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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 inter-disciplinary concentration in liberal arts and sciences. The professional education curriculum incorporates important topics in special education, classroom management, inclusive classroom settings, ESOL and other related issues.

Graduates of the Unified Elementary 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 if they complete the special education professional specialization in the fifth year. For other specialization areas available to Unified Elementary ProTeach students, visit the School of Teaching and Learning office in Room 2215, Norman Hall Annex, or their Web site www.coe.ufl.edu/school/proteach.

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