Office of Public Affairs
(315) 341-2265
Aug.30, 2000
OSWEGO -- Students entering Oswego State's School of Education as freshmen this fall have new programs available to them as a result of successful reregistration of education programs this summer. The changes will eventually benefit school children all over the state.
The reregistration is in response to higher standards for State Education Department teacher certification. All colleges and universities with education programs are undergoing this reregistration process.
When Oswego received word of its programs' approval June 30, only 249 programs of the nearly 1,300 submitted statewide had been registered. A State Education Department spokeswoman said such quick turnaround indicated that "Oswego knew what the requirements meant and was able to design a program of the quality that would meet the requirements."
Oswego applied and was approved for majors in childhood education, adolescent education, technology education, and business and marketing (vocational) education.
"We can take a great deal of pride in this accomplishment," said Professor Suzanne Weber, assistant dean for accreditation and certification.
Key to the reregistration are the new certification categories. "Basically, it is a student-centered look at education, not adult-centered," Weber said.
The number of Oswego students affected by the new programs is high -- about 27 percent of all Oswego undergraduates major in education, according to Oswego State's Office of Institutional Research and Assessment.
In addition to the already approved programs, the curriculum and instruction department plans to add programs for early childhood and middle childhood education. The vocational teacher preparation department will be adding a variety of occupational specialties as well.
All the new programs have three distinct features, Weber said.
First, they have added significant school experience. The new programs that immerse student teachers "in schools much sooner and much deeper than anything we have been able to do since the closing of the campus school," she said.
Secondly, the new programs have increased emphasis on literacy. All teachers, including high school and technology teachers, will be required to "help students learn to read, write, speak and listen in all content areas," according to the new state regulations.
The final change is an increased emphasis on diversity: teaching diverse children and teaching in diverse settings, which will include urban or high-need settings for all teacher candidates.
The students learn to celebrate diversity, which includes special education, through experiences built in to the practicum, readings and conversations that focus on how to serve all students, Weber explained.
"It will also put new emphasis on preparing our (student teachers) to work effectively with kids most in need of good teaching -- children in high needs urban schools," she said.
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CONTACTS: Dean of Education Linda Markert, 312-2102; Assistant Dean Sue Weber, 312-2641

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