The Integrated Secondary Education Program (formerly called ASEP) was designed in 1973 to provide an interdisciplinary, field-based sequence of courses culminating in a final semester of student teaching guided by a university supervisor and cooperating teacher. The program is based on a student-centered, constructivist model of learning. Students typically work independently on modules and are encouraged to work ahead at their own pace. Instructors in the program meet regularly with students on an individual basis to guide their progress. ISEP differs from the Regular Secondary Education Program in four key ways.
- First, the curriculum is interdisciplinary. The four academic disciplines of educational foundations, educational psychology, secondary methods and special education are combined in a three-course sequence that typically begins in the sophomore year. In the Regular Program, four separate courses are usually taken in the junior and senior years.
- Second, all ISEP courses are designed to be intensive. While in the regular program, the content necessary for secondary education teacher certification is covered in four separate courses, in ISEP it is covered in three intensive courses.
- Third, the program is designated as technology-enhanced. The program was redesigned several years ago in order to meet new state standards in technology. All three ISEP courses have technology-enhanced delivery and some are offered on-line.
- Finally, the University's Council on Academic Affairs has designated all ISEP courses as writing-intensive, and an assignment in each course can be submitted for the student's Electronic Writing Portfolio.
The mission of ISEP is to introduce teacher candidates to middle and high school students at the very beginning of their professional coursework, integrating theory and practice throughout the program. The program was designed to collaborate primarily with four local school districts where ISEP coordinators arrange for teacher candidates to carry out their field work in relation to their subject specialties.