The MIT Program Covenant

Introduction:
Every faculty team provides MIT students with a covenant of mutual responsibilities and program requirements.  The information presented here applies to all MIT program cycles and acts as a foundational framework.  Cycle-specific covenants from faculty teams may expand upon and/or provide more detailed explanatory information.  College-wide policies as related to the social contract, due process, and other pertinent policies apply to the Master in Teaching Program.

I.  Expectations and Responsibilities of Faculty

A.  General Program Responsibilities:  Students and faculty can expect faculty to:
 

1.  Support the development of each MIT student while acknowledging ultimate responsibility to the community which includes the children and youth who attend public schools, their parents, and their caregivers.

2.  Model by language and behavior commitment to the programís conceptual framework;

3.  Prepare and facilitate workshops, learning activities, and lectures that supplement and highlight the major ideas of  the program themes and readings;

4.  Prepare for, convene, and assist students in applying the programmatic content to academic, personal and professional situations;

5.  Read, comment upon, and return in a timely fashion, studentsí required written work turned in for review, including the Master in Teaching Project and portfolios;

6.  Attend all program activities, team business meetings and faculty seminars when not ill or absent for familial, religious, professional activities, or extraordinary circumstances;

7.  Schedule student conferences; adhere to the principles of the social contract, and provide environments free from sexual harassment and discrimination (see Section II H);

8.  Send written notice by the end of the 5th week of each quarter to any student who is having academic trouble and may be in danger of receiving reduced credit (see Section II D - Award of Credit);

9.  Send letters to students who are advanced to candidacy for the masterís degree confirming their advancement; send letters to students who fail candidacy review informing them that they did not pass review and may not continue in the MIT program;

10.  Write and conduct evaluation conferences;

11.  Observe, evaluate, and confer with students during student teaching as described in the Student Teaching Handbook (year two).

12.   Meet the annual requirement for all teacher education program faculty to teach in a K-12 classroom to the extent possible;

 B. Respect for Differences
 
1.  All faculty members acknowledge our own and each otherís health, strengths and challenges.  We agree to take our work seriously and also maintain our sense of humor and sense of joy.  We agree to support one another personally and professionally.

2.  We agree to discuss fully, promptly, and openly any personal disagreements with care and mutual respect.


II.  Expectations and Responsibilities of Students

A. Committing to Program Goals, Focus and Direction.

State certification and the award of the Master in Teaching Degree depends upon satisfactory completion of all aspects of the program including, but not limited to, full credit each quarter, successful advancement to candidacy and student teaching, and the completion of the Master in Teaching Project by the end of Winter Quarter, Year Two.  A successful graduate of the program, who has met all college and Washington State requirements, will receive the Master in Teaching degree from The Evergreen State College and Residency Certification to teach from the  state of Washington Board of Education.

The program integrates studies from diverse but complementary disciplines, including areas required by the Washington Administrative Codes (WACs).  Some segments of the program might be described as the equivalent of conventional courses, but even those will be integrated into the whole program in a way that continually stresses the integration of information.  A primary purpose of the program is to help students learn to bring together materials from many sources and fields, integrate them critically, and apply them to the real world responsibly (see "Conceptual Framework", p. 7).  Assessment includes faculty and peer evaluations of program membersí written and oral work, exams, behaviors, and portfolios;  public school teachersí evaluations of student teaching; and self-assessments.

B.   Remaining in "Good Academic Standing."   Students are expected to remain in good academic standing, which includes, but is not limited to:
 

1.  Meeting all financial obligations of the program.  These include quarterly tuition; quartersí books, printed material and program activity costs, including duplicating materials for portfolios, curriculum projects and research; classroom observation and student teaching transportation and clothing costs; costs of attending a professional conference; duplication and binding costs for the Master in Teaching Project; FBI background check; graduation, placement file and certification application fees.  There may be other expenses not listed here; however, this is a fairly realistic idea of program-related expenses.

2.  Regular attendance and active participation in all program activities on time, for the full duration and with preparatory work fully completed.  Students are expected to attend all program activities when not ill or absent for familial or religious reasons or unanticipated emergencies.  Activities include, but are not limited to, scheduled workshops, lectures, seminars, computer or library research labs, announced luncheon events, conferences, panels, classroom observations and student teaching.

