Magazine article Techniques

Teacher Preparation at Jacksonville State University

Magazine article Techniques

Teacher Preparation at Jacksonville State University

Article excerpt


The mission of the College of Education and Professional Studies (CEPS) at Jacksonville State University (JSU) located in Jacksonville, Alabama, is to prepare students for successful careers in a variety of professions, including career and technical education (CTE) teacher preparation. The college's uniqueness is reflected by its diversity of programs and services. CEPS programs enable graduates to be creative decision makers who effectively solve problems using concepts and practices appropriate for each discipline.

The CEPS programs maintain rigor and relevance through outreach and partnership activities with schools and businesses related to its programs within and surrounding the university's service area. We believe that strong affiliations with constituency groups such as superintendents, principals and teachers benefit our teacher candidates through supervision of practical experiences, and as members of college advisory committees dealing with program development. The ultimate goal of the CEPS is to assure that its graduates are effective, highly performing employees.

CTE Certifications

The Alabama State Department of Education offers five distinct certifications in the area of CTE. The programs are agriscience education, business/marketing education, family and consumer science education, technical education, and career technologies. Graduates from each program must be able to demonstrate a knowledge of the history, philosophy, principles, objectives, trends, patterns and issues of CTE programs; the organization, management and methods of assessment of CTE programs; the Alabama Course of Study: career and technical education; and teaching techniques, including evidenced-based strategies, project-based learning, and authentic assessments applied to CTE programs. The CTE program Pre-service Teachers complete the general requirements of the JSU teacher education program. In addition, due to the unique demands of the CTE program, pre-service teachers have an opportunity to experience the varied responsibilities of a CTE teacher.

Clinical Experience Key to Learning

Immersing students in schools during their clinical experience is one of the primary ways that CEPS ensures that CTE teacher candidates learn the skills necessary to be effective teachers. The clinical experience portion of the teacher education program is divided into four levels:


In their professional studies classes and in method classes, teacher candidates engage in micro-teaching, project and unit development, subject matter portfolios, group research, presentations, and other activities.


Activities for Level II experiences are provided at the Teacher Learning Center and the Child Development Center. These experiences provide teacher candidates with opportunities for one-to-one tutoring and interaction with local children. Candidates work with university instructors to diagnose learning needs and develop and implement learning activities.


These experiences are provided in collaboration with local schools and provide gradual exposure to the classroom. Pre-service teachers conduct observations, teach classes and participate in school activities. College professors, along with classroom teachers--called cooperating teachers--monitor JSU students' performances.


Intern teachers spend approximately 15 weeks in this level and work with carefully selected mentors. Intern teachers have a cooperating teacher in the classroom setting and a university supervisor. This level provides continuous, closely monitored experiences that involve observations, participation in teaching, extensive continual teaching, and other duties of the classroom teacher.

CTE Practicum at JSU (Levels I, II and III)

JSU requires all pre-service teachers to complete a total of 201 practicum hours before admission to internship. …

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