Welcome to our pod cast. We will be providing an overview and basic information regarding Wright State's graduate level teacher preparation program.
Before we begin, I want to define a few terms so that we will all have the same vocabulary and shared meanings.
One term you will hear used is "native students." Native students are students who have completed or are enrolled in one of the University's specially designed bachelor's degrees that are specifically designed to deliver the content preparation needed for our graduate level program.
Examples of our native Wright State programs include our bachelor's degree program in Middle Childhood ed, the Integrated Language Arts, Social Studies Education and Art Ed programs in our College of Liberal Arts as well as the math and science education programs in our College of Science and Mathematics.
Non-native students are students who did not complete one of these programs. Non-native students include those who completed a degree at another institution or are making a career change to the teaching profession. These students did not complete programs designed specifically to delivered required teaching area content for our graduate teacher ed program. Non-native students typically need to complete some undergraduate content studies prior to beginning our graduate level teacher ed program.
Other terms you will hear used is "AYA", Middle Childhood, and Multi Age. These are the state of Ohio teaching licenses that candidates in our graduate program are working toward.
AYA stands for Adolescent to Young Adult. The AYA license is the new name for the Secondary ed (high school) certificate. The AYA license permits one to teach a single subject - English, Math, Science, Social Studies, in grades 7to 12.
The Middle Childhood license is Ohio's newest license. It permits candidates to teach two subjects, English, Math, Science, Social Studies, grades 4 to 9. Any combinations of the four subjects can be obtained.
The Multi Age license permits one to teach a foreign language or art in all grades pre-kindergarten to 12th grade. There are Multi Age licenses in health, physical education, and other areas, but our graduate program only focuses on Art or a foreign language - specifically French or Spanish.
The topics of our pod cast will include an overview of what the state of Ohio requires to get a teaching license, an explanation of the two primary models we use to operate the program, how to apply, a bit about the university's School of Graduate Studies and I will provide a method for you to submit any questions you have.
First, lets look at the big picture so we have a context to put this information into.
Basically, you need three things to get a teaching license,
A bachelor's degree
Content studies in your desired teaching area
And, complete a state approved teacher prep
The first item is to get a bachelor's degree - you have that already, or will have it soon. It does not have to be in education.
If you have your degree already - you are a third of the way there!
The second item is content - using the example of an English teacher (the new fancy name is Integrated Language Arts or ILA), content will be the Integrated Language Arts courses that an English teacher needs to have. This is different than just being a straight English major. The ILA major has a broader background in the subject area.
Native students have a special bachelor's degree program that is primarily content studies. If you complete our native programs, you have the content we want you to take for this program. Content studies are prerequisites for the graduate program. You have to be done with your content studies to be considered for admission to the graduate program.
We also want you to have a "C" or better in your content classes.
This leads us to the third and final part of the package that the state of Ohio wants - completing a state approved teacher education program.
This is the part of the package that most people realize they need when they come to the profession from another career. Content is usually a surprise for them and the "how to be a teacher stuff" is the part that they know they need.
Our graduate teacher prep program is basic on a professional school model - like a medical school. If one wants to be a doctor, you can expect to attend a rigorous medical school that includes extensive experiences in teaching hospitals - learning to be a doctor by working with doctors and patients.
We feel the best way to learn to be a teacher is to hang around teachers and students. We work with schools and teachers that are formally our partners in this process and our interns (students) are also full time graduate students completing a Master's degree in education as well as meeting state of Ohio requirements for a teaching license.
The model I present today is our standard full time model. This is not a model that is friendly to the full time working adult. If you require a part time approach you will need to discuss that need with the chair of the teacher education department. The time it will take you to complete the program will not be the same as what we present today in our primary model.
We start groups of students, which we call cohorts, twice a year - in the winter and in the summer/fall. I use the term summer/fall because we work with two calendars - Wright State's and the public school's calendar. Students in our summer/fall cohort will begin their Wright State courses in our summer B term.
All students begin their first school placement when the public school year starts. Depending on what district you are in, that can be as early as the first week of August - which is still summer on a Wright State calendar, but fall for the public school.
