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Education

The teacher education program at Sweet Briar College provides prospective teachers with a strong foundation in an academic discipline and a thorough grounding in differentiated curriculum and instruction to prepare for teaching in today’s diverse classrooms. The Education Department has received grant awards and citations for its professional development programs in mentoring and clinical faculty training, which are also grounded in differentiation. By linking the goals of clinical faculty and mentor training with teacher preparation, the Education Department provides research-based, best practice instruction to pre-service and in-service teachers in meeting the diverse needs of all students.   

Beginning in Fall 2003, Sweet Briar initiated a five-year program for teacher licensure. The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) allows Sweet Briar students more flexibility within their undergraduate degree programs. Students are free to pursue academic majors while completing their licensure requirements, including student teaching, during the fifth year of study. The five-year licensure program allows Sweet Briar students the opportunity to study abroad, if they choose, and provides more flexibility in meeting degree requirements and choosing electives. Completion of the MAT program offers graduates the benefits of a higher salary potential in most school districts throughout the country.   

The Education Department offers three options for students seeking licensure through the MAT program: Elementary Education (PreK-6), Secondary Education (6-12), and PreK-12 licensure in studio art, dance, music (vocal-choral), as well as the languages of Spanish, French, German, and Latin.

Prospective elementary teachers must major in Liberal Studies and complete the required professional studies listed below for the PreK-6 licensure. Prospective secondary teachers must major in one of the following academic disciplines: biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, English, theatre arts, or history and social studies;  and complete the required professional studies listed below for secondary licensure. Candidates for the PreK-12 licensure should consult the chair of the Education Department to obtain licensure requirements for their academic major.

Throughout the undergraduate professional studies program, clinical experiences are required in each course. These experiences are an integral part of the teacher education program and require observation, practice, and reflection in varying degrees of complexity in public school classrooms. Students interested in applying for the MAT program should consult with their major advisors and the faculty of the Education Department to ensure that all undergraduate degree requirements are met.

Course Descriptions

Admission Requirements for the Teacher Education Program:
1.    Completed application to the teacher education program
2.    Completion of at least two courses in professional education with a 3.0 average or above
3.    Cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher
4.    Submission of passing Praxis I scores or equivalent SAT scores
5.    Recommendation from the major department
6.    Effective communication skills, both oral and written (evidenced by successful completion of ENGL 104 or equivalent and satisfactory performance on Praxis I)
7.    General disposition essential for successful teaching

Internship Experience   
Prior to acceptance in an internship experience at the end of the junior year, students will be assessed on their performance in professional studies courses as well as their success in field experiences. Criteria for acceptance to the

internship include:
1.    Minimum overall GPA of 3.00 in professional studies courses
2.    Ability to use effective verbal, nonverbal, and media communication techniques to foster active inquiry, collaboration, and supportive interactions in the classroom
3.    Demonstration of professional and ethical behavior as well as personal integrity in all interactions
4.    Potential to manage a classroom to provide a safe and positive learning environment for students and staff
5.    Potential to establish rapport with students
6.    Potential to create a supportive learning environment for all students that encourages social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation

Master of Arts in Teaching
The MAT is designed for those men and women with a bachelors degree who do not hold a teaching license in Virginia or any other state. It is a full-time program that prepares candidates for licensure in one year.   
Sweet Briar undergraduates must apply to the MAT program by February 1 of their senior year. Applicants will be notified of acceptance by April 15 of their senior year.

The requirements for admission to the MAT program for Sweet Briar students include:
1.    Submission of an application to the MAT degree program, including passing scores on Praxis I and II no later than February 1 of the application year
2.    Three recommendations from individuals outside the Education Department who are familiar with applicant’s academic ability
3.    Submission of passing scores on the Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment, and for elementary candidates, the Virginia Reading Assessment
4.    Completion of a baccalaureate degree with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or higher
5.    Cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.00 or higher in professional studies courses
6.    Submission of official transcript from each college or university attended
7.    A $40 non-refundable application fee

Applicants to the MAT program who did not earn their baccalaureate degree from Sweet Briar should consult the Graduate Catalog for admission requirements.

PreK-6 Licensure

Required Professional Studies:
EDUC 103    (3)    Teaching, Learning, and Human Development
EDUC 211    (3)    Teaching Diverse Learners
EDUC 225    (3)    Literacy Development I
EDUC 227    (3)    Literacy Development II
EDUC 355    (3)    Models of Teaching
EDUC 416    (3)    Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment

Required Field Experiences:
EDUC 107    (3)    Appropriate Teaching Practices in Early Childhood Education
EDUC 377    (3)    Internship

Additional Required Course:
PSYC 201    (3)    Developmental Psychology: Infancy and Childhood

Secondary Licensure

Required Professional Studies:
EDUC 103    (3)    Teaching, Learning and Human Development
EDUC 211    (3)    Teaching Diverse Learners
EDUC 233    (3)    Reading in Content Areas
EDUC 355    (3)    Models of Teaching
EDUC 416    (3)    Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment

Required Field Experience:
EDUC 377    (3)    Internship

Additional Required Course:
PSYC 302    (3)    Developmental Psychology II: Adolescence and Adulthood

Students seeking PreK-12 licensure in studio art, dance, music (vocal-choral), as well as the languages of Spanish, French, German, and Latin should consult the Teacher Education Handbook for requirements.   

Students who complete teacher licensure at Sweet Briar College must meet all requirements in the Commonwealth of Virginia, including passing scores on Praxis I and II. In recent years, teachers completing licensure at Sweet Briar have met all of these requirements and accepted positions in elementary education, secondary English, Spanish, French, biology, mathematics, dance, studio art, and government.


Course Descriptions

EDUC 103

| Teaching, Learning and Human Development

EDUC 107

| Appropriate Teaching Practices in Early Childhood Education

EDUC 211

| Teaching Diverse Learners

EDUC 225

| Literacy Development I

EDUC 227

| Literacy Development II

EDUC 233

| Reading in Content Areas

EDUC 261

| Directed Study

EDUC 313

| Adapting for Diverse Learners in General Education K-12

EDUC 316

| Classroom Management: Techniques and Interventions K-12

EDUC 322

| Assessments in Special Education General Curriculum K-12

EDUC 355

| Models of Teaching

EDUC 361

| Special Study

EDUC 377

| Internship

EDUC 410

| Transition, Collaboration, and Consultation in Special Education K-12

EDUC 416

| Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

EDUC 461

| Independent Study