THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA GRADUATE CATALOG

Table of Contents > College of Education


10.2 MASTERS DEGREE PROGRAMS
 
The College of Education offers graduate work for the master of arts degree in counselor education (school counseling, clinical mental health counseling, and rehabilitation counseling); educational leadership; higher education administration; educational psychology: general educational psychology; educational psychology: school psychometry; elementary education; human performance; secondary education (music education is available as a specialization within secondary education); and special education.
 
The rules of The University of Alabama Graduate School pertaining to transfer of credit, academic progress, graduation requirements, admission to candidacy, and time limits apply to all students in College of Education masters degree programs and are found in the
Degree Requirements section of this catalog.
 
Masters Programs Prerequisites

The prerequisites for programs leading to the master of arts degree in education include (a) the completion of an appropriate baccalaureate curriculum, and in most programs, (b) professional teacher certification. For a student in college and clinical mental health counseling or higher education, the completion of a bachelor's degree in an approved program is required. For a student in music education, audition, ensemble performance or teaching sample, and music history and music theory testing are required prior to or during the first 12 hours of graduate study.
 
For a student in educational leadership, valid Class B Professional Educator Certificate in a teaching field or a valid Class A Professional Educator Certificate in a teaching field or instructional support area and three full years of full-time, acceptable professional educational experience in a P-12 setting, which must include at least one full year of full-time P12 teaching experience, are required. In addition, students preparing for positions in educational leadership are required to complete screening procedures, including special tests, interviews, and portfolios.
 
Masters Degree Requirements

There are two study plans available to students pursuing the master of arts degree. Candidates for the masters degree under Plan I must earn a minimum of 24 semester hours of credit in coursework and must write a thesis. Candidates for the masters degree under Plan II must earn a minimum of 30 semester hours of credit; a thesis is not required.
 
Masters degree programs leading to professional certification normally require a minimum of 30 semester hours. Nontraditional, alternative certification programs requirements vary; however, they normally require 3945 graduate hours in addition to any of the applicant's undergraduate deficiencies. Courses that are taken for undergraduate credit may not be repeated for graduate credit. In compliance with regulations established by the Alabama Department of Education and outlined in the Alabama Administrative Code, coursework used to meet Class B certification requirements may not be used to meet requirements for Class A certification in any teaching field or area of instructional support.

Additional details on  all other degree requirements are in the Degree Requirements section of this catalog and may be outlined in the individual program descriptions in this catalog. Under each plan (including the nontraditional, alternative program) the student must pass a comprehensive assessment in the field(s) of study at an appropriate time toward the close of the student's work. The assessment may include, but may not be limited to, an oral exam.

Nontraditional, Alternative Initial Teacher Certification Program

The College of Education has been approved by the state board of education to offer special programs of study leading to the masters degree for degree holders who have not previously completed a teacher-education program. Admission to these programs requires a passing score on an entrance examination-- the revised Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT)--appropriate for admission to the Graduate School and a minimum 3.0 grade point average for all previous college-level work attempted. Individuals may be considered for conditional admittance if the graduate admission test score or GPA does not meet the above criteria. Additionally, applicants to alternative certification programs must earn a passing score on each subtest of the Basic Skills Assessments of the Alabama Educator Certification Testing Program (AECTP) for admission. Information about the Basic Skills Assessment is available online at https://actapps.act.org/wkala/wkala or in Student Services, 104 Carmichael Hall.

Individuals applying for alternative initial teacher certification programs must also meet the minimum qualifications that are expected of candidates entering and completing undergraduate (Class B) certification in the same discipline. This usually means minimum GPA requirements in the core curriculum as well as minimum GPA requirements within the disciplines in which the applicant is seeking certification. Other requirements, such as completion of writing tests, a passing score on the Alabama Educator Certification Testing Program (AECTP), and other screening associated with undergraduate certification, must be completed before formal admission to the alternative certification program. Some additional undergraduate work may also be required for admission. In addition to admission to the Graduate School, each prospective student must secure an appropriate transcript evaluation letter from personnel in the Office of Student Services and Certification, 104 Carmichael Hall. Students may not complete more than five approved program courses prior to unconditional admission. [Alabama Administrative Code 290-3-3-.44(3)(a)3]

Nontraditional, alternative certification programs are available in elementary, English for speakers of other languages (ESOL), languages other than English (foreign languages), music education, physical education, secondary education (most fields), and special education (collaborative, early childhood special education, gifted, and multiple abilities).
 
To graduate, students in these programs must complete the required semester hours in specific graduate courses. Upon completion of the program, the student is eligible to be recommended for an Alabama Class A Professional Certificate. For most programs, no more than 12 semester hours of graduate courses may be completed in a nontraditional, alternative program before the removal of all admission deficiencies, unless special permission is granted by department heads in conjunction with personnel in the
Office of Student Services and Certification, 104 Carmichael Hall. A student with a master's or higher degree in a secondary teaching field (or K12 in music) generally may apply up to 12 semester hours from that degree to the fulfillment of teaching field requirements.

Clinical Placements

All clinical placements in the College of Education relating to teacher certification are coordinated through the Office of Clinical Experiences. These placements are in the greater Tuscaloosa area (with the exception of music education) in order to facilitate supervision of students. For students in the educational leadership program, internships are coordinated through the Department of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Technology Studies.
 
