School of Education
Preparing candidates to teach or work effectively with "all students," is a common element of schools of education. At Georgian Court University, we take this statement seriously. Over the past several years, the number of students in the United States schools eligible for special education and related services has increased. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the nationwide classification rate is approximately 13%. New Jersey has remained consistently above the national average. In addition, the vast majority of students with disabilities receive some or all of their education in inclusive classrooms along with their non-disabled peers. Teachers may or may not have additional professional support in the classroom. Teachers, education specialists, and school leaders who are prepared for meeting diverse students’ needs in inclusive settings are more likely to be successful and truly able to teach and support all of their students.
GCU’s teacher preparation, post-baccalaureate and graduate programs are designed for this context. We believe that all students have a right to quality education; that all students are capable of learning, and that all students learn best in classrooms that reflect the social, ethnic, racial, religious, and ability dimensions represented in our society. As a result, all of GCU’s pre-service teacher education integrate the knowledge and skills needed for teaching in general education and special education and lead to eligibility for instructional certificates (e.g., Early Childhood P-3 Teacher; Elementary K-5 Teacher; Teacher of Mathematics) and endorsement as a Teacher of Students with Disabilities. This dual certification (in some cases, triple certification) also gives GCU graduates flexibility in accepting teaching positions: They meet the “highly qualified” criteria to teach in general education, inclusive classrooms, and in special education settings. Other graduate programs—Reading Specialization, Learning Disabilities Teacher-Consultant, Special Education, Autism Spectrum Disorders—focus on developing a specialization that enables the educator to work in a particular area of special need. Programs in school counseling and school administration also address the needs of general and special education, inclusive education, and differentiation of instruction to meet all students’ needs. The programs in instruction and educational services are guided by the NJ Professional Standards for Teachers; the programs in administration and leadership are guided by the NJ Professional Standards for School Leaders. By the time they’ve completed their programs, candidates are able to present evidence that they have achieved all standards.
At the core of all these efforts is our commitment to help you touch the lives of school children, so you are not only making a difference in your own life but also in generations to come. Together, we are in the business of improving our diverse and changing world, one teacher at a time, one student at a time, at all levels, in all facets of primary, secondary and special education.