The Wyoming Teacher Education Program (WTEP) is one of the premier teacher preparation programs in the United States. The National Education Association (NEA) previously selected UW as a model for teacher education programs across the country. The WTEP was one of the original teacher preparation programs nationally accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) in 1954. We have maintained continuous NCATE accreditation for over 60 years. We are vested in preparations for our next continuing accreditation site review that will occur in spring semester 2016.
In the College of Education (CoEd), we believe that teachers are best prepared with increasing opportunities to work in a public school classroom with school age children. In conjunction with required college course work, teacher candidates spend significant time with mentor teachers in field experience settings. Most CoEd faculty have P-12 teaching experience that strengthens their credibility in our teacher preparation programs.
The WTEP has three major phases. In preparation for Phase I, candidates should confer with their advisor to assure that the coursework completed during the freshman year takes best advantage of meeting University Studies requirements and prerequisite requirements for the teacher education program. Phase I begins in the sophomore year when candidates complete EDST 2480 Diversity and the Politics of Schooling and EDEX 2484 Introduction to Special Education. EDST 2480 includes introductory field experiences to expose candidates to a broad spectrum of classroom settings.
In Phase II (typically the junior year), candidates complete EDST 3000 Teacher as Practitioner, which includes introductory lesson planning, instructional strategies, and classroom management. The field experience in EDST 3000 requires candidates to teach a lesson in a classroom specific to their content major. [Candidates must apply for admission to the WTEP and meet all prerequisite requirements prior to registration for EDST 3000.]
Phase III is a two-semester sequence that comprises the senior year: Methods (Phase IIIA; fall semester) and Residency/student teaching (Phase IIIB; spring semester). Phase IIIA field experience requirements vary depending on your major and your Partner School assignment. Phase IIIB is a full semester (16 weeks) of full-time field experience. Mentor teacher assignments for Phase IIIA and B are the same to allow for the most seamless transition for the candidate, the mentor teacher, and the students in the classroom. [Application for Phase III must be made one year prior to actually enrolling in Methods courses. The deadlines for the submission of Phase III applications are strictly adhered to and the application requires a substantial time commitment to complete.]
In the large majority, Residency field experiences take place in school districts with which the CoEd has formal agreements (referred to as “Partner School sites”). Phase I and II field experiences occur in local or nearby school settings. Phase III placements are made in concentrated field sites that include: Albany County School District #1 (Laramie, Rock River, and some rural schools; Elementary & Secondary), Fremont County School Districts #14 (Ethete; Elementary) and #25 (Riverton; Elementary), Natrona County School District #1 (Casper; Secondary), Sheridan County School District #2 (Sheridan; Elementary), and Sweetwater County School Districts #1 (Rock Springs; Elementary) and #2 (Green River; Elementary). All placements are administered through the Office of Teacher Education (OTE) in close collaboration with respective departments, CoEd faculty, and school district personnel. Candidates in the UW/CC Elementary WTEP will have placement assignments in Casper-area school settings and should refer to specific UW/CC publications for placement deadlines and details.
Candidates should also become familiar with and participate in the listserv communications link to listserv flyer and CoEd scholarship opportunities link to CoEd scholarships.
Important Notes: There are critical junctures in the WTEP where your program progress depends upon your UW Institution GPA, your major content GPA, and other criteria. Take your studies seriously and monitor both your cumulative and content major GPA. As part of the application to Phase III of the WTEP, you'll complete a Felony and Misdemeanor Addendum Form that will be shared with school district personnel involved with making placement decisions. Experience tells us that both these factors are important considerations to school districts. Candidates are well served to keep a clean record and good GPA.