Change career to teaching with alternative certification program
It happens. After earning a bachelor’s degree in a specific field and moving into the workplace, people realize that they need something more fulfilling, or they need a change. They want to teach, but returning to school for a full education degree is not an option.
After more than a year in development, the West College of Education at Midwestern State University has a program in place for those in the workplace who would like to shift their careers to teaching. The Alternative Certification program, msUteach, allows those who already have a bachelor’s degree to obtain a teaching certificate so they might teach in the Texas public school system.
Dr. Matthew Capps, Dean of West College, said approximately 60% of Texas teachers today went through an alternative certification program. MSU’s program took time to develop so those working toward the certificate would not have to quit their current jobs – one of the main obstacles for anyone wishing to teach.
The program is online through Continuing Education and offers programs in elementary education, special education, middle/secondary English language arts & reading, middle/secondary mathematics, middle/secondary science, and middle/secondary social studies. An entrance exam is required to show proficiency.
Capps said that the five-year retention rate for teachers who complete the traditional route through the West College of Education is 82% – a high rate of stability. The goal has been to maintain that level of retention and avoid the lower retention rate indicative of other alternative certification programs (62%). The program was designed to not only offer content and classroom experience but also lesson planning and developmental instruction to prepare students for the reality of teaching.
During the program, students need 36 clock hours of field experience in a variety of schools. At the end of the online portion of the certification, students can chose from two options: a paid one-year internship with agreement from a qualified participating school district, or a 14-week unpaid clinical teaching experience in a participating school.
The certification costs approximately $4,900 and the program is self-paced. A portion of the cost is paid up front, and the second part is paid when the student finds an internship or clinical teaching placement.
Because the program is through Continuing Education, students do not receive course credit hours; however, once completed, MSU will reverse transfer the course work for 12 hours of graduate credit and Continuing Education Units will be applied.
For more information, contact Capps at 940-397-4138 or firstname.lastname@example.org.