School of Education
Since 1913, the School of Education at Rider University has made a difference, responding with scholarship and imagination to the education profession by preparing graduates for the opportunities and challenges of teaching.
Committed to excellence, the School of Education keeps all of its programs relevant to the changing needs of students, the professional communities it serves, and society by anticipating those needs and taking measures to meet them. This commitment to excellence is based on the belief that today’s teacher must be able to demonstrate sensitivity to students, familiarity with curriculum, and a thorough knowledge of subject matter and the learning process.
Rider University teacher preparation programs are grounded in current research on learning, curriculum, teaching, and exemplary practice of reflective teachers.
Rider University prepares teachers who understand:
- that learning involves the active construction of knowledge through posing questions, exploring materials, and testing ideas;
- that this learning may take place in cooperative learning groups as well as individual learning activities;
- that teaching is not just the performance of various learned strategies and methods but a reflective process of observation, deliberation and assessment throughout one’s career;
- that all curriculum content is interrelated and often is learned best in integrated or thematic units of study;
- that assessment and teaching are dynamic processes that go hand in hand;
- and that curriculum and teaching must be responsive to the culture, class, gender, strengths, needs, past experiences, and interests of individual students.
When students enroll in the School of Education they have the opportunity to work with a professor who will personally advise and assist them in developing their specific programs. In their classes they work directly with members of the faculty who have been successful practitioners in their respective fields. Students enrolled in the Rider teacher preparation programs receive structured experiences working with children, teachers, school administrators, and community agencies.
Undergraduate education courses are taught in conjunction with a semester-long field experience in a public, nonpublic, or charter school in which students work with an experienced classroom teacher and a Rider professor. Over the course of their professional preparation, students are placed in a variety of grade levels in both urban and suburban schools.
In the sophomore year, students work as teacher assistants. They observe and help conduct learning activities that the teacher has planned. In the junior year, students continue to observe and assist but also plan for and teach individuals, small groups, and full classes. In the senior year, students complete an entire semester of full-time student teaching.
The future offers unique challenges and opportunities for teacher education students. Education welcomes those students who want to make a difference in their own lives and the lives of others. The program prepares students to learn how to affect change in an ever-changing world.
The School of Education prepares undergraduate and graduate students for professional careers in education, organizations, and agencies in the diverse American society. The School of Education fosters the intellectual, personal, and social development of each student for a changing world by creating and providing programs that embody the highest academic and professional standards.
The School of Education develops students who are committed and knowledgeable, professional, reflective, and who value service, ethical behavior, and the improvement of one’s self and profession. The School of Education promotes a climate of scholarly inquiry, high expectations for achievement, and best professional practices while establishing beneficial relationships with the public and exchanging relevant ideas and services that speak to emerging needs.
This mission statement is based on the Conceptual Framework of the School of Education. The Framework can be accessed on the School of Education website.
All teacher preparation programs offered by the School of Education are approved by the New Jersey State Department of Education using the New Jersey Professional Standards for Teachers and School Leaders. In addition, all programs are nationally recognized by their respective Specialty Professional Associations (SPA) and the School of Education is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE/CAEP), the highest accreditation possible in teacher education. This helps our graduates as they seek employment nationwide.
In the United States nearly 1,500 colleges and universities offer teacher education but only about 588 are NCATE/CAEP accredited. In New Jersey only nine of approximately 25 colleges and universities have NCATE/CAEP accreditation; Rider is the first private institution in New Jersey to do so. The institutional pass rate for Title II – assessment of program completers in the School of Education for 2014-2015 is 93 percent.
At the undergraduate level, the School of Education offers three degree programs. The degrees are:
- Bachelor of Science in Education, with a major in comprehensive business education;
- Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, with a major in elementary education and a second major in a liberal arts or science; or a concentration in Multidisciplinary Studies;
- Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education, with majors in English, mathematics, science (biochemistry, biology, chemistry, environmental sciences, geosciences, marine sciences), history, and world language (French, German, Spanish).
Students may also elect to pursue minors, certificates and endorsements in:
- early childhood education
- middle school education
- special education
- bilingual education
- English as a second language (ESL).
In addition, an internal certificate in technology is also available. For those students interested in becoming certified teachers of psychology, the school psychology teacher certification program is available.
Admission to the School of Education places great responsibility upon students. In enrolling, students enter into a relationship with instructors and fellow students in which there are shared responsibilities. Students are expected to display a commitment to study and to initiate intellectual pursuits. Further, students are expected to recognize that learning involves bringing interests, enthusiasm, curiosity, and reflection to their work. The experiences that unfold during class meetings should be considered opportunities for personal growth and learning. These opportunities are by no means limited to the classroom but include work in the field and on campus as well.
For more information about admissions please contact, Undergraduate Admissions.
Teacher Education Program Design
In the freshman year, emphasis is placed on developing those basic skills that enable a prospective teacher to become a scholar and to engage successfully in college-level studies. In addition, a specially designed freshman seminar helps the student adjust to college life.