3.  Successful and timely completion of all program assignments, including portfolios and the Master in Teaching Project.

o The Advancement to Candidacy Portfolio is due during Winter Quarter, Year One.
o The Pre-Student Teaching Portfolio is due during Spring Quarter, Year One.

o The first complete edition of the Master in Teaching Project is due before the first week of Student Teaching in the Fall Quarter, Year Two.  If the first complete edition is not received at this time, the MIT student will not be advanced to student teaching.

o A revision based on faculty critique of the first complete edition of the Master in Teaching Project is due by the end of the Fall Quarter, Year Two.

o The final edition of the Master in Teaching Project must be completed and presented to the  program during Winter Quarter, Year Two.

o The Professional Portfolio is due during Spring  Quarter, Year Two.


4.  Successful completion of Advancement to Candidacy Review, as determined by faculty during the Winter Quarter, Year One.  Students must demonstrate through their program work, through the formal portfolio, and in the Advancement to Candidacy interview, that they:

o have the knowledge and the writing, reading, and thinking skills to complete successfully the MIT program;
o have the interpersonal communication and collaboration skills to support their successful work with children, parents, other teachers, and administrators; and

o are able to work with and respect gender differences, people of various ages, abilities, and talents, ethnicity and race, sexual orientations, religion, etc.
NOTE: Advancement to Candidacy does not imply automatic certification.  The faculty will determine certification recommendations at the conclusion of the second required quarter of student teaching in year two of the MIT program.
5.  Demonstrations of graduate level writing, thinking and oral communication skills, as determined by the professional judgment of the faculty.

6.  Demonstration of mastery of program knowledge and skills requirements. Students must show evidence of this mastery, determined by the faculty and public school cooperating teachers, as observed in program seminars and projects, required portfolio materials and student teaching.

7.  Demonstrations of professional interpersonal communication skills necessary for K-12 teaching and for interacting effectively with professional colleagues, as determined by the professional judgment of faculty and public school cooperating teachers.

8.  Successful completion of all remaining content-area endorsement requirements as articulated in individual MIT program admission letters before the Fall Quarter of student teaching.

9.  Clearance from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instructionís Office of Professional Practice in order to be placed in a student observation or student teaching assignment.

10. Successful completion of two quarters of student teaching, as determined by faculty, in which the student earns full credit.

NOTE:  Completion of two quarters of student teaching does not mean automatic certification.  The MIT faculty team must recommend students for certification.  The MIT program expects each student to complete 20 weeks of practice teaching (two quarters).  Student teachers must complete a minimum of three weeks of full-time solo teaching both Fall and Spring Quarters.  This requirement, and all other policies and procedures related to student teaching, is contained in the programís Student Teaching Handbook.
 

 C.  Requirements for the Master in Teaching Project

A master in teaching program is expected to provide students with a significant experience in the process of research.  Therefore, all Evergreen Master in Teaching students are required to complete a Master in Teaching Project.  The project selected requires pre-approval by the faculty and must meet graduate level expectations as determined by the faculty.

The Master in Teaching Project must include a critical review of the literature related to the faculty-approved topic.  The review must be at least 40 pages in length, include an historical perspective on the issue, and cite 30 to 50 references, at least ten of which are contemporary, empirically-based studies related to the topic.  Projects must be submitted using the American Psychological Association (APA) documentation style as found in APAís Publication Manual (4th ed.).

The Master in Teaching Projects must be formally bound, the cost for which will be assumed by the student.  The MIT program coordinates shipment for binding and the delivery to The Evergreen State College Library.  Please refer to the MIT Programís Project Guidelines for further information.

D. Award of Credit

Students receive credit for fulfilling program requirements and meeting graduate level college standards.  Credit will be awarded at the end of Year One for full participation in all program activities and for satisfactory completion of all the work of the program.  Year Two credit is awarded on a quarterly basis.

At Evergreen, it is possible for a student to attend regularly yet receive reduced credit because of unsatisfactory performance or missing work.  In the MIT program, however, such a loss of credit means that a student will not be able to complete the program.  Reduction of credit will automatically trigger dismissal from the program.  If, for any reason, a student leaves the program before completion, she/he may receive the credit earned up to that point.

