Dr. DeMethra LaSha Bradley, Assistant Dean for Student Administration at UVM, sent us a question about the B average GPA requirement for programs. Sha writes, “There is a student who is a strong candidate … yet due to some early undergraduate academic mishaps does not have the 3.00 undergraduate GPA.” Sha wonders if the 3.0 GPA requirement applies to graduate students and asks if this is a state regulation.
Great question, Sha! A B average for student teaching is indeed a state requirement. Specifically the Rules Governing the Licensing of Educators and the Preparation of Educational Professionals note the following:
5923.2 Except as otherwise provided, all candidates for student teaching shall meet the following qualifications:
D. academic competence as attested by an overall B average, and a B average in field of major studies as defined by the institution, or written certification of intellectual competence by an academic dean
This requirement does indeed apply to graduate students in addition to undergrads. Some programs with promising graduate candidates, as Sha has in this example, who do not meet their institution’s GPA requirement, encourage their candidates to complete additional coursework prior to admitting them. This allows candidates to demonstrate their academic competence and “pull up” their GPA prior to student teaching as the rules require. Other institutions choose to consider any “academic mishaps” as one part of the candidate’s complete academic record and look for evidence of the candidate’s “intellectual competence” that they are willing to attest to prior to student teaching as the rules allow. You’ll want to establish your own policies for this process and document your decisions. Review Teams will then examine your documentation as part of the “rule check” process prior to a ROPA Review. It might also be helpful to remember the spirit behind this rule- ensuring candidates have the necessary content knowledge to teach effectively. Whatever procedures and policies your institution adopts in terms of meeting this requirement will need to reflect this intent. Thanks, Sha!
Ric Reardon, Ph.D., Director of Center for Schools, Castleton College has related question regarding the overall GPA requirement. He asks, “What constitutes a major at the AOE?”
Thanks, Ric, for sending this one in to us! Let’s review the Rules Governing the Licensing of Educators and the Preparation of Educational Professionals once again. According to the Rules, a major “means an academic major granted as part of a bachelor’s degree by an accredited/approved four-year institution. The equivalent of a major is defined as a compilation of at least thirty (30) credit hours in the specified major field from accredited/approved institution(s), at least nine (9) of which shall be advanced undergraduate courses or higher.”
Here too, your institution will want to develop procedures and policies that are aligned with this requirement. In our offices, when we’re checking for a major, we look for 30 credit hours in an area where the candidate can demonstrate both depth and breadth of content knowledge.
We hope this helps you all in your work reviewing educator transcripts and advising candidates in your program. Please let us know if you have more questions we can review with you!