Graduate Programs in Education Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What are the advantages of enrolling in Western's Program?
A. Below is a cost/benefit analysis:
- You can earn a master's degree in two years, primarily online, while maintaining the quality of the content and delivery method
- You can earn an initial teaching license or an added endorsement by the end of the first year
- You will earn 27 graduate credits that will be recorded on an official college transcript by the end of the first year (i.e., some districts will increase teacher pay for college credits past a bachelor's degree)
- All of the first year courses WILL APPLY to the master's degree in one of the three leadership emphasis tracks
- You will enroll in a student teaching course i.e., often when a teaching license is transferred to another state, the other state wants to see a student teaching course that is recorded on a transcript before they will issue you a license in that state
- You will be taking college courses online while working in schools within your community (i.e., districts will have the opportunity to interview you for jobs within the district for a semester or a year, depending on the length of your placement)
- You will have access to the latest online technologies to enhance your learning (e.g., model teaching streaming videos, voice interaction capabilities with peers and instructors, recorded instructor explanations with visuals, etc.)
- In the initial licensure program you will have support from one of the highest quality mentoring programs in the state (i.e., districts from around the state have adopted our mentoring structure to support their new teachers)
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. Do I have to be teaching in the field that I am seeking endorsement?
A. Yes, if you're seeking initial licensure. The majority of your day (51%) must be in the area that you are seeking endorsement, but you have to be employed 100%.
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 licensure or adding an endorsement to a current license in elementary or special education. If you are seeking a secondary or K12 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 an alternative license in Special Education, which content exam do I need to take?
A. You must take and pass either the elementary Praxis II test #(1)0014 or the elementary PLACE test before you can enter the program. You will take the Special Education Generalist PLACE test toward the end of the first year or the 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, 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 GREAT links to help you prepare for an interview:
Q. Can 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 teaching standards and K-12 content standards in your teaching. At the end of the first year or licensure year you will earn a Colorado teaching license.
Q. Do I set up my own internship placement?
A. No. You will be asked to complete an internship packet which will be used by the Placement Coordinator to secure an internship placement for you. You will be asked to indicate your three top choices for placement.
Q. How do I write a philosophy for my internship packet?
A. Here are resources for writing a philosophy.
Q. Do you have any resources for writing a cover letter and resume?
A. Here are resources for writing a cover letter and resume.
Q. Do you have any helpful tips for interviewing for an internship placement?
A. Here are resources for teacher interviews.
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.