The Rivier University Division of Education and Counseling provides transformative academic experiences through integrated, rigorous programs that extend beyond traditional boundaries of educational settings in order to inspire students to lead and serve in the local and global community. Faculty design and cultivate experiences and practices for critical and analytical thought to propel students toward compassionate teaching, learning, guidance, and counseling of those from diverse social, economic, and cultural origins. The Rivier University Division of Education and Counseling pursues a spirit of professional collaboration among faculty and students in a dynamic and evolving teaching and learning community that supports innovative ideas for change and improvement.
Goals: Professional Educator Preparation Program (PEPP)
- Cultural Competency and Inclusion
Graduates of the program are cognizant of each students’ learning profiles; social and culture influences on their development; and individual needs, gifts and talents in order to inform the act of teaching and learning, promote positive and rewarding communication and interaction, and develop practices that incorporate strategies to teach from a culturally competent perspective to effectively engage all learners.
Graduates demonstrate competence in their field of study by a deep understanding of their subject and discipline, research on effective practices, and a commitment to updating their knowledge and skills. Graduates understand the context of the teaching and learning environment, how to teach content, promote love of learning through their passionate engagement in the discipline, and develop the same habits of mind and qualities of thinking in their students.
- Active Learning and Engagement
Graduates embrace the idea that students must actively engage in their own learning. Through their awareness of the diverse developmental and learning needs of students, graduates create a community of learners to guide and engage students in a curriculum and practices based on research.
- Collaboration and Collegiality
Graduates communicate and interact with parents/guardians, family members, school colleagues, and community officials and members to support each students well-being and learning. Graduates pursue continuous professional development based on a desire to better their own understanding of teaching learning, create professional learning network with peers, and extend their own research and scholarship in the field to better serve students. Graduates understand their responsibilities for the preparation of the next generation of educators, value the policies, practice, and culture of the workplace, and consistently practice with legal and ethical standards in mind.
Graduates recognize that experience, knowledge, inquiry, and application are best understood from active and purposeful reflection. Continuous observation and assessment in the act of teaching and learning of each students’ performance, is a means to ensure equity in the growth and development of all students.
- Personal and Social Transformation
The Rivier University mission is an academic environment committed to the cultivation of critical thought, sound judgment, and respect for all people. It is an integrated learning environment in which shared responsibility for ourselves and for others is modeled in the dialogue about basic human issues. In this environment “transformation” is modeled in the academic preparation of educators so that the transformational experience is passed on to others.
Rivier University, with its tradition and heritage, is dedicated to the tenets of Catholic Social Teaching, with a special emphasis on the ideals of peace and social justice. Graduates bring to the school environment a commitment to education as a means to address social conditions and actively seek to be agents of change, and challenge the community to the ethical resolution of the poor and the powerless.
Inquiry, research, and scholarship in all aspects of the social and human condition are the hall mark of the university academic environment. The foundation in research is grounded in the liberal arts, natural, and social sciences and professional fields and education. This foundation is the basis for the investigation of researched based practices in education.
Professors teaching in the Division of Education and Counseling are successful practitioners who bring the advantage of their expertise and direct experience in the classroom to complement their knowledge of educational theory, philosophy, pedagogy, and research. They serve as consultants to teachers, counselors, and administrators in schools throughout the region and around the world. They are widely recognized as leaders and mentors in child and adolescent development, parenting, inclusion, literacy, curriculum development, cultural competence, diversity, mentoring programs, professional development school partnerships, positive intervention strategies, school administration and leadership, school counseling, and social justice. Faculty serve on statewide committees and national and regional professional associations and boards. They are frequent conference speakers and authors of articles in professional and research journals.
Rivier University offers graduate degrees in education administration, education, school counseling, and school psychology with accompanying licensure by the New Hampshire Department of Education. The Division of Education provides students with advanced degree and licensure programs in education and counseling (including clinical mental health counseling). The programs lead to Doctor of Education (Ed.D.), Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.), Educational Specialist (Ed.S.), Master of Arts (M.A.), Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.), and Master of Education (M.Ed.) degrees. The degree offerings are designed to prepare students for professional leadership roles in their chosen career fields. Courses, seminars, field experiences and internships, service learning opportunities, community service, comprehensive examination, and directed research projects are components of every instructional and degree program.
Rivier University is an exciting learning environment for educators and counselors. It is the graduate school of choice for many current and prospective educators: aspiring clinical mental health and school counselors, school psychologists, education administrators; and, leaders in early childhood education, elementary education, middle/secondary education, special education, specific learning disabilities, and emotional and behavioral disabilities. School departments and mental health agencies, and organizations throughout New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and New England seek out Rivier University for accomplished professionals to fill challenging and satisfying educational and counseling roles.
