The mission of the Cato College of Education at UNC Charlotte is to prepare highly effective and ethical professionals who have a positive impact on children, youth, families, community, and schools and who are successful in urban and other diverse settings. This mission is accomplished through teaching, research, and community engagement that lead to improved practice and by working in partnership with schools, communities, and university colleagues.
The College of Education consists of these departments:
*The Minor in Foreign Language Education, offered in collaboration with the Department of Languages and Culture Studies in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, leads to teacher licensure in one of the following areas (grades K-12):
**The Reading Education and Teaching English as a Second Language license can only be added to another licensure area.
**The Minor in Secondary Education, offered in collaboration with appropriate departments in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, leads to licensure to teach in one of the following areas of Secondary Education (grades 9-12):
- Comprehensive Science
- Comprehensive Social Studies
- Earth Science
In collaboration with the College of Arts + Architecture, the College of Education offers professional education coursework that leads to licensure to teach in one of the following areas (grades K-12):
Graduate Early Entry Programs
- Academically or Intellectually Gifted, Graduate Certificate, Early Entry
- Elementary Education, M.Ed., Early Entry
- Elementary Mathematics Education, Graduate Certificate, Early Entry
- Foreign Language Education, M.A.T. or Graduate Certificate, Early Entry
- Learning, Design, and Technology, Online Learning and Teaching Concentration, Graduate Certificate, Early Entry
- Reading Education, M.Ed., Early Entry
See the Accreditations section of this Catalog for details about program accreditation.
The Cato College of Education has these undergraduate program responsibilities:
- To develop, deliver, and evaluate high quality undergraduate programs that prepare teachers and other professional personnel for schools and related agencies.
- To operate programs that meet the standards of external governing, licensing, and accrediting agencies.
- To address the culturally diverse educational needs of its particular region.
- To initiate and support activities in global perspectives of its faculty and students.
- To respond effectively to the problems and needs of children, their families, and professionals in schools and related agencies.
The Cato College of Education holds these program values:
- We are a community of scholars who are committed individually and collectively to creating learning opportunities and environments where we enhance the capacity of our students to have a positive impact on children, youth, communities, families and schools. We are committed to meeting the developmental and educational needs of our students and to maximize the growth, development, and learning of each individual.
- In our programs of study, we are committed to high quality programs that are standards-based, to the ongoing assessment of candidates and programs for the purpose of continuous improvement, to collaboration and outreach, and to the highest standards of professional practice and scholarship. We are committed to international understanding and involvement.
- In fulfilling our professional roles, we are committed to the generation, dissemination, and application of knowledge. We, therefore, expect that faculty will be teacher-scholars and that they will maintain a balanced commitment to teaching, research, and service. We have a strong commitment to academic excellence and exceptional quality in all that we do.
- In our dealings with each other, our students, and our professional colleagues in schools and communities, we are committed to valuing diversity and to speaking out against oppression. We are committed to thoughtfulness, reflection, flexibility, and the exploration of new ideas. We are committed to openness, honesty, forthrightness, and the highest standards of integrity and ethical behavior. We strive to be collegial, collaborative, human, and respectful of others, even when we are not in total agreement with their views or with their work, and we are committed to being sensitive to and supportive of others, including students, staff, faculty, and our professional colleagues in the community.
Professional Educators: Advancing Educational Equity through Excellence and Engagement, the Conceptual Framework for Professional Education Programs at UNC Charlotte, has a strong emphasis on the Cato College of Education’s updated vision to be a national leader in educational equity, excellence, and engagement. During coursework, early field experiences, and clinical practice candidates have multiple opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to produce highly effective and engaged professionals. Our programs seek to develop the proficiencies that are indicated below:
- Professional Responsibilities
- Professional Identify and Continuous Growth
- Policies, Laws, Standards, and Issues
- Reflective Practice
- Social Justice
- Learners and Learning
- Positive Impact and Accountability
- Cultural Competence and Culturally Sustaining Practice
- 21st Century Literacies, Competencies, and Character Qualities
- Effective Pedagogy
- Specialty Area Knowledge
- Pedagogical Knowledge
- Research-Based Practice
- Research Skills
Teacher Education Policies and Procedures
Admission to Teacher Education Programs
See the specific degree program for admission requirements. Information about additional requirements and procedures may be obtained in the Office of Teacher Education Advising and Licensure (TEAL) in the Cato College of Education. Students in Art, Dance, Music, or Theatre should contact the Arts Education Specialist for specific admission requirements in their major department.
