Admission to the Professional Program for Teacher Certification (PPTC) at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) and continuation in the PPTC are academic decisions which reflect careful and deliberate judgment by the PPTC faculty. Factors which are considered in such decisions include, but are not limited to, the credentials, performance, and progress of the PPTC student relative to PPTC requirements and performance standards, the Connecticut Code of Professional Responsibility for Teachers, professional performance standards and attributes mandated by the Connecticut State Department of Education, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) standards, and the PPTC's unique responsibilities to children and schools.
The University recognizes that on occasions there may be an error or palpable injustice in decisions about admission to the PPTC or in decisions regarding continuation in or removal from the PPTC program or a PPTC course or practicum (field experience, internship, or student teaching). A student who believes that an error or a palpable injustice has occurred in arriving at any of these decisions may elect to pursue an appeal.
This policy applies to all appeals of admission to, continuation in, and removal from the professional program for the PPTC or any element of the PPTC. The policy applies to undergraduate and graduate students seeking initial teacher certification as well as any student completing coursework, practical, or internships required for cross endorsement. Because academic decisions about admission to and retention in a program are the purview of the faculty, the appeals available under this policy pertain to the procedures followed to reach the academic decision in question, to ensure that no error or palpable injustice occurred in reaching the decision. If the PPTC Appeals Committee concludes there may have been an error or a palpable injustice, the SEPS Dean will consult with relevant department/program faculty regarding possible solutions. The decision of the SEPS Dean is final and no further appeal is available within the university
This policy replaces all previous appeal policies that applied to the PPTC. This policy does not apply to appeals for grade change, which are governed by the University Appeal for Grade Change Policy found in the undergraduate and graduate catalogs. This policy does not apply to items covered by the Graduate Studies Non-Graded Appeals that are governed by the Graduate Studies appeals process found in the graduate catalog.
In addition to appeals based on an error or palpable injustice, a student whose undergraduate cumulative GPA is below 2.70 may elect to appeal for a waiver of the PPTC GPA requirements. The process for submitting an appeal for such a waiver for purposes of program admission is described in the final section of this policy.
Professional Program for Teacher Certification (PPTC) Appeals Committee
The SEPS Dean has identified a PPTC Appeals Subcommittee with the following membership: the appeals committee of the Central Teacher Education Network (CTEN), and the coordinator or designated representative of the student's program. The coordinator or designated representative is a non-voting member. The PPTC Appeals Subcommittee for appeals quorum shall be 3 voting members.
The function of the CTEN Appeals’ Subcommittee is multiple: (a) responsible for reviewing program admission low GPA and student teaching testing appeals; (b) serving as lead for Competency Review Team addressing student teaching appeals; (c) meeting on a regular basis to address and strengthen appeals’ processes related to the professional programs.
This committee typically meets once a month throughout the school year and should the need arise, during the summer.
Professional Program for Teacher Certification (PPTC) Appeals Process
If a student is not permitted to continue in the PPTC or is not allowed to enter, continue in, return to, or repeat some element of the PPTC, the student will be notified in writing by the SEPS Dean. In such a case, the student will be advised to meet with a SEPS Counselor to explore the academic options available to him or her at the university. If the student elects to appeal the decision the appeal must be submitted by the deadline given in the notification letter. For students already in the PPTC, the student will remain suspended from the PPTC while any appeal is being reviewed.
The student will not visit or contact field experience or student teaching sites or cooperating teachers during the appeals process without express written permission from the program coordinator and the Coordinator of the SEPS Office of School/Community Partnerships.
If a student elects to appeal a PPTC decision, the student should submit a formal written letter of appeal with supporting documentation. Because the student will not have the opportunity to supplement an appeal once it has been submitted, it is important that the appeal packet submitted include all relevant information. The appeal letter should a) identify the error or palpable injustice the student believes occurred, and b) describe the circumstances of the alleged error or palpable injustice. In addition, the student should attach all corresponding documentation, providing evidence of error or palpable injustice.
A signed, hard copy of the appeal letter and appended documentation should be submitted to the Office of the SEPS Dean within 14 days of removal from the Professional Program for Teacher Certification or denial of access to any element of the program. A second copy of the appeal must be submitted as an attachment to an email to the SEPS Dean. The Dean will forward the appeal to the PPTC Appeals Committee to determine if an error or palpable injustice has occurred. The committee will review the appeal submitted and may request additional information from other University sources. If an appeal is submitted less than two weeks prior to a scheduled appeals meeting, review of the appeal may need to be deferred to allow adequate time for investigation; however, the PPTC Appeals Committee will make a recommendation within 30 days of receipt of the appeal when reasonably possible. The PPTC Appeals Committee will report its recommendation along with supporting documentation to the SEPS Dean who will notify the student of his or her final decision within 2 weeks of receiving the committee’s recommendation. The decision of the SEPS Dean is final and no further appeal is available within the university.
