders from schools, districts often impose more extreme requirements. Students who have entries in their records should consult the Coordinator of Clinical Practice on whether a placement will be likely
  • pass the Content Knowledge test (Praxis II) during the first semester of their program in order to obtain their Intern Certificate
  • satisfy the requirements for a Pennsylvania Instructional I Certificate (pending passing scores on the national PRAXIS II Exam, successful completion of the PA Statewide Evaluation Form for Student Professional Knowledge and Practice (PDE 430), and satisfactory performance in courses and in the internship)

Students must also submit results from a Federal Criminal History Record check by obtaining fingerprint results through the FBI. Lastly, students must successfully pass an online training, Protecting Children from Abuse and also read the PA Mandated Reporter law and sign to indicate understanding

Advanced Teaching Practicum

Students in the additional field certification option must complete an advanced teaching practicum, (modified student teaching experience) which vary based on the program requirements. Students must file an application for advanced teaching practicum in the Office of Teacher Education, 5300 Wesley W. Posvar Hall, during the term prior to the practicum. Specific guidelines governing advanced teaching practicum are available in the Office of Teacher Education, 5300 Wesley W. Posvar Hall.

Program and Course Offerings

The School of Education is organized into four academic departments and one interdisciplinary degree:

Department of Administrative and Policy Studies

Go to information for Department of Administrative and Policy Studies.

Department of Health and Physical Activity

Go to information for Department of Health and Physical Activity.

Department of Instruction and Learning

Go to information for Department of Instruction and Learning.

Department of Psychology in Education

Go to information for Department of Psychology in Education.

Learning Sciences and Policy Program

Go to information for Learning Sciences and Policy Program.