Global Educators Cohort Program - Teacher Education

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Preliminary Examination Policy
CITE Program: Department of Teacher Education

Introduction
Each student in the CITE doctoral program will satisfactorily complete a writing task that demonstrates an ability to critically analyze a scholarly article. This task is called the preliminary exam. It takes place in the spring of the first year. The evaluation will be made by the CITE Comprehensive Exam Committee (CEC).

Preparation for the Exam
Writing skills will be developed in both TE901 and TE902. To ensure consistent expectations from year to year, a rubric (developed by the Comprehensive Examination Committee) will be used to evaluate the preliminary exam. Assignments in TE901 and TE902 will be evaluated according to course-specific rubrics that include general criteria expected of the preliminary exam.”

Skills Garnered in TE 901 and TE 902 that Prepare Students for the Exam
  1. Gain content knowledge about the historical, social, and educational contexts in and outside the U.S. (TE 901)
  2. Gain content knowledge about teaching, teacher education, and related policies in and outside the U.S. (TE 902)
  3. Develop critical, insightful, and thoughtful connections between a) historical and contemporary educational issues and b) the K-12 educational enterprise, including teaching, teacher education and learning. (TE 901)
  4. Develop critical, insightful, and thoughtful connections related to scholarship and policy documents about teaching, teacher education, and related policies in and outside the U.S. (TE 902)
  5. Gain scholarly skills in the following areas:
    • reading (how to analytically read historical, empirical, and theoretical research on education and grasp and evaluate the central arguments)
    • writing (how to develop a thesis, support the thesis with evidence and reasoning, organize a paper, and adhere to academic standards for writing)
    • discussing (how to succinctly state one’s thoughts, respond to questions, and respond constructively to comments) (TE 901 and TE 902)
  6. Develop an understanding of scholarly expectations for reading and writing in preparation for doctoral program milestones (TE 901 and TE 902).

Communication of Pro-Seminar Instructors with First-Year Student Advisers
A meeting will take place in the fall of each year involving the TE901 and TE902 instructors and the CEC chair(s) to review the following series of steps that are meant to support students in the doctoral program:
  • At fall mid-semester, the TE 901 instructors will meet with the CITE PhD coordinator. They will inform the coordinator of any student who is receiving a grade of 3.0 or below, documenting any concerns. The PhD coordinator will inform the student’s adviser of these concerns.
  • At the end of the fall semester, the TE 901 instructors will meet with the TE 902 instructors to update them on how the course went, and relay concerns about students who received a grade of 3.0 or below, as well as any other students the TE 901 instructors feel are in danger of failing the preliminary exam.
  • At the end of the fall semester, the TE 901 instructors will inform the CITE PhD coordinator about students who received a grade of 3.0 or below, as well as any other students the TE 901 instructors feel are in danger of failing the preliminary exam. The PhD coordinator will inform each student’s adviser of these concerns, as well as any improvements made across the second half of the semester.
  • Between February 15 and March 1, TE 902 instructors will inform the CITE PhD coordinator about students who are receiving a grade of 3.0 or below, as well as any other students the TE 902 instructors feel are in danger of failing the preliminary exam. The CITE PhD coordinator will inform each student’s adviser of these concerns, as well as any improvements made.

Exam Procedures
The preliminary exam is administered around April 1 each spring. Students are provided 3-4 scholarly articles from which to choose to write their critical review. The students submit their exam to the CITE Comprehensive Exam Committee (CEC) and also send a copy of the exam to the advisor around April 15, such that students have two calendar weeks in which to write their paper. The CEC will evaluate the paper using the rubric found on the comps wiki, and will send a letter to the student and a copy to the student's advisor by May 1 with the evaluation results.

During the preliminary examination, students may not consult with any people; however, students may freely consult written resources.

In the event that the paper is judged as not satisfactory for fulfilling the preliminary exam requirements, the letter from the CEC will detail the paper’s strengths and weaknesses with respect to critical writing. The letter will also require the student to call a meeting with his/her adviser, and, in consultation with the adviser, any of the following persons: the CITE PhD coordinator; any other faculty who have interacted heavily with the student over the course of the year, either through coursework, research assistantships and/or teaching assistantships; and/or the director of the College of Education Office of Student Writing Assistance (OSWA). The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the potential for success in the CITE PhD program, and make plans for improving writing during the second year.

Students who need to re-take the preliminary exam are invited and encouraged to do so at any time during their second year. They do not need to wait until the following April to fulfill this requirement. A similar procedure to that described above will be followed (e.g., students have two weeks during which to write a critical review of a research article and submit the paper to the CEC and their advisor; the CEC will send a letter to the student and his/her advisor with evaluation results within 2-3 weeks after the exam is turned in; should the paper be evaluated as not fulfilling the preliminary exam requirement, the letter from the CEC will give detailed feedback and ask the student to meet with the appropriate faculty to get additional support for meeting this requirement). As per the CITE Ph.D. student handbook, students have three opportunities to successfully fulfill the preliminary exam requirement.


Students have up to three opportunities to pass the preliminary examination. The timing of the second and third opportunities are at the advisor's discretion, but the student must pass within one year of the first attempt.


Revised November 2012
Revised February 2014