Program Gateways: Formalized Review Points of Student Progress

Teachers College: Initial Licensure Programs – Program Gateways


As an Education Preparation Provider, WGU Teachers College, has a critical responsibility to ensure the quality of candidates entering the field.  According to the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (opens new window) (CAEP, 2015),


This responsibility continues from purposeful recruitment that helps fulfill the provider’s mission to admissions selectivity that builds an able and diverse pool of candidates, through monitoring of candidate progress and providing necessary support, to demonstrating that candidates are proficient at completion and that they are selected for employment opportunities that are available in areas served by the provider.


Students in WGU Teachers College licensure programs progress through a series of formalized review points that serve as gateways to monitor their academic achievement and ability throughout the program. The following table provides an overview of the Program Gateways, followed by a brief description of each gateway.


Program Gateways



(a) Admissions to WGU

Math/English readiness scores, Essay, Interview, Transcript analysis for Post-Bac or MAT programs, GPA from prior degree or in content courses

Admission or Not Admitted into WGU

(b) Admission into Educator Prep Programs:  Clinical Phase

Competency achieved in required coursework to stay on pace for demonstration teaching.  Basic Skills Examination(s) as required by the candidate’s state passed.  Dispositional Self-Assessment submitted and reviewed by the program mentor. Cleared background check. 

Entry into Preclinical Experience

(c) Progress through and exit from Demonstration Teaching

Content Exam as required by the candidate’s state for licensure attempted. Six Observations during Demonstration Teaching (DT) as well and two formal evaluations in the Mid- term and Final Evaluations; Passed Teacher Performance Assessment, Cohort Seminar, and Professional Portfolio.

Satisfactory progress through and exit from Demonstration Teaching

(d) Program Completion

Graduate Application, Exit Survey and Request for Licensure submitted. Content/Pedagogy Exam as required by the candidate’s state for licensure passed.

Graduation; Recommendation for Licensure


Admission to WGU

Admissions criteria for entry into Teachers College initial licensure programs vary, depending on the licensure or discipline area and degree level. General admission requirements and policies are available on the WGU website (opens new window), and Teachers College program admissions requirements are available on the WGU website – Teachers College (opens new window).


Admission into Educator Preparation Program: Clinical Phase

If you are a WGU student pursuing a licensure track teaching program, you are the teacher candidate. As a teacher candidate, you must follow all the policies, procedures, and requirements described in the Field Experience Handbook (opens new window). You must also develop a clear and accurate understanding of your role and responsibilities as you proceed through the clinical phase of your program. This portion of your program is a critical component of your entire program as this is where you will demonstrate what you have learned through a variety of field experiences.


Field experiences consist of Preclinical Experiences (PCE) (opens new window) followed by Demonstration Teaching (DT) (opens new window). These field experiences offer multiple opportunities for you to put into practice the competencies gained as you pursue your teaching degree and certification. During field experiences, you prepare for teaching by progressing through increasing levels of complexity of content, pedagogy, reflection, and classroom observation. Through this process you will become knowledgeable and competent in subject matter content, effective teaching practices, and reflective practice. You will learn to work effectively in a dynamic environment in which knowledge and skills change quickly. Ultimately, you will become adept at learning, critiquing, using new knowledge, and come to view and experience good teaching as an ongoing problem-solving process.


The Application Requirements for PCE (opens new window) article provides details on all items required to receive PCE approval.  


Note: Admission into Educator Preparation Program: Clinical Phase occurs when you receive PCE approval from Field Placement.


Progress through and exit from Demonstration Teaching

You must meet all cohort deadlines and requirements to gain full acceptance to the cohort and be eligible to participate in demonstration teaching. You must also secure a positive evaluation and recommendation from your mentor. For more details on cohort deadlines and requirements, read the Application Requirements for DT: Full Acceptance (opens new window) article and for more information about the mentor evaluation, read the Mentor Evaluation of Professional Behaviors and Dispositions (opens new window) article. 


Demonstration Teaching (opens new window) is the final clinical teaching experience that you must complete to be eligible for WGU to recommend you for licensure or certification upon graduation. This experience provides you with the opportunity to develop and refine your teaching skills in a supportive, real-world classroom environment. During demonstration teaching you will participate with a group of your peers in a Cohort Seminar (opens new window) facilitated by an experienced WGU educator. You will have a Clinical Supervisor (opens new window) to observe you in the classroom and you will work closely with a classroom Host Teacher (opens new window).  For detailed information on how your demonstration teaching experience will be evaluated, read the Observations, Midterm, & Final Evaluation (opens new window) article. You will also have the opportunity to continually reflect upon and document your experience and professional growth through the Teacher Performance Assessment (TPA) (opens new window) and professional portfolio.


Program Completion

Work closely with your mentor to ensure you complete all WGU Praxis Program/Graduation Requirements (opens new window) and  State Certification Exam Requirements (opens new window). You may apply for graduation once you complete your last course of study and your degree plan reflects the final grade(s).


In addition to graduation, you will need to apply for Licensure or Certification (opens new window) through your state, which may include a recommendation from WGU.  For information about the licenses your state offers that align with WGU programs and how to apply, visit the Teacher Licensure Home Page (opens new window).



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