Technical Standards

The University of Southern Mississippi

PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION UNIT

TECHNICAL STANDARDS and PROFESSIONAL DISPOSITIONS 

POLICY

(December, 2008)

 

 

Introduction and Rationale


The Professional Education Unit has a responsibility to the educational community to ensure that individuals whom The University of Southern Mississippi recommends to the State of Mississippi for certification are qualified to join the education profession. Teaching requires strong academic preparation and mastery of pedagogy or other professional competencies. It also requires non-academic competencies, such as communication or interpersonal skills, which are as critical to success as those in the academic domain. This document sets forth those essential non-academic criteria or “technical standards” that are common to all unit-wide licensure programs at the University.

 

Technical standards serve several important functions, including, but not limited to: (a) providing information to those considering licensure programs provided by the University; (b) advising applicants of non-academic criteria required to successfully complete the teacher education program; and (c) serving as the basis for feedback provided to students in these programs regarding their progress toward mastery of all program objectives.

 

All candidates in the Southern Miss professional preparation programs are expected to demonstrate that they are prepared to work with children and youth in educational settings. This preparation results from the combination of successful completion of University coursework and field/internship experiences and the demonstration of important human characteristics and dispositions that all educators should possess. These characteristics and dispositions, the Professional Education Unit Technical Standards, are outlined below.

 

Professional Education Unit Technical Standards and Professional Dispositions

The Professional Education Unit Technical Standards are grouped into four categories: Communication/Interpersonal Skills, Emotional and Physical Abilities, Cognitive Dispositions, and Personal and Professional Requirements.

 

 

 

Within the professional context to which each candidate aspires, all candidates must:

 

Communication/Interpersonal Skills

Be able to communicate effectively concepts, assignments, evaluations, and expectations with members of the learning community such as:

University faculty, students, parents, administrators, and other staff

o Candidates write clearly and use correct grammar and spelling. They demonstrate sufficient skills in written English to understand content presented in the program and to adequately complete all written assignments, as specified by faculty.

o Candidatescommunicateeffectivelywithotherstudents,faculty,staff, and professionals. They express ideas and feelings clearly and demonstrate a willingness and an ability to listen to others.

o CandidatesdemonstratesufficientskillsinEnglishtounderstandcontent presented in the program, to adequately complete all verbal assignments, and to meet the objectives of field placement experiences, as specified by faculty.

 

Have communication skills that are responsive to different perspectives represented in diverse classrooms and/or other professional environments

o Candidatesappreciatethevalueofdiversityandlookbeyondselfin interactions with others. They must not impose personal, religious, sexual, and/or cultural values on others.

o Candidatesdemonstrateanawarenessofappropriatesocialboundaries between students and educators and show that they are ready and able to observe those boundaries.

 

Have the necessary interpersonal competencies to function effectively with students and parents, and to function collaboratively as part of a professional team

o Candidatesdemonstratepositivesocialskillsinprofessionalandsocial interactions with faculty, colleagues, parents, and students.

o Candidatesdemonstratetheabilitytoexpresstheirviewpointsand negotiate difficulties appropriately, without behaving unprofessionally with instructors, peers, or students.

 

 

Emotional and Physical Abilities

Be able to work under time constraints, concentrate in distracting situations, make subjective judgments, and ensure safety in all situations

o Candidatespossessthesensoryabilitytoeffectivelyassessbehaviorin the classroom.

o Candidatespossessthesensory,cognitive,andphysicalabilitiestomake and execute appropriate decisions in a stressful environment.

o Candidatesdemonstratetheabilitytoworkwithfrequentinterruptions, to respond appropriately to unexpected situations; and to cope with extreme variations in workload and stress levels.

o Candidateshavethecapacitytomaintaincomposureandcontinueto function well in a myriad of situations.

Have the physical stamina to work a contractual day and perform extended and additional duties of a school professional such as parent conferences, after-school events, and other assigned duties

o Candidatesexhibitmotorandsensoryabilitiestoattendandparticipate in class and practicum placements.

o Candidatesareabletotoleratephysicallydemandingworkloadsandto function effectively under stress.

 

 

Cognitive Dispositions

Be able to organize time and materials, to prioritize tasks, to perform several tasks at once, and to adapt to changing situations

o Candidateshavethementalcapacityforcomplexthoughtas demonstrated in prerequisite college level course work and in standardized testing.

o Candidateshavesufficientcognitive(mental)capacitiestoassimilatethe technically detailed and complex information presented in formal lectures; small group discussions; and individual teaching, counseling, or administrative settings; and in classroom and school settings.

o Candidatesareabletoanalyze,synthesize,integrateconcepts,and problem-solve to formulate assessment and educational judgments.

o Candidatesdemonstratetheabilitytothinkanalyticallyabouteducational issues. They are thoughtfully reflective about their practice.

o Candidatesdemonstratetheabilitytomulti-taskandtoadapttoand display flexibility in changing situations.

o Candidatesareabletoperceiveeventsrealistically,tothinkclearlyand rationally, and to function appropriately in routine and stressful situations.

