School of Education


Dean, Director of Graduate Studies, Coordinator of Educational Leadership, Coordinator of EDLS: A. Eury

Assessment Coordinator: J. Hamilton

Director of Center for Innovative Leadership Development, Coordinator of Organizational Leadership: J. Balls

Director of Undergraduate Studies/TEC, Chair of Middle Grades Education, Alternative Licensure: K. Clark

 Coordinator of Curriculum & Instruction Studies, Coordinator of EDCI: S. Brown

Coordinator of Ed.S. Studies in Educational Leadership: S. Laws

Coordinator of Master of Arts in Curriculum & Instruction Programs and Concentration Pathways: J. Putnam

Chair of Master of Arts in Executive Leadership Studies: S. Shellman

Chair of Elementary Education, Field Experience Coordinator, Licensing Officer: TBA

Coordinator of Degree Completion: L. Wesson

Professors:  A. Eury, C. McKinney, D. Shellman, L. Wesson

Associate Professors: S. Bingham, S. Brown, B. Boyles,

Assistant Professors: J. Balls, K. Clark, J.Hamilton, S. Laws, J. Palermo, J. Parker, J. Putnam, A. Sanders 



The Gardner-Webb University School of Education empowers candidates and communities through innovative, collaborative leadership by applying principals of continuous improvement to expand human, social, and spiritual potential.         



The School of Education strives to accomplish its mission through its commitment to

  1. prepare undergraduate and graduate candidates for professional roles and responsibilities within school settings;
  2. provide rigorous programs of study which will facilitate reflective practice within a learning environment based upon Christian principles and values;
  3. hire faculty who fill the role of caring, patient mentors while they model lifelong learning that reflects inquiry- and problem-based decision making; and
  4. foster partnerships with and provide service to public schools and other organizations through collaborative activities such as consultation, research, and staff development.



Student learning outcomes specific to each major offered by the school are described in the appropriate sections that follow. 



The school offers one major leading to the Bachelor of Science degree:

Elementary Education



Professional Education




Within a Christian environment, the Gardner-Webb University School of Education strives to develop reflective and ethical educators who are knowledgeable in content, respectful of diversity, proficient in technology, and skilled in meeting the needs of all students. Graduates of Gardner-Webb’s School of Education should be 21st century leaders in every aspect of their profession, having the instructional, technological and collaborative communication skills to deliver relevant and rigorous content in a forward-thinking context that assures student learning (NC State Board of Education, 2006).

Within the framework of the liberal arts and sciences curriculum, the School of Education at Gardner-Webb University offers undergraduate majors in Elementary and Middle Grades Education. The professional education minor is a required program of study for students seeking licensure at the secondary level (9-12) in the areas of English, Mathematics, and Social Studies. In addition, successful completion of the professional education minor is required for undergraduate students seeking licensure at the K-12 level in the special subject areas of Art, French, Music, Physical Education, Spanish, English as a Second Language, and American Sign Language. Candidates who successfully complete these programs apply for the North Carolina Standard Professional 1 (Class A) Teaching License. Graduate programs at the Master’s degree level are offered in Elementary Education (K-6), English Education (9-12), Middle Grades Education (6-9). School Counseling (K-12) and School Administration (K-12). Candidates who successfully complete these programs of study apply for the Class M license, with the exception of School Administration candidates who apply for the Class P license. In addition to the undergraduate and master’s degree program, qualified candidates are offered to study at the doctoral level. Two tracks are offered in the Ed. D. program; educational leadership and curriculum and instruction.

The School of Education strives to accomplish its mission through its commitment to

  1. prepare undergraduate and graduate candidates for professional roles and responsibilities within school settings;
  2. provide rigorous programs of study which will facilitate reflective practice within a learning environment based upon Christian principles and values;
  3. hire faculty who fill the role of caring, patient mentors while they model lifelong learning that reflects inquiry and problem-based decision making; and
  4. foster partnerships with and providing service to public schools and other organizations through collaborative activities such as consultation, research, and staff development (Gardner-Webb University Catalog, 2011-2012).

Central to all licensure programs at Gardner-Webb University is a common conceptual framework that provides not only a philosophical foundation that defines our work, but a model of practice that provides definition to the character and skill of our candidates. Built upon the North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards (NCPTS) and the North Carolina Standards for School Executives, (NCSSE), our conceptual framework places an emphasis on continual learning within the context of the community. Blueprints showing the relationship of our course work to state standards at both the graduate and undergraduate level are on file with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Aligning our beliefs with those of Darling-Hammond (2005), we believe there are three components basic to effective teaching: the learner, knowledge, and assessment.


