- Senior Professor Dona Thornton
- Senior Professor Melise Bunker
- Associate Professor Marilyn Stepnoski
- Associate Professor Chelly Templeton, Associate Dean
- Associate Professor Timothy Ladd, Associate Dean
The mission of the Department of Education is to prepare highly competent pre-service elementary, secondary, and all-level (K-12 Physical Education, Art, and Music) teachers for diverse classrooms through academic and clinical experiences. The education department of Palm Beach Atlantic University is committed to the integration of faith into the curriculum. PBA provides an education that values scholarship, discipleship, servant-leadership, and stewardship. As a Christian university, Palm Beach Atlantic University emphasizes the highest level of moral and ethical standards.
The undergraduate education program offers professional preparation leading to a degree and certification for all teaching fields listed in the section on “Teacher Education Programs.”
Special features of the Teacher Education Program at Palm Beach Atlantic include:
- Small methods and theory class sizes (10:1 in methods courses).
- State certified teacher preparation programs: elementary school or high school
- Two semesters of student teaching residency in a variety of real classroom settings.
- Full semester of field experience in Palm Beach County Schools.
- Successful history of job placement of graduates
- Outstanding faculty
- Prestigious reputation in the local public and private school systems
- Commitment to excellence.
The School of Education and Behavioral Studies offers majors in elementary, secondary and all-level education (Art, Music, and Physical Education). Students who are interested in teaching at the secondary level must pursue a major in a subject area in addition to the major in secondary education.
Students enrolled in the methods courses will pursue a program designed to achieve a competency level of performance. Therefore, in some of the courses, the student is asked to prepare appropriate materials and give demonstration of teaching performances. The cost of these materials makes it necessary for the student to budget for this additional expense. It is expected that this expense per course will be within the range of lab fees encountered in some of the courses. However, the cost does vary from student to student according to individual planning and initiative.
All students must pass this screening according to procedures identified by the School District of Palm Beach County in order to be enrolled in courses offered by the Department of Education that require the students to be in the schools (K-12). The student is advised that any break in enrollment, with the exception of summer terms, will result in the repetition of the fingerprint screening. All students must have a social security number or other acceptable Palm Beach County School District documentation in order to be fingerprinted. Documentation of fingerprinting and a recent badge must be submitted to the Teacher Education Committee and to instructors of courses with field experience.
Teacher Education Programs
Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) Accreditation
ACSI is a national benchmark of quality validated by peer review and systematic self-evaluation against national and internationally accepted Christian standards. This accreditation promotes on-going institutional improvement through a continuous process of self-assessment and systematic school/program development.
The Title II Institutional Report Card shows a 100% pass rate on the Florida Teacher Certification examination for students graduating from all of the state-approved programs. Palm Beach Atlantic University offers programs approved by the Florida State Department of Education for the preparation of teachers in the following areas:
- Elementary K-6/with ESOL Endorsement
- Biology (6-12)
- English (6-12) w/ ESOL Endorsement
- Mathematics (6-12)
- Art (K-12)
- Music Education (K-12)
- Physical Education (K-12)
All elementary education majors and English/Secondary Education majors will receive the state-mandated ESOL endorsement upon completion of the Professional Education Courses, the Elementary Education major courses or English major courses, as appropriate, and the following ESOL courses: EDU 2303 - Theoretical Underpinnings of ESOL , EDU 2313 - Cultural Dimensions of ESOL , and EDU 4303 - ESOL Methods, Curriculum, & Assessment .
To be eligible for certification for teaching in any of these fields, a student must complete one of the above programs approved by the Florida Department of Education and pass the appropriate Florida Teacher Certification Examinations. Certification for teaching is obtained through the Florida Department of Education after graduation. The University will provide assistance in obtaining certification and employment for the graduate.
