It happens. After earning a
bachelorís 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
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 bachelorís 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. MSUís program took time to develop so those
working toward the certificate would not have to quit their current jobs Ė 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
Capps said that the five-year
retention rate for teachers who complete the traditional route through the West
College of Education is 82% Ė 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.