Professional dispositions are consistent patterns of behavior or habits that may impact teaching effectiveness. At the time of entry to the program, all students are asked to sign a dispositions statement that fully identifies and describes behavior patterns that are appropriate and inappropriate in professional conduct. Education students are expected to demonstrate professional dispositions in all of their university activities (courses, clinicals, etc.).
Retention in Teacher Education Programs
There are three minimum requirements for retention in a teacher education program:
- A grade of C or above (a) in all professional education courses and (b) in all courses in the student’s area of teaching specialization
- GPA of 2.5 or above (a) overall, (b) in all professional education courses, and (c) in the student’s area of teaching specialization
- Disclosure of any criminal charges since admission to the program
Some teacher education programs have additional or higher requirements for retention. Information about these additional requirements can be obtained in the program’s home department. Note: Requirements for admission to student teaching are higher than requirements for retention in the program.
Admission to Yearlong Internships and Student Teaching
Most undergraduate teacher education programs incorporate student teaching in a yearlong internship that spans a student’s Senior year. The yearlong internship consists of one semester of intensive part-time clinical work in the classroom while completing coursework on campus. This clinical semester is followed by a semester of full-time student teaching, usually completed in the same classroom.
Students must apply and be formally admitted to a yearlong internship two semesters prior to the start of student teaching, which is typically in the first or second semester of the Junior year. In addition, during the first semester of their yearlong internship, students are screened for eligibility for student teaching. The minimum requirements for admission to student teaching are as follows:
- Senior status
- Prior admission to a teacher education program
- Completion of all other course work in a student’s program of study
- An overall GPA of 2.50 or above in the student’s total program of study
- Grades of C or above in all professional education courses and a GPA of 2.75 or above in those courses
- Grades of C or above in all courses in the student’s area of teaching specialization and a GPA of 2.75 or above in those courses
- Recommendation from the student’s faculty advisor(s) certifying readiness to student teach
Some teacher education programs have additional requirements for admission to the yearlong internship and student teaching. Information about those requirements can be obtained from the program’s home department. Information about procedures and deadlines for applying for yearlong internships and student teaching in all programs can be obtained in the Office of School and Community Partnerships.
Graduation and Licensure Requirements
For a degree to be conferred, a student must successfully complete all program requirements, which at a minimum includes:
- Grades of C or above in all professional education classes
For a recommendation of licensure:
- A passing grade in student teaching with recommendation from the clinical educator, school administrator, and university supervisor
- A score of “Proficient” or “Accomplished” on all criteria for state required electronic evidences, including licensure test requirements
- Passing scores on all relevant NC State Board of Education-approved licensure assessments, including edTPA
The Office of Teacher Education Advising and Licensure (TEAL) serves and advises all students involved in teacher education programs prior to their admission to the major (pre-education students). TEAL is responsible for:
- Promotion of teacher education programs and recruitment of students prior to their admission to UNC Charlotte
- Collaboration with pre-education students and advisors at community colleges in North Carolina
- Orientation and academic advisement of pre-education students prior to their admission to a specific teacher education program (which typically occurs during their Sophomore year)
- Collaboration with departments within the College of Arts + Architecture and the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences concerning admission to teacher education programs when those departments have teacher education tracks or degrees
- Academic support services for both students and their faculty advisors as students admitted to a teacher education program progress through their programs, complete student teaching, and apply for licensure
- Management of all applications for teacher licensure
In collaboration with academic departments involved in teacher education, the TEAL Office is the Cato College of Education’s central source of information about academic program requirements; criteria and procedures for admission to a specific teacher education program; student advising before admission to teacher education; schedules and applications for taking NC Foundations of Reading and General Curriculum, Praxis Core, and Praxis Subject Assessment examinations; requirements and procedures for obtaining licensure in North Carolina (or in other states that have reciprocity agreements with North Carolina); and final audits to ensure completion of all program and licensure requirements. For more details, visit teal.uncc.edu.
