Professional Code of Ethics for Teacher Candidates
Based on the Oklahoma Standards of Performance and Conduct for Teachers (Appendix)
All candidates seeking admission to teacher preparation are asked to sign the agreement below. Any behavior that violates SWCU’s Professional Code of Ethics may put at risk a candidate’s admission to or completion of the teacher preparation program. By signing this agreement, candidates demonstrate their commitment to become caring, reflective educators and contributing professionals in the global community.
Commitment to Students
The teacher candidate must strive to help each student realize his or her potential as a worthy and effective member of society. The candidate must work to stimulate the spirit of inquiry, the acquisition of knowledge and understanding, and the thoughtful formulation of worthy goals.
In fulfillment of the obligation to students, the teacher candidate:
1. Shall support students in independent action in the pursuit of learning;
2. Shall provide students reasonable access to varying points of view;
3. Shall refrain from deliberately suppressing or distorting subject matter;
4. Shall make reasonable efforts to protect students from conditions harmful to learning or to health and safety;
5. Shall refrain from intentionally exposing students to embarrassment or ridicule;
6. Shall fairly and without bias regarding ethnicity, creed, gender, national origin, marital status, political or religious beliefs, family, social, or cultural background, sexual orientation, or social economic status
a. Encourage students’ participation in any program,
b. Provide benefits to all students, and
c. Offer opportunities to all students;
7. Shall refrain from imposing personal religious, cultural, or political views upon students;
8. Shall not use professional relationships with students for private advantage; and
9. Shall protect the students’ rights to privacy and confidentiality unless disclosure serves a compelling professional purpose and is permitted by law or is required by law.
Commitment to the Profession
To assure that the quality of the services of the teaching profession meets the expectations of the university, the state and its citizens, the teacher candidate shall maintain the dignity of the profession by respecting and obeying the law, demonstrating personal integrity, and exemplifying honesty.
In fulfillment of the obligation to the profession, the teacher candidate:
1. Shall adhere to Southwestern Christian University Student Code of Conduct, particularly in regard to classroom behaviors, interactions with others, and academic dishonesty;
2. Shall accurately report, in applications and in all university documents, all material facts and information related to competency and qualifications;
3. Shall refrain from disclosing information about professional colleagues obtained in the course of coursework or clinical practices unless disclosure serves a compelling professional purpose or is required by law;
4. Shall not knowingly make false or malicious statements about colleagues, peers, or faculty members in respect to character, education, or other relevant attributes;
5. Shall refrain from accepting any gratuity, gift, or favor that might impair or appear to influence professional decision or actions;
6. Shall refrain from assisting entry into the program of a person known to be unqualified in respect to character, education, or other relevant attribute;
7. Shall model responsiveness to diverse learners, lifelong learning and reflection, and professionalism.
Commitment to the Community
Teacher candidates, in fulfilling citizenship responsibilities, should conduct themselves as productive members of the university, local, national, and global communities. Their actions should demonstrate their respect for all accordingly.
In fulfillment of the obligation to the community, the teacher candidate:
1. Shall endeavor to understand community cultures and relate the home environment of students to the school;
2. Shall demonstrate good human relations and communication skills with parents and others to improve public schools in the community;
3. Shall engage family and community support;
4. Shall serve the community and the profession;
5. Shall use community and school resources appropriately and effectively;
6. Shall evaluate the effects of his/her choices and actions on others and make necessary changes;
7. Shall maintain the dignity necessary to gain the respect of the community;
8. Shall manifest a positive role in school-public relations;
9. Shall exhibit a tolerant, fair, and objective attitude toward other groups and individuals of diverse backgrounds.
Alternative certification is the process used when a person has a degree but has not completed that degree in an accredited teacher education program. Persons seeking alternative certification must have two years work experience in their degree field or post graduate college coursework in that field or in education. Only certification at the secondary levels may be obtained alternatively. Elementary, early childhood and special education certification must be acquired by graduating for an accredited degree program in that area.
Applications for Alternative Certification can be found on the Oklahoma State Department of Education Website http://sde.state.ok.us/
Once eligibility for the program has been verified in a written memorandum from the Oklahoma Alternative Placement Program, (405) 521-2062, the law requires candidates pass the Oklahoma General Education Test (OGET) and the Oklahoma Subject Area Test (OSAT).
Alternative placement candidates are advised by the Department of Education Chair. Education program coordinators are also informed about alternative certification options and visit with students both through formal and informal means. The Teacher Education Office has a one page document summarizes the alternative pathways available in Oklahoma Throughout the degree program, candidates are informed of the alternative certification process as well as introduced to the State Department of Education website for information and forms: http://ok.gov/sde/faqs/oklahoma-alternative-placement-program.