Charter School of Education and Human Sciences
The secondary education major is coupled with a major in a content area that will lead to certification within a content area at the secondary education level.
Faculty: Professors Bell, Clement, Inman, Jennings, Jory, McDowell, Marlow, and Green Professor Wakefield; Associate Professors Belvin, Carpenter, Ference, Haney, Johnson-Pynn, Kurz; Assistant Professors Edwards, Hirano, and Pu; Clinical Assistant Professor and Director of Field Experiences and Clinical Practice Roe; Administrator in Residence Nelson; Director of Pathways to Teaching Program Morgan
The Teacher Education Programs at Berry have a long and distinguished history of excellence. Our faculty thrives on both proven and fresh ideas, superior teaching and “the personal touch.” Classes are usually small, allowing for individual attention and rich interactions among faculty and students. Because we think diverse experiences make stronger teachers, students have numerous opportunities for travel and study in international locales. Our common purpose is best expressed through the conceptual framework, “developers of human potential.” As developers of human potential, we have crafted a learning environment that values compassion, stimulates the intellect and encourages original thinking.
Berry’s three on-campus schools, the Child Development Center (for ages 3-5), the Berry College Elementary School (for grades K-6) and the Berry College Middle School (for grades 7-8), are private schools (open to the public) that provide models of best teaching practice. The Child Development Center is housed in a set of log cabins on the main campus and features several play areas, including a large playground and a variety of outdoor classroom facilities. Located on a scenic hilltop on the mountain campus, Berry College Elementary & Middle School sports three playgrounds, a historic library and a gymnasium/auditorium. Two demonstration classrooms are also housed in the Cook building. The Child Development Center and Berry College Elementary and Middle Schools are used for observation, field experiences and clinical practice experiences.
Additional field experiences are scheduled in any one of several P - 12 schools with which Berry College has an extensive, ongoing, collaborative relationship. The Office of Field Experience and Clinical Practice works diligently to place Berry students with the most outstanding teachers in the area. The Office of Field Experiences and Clinical Practice monitors student progress toward teacher certification, from admission to the Teacher Education Programs through clinical practice.
All certification requirements are established by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (PSC). Berry College standards are subject to change based on the PSC requirements.
The objective of the Teacher Education Program is to prepare teachers who are developers of human potential. Martha Berry, the founder of Berry College, saw potential where others did not in the Appalachian youth for whom the Berry Schools and, later, the college were established. Like Martha Berry, we believe the role of excellent teachers is to develop the potential every student has to gain a lifelong appreciation of learning; to acquire the basic skills and wide repertoire of thinking strategies with which to construct and evaluate knowledge; to become morally responsible and fully participating partners in a democratic society within an ever-changing world; to develop and enhance a healthy self-esteem; and to work cooperatively with others to foster improvements in society. In order to be developers of human potential, teachers should (1) promote reflection and decision making (head), (2) facilitate learning (hands) and (3) enhance self and social awareness (heart). To meet the expectations of these roles, teachers’ actions must rest on the foundations of what they know through research (head), the collective wisdom of experience (hands) and their own values (heart). There must be a constant interaction between this knowing and doing. Teachers must continually reflect on lesson implementation, instructional materials used, student responses, school environment and values. This reflection in turn produces more knowledge, which is then used to refine what teachers do. The Field Experience Handbook elucidates the 10 principles that form the basis of the Teacher Education Program at Berry College.
Teacher Education Programs, approved by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, and leading to teaching certification, are offered in these areas:
Early Childhood Education (P-5)
Middle Grades Education (4-8)
Secondary Education (6 - 12 or P - 12)
Admission to Teacher Education Program
A student who desires admission to the Teacher Education Program must meet the following criteria and assume responsibility for following guidelines published by the Charter School of Education and Human Sciences. Students are eligible to be considered for admission to the Teacher Education Program after they have accomplished the following:
- Completed EDU 102 with a C or better. Please note: A grade of C is equal to 2.0 on a 4- point scale; a grade of C- (1.7) is insufficient for courses requiring a C (2.0) or better.
- Completed two semesters of college work and have at least a 2.50 cumulative grade-point average.
- Passed the GACE Basic Skills Assessment or attained sufficient scores on the SAT or ACT as defined by the GA PSC to waive GACE requirements.
- Completed the application form for admission to the Teacher Education Program and the ethics statement and insurance-coverage waiver, and filed it along with two letters of recommendation from college faculty with the director of field experiences and clinical practice in the Charter School of Education and Human Sciences.
- Satisfied an employment criminal history clearance (completed background check).
- Purchased a LiveText account.
Education courses at or above the 300- level may not be taken until the student is admitted to the Teacher Education Program. When students are accepted into the program, careful consideration is given in planning their academic program to ensure coordination between the major professor in their academic field and the director of field experiences and clinical practice.
Requirements for Senior Practicum
Clinical practice is a vital part of the Teacher Education Program. During the field-based senior-year experience, students are supervised by a certified teacher with a minimum of three years’ in-field experience and by a Berry faculty member. Students participate in courses encouraging reflection on their experiences, thereby integrating college coursework with classroom practice.
To be eligible for Senior Practicum, a student must have
- been admitted to the Teacher Education Program;
- completed application for clinical practice, including the advisor’s signature; submitted application form to the Office of Field Experience and Clinical Practice by the third Friday of the semester, one (1) year before planning to begin the senior practicum;
- Completed the biographical data form and submitted it to the Office of Field Experience and Clinical Practice by the third Friday of the semester, one (1) semester before beginning Senior Practicum;
- Earned a grade of C (2.0) or better in each course in the major field;
- Earned a grade of C (2.0) or better in each course taken in the professional educational sequence;
- A 2.50 cumulative grade-point average; and
- Received recommendation of the academic advisor and the director of field experiences and approval of the Admissions and Certification Committee;
- Completed all assigned field experiences.
Requirements for Clinical Practice
(EDU 499 )
Continuation in the field-based senior year is predicated upon the student’s progress in the initial semester of the senior practicum, as well as his/her progress in the academic coursework. To be eligible to continue the field-based senior year, the student must have:
- The recommendation of the cooperating teacher;
- The recommendation of the college supervisor;
- Completed the request form for continuing in clinical practice, submitted to the Office of Field Experience and Clinical Practice by the seventh week of the semester during clinical practice;
- Taken GACE Content Assessment prior to the beginning of the semester in which he/she is enrolled in EDU 499 , and had scores sent to Berry College;
- Maintained at least a 2.5 cumulative grade-point average;
- Earned a C (2.0) or better in each course in the professional education sequence, the major field, COM 203 and an approved math course;
- Earned a C (2.0) or better in ENG 102.
Applications should be made one year before the semester in which the student desires to engage in clinical practice. For detailed requirements, see The Clinical Practice Handbook, available in the Office of Field Experience and Clinical Practice.
All teacher preparation students are required to maintain a minimum grade of C in all education courses and in all subject area courses counted toward the major. As a grade of C is equal to 2.0 on a 4-point scale; a grade of C- (1.7) is insufficient for courses requiring a C or better.
Prior to being certified in the state of Georgia, a student must pass the GACE Content Assessments in her or his area of preparation. Students must take the GACE Content Assessments and have the score released to Berry College prior to beginning the semester in which they are enrolled in EDU 499 or they will be required to complete another exit exam.