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Candidate Rights and Responsibilities in Teacher Education

Candidate Rights and Responsibilities

Respect and Confidentiality

All teacher candidates are reminded to exhibit professional behavior at all times. This behavior includes respecting all students, their parents, and school personnel.  All individualized information learned in the process of completing a degree and licensure at Wheaton College is to remain strictly confidential.  To maintain this confidentiality, teacher candidates are asked to use pseudonyms in any of their descriptions of students or other school personnel in written papers and assignments.

Wheaton College teacher candidates are advised that there is no time limit on this confidentiality.  By participating in the program, Wheaton College teacher candidates agree to exhibit professional behavior and to maintain confidentiality.

Problem Resolution

During a practicum, should problems or misunderstandings arise, they should be brought to the attention of the college supervisor by the teacher candidate, teacher or principal, and if unresolved, to the appropriate Program Coordinator and if necessary, the Chair of the Department of Education. Changes in student teaching assignments are made reluctantly if they appear to be in the best interests of those concerned.  The teacher candidate, the college supervisor, and school personnel should jointly make any recommendation of this nature.

At the end of the methods practicum semester, a final decision is made concerning acceptability for student teaching.  If the cooperating school's or college supervisor's recommendations are such that continuance in student teaching is not recommended, a program of remediation may be designed or the teacher candidate may be denied continuance in the teacher education program.  The final decision to recommend for licensure will be contingent on successful completion of a student teaching experience, a passing score on the the edTPA, and completion of all college graduation requirements.

Appeal Process

Any candidate who is denied admission to or continuation toward the Wheaton Teacher Education Program (WheTEP), student teaching, or recommendation for licensure is entitled to a fair and impartial appeal of the decision.  In order to appeal a decision, the following steps should be taken:

• Within 10 business days of receiving the written notification of the decision of the faculty in the Department of Education, the candidate should present a formal letter to the Chair of the Department of Education, requesting reconsideration of the decision.  This letter should address the concerns raised by the faculty and provide specific details on how the candidate will address each concern.

• The candidate may submit supporting materials for the reconsideration.

• The candidate may request to appear in person before the faculty.  If this request is granted, the hearing before the Education faculty will be conducted in accordance with the Wheaton College Procedure for Conducting Hearings.

• After receipt of the request for reconsideration, a majority of the faculty of the Department of Education will meet at its earliest convenience but not later than 10 business days after receipt of the request.  The faculty will reconsider its decision and inform the candidate in writing of its decision within five business days.

• Te candidate may appeal the reconsidered decision of the faculty of the Department of Education.  To do so, the candidate should present a formal letter of appeal to the Dean of Natural and Social Sciences within 10 business days of receipt of the decision of the faculty of the Department of Education.  Should the Dean of Natural and Social Sciences grant a personal hearing to the appellant, said hearing will be conducted in accordance with the Wheaton College Procedure for Conducting Hearings.

• The decision of the Dean of Natural and Social Sciences is final.

• In all steps, the candidate may be represented by an attorney.  If the candidate wishes to representation by an attorney, Wheaton College should be notified as soon as possible because the College will also be represented by counsel.

Adopted by the Department of Education, November 16, 2000 and reaffirmed April 12, 2018.

Formal Candidate Complaint Procedure

In the event that any candidate believes that he/she has not been treated fairly in any assessment process or if he/she believes that extenuating circumstances should be considered, a formal complaint may be filed.  Prior to filing a formal complaint, the candidate must meet with the professor/assessor and attempt to resolve the situation.  If no resolution results, the candidate must file a written complaint with the Chair of the Department of Education.  The Chair will hear the complaint, investigate any issues, and issue a written decision.  Should the candidate feel that his/her complaint was not fairly heard, he/she may appeal to the Dean of Natural and Social Sciences.  The Dean's decision is final.  The Department of Education maintains a file of formal complaints and their resolution.

Screening for Appropriate Dispositions

The Department of Education screens its candidates for appropriate dispositions to teach through three means:  (a) observations and cooperating teacher ratings during clinical experiences, (b) a screen process (including the WheTEP interview) completed by professors, and (c) the Assessment of Pre-service Teacher Dispositions and Virtues form, used after EDUC 135, EDUC 136, EDUC 225, and EDUC 306/506 or 311/511.  Formal votes to affirm appropriate dispositions are taken at two points (admission to WheTEP and admission to student teaching) during the candidate's preparation program.  Additionally, a candidate's dispositions to teach are carefully monitored during the student teaching experience.  A candidate may be denied admission to any phase of the program or be denied licensure if, in the judgment of the faculty members, he/she does not exhibit the appropriate dispositions to teach.  For more information on the screening process, please see the department.

Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA) Plagiarism and Cheating Policy

As the official scorer of the edTPA, Pearson screens portions of submitted edTPA materials by their official scorers and by detection software as noted on their Candidate Policies for Administrative Review that are posted on the edTPA.com website. Furthermore, WheTEP candidates must confirm nine statements related to the integrity of the contents being uploaded to Pearson. This attestation includes verification that the work is original to the submitter and that all other sources are cited properly.

Any WheTEP candidate suspected of cheating or plagiarism on the edTPA will meet with a panel of three Education Department faculty members, including the Chair, to determine whether the student has cheated or plagiarized work submitted for scoring. The panel will also determine the appropriate disciplinary actions that result. Wheaton College's Student Development Office would be contacted regarding any previous incident of cheating. The panel will consider all relevant information before determining any disciplinary actions.

Examples of disciplinary actions include: failing student teaching, dropping the student from the Wheaton Teacher Education Program, and preventing the candidate from being entitled for licensure. Based on prior evidence of cheating or plagiarism, Student Development may also be involved in determining disciplinary action.

If a student is found to have cheated or plagiarized and disciplinary actions are taken, the student has the right to follow the appeal process described on the Education Department's webpage on Candidate Rights and Responsibilities (see above).