E.  Leave of Absence

If a student has been regularly admitted and registered and have attended at least one quarter, s/he may be eligible for a leave of absence of no more than one year.  A leave of absence from the MIT program is granted for emergency cases only.  A leave of absence is only considered for a student  who is in good academic standing and provides a written petition to her/his faculty.

F.  Requirement of Academic Honesty

All forms of academic dishonesty, including cheating, fabrication, facilitating academic dishonesty, and plagiarism are violations of the Evergreen Social Contract.  Plagiarism is defined as representing the works or ideas of another as oneís own in any academic exercise.  It includes, but is not limited to, copying materials directly, failing to cite sources of arguments and data, and failing to explicitly acknowledge joint work or authorship of assignments (see also "Evergreenís Social Contract" regarding "Intellectual freedom and honesty").  The MIT faculty also place cultural appropriation without appropriate acknowledgment and/or permission as a form of academic dishonesty.

G.   State Requirements for Residency Certification

Students seeking state of Washington Residency teacher certification must meet all appropriate requirements outlined in the Washington Administrative Code (Chapter 180-78A) in addition to all program requirements of Evergreenís Master in Teaching Program.  [NOTE: The appendix to this guidebook contains pertinent excerpts from the WACs.]

 H.  Program Conflict Resolution Procedures

The Master in Teaching Program operates under the Collegeís Social Contract and the Collegeís prohibition against discrimination.  The entire Social Contract can be found in full elsewhere in this  Guidebook.  Complementing Evergreenís Social Contract is the Student Conduct Code ó Grievance and Appeals Process.  This document defines specific examples of Social Contract violations and delineates appropriate corrective action.  The Code also defines the rule of the Grievance Officer and prescribes the process of information, conflict resolution, grievances and appeals procedures.  Copies of the Student Conduct Code are available at the Vice President for Student Affairs Office.
 Evergreen has long promoted a policy that conflict and grievances should be first dealt with between the parties themselves.  In general, the following procedures should be followed initially:

 

o In case of student-to-student disagreement, anyone in the program who feels seriously offended by another student is urged to mindfully raise the issue with that person first.  The faculty may provide advice, support and even mediation in disputes, but will always encourage discussion of complaints with the people complained about as a first step.

o In case of programmatic disputes, when a student encounters a problem with some aspect of the program, s/he is to bring the problem to her/his seminar leaderís attention by scheduling a conference.  If the problem isnít resolved to the studentís satisfaction during such a conference, the student will be advised to state the problem in writing and submit it to the faculty team coordinator.  A student is also welcome to make arrangements to present a written complaint in person at a MIT faculty team meeting.  If after either procedure, the student is not satisfied with the results, he/she, along with the faculty, schedule a meeting with the MIT Program Director or his or her designee.

o In the case of student-faculty disagreement, when a student encounters a problem with an individual program faculty member or with an evaluation from a program faculty member, s/he should schedule a conference with that faculty member and try to resolve it without further action.  If the problem is not resolved to the student or faculty memberís satisfaction, then the same procedure is to be followed as outlined above in the procedure for all program disagreements.

I. Grounds for Program Dismissal

 A student who is not completing satisfactory work or is in non-compliance  with the program's purpose and focus may be dismissed from the program.  A student may be dismissed from the program if his or her academic work and/or behavior fails to adhere to the program's goals and philosophy (see "Conceptual Framework," p.7, and individual cohort cycle syllabi), or to the professional responsibilities of work with the diverse students and teachers in U.S. classrooms. Reduction of credit will automatically trigger dismissal from the program.

 Dismissal is a serious matter that is determined appropriate only after serious deliberations among the entire cycle cohort faculty.  A student who wishes to appeal the faculty's decision to dismiss may do so by submitting a written request to the MIT Director within 30 calendar days after receiving the letter of dismissal.  If the student claims that the grounds for the appeal is based on a written evaluation that contains factual errors, misleading statements of a factual nature, or statements which violate his or her individual privacy or other rights; then he or she will be advised to file an appeal under the collegeís policy regarding the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).  If this is not the case, then the MIT Director, or his or her designee, will meet with the student and the available cohort faculty to hear the arguments surrounding the dismissal.  The MIT Director will then prepare a written decision stating the grounds for his or her findings and final decision.

 

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