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Samford University    
  Feb 19, 2018
Samford University Catalog 2016-2017 Academic Year [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Teacher Education

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Karen J. Birkenfeld, Chair, Assistant Professor
David M. Finn, Professor
Charlotte Freeman, Professor
Amanda S. Hilsmier, Professor
Tarsha E. Bluiett, Associate Professor
Diana Cheshire, Associate Professor
Amy E. Hoaglund, Associate Professor
Erin N. Gilchrist, Assistant Professor
Myrtis A. Johnson, Instructor, Clinical Coordinator
Michele K. Haralson, Director of Curriculum Materials and Technology Center

Undergraduate Programs and Requirements


Early Childhood/Special Education/Elementary/Collaborative (ESEC) Major (B.S.E.) 
Elementary Education Major w/a Concentration in Christian Education & Missions (B.S.E.)  
Secondary Education Major (B.S.E.)   

Teacher Certifications

Collaborative Degree Program (ESEC) receives teacher certification in the following four areas:

Early Childhood Education (Grades P-3)
Early Childhood Special Education (Grades P-3)
Elementary Education (Grades K-6)
Elementary Collaborative Education (Grades K-6)

P-12 and Secondary

The Department of Teacher Education offers three distinct undergraduate majors-ESEC (early childhood/early childhood special education/elementary/elementary collaborative); elementary education with a concentration in Christian education and missions; and secondary education-all leading to a bachelor of science in education.

Teacher certification is available in the combined ESEC program for grades P-3 (early childhood education and early childhood special education) and grades K-6 (elementary education and elementary collaborative education), in the elementary education program for grades K-6, and in secondary education for grades 6-12 (biology, English, French, German, history, mathematics, Spanish). In addition, the department offers P-12 certification in world languages and music for students pursuing bachelor’s degrees in those respective departments.

Each program offered by the teacher education department complies with teacher certification requirements prescribed by the Alabama State Department of Education. Certification requirements outlined by the Alabama State Department of Education differ slightly from traditional Arts and Sciences majors and must be followed exactly. 

Information about other programs may be obtained from the department chair or advisement counselor. Students planning to earn certification in secondary education must come to the Orlean Bullard Beeson (OBB) School of Education at the beginning of the freshman year for advisement.

The OBB School of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE,, 2010 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20036. This accreditation covers all of the institution’s initial and advanced teacher preparation programs.

Teacher Certification Subject Areas Offered (P-12 and Secondary Education)

Composite Subject Areas
(Grades 6-12)
Major Subject Areas
(Grades 6-12)
Major Subject Areas
(Grades P-12)
English/Language Arts
History/Social Studies
World Languages:
(French, German, Spanish)
Biology, History
World Languages:
(French, German, Spanish)
Instrumental Music
Vocal/Choral Music

Special Requirements

A summary of special requirements for teacher education undergraduate students in general may be noted:

  1. ESEC majors are not required to earn additional majors or minors; however, a concentration in Christian education and missions may be earned by selecting three additional courses.
  2. Students earning P-12 certification in world languages or music and those earning secondary certification in English or history are not required to earn additional majors or minors.
  3. Students wishing to take courses from other colleges must obtain permission beforehand to ensure program compatibility.
  4. Students choosing to take a course through Professional Studies, or courses offered in summer terms or during the Jan Term, will incur additional tuition expenses.
  5. Students must complete their program within four years of being admitted to teacher education or reapply for admission. 


Admission to teacher education undergraduate programs and permission to enroll in selected Teaching Field and Professional Studies level courses requires:

  1. A minimum grade of C- in all required courses.

  2. Successful completion of EDUC 200 , EDUC 202 , EDUC 300 , EDUC 323  (ESEC/ELMN)*
    Successful completion of EDUC 200 , EDUC 202 , EDUC 204 , EDUC 213  (Secondary,SEED)*

  3. *Courses may be taken prior to admission to teacher education. 

  4. Completion of 60 credits of coursework with a GPA of at least 2.75.

  5. Completion of a projected schedule with advisor.

  6. Satisfactory completion of the Professional Expectations and Responsibilities Module.

  7. Completion of an interview with a faculty member in the OBB School of Education

  8. Documentation verifying ABI and FBI criminal background checks.

  9. Passing scores on all three (3) sections of the Alabama Educator Certification Assessment Program (AECAP) examination.

  10. Demonstration of satisfactory potential for teaching, including evidence of emotional stability and a satisfactory record as to conduct, character, and mental health, to the effect that the applicant does not have any personal qualities prejudicial to satisfactory performance as a teacher.

  11. Two (2) Dispositions Phase I forms: One from general education faculty and one from teacher education faculty.

  12. Completion of application for admission.

Acceptance is contingent upon the recommendation of the faculty admissions panel.

Applicants will be notified in writing of their acceptance or rejection during the summer following the sophomore year. Transfer students follow the same admission policies. Education courses may not be transferred into the teacher education program without permission from the department chair.


Once admitted to an undergraduate teacher education program, candidates must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.75* (cumulative, major courses, and professional courses) and must maintain professional dispositions desirable for teachers.**


* Failure to maintain the required minimum cumulative GPA, major teaching field GPA, and professional field GPA will prevent a student from enrolling in specific education courses until that GPA requirement is met. Grades below C- in any EDUC course are not permitted; in cases where a lower grade is earned, the course must be repeated.
**Any teacher education candidate who, in the opinion of the OBB School of Education faculty, develops dispositions or characteristics deemed undesirable for the profession may, after review, be removed from, counseled out of, or presented with the option to graduate without certification from the program.


Field Experiences

Field experiences in K-12 schools are an essential component in the learning process of becoming a professional educator. It is the philosophy of the teacher education faculty that candidates be placed in school settings early and often in their programs of study. All teacher education majors are required to complete a variety of field experiences in a range of setting with diverse populations of students. Field placements will be within driving distance from the university campus. Some EDUC courses hold classes off campus at a partner school campus.

Clinical Internship

Clinical internship is the capstone experience in teacher education. Clinical internship immerses candidates in a school culture and affords them the opportunity to teach in a partner school classroom while receiving support from an in-service teacher and a university mentor. The internship experience includes approximately 15 weeks of student teaching and may be taken in the fall or spring semester.

Teacher Certification

In order to be recommended for licensure, candidates must pass all exit exams and licensure requirements as mandated by the Alabama State Department of Education.

If a student successfully completes all program requirements, he/she may graduate, but cannot be recommended for certification until all exams are passed and all requirements are met.

Grievances related to grades may be presented to the Teacher Education Academic Review Board.

Secondary Education and P-12 Majors

Curriculum requirements for secondary education and P-12 education requirements may be obtained from the certification officer/advisor, or the director of secondary education. All secondary education (SEED) majors are required to meet with the certification officer/advisor upon admission to the University to ensure timely program completion.

University Core Curriculum and General Education Requirements

See University Core Curriculum & General Education Requirements  in the Howard College of Arts and Sciences introductory pages for a list of required courses. General education requirements are detailed in the individual degree tables, with some exceptions. In those cases where a requirement is not specified, consult the University Core Curriculum & General Education Requirements  and the Physical Activity Program  for a list of applicable courses.

Additional information about admissions, retention, certification, and specific programs can be found in the Undergraduate Teacher Education Handbook.




      Education - Undergraduate

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