According to Standard II (NCPTS), successful teachers establish a respectful environment for a diverse population of students (NCPTS, 2007). Therefore, effective educators recognize diversity as an asset and understand the relationship of individuality to learning. Not only do they understand human growth and development theory; they also recognize the teaching theory of differentiated instruction relative to the individual needs and diversity of students in today’s classrooms (Tomlinson, 2001). As the ability of the learner changes, so must the complexity and rigor of the tasks as well as the assessments.

Recognizing that it is the responsibility of the School of Education to respond to teacher candidates’ needs for experiences in a variety of situations and settings, all aspects of a candidate’s education, including classroom instruction, field experience, and student teaching, are planned and aligned to provide opportunities to understand and prepare for the targeted needs of learners from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. Candidates’ awareness of student diversity in every area of teaching responsibility, including curriculum and materials selection, lesson planning, assessment, and interaction with students, is an expectation of our institution. Banks et al. contends that while in the past, schools have focused on isolating learners by any number of limiting factors or demographics, today’s teacher must focus on inclusion, recognizing that “educators must seek to eliminate disparities in educational opportunities among all students, especially those students who have been poorly served by our current system” (as cited in Darling-Hammond and Bransford, Eds., 2005, p. 223). It is our belief that educating teachers who are prepared to confront disparity wherever it exists, is a basic responsibility of our role as teacher educators.

The graduate learner focuses on program-long internships emphasizing working with others to facilitate learning environment needs.


Standard III (NCPTS) mandates that candidates know the content they teach. The expectation is that graduates of the School of Education will not only possess content knowledge, but they will also acquire the pedagogy necessary to convey the connections and relevance within the content, thereby gaining the ability to facilitate learning, which is Standard IV (NCPTS). This in-depth study of pedagogy will also enable graduates to choose appropriate methodology to enhance particular content. As Darling-Hammond asks, “How can we teach what we do not understand ourselves?” (2005, p. 205). In addition to content knowledge, the School of Education has the expectation that candidates possess a high degree of self-knowledge about their own professional dispositions developed through ongoing reflective practice. Whether aspiring teacher leaders or future school executives, candidates are encouraged to ask themselves what they are “best in the world at doing” and what they “are deeply passionate about” (Collins, 2001, p. 95). Candidates should possess dispositions toward excellence in school management and instruction. As Collins reiterates, “People are not your most important asset. The right people are” (p. 13). It is the belief of the School of Education that it is our responsibility to support our PK-12 partners by providing them highly qualified school personnel who have the knowledge, skills and dispositions to lead and teach.

Additionally, the School of Education supports candidates in their journey to be lifelong learners. Standard I (NCPTS) delineates teachers as leaders. In order to be a leader in education, candidates must first understand that learning about their craft does not end at graduation. The understanding that the candidate’s pursuit of knowledge about the art of teaching has only just begun is conveyed by the School of Education through course work, modeling, and opportunities for service and leadership through student organizations such as the Student North Carolina Association of Educators and Kappa Delta Pi, the international honor society in education.

Lifelong learning and professional development is further encouraged by the School of Education’s support of The Center for Innovative Leadership Development, which is Gardner-Webb University’s catalyst for developing the skills of local leaders with proven methods that focus on transforming essential community functions and improving the results and quality of life that communities enjoy. The Center (CILD) provides professional development in a variety of settings for school leaders, most significantly, a summer conference, which attracts school leaders from across the state. The Center also houses and facilitates resource projects with local school systems.


At the heart of effective instruction is the ability to know when learning has been achieved. To this end, candidates should have not only knowledge of a variety of assessments used in their field, but they should also be able to use the data obtained from formative and summative assessments to make informed decisions about content and methodology. Also, in consideration of Standard V (NCPTS), candidates must become reflective practitioners who understand how to analyze this data and determine the effectiveness of their instruction. Such assessment should utilize multiple measures, be continuous and be thoroughly analyzed. It is the analysis of assessment that provides direction to future learning tasks. “Any activity that requires students to reflect on what they are learning and to share their progress both reinforces the learning and helps them develop insight into themselves as learners. These are keys to enhancing student motivation” (Stiggins et al., 2006). Assessment should not be relegated to formalized summative testing, but should drive targeted effective teaching. The needs of learners are important in planning for instruction as well as assessment. Cohen (1994) writes that assessment promotes “meaningful involvement of students with material that is central to the teaching objectives of a given course. For this meaningful involvement to take place, the goals of the assessment tasks need to reflect the goals of the course, and these goals need to be made clear to the students” (p. 13). Candidates’ utilization and analysis of, and reflection upon data to design lessons are integrated components of Gardner-Webb’s course work, field experiences, and professional practice.