The student is advised that all appropriate state exams (FTCE) must be passed in order to apply to student teach and to graduate from a state-approved program. Exams must be passed in both Professional Education and in the student’s major (Subject Area Exam). Failure to graduate from a state-approved program may result in difficulties in obtaining state certification.
The Dean of the School of Education and Behavioral Studies provides the leadership and is responsible for maintaining a strong teacher preparation program. This individual will relate the state’s teacher education guidelines to the academic program of the University and will assist the faculty in developing curricula.
The objectives of the program are:
- To provide an environment and the tools to develop godly character and pursue academic excellence and personal integrity in all areas.
- To provide a foundation in the liberal arts that develops the competencies of a free individual capable of rational independent judgment;
- To provide a framework of professional attitudes, skills, knowledge, and understanding necessary to enable the pre-professional to develop into a highly competent teacher and;
- To provide the prospective teacher with field experience in teaching through Workship, subject-related classroom participation, and student teaching. As new laws related to teacher preparation are passed by state legislators, the School of Education and Behavioral Studies gives careful attention to the necessary program changes and adaptations that will meet the needs of the teacher education student. Florida State Department of Education requirements supersede any stated requirements in the Palm Beach Atlantic University Catalog.
Entrance Requirements for Teacher Education Programs
The minimum number of credits required to earn the baccalaureate degree at PBA is 120. Additional credits may be required by education students in order to meet the Florida Department of Education requirements. Students will be admitted to the Teacher Education Program via a first screening conducted by the Teacher Education Committee. This approval is required in order for a student to proceed with any education courses requiring field experience.
First Screening Procedures
- Apply while enrolled in EDU 3063 - Classroom Management, School Law, & Ethics . Prior to acceptance into a Teacher Education Program, students may enroll in these education (EDU) courses required for the major: EDU 1013 , EDU 2001 , EDU 2022 , EDU 2013 , EDU 2023 , EDU 2133 , EDU 2303 , EDU 2313 , MUS 3062 , EDU 3063 , EDU 3072 , EDU 3073 , and EDU 3173 . They may also enroll in General Education courses, minor courses that do not include field experiences, and non-education major or minor courses.
- Meet the following grade point averages achieved prior to application:
- General Education 2.5 GPA
- Overall Coursework 2.5 GPA
- Major Coursework 2.5 GPA
Note: Students must include a current PBA unofficial transcript. Transfer students must include official transcript from other colleges/universities attended.
- Submit documentation of passing scores on all sections of FTCE General Knowledge Exam at time of application.
- Clear fingerprints (FDLE/FBI) and obtain a current Palm Beach County identification badge through Palm Beach County School District (additional fee).
- Demonstrate psychological, emotional, and social stability in addition to a professional and positive attitude. (A request for verification by a certified professional must be provided upon request.)
- Submit an application to the Chair of the Teacher Education Committee during the semester in which the student is enrolled in EDU 3063 or when criteria are met.
- Submit documentation of Florida Educator Accomplished Practice evidences completed in assigned courses and posted in LiveText at the time of application
- Meet with advisor to review first screening application by published deadline.
The Chair of the Teacher Education Committee shall forward all documentation to the Teacher Education Committee, which will make one of the following decisions:
- Conditional approval because of a weakness in a particular area, such as oral/written communication, or mathematics, with specific requirements for removing deficiencies.
- Denial with recommendation for student to reapply the following semester or to be counseled into a different program.
The Education faculty members, in cooperation with the Teacher Education Committee, will review the progress of all students who have been accepted into the program. This ongoing review will take place by midterm of each semester. A student may be placed on probationary status or removed from the program as a result of unsatisfactory review. Students are to be advised that the fingerprinting badge must be renewed each school year (additional fee), per Palm Beach County Schools mandate.
