USF, Indiana Tech collaborate on education-degree program

February 23, 2019

Indiana Tech education majors will be able to complete their degrees and teacher licensure requirements through the University of Saint Francis in a collaboration agreement announced Friday between the two institutions.

Indiana Tech’s School of Education applied for but was denied accreditation by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, or CAEP.

As a result, the Indiana Department of Education told Indiana Tech it will be unable to license graduates to teach in Indiana after this academic year, university spokesman Brian Engelhart said earlier this month. He noted it doesn’t affect this year’s graduates.

Indiana Tech also cannot accept new education students for the fall, nor is it scheduling or promoting education classes for that semester, Engelhart said.

Forty students are enrolled in Indiana’s Tech education programs, which cover elementary education, physical education, special education and secondary education in mathematics instruction. 

Under the agreement announced Friday, current Indiana Tech elementary and special education majors will be allowed to complete their remaining education coursework and teacher licensure requirements, such as student teaching, at USF.

They will finish their remaining non-major specific coursework at Indiana Tech and will earn an Indiana Tech degree upon completion, USF said in a news release. 

Indiana Tech students who successfully complete their degree and licensure requirements through the partnership with USF will be recommended by USF for licensure with the Indiana Department of Education.

The IDOE has approved the arrangement between the two universities, USF said.

“This collaboration between the University of Saint Francis and Indiana Tech is a wonderful example of the priority both institutions place on students’ success,” Lance Richey, USF vice president of academic affairs, said in a statement.

“USF was founded as a teachers college, and over 125 years later we are delighted to be able to share our programs and talents to help serve these aspiring teachers and, by extension, the children of Northeast Indiana whose lives will be positively impacted by their work.” 

Indiana Tech students’ opportunity to gain teacher licensure was in jeopardy after Indiana Tech’s program recently lost accreditation. 

Tom Kaplan, Indiana Tech vice president for academic affairs, said:

“Everyone at Indiana Tech greatly appreciates the work of the Saint Francis team to serve our students. The University of Saint Francis has an excellent teacher preparation program, and has been generous with their time and commitment to developing this initiative in a timely way. By working together, our two universities have created a strong pathway for Indiana Tech education majors to earn their degrees and ultimately obtain their state licenses to teach.” 

In addition to the Indiana Department of Education, the agreement has also been approved by the Higher Learning Commission and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, USF said. 

The opportunity is available for current Indiana Tech students pursuing degrees and teacher licensure for elementary education or special education: mild intervention. The program begins in August 2019. Students majoring in education at Indiana Tech this semester will complete their classes as scheduled. 

Indiana Tech education majors who compete in athletics will remain eligible to compete for Indiana Tech. Students participating in other Indiana Tech student activities may also continue to do so, USF said.

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