Education

The Educational Studies and Teacher Preparation Department, located in the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions (GSEAP), in close collaboration with the College of Arts and Sciences, offers minors in Educational Studies and Special Education open to all interested undergraduates and a Five-Year Integrated Bachelor's-Master's Degree and Teacher Certification Program for students with approved majors in the College of Arts and Sciences. Candidates are advised by the faculty advisors in their majors and by faculty in the Department of Educational Studies and Teacher Preparation.

Undergraduates wanting to declare a minor in Educational Studies or Special Education should meet with the Program Director as early in their studies as possible. Anyone interested in applying to the Five-Year Program must first declare the minor. Decisions for formal admission to the Five-Year Integrated Bachelor and Master of Arts teacher education program are made by March 15 and October 15 for Level I and on February 1 for Level II. Information sessions for the minor in Educational Studies and Special Education and the Five-Year teacher education program are offered each semester, and the faculty of the Educational Studies and Teacher Preparation Department are available for individual advising by appointment throughout the year.

Teacher Education

Candidates interested in pursuing certification to teach Elementary Education (Grades 1-6), Secondary Education (Grades 7-12) or Special Education (Grades K-12) can do so through one of three 5-year Bachelor and Master of Arts Programs in Teacher Education. The Teacher Education Programs prepare scholar-practitioners who have the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to enact meaningful connections between theory and practice, promote a developmental model of human growth and learning, exercise ethical professional judgment and leadership, and advocate for quality education for all learners. As members of an inclusive community of learners, we (university faculty, experienced and aspiring classroom teachers, and community members and leaders) work together to create and sustain exemplary learning environments that empower K-12 students to become engaged, productive citizens in their communities. Across all programs, our foci for inquiry and action include the socio-cultural and political contexts of education and schooling, the complexities of teaching and learning, teacher work and professional cultures, culturally relevant understandings of human growth and development, and socially responsible uses of technology in schooling and society.

Descriptions of all the required education undergraduate and graduate courses are found in the GSEAP catalog. Descriptions of undergraduate courses are found under appropriate departmental course listings.

Admission

Elementary and Secondary Education

To be admitted to the Five-Year Integrated Bachelors-Master’s degree teacher education programs, students must first declare the minor in Educational Studies; successfully earn 45 credits; maintain a minimum GPA of 3.00 in their certification major and 2.67 cumulative.

There are two phases of the admission process to the Five Year Program: Level I and Level II. Admission to Level I does not guarantee admission to Level II.

To be admitted to the undergraduate phase of the teacher education program (Level I), students must:

  1. Declare a minor in Educational Studies.
  2. Major in an approved discipline within the College of Arts and Sciences.
  3. Successfully earn 45 credits.
  4. Possess and maintain a minimum of 2.67 overall GPA.
  5. Maintain a 3.00 GPA in their major.
  6. Complete Level I Application to the undergraduate phase of the Five-Year Program (available on GSEAP website or from the program director).
    1. Meet with the Director of the Five-Year Program and appropriate Educational Studies & Teacher Preparation Program faculty to discuss major and minor requirements.
    2. Submit an application as early as spring of sophomore year and no later than spring of junior year.
    3. Application components:
      1. Level I application
      2. Essay
      3. Official transcript
    4. Submit complete application to ESTP Graduate Assistant in CNS 116A by posted deadline.

To be admitted to the graduate phase of the Five-Year Program (Level II). Students must do the following by February 1 of their senior year:

  1. Apply online via Fairfield University Graduate Admissions to the Five-Year Master’s Program, specifying which teacher education track they are pursuing.
  2. Application components include:
    1. Application form and fee
    2. Admission interview with program faculty
    3. Proof of updated fingerprinting & background check
    4. Two letters of recommendation: one from faculty member in academic major and one from person in education-related field
    5. Resume
    6. Record of Immunizations
    7. Essay
    8. Official transcript
    9. Evidence of passing or waiving the Praxis Core exam. Waiver information can be found here.

