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October 8, 2013

PSU largely meets new admissions requirements

(Continued)

At the graduate level, however, some adjustments may be needed to ensure the clinical-practice component is at 35 percent, Morgan said, simply because that program spans a shorter amount of time and involves a more compressed schedule. 

TEST SCORES

According to the new standards, SUNY schools must also require undergraduate applicants of teacher-education programs to submit SAT/ACT scores and graduate applicants to submit Graduate Record Examination scores. 

Cutoff scores for the exams, however, have not yet been specified. 

SUNY Plattsburgh does not currently require teacher applicants to submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination, a standardized test that assesses analytical and math skills, which students must pay to take. 

Morgan said it is unclear how the prerequisite will affect the program’s graduate applicants, which, he noted, are down, likely due, in part, to recent changes in the public-education landscape.

Among those alterations are implementation of the state-mandated Annual Professional Performance Reviews of teachers and administrators and the Common Core Learning Standards. 

“It doesn’t seem as attractive a field to go into, for multiple reasons,” he said. 

OTHER FACTORS

But while SUNY Plattsburgh does already meet many of the new admission requirements, both Morgan and Simard believe there is more to being a good teacher than having a high GPA and test scores.

“Being smart is not enough,” Morgan said.

For example, he noted, it’s important that educators have dispositions conducive to working with children, parents and the community.

SUNY Plattsburgh pays close attention to that, but it isn’t addressed in the new policy.

“One of the things that really concerns us is sometimes the smartest are not also the ones that are the most compassionate or understand some of the issues of struggle because, oftentimes, learning has come easily for them,” Simard said.

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