Requirements for Student Teaching
Second Screening Procedures
Students must attend a mandatory student teaching application meeting the semester prior to student teaching. Students will be admitted to student teaching via a second screening conducted by the Teacher Education Committee. All criteria as listed for first screening must be continually demonstrated by students throughout the program. Students are eligible for probation and/or dismissal from the Teacher Education Program upon the decision of the Teacher Education Committee. Criteria for second screening are as follows:
- Satisfactorily complete all course work and Workship assignments and Chapel credit prior to the time of application for second screening, with the exception of the courses in which the student is enrolled at the time of application.
- Satisfy and post in Live Text all Florida Educator Accomplished Practices Required Evidences and Critical Assignments that are measured prior to student teaching.
- Have the following minimum grade point averages achieved prior to time of application:
- Overall Coursework 2.75 GPA
- Education Coursework 3.00 GPA
- Coursework in second major, as applicable 2.75 GPA
- Minor Coursework 2.75 GPA
- General Education Coursework 2.50 GPA
- Piano Proficiency (Music Education Majors only) PASS
- Concert recital attendance (Music Education Majors only) PASS
- Submit an application one semester prior to student teaching. (See Academic Calendar for deadline date.) Attach documents required in Second Screening packet, which include: an official transcript, advising worksheet, copy of current Palm Beach County School badge, satisfactory drug screening clearance, FEAP and Critical Assignment evidence documentation in assigned courses posted in LiveText. Approval is contingent upon satisfactory completion of courses in which the student is currently enrolled.
- Submit evidence of passing scores at time of application on the following FTCE requirements: General Knowledge Test, Professional Education exam, and appropriate subject area exam (SAE).
- Submit documentation at time of application of passing the substance abuse test (additional fee) per mandate of the Palm Beach County School District. Drug screening must be submitted no sooner than 30 days prior to start of Student Teaching.
- Submit a copy of graduation audit letter.
- Submit all application/documentation papers required by the Palm Beach County School District by published deadline dates. All student teaching assignments will be made in coordination with the Palm Beach County School District. Student teachers are responsible for their own transportation. Student teachers will report to classes the same day as the local public school system begins its pre-service session. Students planning to live in the dorm and student teach during either semester must make arrangements with the university’s Resident Director for early admittance on campus.
- Meet with advisor to review second screening application at least one week prior to published deadline.
State-Approved Program Graduates
- Students must complete a State-Approved Teacher Education Program including Student Teaching and the Student Teaching Seminar.
- All exit exams must be passed, including state (FTCE) and local requirements.
- Students must demonstrate mastery of the Florida Educator Accomplished Practices through the Required Evidences accumulated throughout the program, including student teaching and all Critical Assignments completed during the program. These Accomplished Practices will have been evaluated through rubrics, exams, and observations and are recorded in the student’s portfolio.
Note: Failure to be graduated from a state-approved program may result in difficulties in obtaining state certification.
Alternative Program for Non-Degree-Seeking Students
Students holding baccalaureate degrees who do not plan to do student teaching through Palm Beach Atlantic University may enroll in education courses. These students will be responsible for corresponding directly with the Florida Department of Education in order to identify courses that must be taken in order to receive certification. They will be expected to demonstrate the same professional academic skills and attitudes during field experience as those students seeking certification through PBA’s state-approved programs.
Advisors at the Secondary Education Level
When a student desires to teach on the secondary level, the student must first select a major from the following choices: Biology, English, or Mathematics. For these listed areas, the student must also pursue a major in Secondary Education. One advisor will be in the Education department and the other advisor will be the student’s major professor in his/her chosen teaching area. Students are to meet with their Primary Content Area and Secondary Education Advisor prior to registering each semester.
Student Teaching in All-Level Programs
When a student desires to pursue an all-level program (Art, Music, and Physical Education), he/she must select at which level he/she desires to student teach. For those students selecting Exceptional Student Education (K-12) as a minor, the student teaching placement must be at the elementary level, as their major is Elementary Education (K-6). Each student in an all-level program will have an advisor who is a specialist in the respective subject area. Students are to meet with their Primary and Secondary Education Advisor prior to registering each semester.