College of Education & Health Service Lisle, Illinois Institution Comment Comments submitted by: MeShelda A. Jackson, Ph.D., Department Chair, School of Education
In response to your findings, the School of Education at Benedictine makes every effort to ensure preservice teacher education candidates are able to meet the academic demands of teaching through rigorous course work and preclinical and clinical experiences in both Elementary and Special Education programs at the graduate level. Undergraduate transcripts for graduate candidates are reviewed to determine any deficiencies for the general education core requirements required for the teacher preparation program. If deficiencies are identified, candidates must take the undergraduate course work to remove these deficiencies to meet certification requirements. In addition, undergraduate transcripts at the secondary level are reviewed for program equivalency for the respective departments. The admission criteria as currently stated, candidates are meeting the academic expectations as evidenced through annual surveys from first year teacher education candidates and their supervisors. The Teacher Education Program strives to provide course work that is aligned to state and national standards. The syllabi presented for this review included broad course objectives specific to the content area, may have appeared lacking specificity for areas such as English Language Learners or technology as was noted in the report. These objectives however, are embedded within the broad course objectives that are aligned with the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards (i.e., Instructional Planning, Instructional Delivery, etc.) as well as the national standards in each content area. Relative changes to applications of technology continue to be integrated throughout the curriculum. Candidates apply technology skills in their preclinical and clinical experiences. An assistive technology lab for the undergraduate program was piloted last year and implemented this year. As part of the undergraduate curriculum, this will provide the framework for the revision of the technology standards in the graduate program for teacher preparation. During candidates clinical or student teaching experience, candidates are required to attend seminars related to the student teaching experience, and the transition to the first year of teaching. Candidates are required to complete all course work prior to their student teaching semester. It is without hesitation that Benedictine Universityâ€™s Teacher Education Program consistently assesses and monitors the performance of each teacher education candidate throughout the program.