This committee develops and implements policy, approves curricula, and evaluates programs for the undergraduate and graduate education programs. It is composed of faculty members from each school and department offering programs leading to licensure, student representatives, and public school personnel.



To be admitted to the Teacher Education Program, the undergraduate degree seeking candidate must meet the following requirements:

  1. File a declaration of intent to major in an area of licensure with the Academic Advising Center.
  2. Complete a minimum of 30 cumulative semester hours, with at least 12 hours earned at Gardner-Webb.
  3. Complete the Application for Admission to Teacher Education. Applications are due the first Monday in October and the first Monday in March. (See calendar dates listed on course schedule).
  4. Have a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average on all college or university work.
  5. Complete EDUC 250 with a grade of C or better (a C- is not acceptable). The Teacher Education Handbook provides specific guidelines for the pre-service candidate.
  6. Obtain the minimum scores currently required by State Board of Education on the PRAXIS I examinations or the SAT/ACT equivalents. These scores are subject to change by the State Board of Education. Applicants must satisfy the score requirements in effect at the time of Admission to the Teacher Education Program. Elementary Education applicants must also take the state-mandated examination for licensure to be considered for Admission. Elementary Education applicants do not have to pass the examination for admittance.
  7. Must complete MATH 204 and MATH 205 with a “C” or better if majoring in Elementary Education.
  8. Successfully complete the Teacher Education Program Interview.




Before beginning the professional semester (which includes the 15-week student teaching experience), the candidate must meet the following requirements:


  1. Submit a completed Application for Student Teaching on or before February 15 for teaching in a fall semester and on or before September 15 for teaching the spring semester. (See calendar dates listed on course schedule).
  2. Maintain a 2.5 cumulative grade point average.
  3. Maintain a grade of C (2.0) or better (a C- is not acceptable) in all professional education courses.
  4. Complete all requirements for the selected major. Any exceptions must be approved by the Dean of the School of Education. These requirements are described under the appropriate department listing.


Beginning in the fall 2003, State Board of Education policy mandated that an undergraduate teacher education candidate be admitted into the teacher education program at least one full semester prior to the semester in which he/she is planning to student teach. If a candidate plans to student teach during the spring semester, he/she must be admitted prior to the end of the previous spring semester. If a candidate plans to student teach during the fall semester, he/she must be admitted prior to the end of the previous fall semester. There will be no exceptions to this policy.




Student teaching assignments and various field experiences required throughout the Teacher Education Program are made by the Director of Field Experiences and Student Teaching in public schools within commuting distance from the University. Transportation to these sites is the responsibility of the candidate.




Successful completion of the basic course and licensure requirements, all major requirements and the Professional Education Minor, including the professional semester, will qualify candidates for licensure in North Carolina and many other states.




To be recommended for Standard Professional 1 (SP1) licensure in the state of North Carolina, a candidate must meet the following requirements:


  1. Complete an approved program of study.
  2. Obtain minimum scores on the state-required examinations for your licensure area, if applicable.
  3. Submit the completed application for licensure to the School of Education.
  4. Provide official transcripts for all college and university work completed at other institutions to the office of School of Education.
  5. Remit the processing fee required by the State of North Carolina at the time of application.




Individuals who hold a baccalaureate degree and wish to obtain a North Carolina Standard Professional 1 license may apply for admission to the approved program for teacher licensure. The candidate must meet entrance and exit requirements comparable to those required of a degree-seeking candidate in the approved program. A minimum of 21 hours must be taken at Gardner-Webb University to be recommended for licensure by the institution.




All teacher candidates, regardless of the area of licensure, will be charged a Clinical Assessment Fee in EDU 250, Teaching in 21st Century Schools and EDU 450, Student Teaching. This fee will cover the candidate’s subscriptions to TaskStream and Teachscape, as well as the required background checks. In addition, Elementary and Middle Grades candidates are required to have an iPad with video capabilities and a Teachscape Mini Kit (sold in the University Campus Shop) for every EDUC course with the exception of EDU 250, Teaching in the 21st Century.


All course work in the education major (elementary) and in the education minor must have a grade of “C” or better (“C-” is not acceptable).



