As an institution accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee (USFSM) meets the highest standards of professional educator preparation in the United States of America. The Continuous Improvement Commission of the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) granted USFSM NCATE accreditation for both its initial and advanced educator preparation programs. Accreditation affirms we meet the rigorous standards of the professional education community. Our programs have been examined by the best in the field and have passed this test of excellence. NCATE’s performance-based accreditation system for educator preparation ensures that education candidates are prepared to make a difference in P-12 student learning. Providers accredited under NCATE standards are now served by the single specialized accreditation system for educator preparation in the United States, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). More than 900 educator preparation providers participate in the CAEP accreditation system.
The vision of the School of Education (SOE) is to lead in transforming the educational endeavors of our region and to be recognized nationally for excellence in our work. We admit applicants who are highly qualified, developed in their abilities to ensure that all pupils learn, committed to continuous improvement of their own praxis, and prepared to assume leadership roles in the school settings in which they will work.
The School of Education’s (SOE) mission is to prepare effective educators who will learn, lead, inspire, and transform their schools and communities through critical and imaginative literacies. We see the process of learn, lead, inspire and transform as recursive and not linear. Our mission guides the SOE to prepare educators poised to positively engage in and positively impact individuals and their communities, locally, nationally, and globally. We meet our mission through programs grounded in research-based practices, critical perspectives, and clinical experiences. Our school and community partnerships form a solid basis for program assessment and continuous improvement.
Goal areas of the SOE are in content knowledge, reflective and ethical practice, evaluation and decision making, educational design, and the learner as an individual in the community. Faculty, students, staff and members of our community identified the following seven candidate proficiencies expected of each candidate:
- Content Knowledge
- Candidates demonstrate depth and breadth of content knowledge for their respective roles.
- Reflective and Ethical Practice
- Candidates engage in reflective and ethical practice as educators.
- Evaluation and Decision Making
- Candidates make professional educational decisions drawing on analysis of data and research from a variety of sources
- Educational Design
- Candidates design educational experiences that result in successful learning.
- Candidates demonstrate proficiency in educational technology aligned to the NETS-T standards.
- Learner as an Individual in the Community
- Candidates construct learning environments that reflect the diversity of experiences, perspectives, and cultures of their students and the larger world.
- Candidates communicate in ways that demonstrate fairness, respect, and sensitivity to diversity, setting high academic expectations for all students.
Additional specific program-based competencies for candidates seeking Florida certification are delineated by the Florida Department of Education.
Students of Concern Policies and Processes
The SOE is responsible for ensuring that its students (hereinafter referred to as “candidates”) exhibit the knowledge, skills and dispositions outlined in the conceptual framework, institutional, state, and national standards, including a commitment to fairness and the belief that all students can learn. Further, as educators our candidates must exhibit the highest ethical standards in their role as moral exemplars in the community.
There are occasionally patterns of observed behaviors that could give rise to a concern that a candidate’s dispositions and professional deportment are not sufficiently developed or are even inconsistent with those expected of a professional educator. Both the SOE administration and the candidate will be made aware of concerns that a candidate is not meeting the standard of knowledge, skills, or dispositions that are expected by the college and specifically outlined in institutional, state, or national standards. This awareness will be communicated in a manner that is sufficiently formative and allows the candidate to reflect, consider alternatives, and attempt to make any changes necessary consistent with fulfilling their professional career aspirations. The process should be sensitive, transparent, and effective.
There are provisions so that the faculty and supervisors who work with the candidate in subsequent semesters aware of the concerns and the plans developed to address those concerns. There will always be more than one representative of the faculty who agrees that the concerns warrant intervention. This shall be an internal process managed by a small committee of faculty, referred to as the Pre-completion Educator Professional Support Committee (PEPSC). The knowledge, skills, and/or dispositions of concern and plans of action are documented in the committee’s files, but do not ordinarily become part of the candidate’s academic file. This process in the SOE is complementary to processes already in place in the university (such as those in student affairs, academic probation, etc.) and will focus on the professional preparation of the candidate.