Graduate Programs in Education Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What are the advantages of enrolling in Western's Program?
A. You can earn a master's degree in two years, through a clinical year-long residency in a K-12 school, while taking interwoven coursework online.
- You can earn an initial teaching license or an added endorsement by the end of the first year, by taking 27 graduate credits.
- All of the first year courses WILL APPLY to the master's degree in one of the five leadership emphasis tracks.
- All licensure year programs contain a year- long residency, in a K-12 school, relevant to the licensure area.
- You will be taking online coursework, while working in schools within your community.
- You will be exposed to current state-level initiatives and best practices, explored through online technologies and applied in the field.
- In the initial licensure program you will have multiple layers of support from expert educators.
Q. Can I participate in the program if I have not completed my undergraduate degree?
A. No. You must have an undergraduate degree before entering the program.
Q. Must my residency placement be within the content area in which I am seeking initial licensure?
A. Yes, you will be expected to work for 24 hours per week in the licensure area classroom.
Q. If I am seeking alternative licensure, must my employment be within the content area in which I am seeking initial licensure?
A. The majority of your day (51%) must be in the area that you are seeking alternative licensure, but you have to be employed 100%.
Q. To add an endorsement to my existing license, how many hours per week in the new content area classroom are required in my residency?
A. You must log 135 hours per semester in the new content area classroom (approx. 8.4 hours per week).
Q. Do I have to pass the state content exam (PLACE or Praxis II) test before I begin the program?
A. Yes, if you are seeking initial or alternative licensure or adding an endorsement to a current license in Elementary or Special Education. If you are seeking a Secondary or K-12 license, you can either have your transcripts evaluated for the 24 hours of required content knowledge OR pass the state content exam.
Q. If I am pursuing a license in Special Education or Elementary, which content exam do I need to take?
A. You must take and pass either the Elementary Praxis II test #0014 or #5014 or the Elementary PLACE test #01 before you can enter the program. Special Education Generalist candidates will also take the PLACE test toward the end of the first year (licensure year).
Q. Can I participate in the alternative licensure program if I am working as a paraprofessional or substitute?
A. No. You must have a full-time teaching position in order to be in the alternative licensure program. However, you may be able to participate as an Intern if you are a paraprofessional in the same content area in which you are seeking licensure. You must also gain approval from your principal, classroom teacher, and Human Resource Office of your employing district before enrolling in the program.
Q. Will my Colorado license allow me to teach in another state?
A. Each state has its own requirements for licensure. You will want to check with a state's department of education to see what is required for licensure.
Q. Will you help me find a job?
A. No. Securing a job is your responsibility, however, we do have job search resources on this website for you to use.
Here is a national website where you will find job fairs, job search resources, and education jobs - http://www.teachers-teachers.com/ (includes resume builder)
You can find job postings for teachers in Colorado at http://www.teachincolorado.org
Here are links to help you prepare for an interview:
Q. May I participate in the licensure program if I plan to teach somewhere other than Colorado?
A. Yes; however, you will need to apply the Colorado Teacher Quality Standards and K-12 Colorado Academic Standards to your teaching, in your residency year. At the end of the licensure preparation year you will earn a Colorado teaching license. The Alternative route to licensure is not offered outside of Colorado.
Q. Do I set up my own residency placement?
A. You will communicate with Western's placement coordinator to secure a residency placement appropriate to you.You will be asked to indicate your three top choices for placement.
Q. How long do I have to finish my graduate degree?
A: You have a maximum of five years to complete your MA degree, beginning from when you first enroll in a course in Western’s Graduate Program in Education. If you do not complete the MA degree within five years, you may be asked to validate your past coursework after requesting a departmental review.
Q. Can I take a leave of absence and still complete my degree?
A: Yes, but you must to apply for a leave of absence. If you choose not to enroll in courses after completing the first year internship, you are required to submit a Leave of Absence form. You may apply for a leave of absence for up to two consecutive years. If you do not enroll in at least one course for more than two consecutive years and you have not applied for a leave of absence, you must reapply for admission to the program.