Prior to enrolling in the Elementary Education Program the applicant should have the following courses on his or her academic transcript:

  • A minimum of 44 semester hours from a regionally junior college or senior college;
  • English 101


Some courses required for admission may be completed concurrently with course work by taking such courses offered in the curriculum.  Such concurrent enrollment for courses required for admission must be completed within the first year of enrollment and may extend the time required to complete the degree program.  The following may be completed by concurrent enrollment within the first year of the program:


                  English 102

                  Art Appreciation (1 course equivalent to ART 307)

                  US 20th Century (1 course equivalent to HIS 319)

                  US Government (1 course equivalent to PSC 302)

                  Old Testament (1 course equivalent to REL 304)

                  New Testament (1 course equivalent to REL 305)

                  Health & Wellness (1 course equivalent to HPE 338)

                  Oral Communication (1 course equivalent to BAD 325)

                  American Literature (1 course equivalent to ENG 332)

                  General Biology (1 course equivalent to BIO 111)

                  Introduction to Chemistry (1 course equivalent to CHM 103)

                  Probability & Statistics (1 course equivalent to MTH 316)

                  Research Skills (1 course equivalent to LIB 301)

                  Music Survey (1 course equivalent to MUS 320)

                  British Literature (1 course equivalent to ENG 312)

                  Global Understanding (1 course equivalent to SSC 305)


A candidate may register for major & minor course work if he or she has a minimum of three courses left remaining for admission and/or core.




Students who graduate from the Elementary Education program will demonstrate proficiency in the North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards (NCPTS) as follows:


  1. Teachers demonstrate leadership.
  2. Teachers establish a respectful environment for a diverse population of students.
  3. Teachers know the content they teach.
  4. Teachers facilitate learning for their students.
  5. Teachers reflect on their practice.


Proficiencies will be met as students exhibit competency in the following areas:


  1. knowledge across all content areas included in the breadth of the Gardner-Webb core curriculum and enhanced by the specialty area of the curriculum. The beginning teacher will be broadly and liberally educated and have full command of the content that he or she will teach (NCPTS III);
  2. knowledge of characteristics of developmental stages of children ages 5-12 (NCPTS IV);
  3. understanding of the unique learning characteristics of children from diverse populations including socioeconomic, linguistic, and cultural backgrounds as well as adapting for the needs of exceptional students (NCPTS II);
  4. the ability to plan, adapt, reflect on curriculum theory, and teaching strategies to meet the needs of the K-6 learner (NCPTS III, IV, and V);
  5. the ability to organize classroom environments conducive to facilitating and stimulating the life-long intellectual growth of all children (NCPTS IV);
  6. interpersonal skills for the purpose of establishing effective communication in the classroom, in the school, between the home and school, and among the school community (NCPTS I, V);
  7. the ability to effectively assess and evaluate student learning and to use results to establish an effective instructional program (NCPTS IV, V);
  8. understanding of the teacher’s role as a change agent and the relevance of current issues related to teaching as a profession and to schooling in a complex society (NCPTS I, II, IV);
  9. knowledge about schools, teaching, and children that increases through carefully planned and supervised field experiences (NCPTS II, IV); and
  10. a commitment to service within the school and global community (NCPTS I, V).



EDU 302 Literacy Foundations

EDU 306 Literacy and the Language Arts for K-8

EDU 311 Fine Arts Integration in 21st Century Schools

EDU 312 Practicum in Literacy

EDU 410 Introduction to Integrated Curriculum and Assessment

MAT 204 Math Content for Elementary Teachers

MAT 205 Math Content for Elementary Teachers II

MED 330 Math Methods in 21st Century Schools

PED 300 Healthful Living for Elementary Education

SED 330 Science Methods in 21st Century Schools

SST 307 Social Studies Methods in 21st Century


Additional requirements for NC licensure (may be taken as part of the basic core requirements): ART 307, BIO 111, CHM 103, SSC 305, HIS 319, MUS 320, PSC 302, ENG 332, and ENG 312.

The candidate must also complete the Professional Education minor.


The North Carolina State Board of Education has adopted new teacher standards and required all teacher education programs to be revisioned. All candidates starting their teacher education program with EDUC 250 in the fall of 2010 must complete the new program regardless of the catalogue under which they entered Gardner-Webb University. Candidates who are already in teacher education can choose to complete the current program or the new program.


It is recommended that teacher candidates take the following courses the semester before student teaching: EDU 435, EDU 350, and MED 330.


Click here to view the courses for the School of Education program



*The education minor can only be used in conjunction with majors in which there are approved licensure programs.




For Elementary Education majors the following courses are required:


EDU 250 – Teaching in the 21st Century

EDU 350 – Diverse Populations in 21st Century Schools

EDU 435 – Facilitating Learning in 21st Century Schools

EDU 450 – Student Teaching

PSY 303 – Educational Psychology

In all cases candidates will not be permitted to complete more than 50% of the minor until they are formally admitted into the Teacher Education program.


View courses for this program



All elementary education students transferring under the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement must complete ENG 332; ENG 312; ART 307; MUS 320; PSC 302; BIO 111; CHM 103; SSC 305; MTH 316; and HIS 319.


Equivalences exist within the community college curriculum for each of the above courses. Careful planning prior to transfer can ensure that these licensure requirements are met within the context of the A.A. degree.