Denial of PPTC admission based on cumulative undergraduate GPA below 2.70 or test score(s)
A cumulative undergraduate GPA of B- (2.70 GPA) on all undergraduate coursework from all institutions attended is mandated by state law. In addition, the CCSU PPTC requires that students have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.70 at CCSU. (Some programs have additional GPA requirements specific to that program.) The state allows the University to grant a limited number of GPA waivers; however, CAEP accreditation standards, specific programmatic requirements (e.g. a specific GPA in the content area), evidence that the student has the potential to pass teacher licensure tests, and state teacher preparation priorities are factors in the decision to grant any GPA waiver. This policy is only for cumulative undergraduate GPA below 2.7. One cannot appeal a C- minus in any program pre-requisite course.
If the student is denied consideration for PPTC admission based on a cumulative undergraduate GPA below 2.70, the student may elect to submit a written appeal requesting a waiver of the requirement for purposes of program admission. A signed, hard copy of the appeal should be submitted to the Office of the SEPS Dean by the deadline given in the denial letter. A second copy of the appeal must be submitted as an attachment to an email to the SEPS Dean. The Dean will forward the appeal to the PPTC Appeals Committee for review.
To be considered, the appeal must include a formal letter explaining how the applicant believes he or she has addressed the following criteria:
- Evidence of a pattern of recent exemplary academic performance in courses required in the degree program or certification endorsement sought. The appeal letter should cite evidence supporting the claim that the pattern of recent academic performance is exemplary and provide an explanation for this change in the pattern of performance.
- Evidence of recent experience working with children or in a profession/vocation that has contributed to the applicant’s growth and development relevant to teaching. The appeal letter should describe the experience and explain how it has enhanced their potential for and commitment to teaching. A letter of reference documenting the cited experience and the applicant’s performance in that experience should be submitted with the appeal letter. (Note: Previous experience cannot be used to meet requirements of field experiences and student teaching in the PPTC.)
- The applicant should append any additional evidence that documents potential for success in the program. Relevant Praxis II or ACTFL scores are a primary example of such evidence.
The PPTC Appeals Committee will review the student's appeal and the student’s PPTC application file. The committee may also request additional information from other University sources. The committee will send the SEPS Dean its recommendation along with supporting documentation and the Dean will make the final decision regarding the appeal. The decision of the SEPS Dean is final and there is no further appeal available within the university. The Dean will notify the student in writing of the final decision within 2 weeks of the PPTC appeals committee meeting. A GPA waiver addresses only one portion of PPTC admission requirements: applicants granted such a waiver must also meet all other requirements to be admitted.
If the student is granted a GPA waiver and earns less than a 2.70 GPA for the semester in which the GPA waiver is granted, or in any semester, including a summer session, before beginning professional program classes, the waiver will be immediately withdrawn and admission to the PPTC will be revoked. Once in the PPTC, a student admitted under a GPA waiver must, like all other PPTC candidates, earn no less than a 2.70 GPA in each subsequent semester if an undergraduate, and no less than a 3.00 GPA in each subsequent semester if a graduate student, as well as meet all other PPTC standards to continue in the PPTC.
If an admissions appeal is denied, the student may reapply to the PPTC in a future application cycle.
The Competency Review Process for Student Teaching
The Competency Review Committee consists of the CTEN Appeals Subcommittee, Coordinator for the Office School-Community Partnerships, the candidate’s former student teaching supervisor, and the coordinator or designated representative of the student's program. The candidate may attend the meeting if they so request. The program coordinator or designated representative of the student's program and the former student teaching supervisor shall be non-voting members. The PPTC Appeals Subcommittee for Student teaching appeals quorum shall be 3 voting members.
The Competency Review Team is the designated appeals’ committee for anyone who may have begun student teaching but did not complete student teaching and is wishing to return to CSSU to complete student teaching. The committee meets whenever an appeal is requested. Candidates have the right to provide letters of support from those who have observed them in a field placement.
The recommendation is sent to the Appeals Subcommittee, plus the university supervisor, the program coordinator or department chair, the coordinator of the OSCP, and a SEPS representative appointed by the Dean.
The Competency Review Team will meet to discuss the problems or concerns. Data from the cooperating teacher, university supervisor, and other parties such as observation records, lesson plans, mid-term evaluation, previous focus form, and results from the previous focus form may be reviewed at this meeting. The team may request that the candidate attend the meeting. Based on the data provided, the Competency Review Team will make a recommendation regarding the candidate’s status in student teaching. This recommendation will be submitted to the Dean who makes the final decision.
When such removal is the result of an unsuccessful internship experience, the candidate will not be given the option to begin a second assignment in another school that same semester. Grades for the internship will be issued according to university policy. The candidate may be permitted to repeat student teaching during a subsequent semester upon recommendation from the Competency Review Team. Candidates repeating student teaching must re-apply, complying with all deadlines as outlined in the Professional Program for Teacher Certification handbook. If removal is the result of unethical conduct, criminal activity for which a candidate has been convicted, or extreme incompetence in performing requirements of the internship, the candidate may be denied a second opportunity.
Furthermore, a request to repeat student teaching in another school setting may be granted at the discretion and consent of the chair of the relevant department and/or program coordinator and the Coordinator of the Office of School Community Partnerships. The decision will be based on the reasons for the withdrawal from the original student teaching placement and the timing and availability of alternative student teaching placements.
Approved by CCSU Faculty Senate 10/31/2016