Support Offices and Resources
Center for Educational Measurement and Evaluation
The Center for Educational Measurement and Evaluation (CEME) is a collaborative research center within the College of Education. CEME provides program evaluation services and statistical, methodological, and measurement expertise to schools and related agencies. Through CEME, faculty and students engage with educators in mutually beneficial projects that lead to evidence-based practices and improved educational outcomes and policy. Visit ceme.uncc.edu.
Center for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education
The Center for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education (CSTEM) sponsors a wide variety of programs and projects that involve pre-service and in-service teachers and are designed to enhance the quality of instruction in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, for both pre-college and university students. Visit education.uncc.edu/cstem.
Office of School and Community Partnerships
The Office of School and Community Partnerships (OSCP) provides high quality learning experiences for pre-service educators and cutting edge professional development for career practitioners by fostering collaborative relationships with diverse schools, public agencies, and multiple constituencies. OSCP collaborates with these stakeholders to ensure successful clinical and internship experiences for education candidates and continuing education opportunities that meet and exceed education standards. The individual needs of the pre-college candidate, teacher-in-training, and career professional are prioritized to ensure equity, excellence, and engagement throughout all programming sponsored by OSCP. Visit osacp.uncc.edu for more information.
Special Facilities and Resources
Examples that support the work of both faculty and students in undergraduate teacher education programs include:
- The Cato College of Education Building includes classrooms for reading/language arts, science/mathematics, social studies, and student study rooms.
- The freshman Education Learning Community is a one-year program for students who wish to become teachers. Community members take some General Education courses as a cohort group and participate in social activities, community service, and professional development activities.
- The Cato College of Education has partnerships with the Partner Schools Network that consists of schools in the region, which are public schools that work closely with the College to provide excellent clinical experience opportunities.
- The Atkins Library supports teacher education programs with a large children’s literature collection and curriculum and instructional materials. Visit library.uncc.edu for details on additional available resources.
A number of scholarships and awards are available to undergraduate students in teacher education. Information about these awards is available online at education.uncc.edu/resources/student-resources/financial-aid, as well as in the Office of Teacher Education Advising and Licensure (TEAL). Awards that recognize the achievements of undergraduate students in teacher education programs are listed below. Additional information about each of these awards can be found at ninerscholars.uncc.edu/scholarshipsearch.
- Alma and Sharon Goudes Education Scholarship
- Bertha and Irving Fishman Scholarship
- Cato Scholars Endowment
- Cato Scholarship for Education
- Dr. Herman Thomas Scholarship in Education
- Eileen Bird Scholarship in Education
- Eve H. Buchanan-Cates and J. Mark Cates Endowed Scholarship for Teachers
- Gloria Moore Jones Education Scholarship
- Hathcock-Humble Legacy Scholarship in Education
- Jane and Rusty Goode Endowment for Educators
- Jane and Rusty Goode Scholarship
- Lula Faye Clegg Memorial Scholarship
- Mary Fary Combs Memorial Scholarship
- MECK Pre-K Early Childhood Scholarship
- Michael Green Family Merit Scholarship
- Middle Grades University Endowed Scholarship
- Military Order of the Purple Heart Scholarship
- NC Alpha Chapter of ADK Memorial Scholarship
- Richard and Jacqueline Whitfield Early Childhood Education Scholarship
- Ronald J. Anderson Memorial Scholarship
Examples of organizations that are especially relevant to undergraduate students in teacher education programs include:
Student National Education Association
The Student National Education Association (SNEA), affiliated with the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) and the National Education Association (NEA)
Student Council for Exceptional Children
The Student Council for Exceptional Children (SCEC), affiliated with the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)
College Middle Level Association
The College Middle Level Association promotes excellent teaching in the middle grades and support for middle grades teacher candidates
Omicron Pi Chapter of Kappa Delta Pi
The Omicron Pi Chapter of Kappa Delta Pi is an international honor society in education for undergraduate and graduate students. To qualify for membership, undergraduate students must have a 3.5 cumulative GPA, 30 credit hours, and admission to teacher education. Graduate students must have a 3.75 cumulative GPA, 18 credit hours, and majoring in a field of education.