To be considered for our program, you need to have certain prerequisites taken care of. You need to be done with your content courses before the program starts (with a "C" or better), you need to complete our beginning education courses (which we call our Phase I courses) and field placements with a "C" or better.
You need to have submitted a passing score report on the state mandated Praxis II subject area exam in your teaching area(s). If you are a candidate to teach French or Spanish, we will accept passing evaluations on the OPI/WPT instead of Praxis scores. Starting Sept. 1, 2010, only the OPI/WPT evaluations will be accepted.
You need to have been awarded a bachelor's degree before the program starts, and, you need to be able to meet the state of Ohio's "Good Moral Character". We will ask you a series of questions in your program application regarding any criminal convictions in your past. If you answer "yes" to any of the questions, you will need to consult with Ohio's Department of Education to determine if you will be unable to obtain a teaching license with the kind of criminal conviction on your record. By the way - when it comes to the issue of working in schools, there are no "expunged" records. All records are available for this purpose and even if your record has been expunged, you need to disclose the conviction.
Our primary model is our summer/fall model that runs for 5 academic quarters. As we mention before, we call it summer/fall because you start your school placements before WSU starts in the fall, our summer.
You will have your first WSU course in the summer B term, but your school placement will start at the beginning of the public school year.
We are belaboring this point a bit because we have had candidates in the past plan weddings, honeymoons, vacations, etc. for the summer.
Anyway, back to our description of the summer/fall model.
For those that are not native students or who otherwise have not had the chance to take our "Phase I" courses and experiences, the college does offer the graduate level equivalent courses during the summer A term. Typically, the school placements that accompany these courses are not available on the same calendar as our summer term and the placements normally occur during the summer B term.
Your first school placement for the program starts when the school district's teachers report for work at the beginning of the school year. The school placements for this program are specific to the age range and subject area of the candidate's licensure goal. We do not use the same placement sites that we use for our "Phase I" courses. Our goal is to only use our formal school partners for the placement sites in this program. The school districts have met special criteria and have formally signed an agreement with WSU to be our partner in the training of teachers. The cooperating teachers are specially selected and met special criteria - like being Pathwise trained and model the kind of teaching practices that compliments the goal of the program. During the fall term, you will be attending 3 days a week at your school placement.
After the first placement in the fall, students are typically moved to another school placement after the holiday break. Some candidates remain in their placement for the entire program because their school meets the definition of a "diverse" placement or they have met that requirement in a "phase I" placement.
One of the features of being a "state approved program" is that we must demonstrate that our candidates have had a "diversity of experiences" in the program. We are not permitted to just leave you in the same school for the whole program.
During our winter "intersession" period (the time between the fall and winter terms), you will begin your full-time internship during the month of December. This portion of your internship will require you to attend 5 days per week and you will be "co-teaching" with your cooperating teacher.
You are still a full time graduate student, in addition to being an intern in your school. During the winter term, candidates will typically find that they are engaged in more "co-teaching" than during the fall term.
During the spring term, the candidate does their full time internship (student teaching) with the same group of students that they have been with since the beginning of the winter term. During this period the candidate's schedule shifts to be full time out in the school and part time at WSU. Your internship credit hours still keep you as a full time student at WSU, but your time will be full time out in the schools and coming to WSU only occasionally for a meeting or seminar.
Students will complete this program and the end of the spring quarter and will be June graduates.
We also start this program in the winter each year, although we are evaluating if we will be continuing to do so. We typically have very small numbers of students that start each winter.
Our "second start", as we call it, begins after the holiday break with your school placement and your first WSU course is in early Jan. when WSU starts the winter term.
Unlike our summer/fall start, there is no opportunity to take the prerequisite "Phase I" education classes and experiences. Candidates need to have completed the "Phase I courses" before the winter term begins.
The first school placement is during the winter term and the second placement is during the spring term. The internship or student teaching, is during the "fall" term.
We put "fall" in quotes because we mean when the public school starts, not Wright State. In order to get your required minimum 12 weeks of student teaching, you begin on the first day that teacher's report to their building, which is approximately 2 weeks before the WSU fall term begins.
