The Professional Education Programs Unit is housed in the School of Liberal Arts and Education. The Unit oversees the preparation of teachers and other school personnel, and its programs are approved by the Virginia Department of Education and accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
The Unit includes four separate departments which are the:
Department of Teaching and Learning
Department of Administrative and Organizational Leadership
Department of School and Community Counseling
Department of Doctoral Studies
The Unit offers teacher education programs in combination with various undergraduate majors to prepare students to teach at the elementary and secondary levels, as well as special education. We also have a non-endorsed program in community-based education.
Graduate students may pursue the Master of Education, Master of Science, or the Doctor of Education degree in Educational Administration and Supervision.
The Professional Education Programs Unit also administers special teaching programs and teaching grants, as well as the Gaining Real World Opportunities with Students (G.R.O.W.S) program. This week-long program for high-school seniors is held on the VSU campus each summer to introduce qualifying students to the college experience and to nurture their interest in becoming teachers.
Unit Conceptual Framework
The conceptual framework reflects the Unit’s shared vision for preparing quality educators for work in PreK-12 schools. The overall goal of the Unit at Virginia State University, given its underlying vision, mission, and philosophy, is to facilitate the development of reflective practitioners who create positive learning environments for all students. This goal undergirds the development of successful candidates who are competent, caring, effective and reflective practitioners. Through reflective inquiry, candidates use professional knowledge to enhance learning for all students. The following definitions are the foundation of the unit’s candidate proficiencies at the initial and advanced levels:
- Competent: Understanding the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the content area(s). Understanding ways to enhance the learning process and learning environment through effective use of technology. Creating learning experiences and environments that make the subject matter meaningful for learners.
- Caring: Showing respect to all learners and empowering them to set achievable goals while maintaining high standards. Demonstrating a commitment to professionalism, continuous reflection, and application of research-based best practices.
- Effective: Using research-based best practices and performance assessments to guide the learning process and positively impact the learning environment to ensure that all students learn.
- Reflective: Reflecting upon and evaluating research and the success of past decisions in an effort to make better decisions in the future.
Our mission is to create a positive learning environment for all students and to use evidence-based performance standards to develop reflective teaching practitioners.
The Unit promotes and maintains academic programs with research-based pedagogy, technology-based learning, and reflective practices that integrate service to the community, ever mindful of the students’ diverse cultural backgrounds.