Students seeking certification must maintain at least a B (3.00) average in their major or the relevant content area courses in order to pursue the 5th year. In view of the teacher’s role in the school and community, candidates whose relevant academic productivity is marginal or inadequate, who do not embody a socially responsible professional disposition, or who demonstrate unsuitable personal qualities, will not be recommended for continuation in the teacher preparation program, student teaching placement, or state certification. In addition, all prospective and admitted candidates to an undergraduate teacher education program are expected to demonstrate the personal and professional dispositions that are embodied in the Mission Statement of the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions and outlined in the ethical codes of their chosen profession.

Special Education

To be admitted to the Special Education Five-Year Integrated Bachelors-Master’s degree teacher education programs, students must first declare the minor in Educational Studies; successfully earn 45 credits; maintain a minimum GPA of 3.00 in their certification major and 2.67 cumulative.

To be admitted to the undergraduate phase of the special education teacher education program, students must:

  1. Declare a minor in Educational Studies: Special Education

  2. Successfully earn 45 credits.

  3. Possess and maintain a minimum of 2.67 overall GPA.

  4. Maintain a 3.00 GPA in their major.

  5. Minimum grade of B in EDUC 2201 Explorations in Education and EDUC 3350 Special Learners in the Mainstream.

  6. Must maintain a minimum of 3.00 GPA in the minor

  7. Endorsement of the special education faculty

  8. Passing score on Praxis I or SAT

  9. Meet with the Director of the Special Education Five-Year Program and appropriate Special Education Program faculty to discuss major and minor requirements.

To be admitted to the graduate phase of the Special Education Five-Year Program students must do the following by February 1 of their senior year:

  1. Apply online via Fairfield University Graduate Admissions to the Five-Year Master’s Program, specifying the special education track they are pursuing.
  2. Application components include:
    1. Application form and fee
    2. Admission interview with program faculty
    3. Two letters of recommendation: one from faculty member in academic major and one from person in education-related field
    4. Resume
    5. Record of Immunizations
    6. Essay
    7. Official transcript (minimum cumulative GPA of 2.67 and 3.00 in major)
    8. Evidence of passing or the Praxis Core exam or SAT scores.

Students seeking certification must maintain at least a B (3.00) average in their major or the relevant content area courses in order to pursue the 5th year. In view of the teacher’s role in the school and community, candidates whose relevant academic productivity is marginal or inadequate, who do not embody a socially responsible professional disposition, or who demonstrate unsuitable personal qualities, will not be recommended for continuation in the teacher preparation program, student teaching placement, or state certification. In addition, all prospective and admitted candidates to an undergraduate teacher education program are expected to demonstrate the personal and professional dispositions that are embodied in the Mission Statement of the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions and outlined in the ethical codes of their chosen profession.

Academic Advisement Notice

Teacher education candidates should seek academic advisement from the advisor for education certification in their major and an educator advisor to ensure that planned program requirements are fulfilled for their major and core requirements, educational studies minor, and their teacher education program.

Background Check and Fingerprinting

All students in school-based certification programs and registered in courses with fieldwork components must be fingerprinted and have a background check conducted in the districts(s) where they are placed. Multiple fingerprinting and background checks may be required if placed in different districts. Please contact the course instructor or program director for information.

Teacher Internship Program

The Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions offers teaching internships for both certified and non-certified teachers studying for a Master’s Degree or Certificate of Advanced Study at Fairfield.

The internship gives you a full-time, hands on experience in a public school setting and up to $15,000 towards your studies, while offering local schools additional competent staff members and potential future employees.

For more information or an application, students should email the internship coordinator, specifying whether they are interested in the internship for certified or non-certified teachers.

All applications for the internship program are reviewed on a rolling basis. You must be formally admitted to the Master’s Degree Program to be eligible.

Minority Teacher Incentive Grants

The Minority Teacher Incentive Grant Program provides up to $5000 a year for two years of full time study in a teacher preparation program, usually junior or senior year, as long as the student is an admitted education minor and completes all the requirements.

As an added bonus, students may receive up to $2500 a year, for up to four years, to help pay off college loans if they teach in a Connecticut public elementary or secondary school.

To qualify, students must be a full-time college junior or senior of African-American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian-American, or Native American heritage, and be nominated by the chair of the Educational Studies and Teacher Preparation Department. To apply, obtain a nomination form from the Connecticut Office of Higher Education's website.