Students complete the program during the "inter session" period which is between the end of our fall term and the beginning of the winter term. Inter sessions courses and credits are consider winter term courses and therefore, candidates are winter graduates in March. Because the candidate has completed the state approved licensure program however, they can apply for their teaching license before March and begin work while they are waiting for their M.Ed. Degree to be officially awarded.
Both our summer/fall and second start model are more than a full time commitment. You are always registered for 16 to 18 quarters of credit and you always have a school placement as an intern.
This kind of commitment does not fit everyone's needs. You will need a support system in place - a support family, spouse, parents, etc.
To be considered for this program, you need to complete all your prerequisite courses in your content area, have bachelor's degree, and pass the Praxis II exam in your teaching content area or areas.
Foreign language students can now opt to present passing OPI/WPT evaluations instead of Praxis II scores, in fact, after Sept. 1, 2010, we will only accept OPI/WPT evaluations.
All content and Phase I courses need to be completed with a "C" or better.
There are two applications to complete - one to the program and one to WSU's School of Graduate Studies.
The program application can be downloaded from our office web site - www.cehs.wright.edu/ss. The CEHS in that address stands for the name of our college - College of Education & Human Services. The 2 "S's" at the end stands for the name of our office - Student Services.
Look for the link "Want to be a teacher?" and follow that link for the Graduate Level Initial Teacher Licensure program. There will be a box on those pages that contains a link for the application and our "basic handout" on the program.
In addition, you need to apply to the School of Graduate Studies. You can complete their on-line application or you can print an application from their web site at www.wright.edu/sogs
In order for us to plan for your start, we ask that you complete your applications before March1 if you plan on starting in the summer/fall or before October 1 if you plan on starting in the winter.
You will need to keep these dates in mind as you plan when to register for your Praxis II exams. You application is not considered complete without passing Praxis II scores.
In anticipation of being in this program, you also need to submit a request for a school placement to our college's Office of Professional Field Experiences. This request is done via the Tk20 computer system and OPFE has deadlines for your request that are many months in advance of the program start dates.
You can't be in this program if you do not have a school in which to be an intern. Our college's office that finds you a placement in one of our partner schools needs a lot of lead-time to confirm a placement for you, in anticipation of you starting this program.
The OPFE deadlines are always Friday of the first week prior to the term you need to the placement. Summer is not a term that counts in this calculus. If you need a fall placement, you need to have your request in by Friday of the first week of spring term - before public schools close down for the summer break.
Finding a school placement for you is a very difficult, time consuming task. You can not wait until the last minute to make this request. We do not "place" you in a school. We ask and need to get their permission and agreement to host you in their class rooms with their teachers and students.
We use the Tk20 computer system to facilitate the application for school placements. This is a computer system that you probably already have an account for (from doing our "Phase I" courses and experiences). If not, you will need to purchase an account for $100 from our main college web page at www.cehs.wright.edu.
You will use this account throughout our program to submit assignments, build a portfolio and store artifacts that document your teaching competencies.
You should visit with the OPFE people in 378 Allyn or call them at 937-775-2107 to discuss your placement questions and to make sure you are current in all the activities they will require. They are friendly and nice people! OPFE is located in the same office suite as we are on the 3rd floor of Allyn Hall.
Because you are earning a master's degree as a student in this program, you also need to apply to and get accepted by the School of Graduate Studies. Technically, you are their student doing a CEHS program. For example, when you complete the degree requirements and go to the commencement ceremony, you will sit with and march with the School of Graduate Studies, not the College of Education & Human Services.
As a graduate degree seeking student in this program, you will have a faculty advisor and a formal master's degree program of study form as well as a licensure advisor in our college's Student Services office.
You are doing two things at once - working on a master's degree and completing a state approved teacher preparation program. For the most part, these will be one in the same, but there are a couple things you do just for the degree (like an inquiry project) and a couple things just for the license (like Praxis exams).
The School of Graduate Studies will require a 2.7 overall GPA to consider you a degree-seeking student. If you have less than a 2.7, you should consult with the graduate school about completing an admissions petition to be conditionally admitted.