 

Personal and Professional Requirements

Arrive (and be on time) for professional commitments, including classes and field experiences

o Candidatesmeetdeadlinesforcourseassignmentsandprogram requirements. A pattern of repeated absences, lateness, and failure to meet deadlines in courses or fieldwork is not acceptable.

Seek assistance and follow supervision in a timely manner, and accept and respond appropriately to constructive review of their work from supervisors

o Candidatesshowthattheyarereadytoreflectontheirpracticeand accept constructive feedback in a professional manner. They demonstrate the ability to act upon reasonable criticism.

oCandidatesareflexible,opentonewideas,andwillingandableto modify their beliefs and practices related to their work.

Demonstrate attitudes of integrity, responsibility, and tolerance

o Candidatesdemonstratehonestyandintegritybybeingtruthfulabout background, experiences, and qualifications; doing their own work; giving credit for the ideas of others; and providing proper citation of source materials.

o Candidatesinteractcourteously,fairly,andprofessionallywithpeople from diverse racial, cultural, and social backgrounds and of different genders or sexual preferences

o Candidatesmustnotmakeverbalorphysicalthreats;engageinsexual harassment; become involved in sexual relationships with their students, supervisors, or faculty; or abuse others in physical, emotional, verbal, or sexual ways.

o Candidatesdemonstratetheabilitytounderstandtheperspectivesof others in the context of teaching, counseling, administration, etc. and the ability to separate personal and professional issues.

o Candidatesexhibitacceptanceofandareabletomakeappropriate adjustments for exceptional learners.

o Candidatesprotecttheconfidentialityofstudentinformationunless disclosure serves professional purposes or is required by law.

Show respect for self and others

o CandidatesexhibitrespectforallTheUniversityofSouthern Mississippi and school personnel, as well as peers, children and their families and members of their communities.

o Candidatesareexpectedtobefreeoftheinfluenceofillegaldrugsand alcoholic beverages in classes and field placements.

o Candidatesdemonstratetheabilitytodealwithcurrentlifestressors through the use of appropriate coping mechanisms. They handle stress effectively by using appropriate self-care and by developing supportive relationships with colleagues, peers, and others.

o Candidates use sound judgment. They seek and effectively use help for medical and emotional problems that interfere with scholastic and/or professional performance.

Project an image of professionalism

o Candidatesdemonstrateappropriatepersonalhygienehabits.

o Candidatesdressappropriatelyfortheirprofessionalcontexts.

o Candidatespossessmaturity,self-discipline,andgoodjudgment.

o Candidatesdemonstrategoodattendance,integrity,honesty, conscientiousness in work, and teamwork.

 

 

Implementation and Review Procedures

Prior to receiving the Gold Card, candidates will receive a copy of the Professional Education Unit Technical Standards and Professional Dispositions Policy and be asked to sign a Technical Standards and Professional Dispositions Acknowledgement Form. Candidates in the undergraduate teacher preparation programs will be required to submit an updated Professional Education Unit Technical Standards and Professional Dispositions Acknowledgement Form as part of the College’s selective admissions review prior to their capstone experience.

 

Self-assessments of candidates and faculty evaluations of students on the technical standards will occur during each field/internship experience (see Candidate’s Self Assessment and Technical Standards and Professional Dispositions Evaluation Form). Students will be monitored and given feedback throughout the program. At specified points (e.g., field experiences), students will be notified of inadequacies that may prevent them from progressing through their program. Documentation and consensus regarding the student’s functioning will be obtained. Candidates who experience deficiencies in any areas will be encouraged to seek appropriate professional help from University or other sources. If the problem seems to be beyond remediation, continuation in professional programs, graduation or recommendation for certification may be denied.

 

Assistance For Individuals With Disabilities

Technical standards may be met with, or without, accommodations. The University complies with the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

 

Requests for accommodations should be directed to the Office for Disability Accommodations and follow established university policy and procedures. Voice Telephone: 601.266-5024 or 228.214.3232Fax: 601.266.6035

 

Individuals with hearing impairments can contact ODA using the Mississippi Relay Service at 1.800.582.2233 (TTY) or email Suzy Hebert at Suzanne.Hebert@usm.edu.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION UNIT

TECHNICAL STANDARDS and PROFESSIONAL DISPOSITIONS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT FORM

 


Within the professional context to which each candidate aspires, all candidates must:

 

Communication/Interpersonal Skills

be able to communicate effectively concepts, assignments, evaluations, and expectations with members of the learning community such as University faculty, students, parents, administrators, and other staff;

have communication skills that are responsive to different perspectives represented in diverse classrooms and/or other professional environments;

have the necessary interpersonal competencies to function effectively with students and parents, and to function collaboratively as part of a professional team;

 

Emotional and Physical Abilities

be able to work under time constraints, concentrate in distracting situations, make subjective judgments, and ensure safety in emergencies;

have the physical stamina to work a contractual day and perform extended and additional duties of a school professional such as parent conferences, after-school events, and other assigned duties;

Cognitive Dispositions

be able to organize time and materials, to prioritize tasks, to perform several tasks at once, and to adapt to changing situations;

 

Personal and Professional Requirements

arrive (and be on time) for professional commitments, including classes and field experiences; meet deadlines for course assignments and program requirements with no pattern of absences or lateness;

seek assistance and follow supervision in a timely manner, and accept and respond appropriately to constructive review of their work from supervisors;

demonstrate attitudes of integrity, responsibility, and tolerance; show respect for self and others; and project an image of professionalism.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have read and acknowledge receipt of the Professional Education Unit Technical Standards Policy.

