5a. Qualified Faculty
5a.1. Table 8 is linked at 5a.5.
5a.2. Describe the expertise that qualifies professional education faculty members who do not hold terminal degrees for their assignments.
Those without terminal degrees have rich experiential backgrounds as teachers and administrators in the PK-12 partner school systems and have demonstrated competency for their Thomas University assignments.
5a.3. Describe how the unit will ensure that school-based faculty members are certified in the areas they teach or are supervising.
The Division of Education collaborates with 12 school districts in the southwest region as well as various school districts who host graduate program satellite campuses (currently Gwinnett, DeKalb, Macon, Lanier School Districts) in selecting the PK-12 teachers who serve as mentors for teacher candidates. Requests for placements for initial certification candidates are made to the district-level administrator in charge of placements for field and clinical experiences, who verifies that selected teachers are certified in the content and grade level in which they would supervise a candidate. A minimum of three years teaching experience is required. Clinical school faculty working with candidates in advanced degree programs are certified, professional educators who possess a valid certificate. They must have experience planning, implementing, and evaluating curriculum and instruction at the school or district levels and have some previous training and/or experience in mentoring faculty. The school-based mentor for the curriculum and instruction and teacher leader candidate will be identified at the beginning of the academic program and will serve as a member of the Candidate’s Support Team.
5a.4. Describe acceptable contemporary professional experiences in school settings expected of higher education clinical faculty members.
Thomas University values the importance of faculty having recent school based experience. All faculty have many years of experience as teachers and administrators in PK-12 schools across the region. All full-time faculty are required to maintain recent experience in PK-12 schools through annual participation as a member of a school advisory council, ongoing tutoring of a PK-12 student, or by teaching/co-teaching in the PK-12 setting on a regular basis. All full time education faculty are involved in either a field-based methods experience or student teacher supervision, which provides them opportunities to keep up-to-date with current classroom practices. Several serve on school improvement committees, state assessment advisory committees, mentor/tutor PK-12 students, and otherwise continue to be involved with PK-12 students. All of the division’s part-time clinical faculty possess a wealth of current or recent PK-12 teaching and administrative experience.
5a.5. Table 8