Applicants for admission to graduate programs in Education and Counseling follow the general guidelines for applying listed in the Admission Process section of this catalog. In addition, applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Submit an official transcript of an undergraduate degree awarded and other relevant academic credentials.
- Provide one letter of recommendation from an individual with whom the applicant has studied or under whose immediate supervision the applicant has worked in a professional capacity and appraise of academic and interpersonal skills, ability, and potential.
- Provide a “Statement of Purpose” (see application form for content).
- Provide evidence of English proficiency if a language other than English is the native language. (Consult Admission Process section of this catalog for details.)
- Complete an interview with the director of the program.
Program Candidacy/Admission in the Professional Educator Preparation Program (PEPP)
Rivier University is committed to the success of students in their pursuit of careers as teachers, school counselors, school psychologists, and leaders in every role of the teaching and learning environment. To address this commitment in a meaningful way, the faculty reviews the progress of each student at various stages in their program.
After a student completes a required number of credits in a chosen Master’s program, the program requires either an application for degree candidacy or an application for admission in the Professional Educator Preparation Program (PEPP). This is an opportunity for both the student and faculty to reflect on the student’s progress in the program and in the selection of their field of study or program area. In order to continue in the program, the student must meet the qualifications and follow the procedures outlined in the program handbooks.
Acceptance into the Professional Educator Preparation Program is contingent upon the following:
- Application for Professional Educator Preparation Program submitted to the Division of Education and Counseling;
- Minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0;
- Positive field experience evaluation(s) from cooperating practitioners;
- Positive evaluations from Rivier professors and cooperating practitioners;
- Evidence of proficiency in reading and writing (as evidenced through required writing in college courses).
Assessment of students’ knowledge, skills, and disposition is continual and cumulative. Assessment occurs at specific points in the program: (1) application to the Professional Educator Preparation Program; (2) application to the internship; (3) completion of the internship; (4) fulfillment of all program requirements, and (5) demonstrated preparation for or successful completion of required state examination for state licensure. See graduate program handbook.
Faculty utilize a variety of informal and formal measures to assess student course performance and demonstration of learning outcomes including: examinations, case studies, reflective journal entries, lesson plans, and portfolios. The alignment of expected standards for performance, specific learning outcomes, assignments, and assessments is contained in each course syllabus. In addition, the student is provided thorough feedback from the cooperating practitioner in field experiences and internships, course instructors, and University supervisors; students are provided with regular and systematic information on their performance and progress in their program of study by course instructors.
Professional growth in a licensure program through systematic reflection on practice is the foundation of the integration of assumptions and expectations for performance aiding student awareness of their ability. The alignment of the State of New Hampshire standards to learning outcomes, assignments, and related assessments for each course and the curriculum mapping for all courses provide the faculty and the student with a record of their performance over the course of their program of study. The Division of Education and Counseling benchmark assessment for continuous improvement engages students in an active process of self-reflection on teaching performance and student learning.
Education students construct a teaching and learning portfolio of artifacts that provide evidence of development in their learning and teaching over the course of their program of study and internship. Evaluations by the cooperating practitioner and University supervisor serve as evidence that the student has the potential to become a successful educator over the course of their career. Detailed information concerning early field experiences and internship are included in the program handbooks.
Students are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and maintain standards of confidentiality at all times: in the university classroom with colleagues and professors, and in the field experiences. Students must demonstrate ethical behavior that governs the health, education, safety, and well-being of their students. Students are required to comply with state laws and regulations that requires all persons, who regularly come in contact with children and youth on a daily basis for a period of time, to undergo a full criminal record check, including fingerprinting. The student will assume the responsibility for all costs related to this process.
Acceptance into Internship and Seminar
Internship is the culminating experience of the Professional Educator Preparation Program. To be eligible for the internship, students must:
- Demonstrate personal and professional characteristics, including effective interpersonal skills and professional responsibilities across their coursework and field experiences;
- Complete required courses;
- Complete required education courses with a grade of “B” or better;
- Demonstrate proficiency in mathematics, reading, and writing throughout all Rivier University courses;
- Complete the required field experiences in diverse school settings across several age and grade levels;
- Maintain a cumulative grade point average in all courses of 3.0 or better.
- Demonstrate preparation for or success in the completion of required state examinations for licensure.
Students applying for internship and accompanying seminar must meet with their advisor prior to the semester in which they plan to complete the internship. Students who have fulfilled all requirements outlined above and have received the favorable recommendation of their advisor and approval of the Division Curriculum Committee are admitted to the semester-long field experience. More detailed information is available in the program handbooks.