 


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Candidate Signature                                               PRINTED Name                                                                           Date


NOTE: If you have a documented disability and are seeking accommodations, you should register with the University’s Office of Disability Accommodations. Students should initiate this process

as soon as possible (prior to the start of classes and/or field experiences).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION UNIT

TECHNICAL STANDARDS and PROFESSIONAL DISPOSITIONS

CANDIDATE’S SELF ASSESSMENT

 

 

 

 

 

Within the professional context to which I aspire (elementary education, secondary, or K - 12 education), I believe I am able to: 

YESNOCommunication / Interpersonal Skills
  

Communicate effectively concepts, assignments, evaluations, and expectations with members of the learning community such as University faculty, students, parents, administrators, and other staff;

  demonstrate communication skills that are responsive to different perspectives represented in diverse classrooms and/or other professional environments;
  exhibit the necessary interpersonal competencies to function effectively with students and parents, and to function collaboratively as part of a professional team;
 YESNO Emotional and Physical Abilities 
  work under time constraints, concentrate in distracting situations, make subjective judgments, and ensure safety in emergencies;
  possess the sensory, cognitive, and physical abilities to execute appropriate decisions;
  demonstrate the physical stamina to work a contractual day and perform extended and additional duties of a school professional such as parent conferences, after- school events, and other assigned duties;
 YESNO Cognitive Dispositions 
  organize time and materials, prioritize tasks, perform several tasks at once, and adapt to changing situations;
 YESNO Personal and Professional Requirements 
  arrive (and be on time) for professional commitments, including classes and field experiences;
  meet deadlines for course assignments and program requirements with no pattern of repeated absences or lateness
  seek assistance and follow supervision in a timely manner, and accept and respond appropriately to constructive review of their work from supervisors;
  demonstrate attitudes of integrity, responsibility, and tolerance;
  show respect for self and others; and
  project an image of professionalism.

 Students should submit on back an explanation for each item checked “NO.”

 

I have reviewed the Professional Education Unit Technical Standards Policy.


________________________________________________               _________________

            Candidate Signature                                                          Date

 

Candidate’s PRINTED Name_______________________________________________

 

NOTE: If you have a documented disability and are seeking accommodations, you should register with the University’s Office of Disability Accommodations. Students should initiate this process as soon as possible (prior to the start of classes and/or field experiences).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION UNIT TECHNICAL STANDARDS and

PROFESSIONAL DISPOSITIONS

EVALUATION FORM


Candidate Name: ________________________________________          Emp. ID__________________

 

Program Area: __________________________________________           Advisor: _________________

 

 

Rate the candidate on each of the standards listed below:

KEY:    4 – Frequently      3 – Sometimes      2 – Rarely Ever      1 – Not Applicable

                                                                            Insufficient Opportunity to Observe

 

  4    3    2    1  Technical Standards
    

Communicates effectively concepts, assignments, evaluations, and expectations with members of the learning community such as University faculty, students, parents, administrators, and other staff

    Demonstrates communication skills that are responsive to different perspectives represented in diverse classrooms and/or other professional environments
    Exhibits the necessary interpersonal competencies to function effectively with students and parents, and to function collaboratively as part of a professional team
    Works under time constraints, concentrates in distracting situations, makes subjective judgments, and ensures safety in emergencies
    Possesses the sensory, cognitive, and physical abilities to execute appropriate decisions
    Has the physical stamina to work a contractual day and perform extended and additional duties of a school professional such as parent conferences, after-school events, and other assigned duties
    Organizes time and materials, prioritizes tasks, performs several tasks at once, and adapts to changing situations
    Arrives on time for professional commitments, including classes and field experiences
    Meets deadlines for course assignments and program requirements with no pattern of repeated absences or lateness
    Seeks assistance and follows supervision in a timely manner, and accepts and responds appropriately to constructive feedback from supervisors
    Demonstrates attitudes of integrity, responsibility, and tolerance
    Shows respect for self and others
    Projects an image of professionalism

Recommendation for program entrance: _____ yes ____ no ____ probationary

Recommendation for program continuance: _____ yes ____ no____ remediation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION UNIT

TECHNICAL STANDARDS and PROFESSIONAL DISPOSITIONS

EVALUATION FORM

 

Additional Comments:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

__________________________________ Name/Title     _____________________________________ Signature/Date

 

 

__________________________________ Name/Title     _____________________________________ Signature/Date

 

 

__________________________________ Name/Title     _____________________________________ Signature/Date

 

 

__________________________________ Name/Title     _____________________________________ Signature/Date