Today: May 29, 2024

New education and nursing requirments

Part IV of our LEP Special Section

Maria Diamantis, chairperson of the Elementary Education program said before being accepted into the program there were classes that needed to be taken as well as a required grade point average.
“That’s a state requirement of 2.7 of any undergraduate work that the student has done at Southern or outside Southern,” she said. “Therefore we have to recalculate and do a cumulative GPA and it has to be 2.7 or higher.”
Diamantis said there are several three-credit classes students need to take based on state regulations: English 112, Education 200, Math 105 and Special Education 225.
The early childhood education program hasn’t been affected much as of yet by the changes of the LEP, but Diamantis mentioned a course that had to be changed to meet the new requirements.
“We had one three-credit course that covered mathematics technology and science; because of the new testing regulations,” she said. “We decided to split that into two courses but in order to do that, we removed something else that met the state regulations in another way.”
Dr. Laura Bower said when it came to getting in the program, nothing has changed since the inception of the new LEP. GPAs, Praxis scores, prerequisite courses, entrance essays, portfolios, letters of recommendation and interviews are still among the items applicants are judged upon.
When it comes to dealing with both the LEP and transfer students, Bower said she has to meet with the students to calculate their GPAs and look at their official transcripts. After that is when the difficult part begins.
“It becomes a little bit more challenging if they’ve taken education courses at other institutions,” she said, “especially if those institutions are out of state because we require things like 40 hours of field work in a Connecticut public school.”
It’s important for students to be realistic in the programs they choose, because teachers like Diamantis and Bower know that for some, four years is completely out of the question and for others it’s within reach.
“We can’t really say yes you can do it in four years; no you cannot. We have had cases where a student did it in three years, believe it or not, with a discipline major in a strong academic area,” said Diamantis.
It’s not just theeducation program that is held down by state regulations for their students; the nursing department is also affected by what the state determines it needs for future nurses.
The Nursing Program at Southern currently has an acceptance rate of better than 50 percent. Department head Barbara Aronson said there are usually between about 130-140 students who apply to the program each year.
“Of those,” said Aronson, “we usually take between 80-85 students.”
Before students apply to the program, said Aronson, they spend two years completing the required LEP courses and the 11 required prerequisites. Students must receive a minimum of a C-plus in each of their prerequisite courses.
“It used to be a C but now it’s a C-plus,” said Aronson, “because a number of studies have demonstrated that success in Math and English courses is a good predictor of how well you’ll do in nursing courses.”
In addition to the course requirements, students must also pass their entrance exam and attain a specific GPA in order to be accepted into the program. Sophomores and upperclassmen must achieve at least a 2.7 GPA and freshmen must achieve a minimum of 3.0
“We found that the majority of students who get into the program now have a GPA of 3.0,” said Aronson. “So we wanted to make sure that students were aware that if you had a 2.7, you might not get in.”

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