Comprehensive examinations are required of all students seeking a graduate degree. These are offered three times a year-fall, spring, and summer at scheduled dates and times. Examinations are not given at faculty or student discretion. Eligibility for taking comprehensives is as follows:
- Students must complete or be enrolled in all required courses in their program of study.
- Students must pass the comprehensive examination before their internship commences.
- A committee of faculty and program directors designs a comprehensive examination consistent with the content and pedagogy of the students’ program of study. The form and content of the examination will be described to students at least one month prior to the scheduled examination. Individual instructors may not change the date for the scheduled administration of the examination or administer the examination individually without the expressed concurrence of the program director and the Dean.
- Overall performance on the examinations is rated on a rubric for each examination. The program director informs the students of the result of the comprehensive examinations. If a reexamination is required, appropriate feedback and time frame for additional study is determined.
- Reexaminations will be scheduled by the program director.
Rivier University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) and approved by the New Hampshire Department of Education (NHDOE) to provide teacher preparation and counseling programs leading to licensure as an educator, school counselor, or school psychologist.
Degree programs at Rivier University may lead to state licensure in a chosen program of study. Students demonstrate potential for success in teaching and counseling through instructor observation and assessment during coursework, field experiences, and the internship. Students enrolled in any education licensure program must follow the current academic catalog at Rivier University and examination requirements required by the NHDOE. After completion of a program of study and all University requirements each student’s transcript and performance is reviewed by the Division Curriculum Committee and the Certification Officer who recommends the student for licensure or related endorsements to the NHDOE.
At the present time, students seeking educator licensure must demonstrate competency in writing, reading, and mathematics by successfully passing all sections of Praxis Core Academic Skills or an equivalent requirement as allowed by the New Hampshire Department of Education. Prior to applying for recommendation for licensure, students must have demonstrated successful passing of all sections of the Praxis Core Academic Skills or an equivalent requirement as allowed by the New Hampshire Department of Education. In the state of New Hampshire, a candidate will not receive licensure as an educator until all required tests for the desired licensure have been passed. A candidate may be eligible for IPLA (In Process of Licensure Authorization) if the candidate demonstrates successful passing of all sections of the Praxis Core Academic Skills or an equivalent requirement as allowed by the New Hampshire Department of Education.
The licensure office in the State of New Hampshire is the New Hampshire Department of Education (NHDOE). Licensure requirements are subject to change. Students are advised to periodically review the NHDOE website for any changes in policy or required examinations. The NHDOE, Bureau of Credentialing or other appropriate board grants licensure when the student in addition to meeting program requirements successfully passes all examinations for licensure.
The University only recommends licensure upon the completion of a program of study and all University requirements. All applications for licensure must be received by the Division of Education within 3 years of completing all degree requirements.
Upon completion of licsensure programs, graduates of programs, except the Ed.S. in School Psychology, are eligible for certification in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. Territories, the Department of Defense Education Activity, Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario through the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement.
The Division of Education and Counseling at Rivier University provides undergraduate students with programs of study in early childhood education, elementary education, middle secondary education, special education, and education and community leadership. These educational programs build on the University’s liberal arts curriculum.
Students have multiple opportunities in field experiences related to their coursework and program. These teaching and learning experiences are scaffolded to involve children and adolescents. Students acquire a variety of instructional and assessment strategies to facilitate the learning of a diverse population of students in a variety of educational settings.
Students must complete and pass all three parts of the Praxis Core Academic Skills tests before completing all required credit hours in their education major.
The Professional Educator Preparation Program makes a difference in the lives of children and adolescents by preparing teachers who demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and disposition to teach a diverse population of students in a variety of educational settings based on research. The licensure programs align with the teacher preparation standards for the respective licensure area approved by the State of New Hampshire Department of Education.
Early Childhood Education
The undergraduate program provides courses that enable students to graduate with a thorough understanding of the strategies and practices needed to effectively teach a diverse population of children from birth through grade three. Program knowledge is supported through collaborative experiences with professionals in the field and the Early Childhood Center, located on the campus of Rivier University and currently operated by KinderCare. Students completing this program are recommended for K-3 licensure in New Hampshire.
The undergraduate program in elementary education provides courses that meet the New Hampshire Department of Education licensure standards for teachers, grades K-6 or K-8. Students are prepared through a course of study that provides the opportunity to collaborate with professional educators beginning in the freshmen year. Successful completion of the program leads to teacher licensure.
The undergraduate program in general special education provides a course of study to enable students to teach children with special needs in grades K-12. The program includes specialized courses in evaluation, assessment, and inclusive instruction. Field experiences with special educators reinforce classroom knowledge, skills and application to students from kindergarten through high school. Successful completion leads to K-12 licensure in special education.
