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Becoming familiar with our programs and requirements can sometimes seem overwhelming, but the good news is that we are here to help. As a first step, we encourage you to read all the information on our Web site carefully, as well as to consult the appropriate university catalog -- undergraduate or graduate -- for further direction. If you still have any questions or confusion, our faculty and staff can be reached through our main office. Don't hesitate to contact us with the issues that you can't seem to find the answers to. Hopefully, the way we work will become more clear as you investigate.
NCATE, The Gate System, and How They Affect You
Every student, whether a graduate or undergraduate, will become familiar with the new Gate system. The Gates have been developed as part of the effort of the School of Education to receive recognition from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) as a nationally accredited teacher preparation institution. NCATE accreditation reflects positively not just on the School of Education and the university as a whole, but on its students, as well. Having teacher certification from an NCATE-accredited institution means that you have successfully completed a program recognized nationally for its highest quality standards of rigor and effectiveness.
The Gates were created in order to establish an accurate measure of student progress. In order to advance in your program, you must pass each Gate. There are four Gates: Gate 1, Gate 2, Gate 3, and Gate 4. They function similarly to the concept of class designation (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior), but differ in that they are not based on the number of credits a student has accumulated. Instead, students can only move on to the next Gate when they have successfully completed the requirements within the previous Gate. For example, a student in Gate 1 must pass the Praxis I exam, have an interview with a department member, as well as take and pass a number of courses (i.e., EDU 201, SED 225). When a student has completed all of the requirements within a Gate, he or she is ready to advance to the next Gate.
NOTE: The requirements within each Gate are program-specific. This means that a student of the Early Childhood program in Gate 1 will have a different set of requirements than a student of the Elementary Education program in Gate 1.
What is Fieldwork?
Fieldwork is synonymous with field experience. You'll notice that many Education courses are listed with a "fieldwork component." This means that in addition to the time you spend taking that course, you will also be expected to spend a certain amount of hours at a school where you will observe and eventually participate in classroom instruction. Students contact the school where they are interested in doing their fieldwork, and make arrangements for visitations. Different courses require different levels of participation, with the goal that as students learn more they will gradually become comfortable with leading a classroom. Fieldwork is different from student teaching, which takes place when all program requirements are completed and the student is almost ready to graduate.
What s Matriculation?
For an undergraduate, being matriculated means that you have applied to and been officially accepted into Southern Connecticut State University. For a graduate student, matriculation means that you are not only accepted into the university, and the School of Education, but that you have also completed a Planned Program Form with your adviser that has the approval and signature of the Graduate Studies office.