Frequently Asked Questions

The School of Teacher Education and Leadership at Radford University recognizes its role in developing individuals who honor the strength and potential of the individual, the school and the community. 

WHAT IS A MAJOR IN INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES?

The program was planned by faculty and public school teachers to provide both the depth and breadth in many subject areas which are required of teachers. The Elementary Education program provides the student with several options for concentrations in two areas: science, social science, foreign language, special education, English, and mathematics/statistics. Students in the special education program stay for the master’s degree in their fifth year to earn a license in general curriculum or adapted and general curriculum. Those wanting to work with young children can earn a master’s degree in their fifth year and work with children under the age of 5 with disabilities or teacher preK to 3rd grade. Students interested in teaching middle school or secondary can choose their subject (i.e. English, science, social studies, or math) and finish in four years with their bachelor’s degree.  

HOW IS RADFORD UNIVERSITY'S PROGRAM DIFFERENT FROM TEACHER PREPARATION PROGRAMS AT OTHER INSTITUTIONS?

Unique features of Radford University's elementary, middle, and secondary programs include their year-long, field-based emphasis and the use of small cohorts of less than 20 students focused upon professional development. The core of the program consists of two intense semesters of working in classrooms integrated with campus courses and professional development seminars. University and school faculty work closely to integrate university courses with work in the classroom. In the early childhood/early childhood special education program, students have six different field placements. Students in the special education program have four semester-long field placements.

HOW DO I GET INTO THE Teacher EDUCATION PROGRAM?

You must meet basic requirements for applying to the Teacher Education Program that will include tests required for licensure (PRAXIS Core Math and VCLA) which evaluate basic competencies in reading, writing, and mathematics; achieving academic excellence (minimum GPA of 2.75 or 3.0, depending on the program); pedagogical content knowledge (as measured by the VRA and PRAXIS II tests); and exhibiting personal and professional characteristics contributing to success in teaching. Information regarding specific requirements for admission can be requested from the Field Experience Office or from the Center for Academic Advising and Student Support.

WHAT COURSES DO I TAKE?

You will complete the core curriculum requirements, as do all students, typically during the first two years. The first course in the program is essentially taken during the junior year. For Elementary, Middle, Secondary, and Special Education, the senior year consists of two semesters of field-based experiences integrated with courses and seminars in curriculum and instruction, classroom management, assessment of learning, media in the classroom, reading, science, mathematics, and language arts and children’s literature. Prior to the junior year, students are strongly encouraged to participate in workshops offered by the Center for Academic Advising and Student Support and in the experiential opportunities (working in GED, teaching in after-school programs, tutoring, etc.) available through the Student Virginia Education Association (SVEA). Students in early childhood/early childhood special education will start field placements as juniors and do two field placements as seniors and two semesters of student teaching as graduate students.

WHAT IF I AM TRANSFERRING?

You can obtain information regarding courses which transfer from the advising offices or from the Center for Academic Advising and Student Support (RU Box 6960). You should visit the Office of Field Experience to learn about the requirements and application deadlines.

WHAT IS THE EMPLOYMENT RATE FOR STUDENTS IN EDUCATION?

The employment rate for students pursuing licensure to teach at Radford University is currently 94 percent. Career Services provides special workshops on job search, resume writing, and more and establishes career files for students, and sponsors on-campus interviews with school division.

SHOULD I PURSUE A GRADUATE DEGREE IN EDUCATION TO BE MORE MARKETABLE?

At this time, there is no clear requirement for a graduate degree. Rather, employers look for a strong record of experience in school settings. We strongly encourage students to accumulate a variety of experiences in working with children in structured learning situations through the Student Virginia Education Association, applying for substitute teacher status, using college breaks and summer to observe and participate in classrooms, and taking courses related to working with children and youth.