School of Education and Human Services

Jeffrey Lindauer, Ph.D., Dean; Nancy Wallace, Ph.D., Associate Dean & Director of School and Community Partnerships; Laura Moeller, Data and Credential Specialist.

Mission Statement

The faculty of the School of Education and Human Services (SEHS), in concert with our candidates, school/community partners, alumni, and the community, seek to prepare highly effective, socially committed professionals who value the Jesuit traditions demonstrated through their own cura personalis, work towards social justice, and leadership through service. The mission of the unit is to prepare professionals who possess content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge; use their gifts in the service of others; and demonstrate professionalism and leadership in their field.

Academic Programs

All teacher preparation programs in the School of Education and Human Services are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), formerly the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Specific accredited programs include Athletic Training by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE), Counseling and Human Services by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), and Deaf Education by the Council on Education for the Deaf (CED). All programs are registered and approved by the New York State Education Department.

The School of Education and Human Services offers curricula leading to undergraduate degrees in a number of areas.

The Teacher Education Department offers undergraduate degree/certification programs in childhood which include: early childhood education (birth through grade 2); childhood education (grades 1 through 6); a dual certification program in early childhood/childhood education (birth through grade 6); and a dual certification program in students with disabilities /childhood education (grades 1 through 6). Each of these programs require candidates to select an academic concentration in one of nine disciplines: English, mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, social studies, French, German, Spanish, music or social justice. Candidates enrolled in childhood education programs may elect to take two additional courses in middle childhood education and apply for an extension to teach in grades 7 through 9 for all concentrations except social justice, science, and music.

Undergraduate degree programs in adolescence education lead to teacher certification (grades 7 through 12) in one of nine academic disciplines: biology, chemistry, physics, English, mathematics, social studies, French, German and Spanish. Candidates enrolled in adolescence education programs may elect to take two additional courses in middle childhood education and apply for an extension to teach in grades 5 and 6.

The Department of Kinesiology offers undergraduate majors in athletic training, health and wellness, physical education/health, physical education sports studies, and sport management. Initial teacher certification programs are available in physical education, and a dual certification program in physical and health education.

A Professional and Technical Studies undergraduate degree is also offered through the Office of Professional Studies.

The School of Education and Human Services offers a variety of master’s degrees in the departments of Counseling and Human Services (mental health and school counseling), Graduate Education and Leadership (college student personnel administration, differentiated instruction, deaf education, educational administration and leadership, educational technologies and emerging media, literacy, and TESOL), Kinesiology (physical education and sport administration), Professional Studies (applied nutrition, community and school health, health and human performance, respiratory care and health information technology), and Teacher Education (adolescence education, childhood education, and special education). These programs are described in the Graduate Catalog.

Conceptual Framework

Introduction

Central to our conceptual framework is a symbol of infinity, representing four interrelated and evolving characteristics: Knowledge, Service, Professionalism, and Leadership. These elements are situated within the overarching Ignatian vision and Jesuit educational principles. These values include:

  • Cura personalis, concern for individuals, and desire to educate the whole person;
  • Magis, or seeking the greater good, striving for excellence and desire to have our candidates reach one’s full potential;
  • Sharing one’s gifts in the service for and with others in the pursuit of social justice;
  • Contemplation in action that is being a reflective learner and educator striving for ethical decision-making and mindful creative solutions to today’s issues in Education.

To this end, with a vision of P-16 partnership, we strive to engage our students in their chosen field of study. As stated by Rev. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., Superior General of the Society of Jesus (The Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice in American Jesuit Higher Education. 2000), “Students, in the course of their formation, must let the gritty reality of this world into their lives, so they can learn to feel it, think about it critically, respond to its suffering and engage it constructively” (p. 8).

Service

Candidates in the SEHS are provided with a variety of service opportunities to enable them to learn from populations that are ethnically, racially, culturally, religiously, and intellectually diverse. Service learning opportunities embedded in the academic program are intended to “emphasize the accomplishment of tasks which meet human needs in combination with conscious educational growth” (Combining Service and Learning: An Introduction Kendall, 1990, p. 20).

Service initiatives within candidates’ coursework provide them with a healthy forum of exchange among their classmates and professors. This model has been shown to increase the value of the experience for the student and enhance the relationship between the academic material and the service experience (How Service Learning Affects Students, Astin, Vogelgesang, Ikeda, & Yee, 2000).

Astin, Vogelgesang, Ikeda, & Yee (How Service Learning Affects Students, 2000) have demonstrated that service participation positively effects important outcome measures including GPA, critical thinking skills, a commitment to activism and the promotion of racial understanding, leadership activities, interpersonal skills, choice of a service career, and plans to participate in service after college. Other benefits include the development of citizenship skills and a higher regard for social responsibility and diversity (Educating Tomorrow’s Citizens Through Service-Learning, Keith, 1994).