Use the special program codes we provide on our "basic handout" on your degree application to the graduate school.
If you are not a native student and need to compete prerequisite content and/or education courses on the undergraduate level, do not apply to the graduate school! Apply instead to the undergraduate admissions office and use the special program codes we have identified for you on our "basic handout".
This handout is available in our office in 378 Allyn, from any of the licensure advisors. The handout is also the first two pages of your program application and we ask you to sign a statement in our application that you have read the handout and have keep it for your reference.
The entrance exams for this program are the Praxis II content exams that the state of Ohio will require for your teaching license. While you are in our program you will also take a Praxis II exam in learning and teaching (the PLT exam) - also required for the license.
The ETS web site at ets.org /praxis is the only way you can register for the exams. They are always held on a Saturday, in locations all across North America, 7 times a year.
You need to plan to take your exams so that your score report is available before your program application deadline.
The last test session for our summer/fall start is in mid Jan. and has a mid Dec. registration deadline. The score comes in mid Feb. (in time for the March 1 application deadline).
The last test session for our second start (winter) is in late July and has a late June registration deadline. The score comes in late August (in time for the October 1 application deadline).
Even though you may ask ETS to send us your test scores (which we suggest you do when you register), we need you to bring your original score report to our office for us to copy for your file. ETS will eventually transmit electronically your scores to WSU and they will download into the university's student information system. We do not receive a score report on paper like you do.
The graduate school requires us to mark the copy "saw the original" and that you have passing scores. We will forward the copy to the graduate school for you and keep a copy for your application file. Do not take your scores to the graduate school.
Oh, and by the way, ETS will not give you a refund if you take the wrong test. See a licensure advisor to learn what test is required, there are a lot of similar sounding Praxis II exams that different states require and it is easy to sign up for the wrong one!
All of the information presented in this pod cast is available on our web site. We look at pod casts, information sessions, handouts and small group presentations we do as just another way to get the word out.
The best way to learn all the details is to visit with any of our teacher licensure advisors and let them explain it to you in person. We will tell you how easy it is to see an advisor in just a moment.
The web address that has the graduate licensure program information is ridiculously long! Instead of trying to recite it for you, let me tell you again how to navigate there. Start at our office web site - www.cehs.wright.edu/ss
From there click on "want to be a teacher?" and follow the links for the graduate initial teacher licensure program.
The program application and our basic handout can be downloaded from that web site.
The School of Graduate Studies web site is at www.wright.edu/sogs. We recommend you print the application or go the third floor of the Student Union and pick one up. Turn in your completed application to them (not us).
The on-line application is done by an outside vendor, requires a credit card and setting up an account. This option is useful if you have difficulty getting to campus to turn in the form and/or do not wish to mail in the form. Otherwise, we recommend using the paper application form.
Of course the absolutely best way to get information is to talk to a human, in person, and ask questions, get handouts, etc.
We have four teacher licensure advisors available for you, no appointment needed! We set aside 3 days a week for open walk-in advising. There is not anyone in particular that you need to ask for, just come to 378 Allyn during our open advising times and sign in to see the next available advisor. You are welcome to request a particular advisor if you like and you can wait until they are available.
Our walk-in advising times are on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays in the morning from 9 am to 11:30 am and in the afternoon from 1 pm to 3:30 pm. During the regular academic terms (not summer or in between terms), we have evening times on Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning at 5 pm and ending at 6:30 pm.
We request that you call us, especially if you are traveling from out of town, before you visit to verify our hours and make sure we are not closed or not holding advising for some reason (like we are at a conference, WSU is closed or the power is out!).
Our phone number is 937-775-3088 or 3086, our email address is email@example.com, we are located in room 378, Allyn Hall. Visit the Wright State web site at www.wright.edu if you need driving directions and/or would like to see a campus map.
We hope you feel better informed regarding our graduate level initial licensure program. Share the pod cast with friends!
My name is Chris Murphy, the Director of Student Services for the College of Ed & Human Services. Thank you for listening to our pod cast. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments. Thanks again!