Berea College offers fourteen certification programs:
- Elementary education (grades K-5)
- Middle grades (grades 5-9) in the areas of math and science;
- Secondary education programs in English, mathematics, social studies, biology, chemistry, and physics (grades 8-12);
- Health, instrumental music, vocal music, physical education (grades K-12)
- Technology education (grades 5-12).
Since Berea College is a liberal arts college, all students engage in courses and experiences in general studies. These courses are especially important for those who wish to teach because they develop teachers’ general knowledge of the world, enhance their ability to make connections across disciplines, strengthen their capacity to look at questions from multiple perspectives, and develop the habits of critical, creative, and reflective inquiry.
In addition to their general education, students seeking teaching certification engage in in-depth study in their major. Through this study, students develop their understandings of the core concepts and principles in the disciplines which they translate for their own students. In the area of professional studies, future teachers seek to understand the historical, philosophical, and social foundations of education, the principles of human development and learning, and the nature and practice of pedagogy. Students’ professional preparation also includes a variety of experiences in P-12 schools, including course-related field experiences, a full-course practicum in the junior or senior year, and student teaching in a diverse setting.
Portfolios are the primary vehicle for assessing students’ progress in meeting performance expectations in communication, general knowledge, subject matter competence, and professional and pedagogical knowledge, skills, and dispositions. Among other criteria, satisfactory portfolios are required for entry into the Teacher Education Department and for entry into the Professional Terms for student teaching. Upon completion of the Professional Terms, students must submit a satisfactory exit portfolio demonstrating their ability to meet the Kentucky Teacher Standards.
The Teacher Education Program uses a Quality Assurance System comprised of measures and processes that monitor program quality. Program quality is ensured by reviewing inputs and outcomes in three areas: candidate progress, completer achievements, and program operational effectiveness. Those three areas are built on the foundation of culturally responsive practices that are infused in all that what we do to accomplish our goal of reaching every student in P-12 classrooms. Our Quality Assurance System is maintained through continuous improvement practices, which in our program follows the sequence of examining the system, testing innovations, analyzing outcomes, and elevating our practice.