Throughout their coursework, field experiences, and clinical practice candidates are encouraged to seek academic excellence for them and for their students/clients. During their programs of study, candidates engage in and promote authentic learning experiences, support the social and emotional development of students/clients, and demonstrate a commitment to social justice in environments that foster a culture of care, respect for diversity and the dignity of all.

Through careful placement in field-based practica secured in collaboration with the college and its professional development schools and other partners, our candidates learn to plan, act, reflect upon and revise curriculum and service projects. Under the guidance and mentorship of field-based professionals who model the knowledge, skills, and dispositions required to ensure equity in education, our candidates develop the skills and sensitivities necessary to promote social justice and cultivate an appreciation for diversity.

Service provides opportunities for our candidates, faculty, and community partners to actively live-out, and share the knowledge, skills, and dispositions gained in the classroom. In building relationships beyond the classroom, one can seek the greater good (magis) in service to others, supporting the potential, and uniqueness of people.

Professionalism

The SEHS seeks to promote a high level of professionalism and to share a mutual commitment to achieve the objectives of all partners.

Candidates benefit from the acquisition of self-reflection as a habit of mind, continuously assessing and refining their professional practice (The Reflective Practitioner, Schon, 1983) as they construct a rich repertoire of research-based knowledge, skills, and attitudes for effective candidate and/or counseling instruction and assessment, ensuring that all students and/or clients have optimal opportunities to learn and grow (Professionalism Education, Schein, 1973).

In the context of coursework, community based research and practice, faculty model and nurture the dispositions required for candidates to develop projects, learn with and from others, form a professional network of colleagues, and assume positions of responsibility.

Bridging theory to practice, candidates are integrated into authentic environments and provided “with real responsibilities, the opportunity to make decisions and to develop skills, to analyze student needs and to adjust practices using student performance data while receiving continuous monitoring and feedback” from faculty and p-12 mentors (Transforming teacher education through clinical practice: A national strategy to prepare effective teachers p10, BRR). Field experience and clinical practice embedded throughout the preparation program provide opportunities for candidates to become contributing and collaborative members of learning communities, and a variety of contexts in which the candidate can develop complex analytical and practical skills (Transforming teacher education through clinical practice: A national strategy to prepare effective teachers, p. 10 BRR). Candidates understand that their decisions, actions, and reactions are context dependent and student/client driven. As professionals, they involve colleagues, parents and the community in the responsible care and development of each participant.

Candidates are encouraged to embark on a lifelong commitment to their profession. They are encouraged to join professional organizations and actively participate in professional conferences and research (Collaboration, Community, and Communication: Modes of Discourse for Teacher Research, Donoahue, 1996; Reliving the learning: Learning from classroom talk and texts, Patterson, 1996; Teachers as researchers: Reflection and action, Patterson, Santa, Short, & Smith, 1993). As professionals in their fields, Canisius College candidates will internalize the processes of reflective practice, and utilize multiple sources of information to inform educational decision-making that meets the needs of the individuals and communities in which they are engaged. Effective leaders, make these ethical choices in a spirit of cura personalis, when perhaps less socially responsible decisions might be easier.

Effective instructional planning demonstrates the candidate’s ability to integrate outcome-based, state, national, and professional standards in their instruction. Assessment driven instruction is evidenced in classroom practice.

Leadership

Candidates become adept at applying their acquired knowledge in the process of evaluating their own professional performance and decision-making with respect to its impact on students and/or clients, organizations, and the wider community (Effective teaching methods, Borich, 1996). Candidates accept that, as professionals, they are responsible for the long-term social and ethical implications of their performance and decision-making. The unit recognizes that the professionals it prepares for the future must be able to effectively use technology, analyze situations, set appropriate and attainable goals, as well as plan and monitor actions that will lead to the accomplishment of these goals. They must be able to efficiently evaluate results, reflect on outcomes, and use their conclusions to improve practice. Throughout this activity candidates must maintain the standards of professional conduct (Staff development, innovations, and institutional development, Fullan, 1990).

Through coursework, field experiences and clinical practice, candidates learn that reform is ongoing and best accomplished by committed and well-informed practitioners (Synthesis of research on good teaching, Porter & Brophy, 1988). Coursework continuously presents research bases for theories and practice and develops candidates’ vision of themselves as change agents responsible for contributing to the body of knowledge in their field. Those directly and indirectly involved believe that each candidate must be prepared as a leader whose professional growth is ongoing and characterized by a spirit of service, professionalism, and advocacy.

Dispositions

Dispositions are professional attitudes, values, and beliefs demonstrated through behaviors as candidates interact with peers, students/clients, families, colleagues, and communities. In addition to the fundamental beliefs in fairness and justice, the Canisius College SEHS will foster the following dispositions in its candidates:

  • Enthusiastic Demonstrates initiative and commitment towards the educational pursuit
  • Just Appreciates value for human diversity and the ideal of fairness
  • Caring Demonstrates an attitude of empathy, tolerance and acceptance of others
  • Ethical Models behavior embodied in the mission of the School and college, and shows integrity in professional practice
  • Responsible Demonstrates personal and professional accountability for themselves and the profession

The SEHS candidate will embody the SEHS dispositions with maturing expertise. With emphasis on the movement from theory to practice, our programs teach candidates to embrace leadership roles that influence classrooms, schools, districts, and communities.

The development and exhibition of dispositions appropriate to teaching all children is a requirement of all Canisius teacher preparation programs. Candidates who demonstrate an unwillingness or inability to act in a mature, respectful and professional manner will be referred to the departmental Candidate Concern Committee for remediation. Outcomes of the remediation plan can include but are not limited to: probationary status for student teaching, prohibited from participation in field experiences, including student teaching, and/or repeating a field experience, including student teaching.

SEHS Learning Goals

SEHS students will embody the characteristics of a Canisius College graduate. Our candidates will meet the college, state, and national standards and demonstrate proficiencies articulated by their discipline.

  • Learning Goal 1: Candidates will demonstrate content knowledge, pedagogical, and professional knowledge necessary for successful performance in their field.
  • Learning Goal 2: Candidates will demonstrate professional skills and dispositions necessary for successful performance in their field.
  • Learning Goal 3: Candidates will demonstrate willingness to use their skills to benefit and serve society. Within the contexts of their work, candidates promote authentic learning, social and emotional development, and a commitment to social justice in environments that foster respect for diversity and the dignity of all.
  • Learning Goal 4: Candidates will demonstrate self-reflection as a habit of mind, continuously assessing and refining their professional practice as they construct a rich repertoire of research-based knowledge, skills, and attitudes for effective performance ensuring that all students and/or clients have optimal opportunities to learn and grow.
  • Learning Goal 5: Candidates will become adept at applying their acquired knowledge in the process of evaluating their own professional performance and decision-making with respect to its impact on students and/or clients, organizations, and the wider community.

Admission, Assessment and Continued Progress for Education Programs

Although coursework for all teacher certification programs normally begins in the freshman year, continued registration as a major is contingent upon several assessments. Through the assessment system performance is evaluated at four transition points, providing candidates with ongoing and integrated feedback on their progress. The four major transition points are:

  1. Entrance into the program
  2. Prior to clinical practice
  3. After clinical practice
  4. Program completion

Transition to each successive level requires successful performance on all measures described at the transition point. Performance measures include outcomes based on INTASC (Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium) principles, New York State teaching standards, the standards of specialized professional associations, and faculty expectations of knowledge, service, leadership and professionalism. The faculty review the progress of each candidate and, if deficits are noted, a plan is developed to address and remediate any shortcomings. Candidates who consistently do not meet program expectations may be counseled out of, or dismissed from, the program.

Assessment at Transition Point 1 — Program Entrance:

  • Acceptance to the college: SAT score; high school GPA

Assessment at Transition Point 2 — Prior to clinical practice:

Successful final portfolio review (specific program courses)

  • Cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher;
  • Grade of C or higher in all education courses;
  • Grade of C or higher in content courses for candidates seeking certification at the middle childhood or adolescence level;
  • Satisfactory performance in field placements.

Assessment at Transition Point 3 — After clinical practice:

Successful final portfolio review

  • Satisfactory integrated portfolio reflection;
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher;
  • Grade of C or higher in all education courses;
  • Grade of C or higher in content courses for candidates seeking certification at the middle childhood or adolescence level;
  • Satisfactory performance in field experience II placements.

Assessment at Transition Point 4 — Program Completion:

  • Cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher
  • Grade of C or higher in all education courses
  • Grade of C or higher in content courses for candidates seeking certification at the middle childhood or adolescence level
  • Successful completion of all program requirements

All candidates for teaching certification are required to develop a professional portfolio during their program of study. Specific common assignments from selected courses are compiled into an assessment portfolio on Taskstream through which the candidate demonstrates successful performance according to the standards of professional organizations and the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC). In addition, TaskStream supports the development of a showcase portfolio for future job searches. Please refer to the Undergraduate Student Handbook and the Program Portfolio Guidelines Handbook for more information.

Certification

To obtain initial teacher certification, candidates must complete the requirements (ie. SAVE, DASA, Child Abuse) and pass the examinations required by the New York State Education Department. The most up to date testing requirements are available on the NYSDE website.

For the professional certificate, candidates will need additional professional development, three years teaching experience, and the completion of an appropriate master’s degree within five years. Contact the New York State Education Department for additional information.

As required by the New York State Education Department, the pass rates for Canisius College on the New York State Teacher Certification Examinations can be found on the the outcomes page of the Institutional Research and Effectiveness webpage.