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ProTeach - A Program for the Preparation of Professional Teachers

Teaching is a difficult and demanding task. Conditions that teachers encounter in the classroom are complex and stressful. At the same time, parents and other members of the community are aware that a sound educational background is essential to success in later life. Much is expected of professional teachers.

The College of Education prepares professional teachers in Unified Elementary/Special Education, Unified Early Childhood Education and the various areas of secondary education.

ProTeach (from PROfessional TEACHer) is a rigorous program consisting of five years of intensive work in general background knowledge, professional studies and specialization designed to culminate in a masterís degree.

The curriculum incorporates the best available information about knowledge, skills and personal attributes that contribute to teacher effectiveness. The latest developments in instructional approaches and technologies are used. The program incorporates comprehensive course work outside the College of Education along with foundational studies and extensive clinical experiences.

For students in Unified Elementary/Special Education and Unified Early Childhood Education, the clinical component of ProTeach begins in the third year and continues through the fifth year. Students engage in early observation, supervised practice and a concluding internship in the public schools, as well as campus-based clinical experiences in microteaching, simulation and other controlled situations. Methods of instruction and clinical experiences are concurrent and coordinated; academic and clinical aspects of course objectives are planned together and methods instructors are also clinical supervisors.

ProTeach students in Unified Elementary/Special Education and Unified Early Childhood Education receive a Bachelor of Arts in Education upon successful completion of the first phase of the teacher education program, including a prescribed set of courses and experiences. An additional year (beyond the bachelorís degree) is required for completion of the second phase of the teacher education programs.

All students in ProTeach, regardless of their chosen teaching field, complete the required course content in assessment, human growth and development, democratic values and ethics appreciation, classroom management, English for Speakers of Other Languages, reading and the use of computers in the classroom.

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Unified Elementary ProTeach

Since the implementation of ProTeach in 1984, the U.S. population of school children has changed becoming increasingly more diverse.

These changes, particularly the increase of students with disabilities who are often served in general education classrooms, have prompted the College of Education to re-examine and revise the content of its teacher education programs in Elementary and Special Education. In 1999, the college unified and restructured the Special Education and Elementary Education ProTeach programs into a Unified Elementary ProTeach program.

College faculty recognized the need to re-conceptualize teacher education to meet the challenges posed by an increasingly diverse student population. The challenges posed by students with varying exceptionalities in the public schools, along with the potential for an inclusive education policy to increase this number, demanded a collaborative response from all educators. Helping these students succeed requires the commitment of the entire educational system.

The Unified Elementary/Special Education program includes professional methods courses, clinical experiences, one area of specialization in education in addition to the professional education curriculum and an interdisciplinary concentration in liberal arts and sciences. The professional education curriculum incorporates important topics in special education, classroom management, inclusive classroom settings, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and other related issues.

Graduates of the Unified Elementary/Special Education ProTeach program will be able to create and maintain supportive and productive classrooms for diverse student populations. These teachers also will be prepared to work collaboratively with school personnel, families and members of the community to develop alternative ways to educate all students, including those who are difficult to manage or to teach.

Students who successfully complete the five-year Unified Elementary ProTeach program will be recommended for certification in elementary education (grades K-6) with an endorsement in teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). They also will have the opportunity to be recommended for certification in special education (ESE K-12) if they complete the special education professional specialization in the fifth year. For other specialization areas available to Unified Elementary/Special Education ProTeach students, visit the School of Teaching and Learning office in Norman Hall, Room 2215.

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Unified Early Childhood ProTeach

The Unified Early Childhood ProTeach program prepares students to teach at the preschool and pre- kindergarten level through grade three. Students who successfully complete the five-year Unified Early Childhood ProTeach program will be recommended for certification in Preschool Education (birth - age 4) and Pre-K/Primary (age 3 - grade 3) with endorsements in Pre-K Handicapped and teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). The program unifies early childhood education and early childhood special education. There is a wide range of professional choices for graduates of this program, including directors of nursery schools or Head Start programs, teachers of the primary grades and interventionists in hospitals. More information.

Postbaccalaureate Programs

Students who successfully complete a UF undergraduate program in Unified Elementary/Special Education or Unified Early Childhood Education but who do not meet graduate school admission requirements must complete the required fifth-year of the ProTeach program in a postbaccalaureate status to be recommended for certification. Refer to the appropriate graduate department for more information.

Refer to the Graduate Catalog for more information on graduate programs.

Secondary ProTeach

Students who wish to teach at the secondary level complete a bachelorís degree in an appropriate content discipline with the Secondary Education Minor and then a masterís degree in the College of Education. The approved subject areas of study for secondary education include: science education (major in botany, chemistry, entomology, integrative biology, microbiology, physics, wildlife ecology or zoology), social science education (major in anthropology, economics, geography, history, political science, psychology or sociology), and English education (major in English).

Cooperating College Teacher Education Programs

In addition to ProTeach, the university offers four-year teacher preparation programs in collaboration with the College of Education for agriculture, art and music. Please contact the individual colleges for additional information:

  • Agricultural Education and Communication (6-12), College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, 305 ROL
  • Art Education (K-12), College of Fine Arts, 302 FAC
  • Music Education (K-12), College of Fine Arts, 130 MUB

Program Planning

Program changes related to teacher certification requirements are possible. The curriculum of a state-approved teacher preparation program is subject to revision to accommodate legislative or Department of Education mandates. New rules may affect required courses in all teacher preparation programs.

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