WGU Teachers College Code of Ethics, Professional Behaviors, and Dispositions
WGU Teachers College students (“students”) are expected to demonstrate professional and ethical values, attitudes, and traits (“professional behaviors and dispositions”) associated with effective teaching. These professional behaviors and dispositions foster the positive relationships that effective teachers build with students, parents, professional colleagues, and communities to promote student success.
The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) defines dispositions as, “The habits of professional action and moral commitments that underlie an educator's performance.” WGU understands educators demonstrate these dispositions in many ways, including, but not limited to the following:
WGU Teachers College expects students to understand these professional and ethical dispositions are not just a university expectation, but also professional expectations for all in the field of education. As such, WGU expects Teachers College students to develop and practice these dispositions by demonstrating them in all interactions (verbal, non-verbal, and written) within the WGU community, as well as demonstrating strong academic integrity with all course work.
This Teachers College Code of Ethics, Professional Behaviors and Dispositions (the “Code”) sets forth standards regarding professional behavior and dispositions expected of WGU students and graduates, and describes the remediation process if a student violates these standards.
Student behaviors and dispositions are assessed at various points in the program.
In addition, any member of the WGU community who has concerns regarding a student's professional dispositions and ethical behaviors (a “Concern”) may submit a concern for departmental review.
Students and other members of the WGU community are provided a copy of this code which summarizes the behaviors and dispositions expected of students in WGU teacher education programs. Students are made aware that egregious or repeated violations of this code may constitute grounds for separation from the WGU Teachers College. This code is published in the WGU Student Handbook, teacher education documents and is reinforced throughout the program.
I. Professional Disposition Standards
Students and graduates of WGU’s teacher education programs are expected to demonstrate the professional dispositions and ethical behaviors required in the field of teacher education. Significant and unresolved concerns could result in a student being denied program admission, denied participation in demonstration teaching or field experiences, or denied continuance in their teachers college program.
Students are expected to demonstrate the following professional dispositions appropriate to the field of teacher education:
In addition to these eight dispositions, students are expected to demonstrate professional behavior in all interactions (written, verbal, and non-verbal) with other WGU students, WGU mentors and staff, as well as with those they encounter in the field.
Standard 1: Caring and Considerate
Teachers College students and graduates demonstrate an appropriate degree of care and consideration for their students. Teachers who care for their students are able to attend to their various cultural, social, emotional, and educational needs both within the classroom and through the use of various resources. They have high ethical and moral standards commensurate with the expectations of an educator. They always act in a professional manner when interacting with all school stakeholders, and hold as their main objective, the success of all children.
Standard 2: Affirming of Diversity and Cross-Culturally Competent
WGU Teachers College students and graduates appropriately differentiate instruction to meet the individual needs of each child in the classroom. They are able to utilize members of the educational community in pursuit of such awareness and appreciation, including community leaders and social service organizations, thus developing an appreciation of diversity in the various workplaces and working with diverse learners in P-12 classrooms, as well as an awareness of appropriate pedagogical techniques.
“Affirming of diversity” extends beyond student demographics - cultural, philosophical, ideological, and intellectual diversity are among the many forms of diversity that are integrated into the principles and practice for effective instruction in teacher education. This integration is addressed and is reflected throughout the curriculum and in field experiences.
Standard 3: Reflective Practitioners
Teachers College students and graduates recognize the professional and personal value of ongoing reflection as a tool for continuous performance improvement. They implement reflection as a means of ongoing professional development. They also recognize and appreciate the value of continual and ongoing professional growth and development in both content and pedagogical expertise.
Standard 4: Equitable and Fair
Teachers College students and graduates understand language acquisition; cultural influences on learning; exceptionalities; diversity of student populations, families, and communities; and inclusion and equity, with the ideal of fairness, in various positions, classrooms and schools. As such, they are flexible in nature and respectful in disposition.
Standard 5: Committed to The Belief That All Students Can Learn
Teachers College students and graduates have developed and are able to model expected professional dispositions with the ideal of fairness and the belief that all students can learn. They are competent in making knowledge accessible, are advocates for all students, and create a responsive and supportive learning environment that nourishes and promotes learning and development.
Standard 6: Collaborative
Teachers College students and graduates recognize the value of working in close collaboration with the many stakeholders in education, including working with, but not limited to colleagues in P-12 classrooms, support staff, administration, parents, community members, and students themselves. They pursue high-quality, meaningful professional development activities through reflection, collaboration, advanced research, and data-driven decision making.
Standard 7: Technologically Proficient
Teachers College students and graduates are highly proficient in the use of technology as both a pedagogical tool and management tool. They recognize that the use of educational technology is to be employed as an adjunct to high-quality, effective pedagogy, and recognize that technology alone does not equate to excellence in teaching. They seek to employ the latest tools of technology in order to improve what will already be excellent pedagogical practice.
Standard 8: Professional Leadership
Upon graduation, Teachers College students and graduates will serve at the forefront of their chosen profession in education through the application of research-based pedagogical techniques. They will serve as leaders in their respective classrooms, schools, communities, and in the profession as a whole, in the pursuit of high educational achievement for all children. Indeed, they will become lifelong learners who meet the ever-changing professional responsibilities of educators.
II. Standards of Ethical Conduct
The education profession is vested by the public with a trust and responsibility requiring the highest ideals of professional service. Students enrolled in the WGU Teachers College recognize that ethics are a significant part of what it means to be a professional educator. WGU students maintain the high ethical and moral standards commensurate with the expectations of a classroom teacher.
Throughout their enrollment at WGU, students shall be honest in all their educational and professional dealings. Additionally, during field experiences and demonstration teaching, students shall:
In further fulfillment of their obligation to the teaching profession, students shall not:
III. Violations of Teachers College Code of Professional Behaviors and Dispositions
Filing and Investigation of Concerns
A concern alleging a violation of the disposition or ethical standards described in this code or the University Code of Student Conduct by a WGU Teachers College student (a “Concern”) may be submitted by another WGU student, mentor, or staff member and, for students participating in a field experience or demonstration teaching, by clinical supervisors and host school personnel. All concerns must be submitted in writing to the WGU Office of Teacher and Principal Success via a web-form available within the employee portal or accessed here or send an email to email@example.com.
If the concern describes a possible violation of the professional standards set forth in this code, the Office of Teacher & Principal Success will conduct an investigation within 10 business days and categorize the concern according to the following definitions.
IV. Dispositions Remediation Process
When the Office of Teacher and Principal Success determines that there is sufficient evidence of one or more violations of the professional standards set forth in this code, the office may (as applicable) suspend the student's field experience participation during the dispositions remediation process and recommend a Level 1, 2, or 3 Warning and Corrective Action as described below.
Students must respond to warning notices from the Office of Teacher and Principal Success within 3 business days indicating either their intent to complete any required corrective action, or to appeal the warning to the manager of teacher and principal success whose decision shall be considered final. Any student who fails to respond to a warning notice will be subject to the next-level remediation process. The Teacher Success Coordinator may place a readmission hold on a student's record when a student withdraws from the university with an unresolved disposition concern.
V. Students’ Rights
Students have the following rights pertaining to alleged and confirmed violations of the professional standards set forth in this code:
VI. Disciplinary Actions and Education Records
Level 1, 2 and informal warnings and corrective actions will be reflected on a student's disciplinary record. Level 3 warnings and a student's removal from licensure programs or the University will become part of a student's academic record and will be reflected on transcripts. The Office of Teacher and Principal Success will maintain a record of all warnings and corrective actions according to WGU’s Records Retention Policy and laws governing the maintenance and disclosure of student information.
Article Number: 20530, 1489