PLATTSBURGH — Meeting the new admissions requirements for State University teacher-preparation programs will require few changes at SUNY Plattsburgh.
Recommended by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s New NY Education Reform Commission, the requirements were recently adopted by the SUNY Board of Trustees and are intended to ensure that high-quality teachers are instructing students in New York state.
“We feel like we’re in really good shape when it comes to this new admissions policy,” said SUNY Plattsburgh Education, Health and Human Services Department Dean Michael Morgan.
That policy, which must be implemented by the 2015-16 academic year, will require students to have a GPA of 3.0 or higher to enter into a SUNY educator preparation program at the undergraduate or graduate level.
Though SUNY Plattsburgh’s program doesn’t currently have a specific GPA requirement, Morgan said, every single freshman who joined the program this fall met that standard.
“Part of that … has to do with our institution being a somewhat more selective institution now,” he said. “We only accepted 45 percent of the students who applied to this institution this year.”
For students transferring into the program, the college currently requires a GPA of 2.75; however, that will change in accordance with the new policy.
Still, of the 42 transfer students who applied to the program this year, all but six met the new requirements, according to Associate Dean of Education, Health and Human Services Denise Simard.
The policy also states the clinical-practice component of educator-preparation programs, such as field experiences and simulations, must comprise 35 percent of total professional course credits.
“We’ve been doing that for years now, so we won’t have to retool to do that,” Morgan said. “We’re already there.”
Within their first year at SUNY Plattsburgh, he noted, undergraduate education students are given a field placement and begin working directly with children in a school setting.