The West College of Education at Midwestern State University has developed a program that will qualify those who already have earned or are about to earn their bachelor’s degree to teach junior high and/or high school students.
The Secondary Teacher Education Preparation Program (STEP) focuses on certification to teach the higher grade levels in math, science (composite or life), social studies, English language arts, and Spanish.
Dr. Matthew Capps, Dean of the West College of Education, said that the program was developed to provide a quick, yet quality path to teacher certification for high need areas, with the greatest job availability in math and science at the junior high and high school level. “Jobs are available in the other areas listed, but not to the same extent as math and science,” Capps said. “Our previous experience has been that math and science teachers are offered multiple jobs before degree completion – it is that competitive. Jobs are available in the best places to live where starting salaries can be as much as $45,000-$50,000 with a math or science stipend.”
The 18 hours of course work associated with teacher education will be completed in two summer sessions through online and hybrid courses. During the following fall semester, students will have two options. If they are able to secure employment as teachers of record, they will complete one year internships. These are paid internships combined with mentoring support from the West College of Education. If students are unable to secure a position, they will complete the regular student teaching program, a 12-week requirement. Both internship and student teaching count for 6 hours credit.
Those seeking math and science certification are eligible for a $3,000 scholarship funded by the McCoy Foundation. Other scholarship funding is available through the West College of Education and/or a TEACH grant.
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and 24 hours in a content program, with 12 of those hours advanced. Once a student applies, he will be coded by the certification office to take the TExES content exam. The content certification exam may be taken at any time. To secure an internship, the student must have passed the TExES content exam. Otherwise, the TExES Content Exam and the TExES Professional Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities Exam will be completed during student teaching.
A person who plans to pursue a master’s degree must be admitted as a graduate degree-seeking student by the completion of the first 9 hours of post-baccalaureate coursework.
Approximate tuition for the program as of spring 2013 would be $6,600.