Studies Strengthening Teaching and Learning
Early experience through courses in the social sciences and behavioral studies, emphasizing psychology, provide an important scholarly foundation for educational practice. In addition, college-level study of subjects related to the student’s teaching field is an important element in this phase of the teacher education program.
Selective Retention in Teacher Education
Education students must demonstrate competence in their academic work to continue in the teacher preparation program. Competence is assessed in a variety of ways and at different levels. Education students must maintain a cumulative grade-point average of 2.75 in all courses taken at Rider. Students must also earn C+ or higher in any education course (a) that is specifically required for a major or minor in Education and (b) in which enrollment is limited to education majors. It is the individual student’s responsibility to retake any education course in which a grade lower than C+ has been earned. Students will be permitted to undertake student teaching only if they have received C+ or higher in all education courses and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00.
The undergraduate education department also reviews the professional development of all students to ensure that they meet departmental standards for professional conduct and that they show promise of success in teaching. This review is in addition to the grade requirements listed above. Students must earn a passing score on all sections (reading, writing and math) of the Core Academic Skills for Educators Test before registering for any methods courses. This is a New Jersey Department of Education rule that applies to all elementary, secondary, and business education students.
All students must present evidence of a passing score on the Praxis Subject Assessments test: Elementary Education Multiple Subjects Test (formerly Praxis II test) in their specialization area six months prior to the beginning of the student teaching semester. This is the same Praxis Subject Assessments test (formerly Praxis II test) score students will need for certification.
As appropriate, students who fail to meet the department’s standards will be counseled on ways to improve their performance or be asked to leave the program.
Dismissal from Field Experience Prior to Student Teaching
In the event that termination is requested by the school in which the student is completing his or her field experience or by the faculty member of the course of which the field experience is a part, the student will be removed from the assignment immediately.
Any student who is removed from a field experience shall have his or her case referred to a departmental committee on Professional Development in Teacher Education, which shall determine whether the termination was for good cause and, if so, whether the student shall be dismissed from the School of Education. The committee may consist of the field course instructor(s), the department chair, the advisor, and other appropriate Rider personnel.
Teacher Certification and Placement
Teacher candidates are recommended for certification only when they have:
- successfully completed all course requirements of a particular program and be formally enrolled in that program; and
- successfully demonstrated continued competence, aptitude, motivation, and potential for outstanding success in teaching. Students must have attained at least a C+ in student teaching along with a cumulative GPA of 3.00.
It should be noted that for New Jersey certification (and many other states as well) it is necessary to pass the appropriate Praxis Subject Assessments test(s). Consult the certification office in Memorial Hall 116 for further details.
Graduates who have completed all the requirements of an approved program in which they are formally enrolled in teacher education are eligible to receive, upon passing a Praxis Subject Assessments test of academic knowledge related to the field of certification, a New Jersey Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing.
The Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing is valid for the lifetime of its holder. It authorizes the holder to seek and accept offers of employment in New Jersey schools.
Students seeking out-of-state certification will find that completing a NCATE/CAEP-approved program will enable them to become certified in many states. Since each state has its own requirements for teacher certification, it is recommended that students first contact the State Department of Education to learn the requirements of each specific state.
Students transferring from other institutions are encouraged to become familiar with the education programs. Transcripts are reviewed in terms of Rider’s program requirements, and this review is made available to prospective students.
Students enrolled in other colleges at Rider who wish to transfer into teacher education programs must have a 2.75 GPA and file a written request with the chair of the Department of Teacher Education.
General Studies Electives
The minimum requirements in the second major subjects normally leave a student with additional credits that must be completed to satisfy the 126 credits required for graduation.
Any course in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences may be used as a General Studies Elective (GSE) provided the prerequisites have been met. A maximum of two education courses (six credits) may be used. Courses required to fulfill a minor may be used as GSEs. Courses in the College of Business or the arts administration major/minor in the School of Fine and Performing Arts may not be used as GSEs.
Policy Regarding Undergraduate Students Enrolling in Graduate Education Courses
Upon completion of 90 credits, an undergraduate enrolled in any major is permitted to take up to two graduate courses if the following conditions are met: Cumulative grade-point average of 3.00 or better and permission of the graduate program director.
Rider’s education programs in teacher preparation combine classroom study with laboratory and field experiences to help students develop a high degree of professional expertise and become generally well educated.
All undergraduate baccalaureate degree programs require broad liberal studies and concentrated study in subjects related to the program specialization. Students can major in:
Elementary education majors can pursue minors, certificates and endorsements in:
- early childhood education,
- middle school education,
- special education,
- bilingual education or
- English as a second language (ESL).
Secondary education students can pursue minors, certificates and endorsements in:
In addition, an internal certificate in technology is also available. For those students interested in becoming certified teachers of psychology, the psychology teacher certification program is available.