Missouri State University

Professional Dispositions Policy and Procedures

Developed by:   Dispositions Sub-committee,  B.S. in Education Oversight Committee in Cooperation with PEC COE/PEU (All Programs)

Approved By:     BSEd Oversight Committee March 7, 2008
                            Professional Education Committee March 12, 2008

Subcommittee Members:  Roberta Aram (PEC), Daniel Hellman (BSEd, Subcommittee Chair Dec 2007 – present), Beth Hurst (BSEd), Evelyn Maxwell (BSEd, Subcommittee Chair March – November 2007), Rebecca Woodard (PEC)



The B.S. in Education Secondary Oversight Committee charged the Dispositions Ad Hoc Subcommittee in March 2007 with the task of developing common criteria for intervention strategies, in order to address the irregular development of dispositions among pre-service teacher education candidates in Secondary and Birth -12 programs. Members of the Professional Education Committee began working with this subcommittee in December 2007, in an effort to develop common criteria for intervention strategies to address the irregular development of dispositions among pre-service teacher education candidates in all education programs.  

The PEU has adopted the working definition of dispositions as provided by NCATE (2007) as the “professional attitudes, values, and beliefs demonstrated through both verbal and non-verbal behaviors as educators interact with students, families, colleagues, and communities.”1

The policy recommendations that follow are intended to complement the development of appropriate dispositions for teaching that are facilitated through the curriculum and policies of each program throughout the COE and PEU. The evaluation of dispositions is necessarily value-laden, and the professional judgment of PEU faculty is essential in order to assist pre-service teachers in recognizing and developing those professional dispositions that are appropriate for specific curricular areas, various grade levels, and school settings. A remediation process is proposed for addressing inappropriate dispositions that PEU faculty identify in teacher education candidates. In most cases, dispositions for pre-service teachers should be developed within each program; however in cases in which PEU faculty recognize serious issues (i.e. inappropriate dispositions that persist after initial consultation or inappropriate dispositions that have the potential for harm), this process should assist pre-service teachers in addressing these issues.  


  • Pre-service teachers will be provided expectations for dispositions in EDC 150 or its programmatic equivalent. (See Student Professional Dispositions Checklist.)
  • PEU members are encouraged to submit PEU disposition referral forms at anytime to their Program Coordinator if they have serious concerns regarding the dispositions of a pre-service teacher. (See Dispositions Referral Form.)  Program Coordinators are responsible for reviewing and forwarding forms to the respective PEU administrator (COE Department head or Director of Secondary Education).
  • Pre-service teachers with disposition deficiencies will be required to remediate these deficiencies in order to remain in teacher education.
  • Pre-service teachers who receive the approval of program faculty for Admission to Teacher Education and Student Teaching are assumed to meet minimum standards for the development of appropriate dispositions for teaching at the time the approval is granted unless a Disposition Referral Form is on file.
  • Monitoring of the development of appropriate dispositions by program faculty will continue through the student teaching semester, and referrals may be made during student teaching should the need arise.
  • These policy changes will be implemented beginning with the 2008 – 2009 academic year. The policy will be reviewed annually for a period of two years by the BSEd Secondary Oversight Committee and the Professional Education Council.  After two years, regular review of policy will occur as dictated by the Compliance Committee.


  • In the event that a faculty member does not observe progress after consulting with a student, PEU members are encouraged to submit PEU disposition referral forms to their Program Coordinator or departmental designee if they have serious concerns regarding the dispositions of a pre-service teacher.  The Program Coordinator or departmental designee will review the form within five working days of receiving the form and forward to the respective COE Department Head or Director of Secondary Education. Program Coordinators or departmental designees should forward documentation of any previous or ongoing program and/or faculty efforts to remediate the dispositions that are of concern. In addition, the Program Coordinator or departmental designee should recommend faculty members to serve on the Development Team.
  • The respective COE Department Head or Director of Secondary Education will review the referral and appoint a Development Team comprised of between two and four PEU faculty to work with the pre-service teacher to develop an appropriate intervention plan to remediate the disposition(s) at issue.  The Disposition Development Team should begin working with the student within ten working days after the COE Department Head or Director of Secondary Education has received the form.  (Whether the referring PEU member is involved in the intervention plan is at the discretion at the respective COE Department Head or the Director of Secondary Education.)  The dean of the college in which the student’s program is housed will be sent a copy of the referral form and professional development plan.
  • Intervention plans should be aligned with curricular and policy expectations within programs, and the respective COE Department Head or Director of Secondary Education should confer with the respective advisor and program coordinator (and department head in cases involving programs housed outside COE). 
  • The respective COE Department Head or Director of Secondary Education is responsible for maintaining records of all recommendations, interventions, and archives of completed cases. Records should be made available to COE/PEU faculty who inquire about the past record of an individual pre-service teacher.
  • The Development Team will assess the pre-service teacher’s progress once the required intervention has been completed and provide a decision regarding continuing in teacher education. The Development Team may also require that the pre-service teacher complete a second development plan and reevaluate the case. Ordinarily, the Dispositions Development Plan should last one semester or less.
  • A decision by the Development Team for a student to not continue in teacher education will stand unless the decision is overturned as the result of an appeal.
  • The intervention process does not replace or set aside other criteria required in the teacher education program (e.g. admission to teacher education, admission to student teaching, fingerprinting, background checks, etc.)
  • Appeals will be made first to the head of the PEU and then to the Provost. Students have five working days to submit an appeal. The head of the PEU has 10 days to respond to an appeal, and the Provost has 30 days to respond to an appeal. The decision of the Provost will be final.

Dissemination of Policy Changes

  • Updated policy changes will be forwarded to Department Heads, COE and PEU Members.
  • Professional education and secondary education handbooks, and the undergraduate and graduate catalogs will be amended to reflect the policy changes.
  • Department heads and program coordinators will work with PEU faculty in their respective departments to facilitate policy implementation.
  • University website will reflect updated policy changes.
  • The General Counsel’s Office will review policies as requested to ensure legal compliance.

1 National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. (2007). The NCATE Unit Standards. Washington, DC: Author Available http://www.ncate.org/documents/standards/UnitStandardsMay07.pdf (These standards are in effect as of Fall 2008.)