The middle secondary education programs enable students with a major in an academic discipline (biology, English, social studies, or mathematics) to teach in middle and secondary schools. These programs include a core of pedagogy courses that provides graduates with a thorough understanding of the strategies and practices needed to effectively teach a diverse population of students in middle and secondary schools.
Early Field Experience
Students in the early childhood, elementary, and special education majors complete 200 hours of early field experience prior to student teaching. Middle secondary education students complete field experience prior to student teaching. Field experience begins in the freshmen year and increases in professional and academic rigor through the senior year. The Program Director for Education serves as the liaison between public, private, charter, and parochial schools for students in field experiences.
Student teaching involves a semester-long placement in a early childhood, elementary, special education, middle or secondary school classroom. Rivier University encourages students to develop professional relationships with cooperating teachers throughout their program of study in order to identify an optimal placement for student teaching. Students are assigned a faculty University Supervisor for guidance and evaluation during student teaching. Students may choose to student teach within a 25 mile radius of the Rivier University campus. Students apply to student teach in the semester prior to student teaching. Criteria for acceptance to student teach include the following:
- Minimum 2.5 GPA
- Completion of required hours of early field experience
- Positive evaluations from cooperating teachers in early field experience
- Professional behavior in all interactions involving early field experience settings
- Participation in University professional development opportunities
- Acceptance into PEPP (Professional Educator Preparation Program)
Assessment of students’ knowledge, skills, and disposition is continual and cumulative. Assessment occurs at specific points in the program: 1) Benchmark assessments on content, application, and professional responsibility are rated by instructors; 2) application to the Professional Educator Preparation Program; 3) application to student teaching; 4) completion of student teaching; and, 5) program completion. Faculty utilize a variety of informal and formal measures to assess student course performance, including: examinations, case studies, reflective journal entries, lesson plans, and an electronic program portfolio. Through feedback from the cooperating practitioner and University supervisor, students are provided regular, systematic, and cumulative information on their progress in the process of becoming a teacher.
The program of teacher preparation engages students as active participants in self-reflection on teaching performance and student learning. Students construct a teaching and learning portfolio of artifacts that serve as evidence of their development in learning and teaching during coursework and in the student teaching experience. Evaluations by the cooperating practitioner and University supervisor serve as evidence that the New Hampshire Department of Education standards have been integrated into the student teaching experience. Detailed information concerning early field experiences and the culminating student teaching experience are included in the student’s program of study and the Initial Certification Program Handbook.
Professional Educator Preparation Program (PEPP)
Students apply to PEPP when they have met the following criteria:
- Completion of required hours of early field experience
- Positive evaluations from cooperating teachers in early field experience
- Attained a minimum 2.5 GPA
- Passed and submitted passing scores on the Praxis Test of Core Academic Skills
Early Childhood, Elementary, and Special Education initial certification students are required to take the Praxis Test of Core Academic Skills prior to completion of ED102 Issues and Influences in Education in the spring semester of the freshmen year. Middle Secondary Education students are required to take the Praxis Test of Core Academic Skills prior to completion of ED 150 Foundations of Secondary Education.
Students transferring from other institutions with 30 or more credits are required to demonstrate successful completion of the Praxis Tests of Core Academic Skills at the time of admission to PEPP and prior to enrollment in education courses.
Students are expected to demonstrate a professional disposition at all times and maintain standards of confidentiality: in the college classroom with colleagues and professors, in the field experiences, and student teaching. Students must demonstrate ethical behavior in regard to the health, education, well being and safety of all students that they have with in each school setting. Students are required to comply with state regulations that require all persons who come in contact with children and youth on a daily basis for a period of time, undergo a full criminal background check. The student assumes responsibility for all costs related to the field experience.
ePortfolio and Live Text
Students seeking recommendation for New Hampshire Department of Education licensure in K-3 early childhood education, K-6 or K-8 elementary education, K-12 special education, and licensure in middle secondary content areas must complete an ePortfolio using the Live Text software system. The ePortfolio is a student-generated document designed to demonstrate student growth and progress in relation to state licensure requirements.
The Division of Education collaborates with a number of school districts and social service agencies each year to provide field experiences in the programs.
For licensure in New Hampshire, teacher candidates must:
- Receive a grade of B or better in ED 420 Student Teaching Seminar
- Meet all of the roles, responsibilities, competencies, and dispositions required for student teaching
- Pass the Praxis Core Academic Skills tests or an equivalent requirement as determined by the NH DOE
Upon completion of licensure programs, you will be eligible for certification in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. Territories, the Department of Defense Education Schools, Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario per the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement.