The MAT program has had a policy in place since enrolling its first cohort in 2004 since teachers need to adhere to a professional code of conduct in their K-12 school setting. The MAT Program and Dean have been reviewing it for a year with consultation with SUNY Counsel so that we are able to dismiss students who act unethically. We also added into the policy accreditation language since being accredited in 2012 as well as a procedure for assessing students’ readiness to teach and the Dean’s ability to review a potential candidate’s readmission application history.
The main factor for having this policy is ethical. New York State teachers must be ethical and professional with regards to their encounters with school district personnel, program faculty and staff, and most importantly, with their students. This policy will allow us to review any candidate who demonstrates a lack of professional conduct and dismiss him/her from the teaching program.
We were careful to use the term “dispositions” based on advice from SUNY Counsel that students could not be dismissed for personality characteristics but rather lack of professional conduct and/or judgment.
Empire State College expects teacher education students to teach effectively and in a caring way and to demonstrate behaviors and attitudes that are consistent with the ideal of fairness and the belief that all students can learn. Empire State College expects students in professional education to demonstrate a set of values and attitudes consistent with the highest professional standards and to comply with relevant local, state and federal law. Students who fail to meet professional expectations are subject to warning or dismissal from the program and those dismissed cannot be recommended for teacher certification.
Further, the teacher education programs prepare students to function as professionals who serve pupils and clients who may be minors or individuals in circumstances of significant vulnerability. In pursuing their academic programs, students come into direct contact with such vulnerable pupils and clients as part of their field experiences, residency placements, and teaching roles. Empire State College has an obligation to protect those pupils and clients and cannot tolerate student behavior that exploits, endangers, compromises or threatens the welfare, safety or rights of those pupils or clients.
In deciding whether to admit or readmit to, retain in, or graduate a student from a program, or to recommend an individual for state certification, the teacher education program considers not only the college’s admission and academic requirements but also the individual’s competencies related to serving in the teaching profession, including, but not limited to, the individual’s conduct, professional attitudes, values and attributes to the extent such traits impact the person’s ability to serve effectively and ethically in the profession, and advancement in a teacher education program. The teacher education faculty and staff will conduct periodic reviews of students at key checkpoints, such as the time for certification recommendation, to determine whether or not the student will move forward in the process.
In deciding whether to admit or readmit to, retain in, or graduate students from a program, or to recommend an individual for a state teaching certificate, a teacher education program considers:
The graduate student Evaluation and Grading policy, Satisfactory Academic Progress policy, and Academic Honesty policy contain college policy and procedures for academic warning and dismissal.
The dean of the School for Graduate Studies may issue a warning or dismiss a student from the program for failure to meet, satisfy, or demonstrate satisfactory performance with respect to one or more of the program’s professional criteria (see Part I).
Students who reapply to the program or a different program in the School for Graduate Studies must do so in accordance with the procedures for readmission. In reviewing an application for readmission to the teacher education programs all previous work in a graduate program including the individual’s competencies related to serving in the teaching profession and professional expectations and criteria defined in the policy is considered.