Professional Liability

Students enrolled in College of Education courses that require a clinical placement are required to provide proof of professional liability insurance before being allowed to participate in a clinical placement. Professional liability insurance may be purchased through an independent insurer or is available to students who are members of the Student Alabama Education Association (SAEA), the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), or Collegiate Music Educators National Conference (CMENC). Further information and membership applications may be obtained from the Office of Clinical Experiences.
 
Teaching Internship Requirements

The teaching internship (formerly called student teaching) is one of the most important experiences College of Education students have. It is generally regarded as the culminating activity of one's preparation to become a teacher.
 
At The University of Alabama, the internship is a full-semester, full-time assignment and must be taken in residence.
 
Both alternative (nontraditional, fifth-year) and graduate students must file internship applications with the
Office of Clinical Experiences in 105 Graves Hall during the semester preceding the semester of the planned internship. The application process begins by attending a mandatory application session, which is held the first Wednesday in October for spring-semester interns and the first Wednesday in March for fall-semester interns. The time, date, and place of the application session are announced at the beginning of each semester. The deadline for filing applications for a spring-semester internship is October 31; for a fall-semester internship the deadline is March 31.
 
Students may apply to enroll for an internship if they meet the following criteria:

  • The student must have completed all courses in the major or majors, or must secure written permission to enroll for an internship from the appropriate department head.
  • The alternative master's student must show proof of a passing score on the Praxis II Content Test. 
  • The traditional master's student must show proof of a passing score on the Praxis II Content Test if seeking certification in an area which differs from current certificate.
  • The student must have achieved a minimum grade point average of 3.0, both for all University of Alabama courses attempted and for all University of Alabama courses and transfer courses combined.
  • The student must have achieved a minimum grade point average of 2.75 in each major, both for University of Alabama courses in each major and for combined University of Alabama courses and transfer courses in each major.
  • The student must have achieved a minimum grade point average of 2.75 for professional education coursework.
  • The student must have completed all methods courses and appropriate professional coursework with grades of "C" or better.
  • The student must have removed from the transcript any grade of incomplete ("I") recorded in required courses; grades of incomplete are treated as grades of "F."

Registration for Internship Credit Hours

Graduate students are required to register for the number of internship credit hours specified by their program. In some programs, graduate students may be allowed to choose a 6-hour registration or a 9-hour registration; course requirements are the same whether 6 hours or 9 hours are taken. Graduate students whose program requires two internship placements should register for two sections of internship (3 hours per section or 4.5 hours per section). Students enrolled for internship must not expect to be enrolled in other courses while interning.
 
Policy on Internship Placements

All internship placements are coordinated by the College of Education Office of Clinical Experiences. Placement sites are selected so as to ensure the quality of the internship experience and of the supervision provided by the cooperating teacher. All internship placements are in the greater Tuscaloosa area (with the exception of music education) in order to facilitate supervision of students by University of Alabama faculty or other designees of the department heads. Placements outside the greater Tuscaloosa area are made only if the director of clinical experiences and/or the department head determines that an appropriate local placement is unavailable.
 
Students may apply for overseas internships if they meet certain criteria and if appropriate placements can be coordinated by the Consortium for Overseas Student Teaching (COST) and/or The University of Alabama. Applications for overseas internships are taken during January for placements for the next fall semester, and in May for placements the succeeding spring semester. Contact the Office of Clinical Experiences in 101 Graves Hall for additional information.
 
Internship Assignments:

  • Elementary education (K6) interns will receive two internship assignments: half in grade K, 1, 2, or 3; and half in grade 4, 5, or 6.
  • Secondary education (612 or 712) interns with a comprehensive major may receive one or two internship assignments; students with two secondary majors will receive a split internship assignment; half in each major.
  • Special education-CTP (K6 or 612) interns will receive a split internship assignment: half in a severe and profound setting and half in a mild to moderate setting. The placements will be divided according to their certification grade levels.
  • Special education-early childhood (birthage 8) interns will receive a split internship assignment: half in a special education preschool setting and half in a kindergarten through 2nd grade setting. These placements will be in a public school setting where a child has been identified with a disability.
  • MAP (K6) interns will receive two internship assignments: one 12 week semester placement will be in a general education classroom (K6) and the other 12 week semester placement will be in a special education setting (K6).
  • P12 programs in physical education, foreign language, or music education interns should expect to have a split internship assignment between an elementary and a secondary school.
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) interns should expect to have a split internship assignment between an elementary and a secondary school or if ESOL interns are employed full-time as an ESOL teacher in a public school setting, they may complete one semester of internship in their own classroom under the supervision of their building principal and a first-term summer semester of internship in an ESOL summer program coordinated by the Office of Clinical Experiences under the supervision of a University of Alabama ESOL faculty member.

Summer Internship

Summer internships are rarely available and then only to persons who hold an undergraduate degree and certification and have one or two years of successful teaching experience at the level and in the subject for which they are seeking certification (with approval from the department head). In addition, summer internship assignments are allowed only if an appropriate placement can be secured in the Tuscaloosa area and appropriate supervision can be provided. These conditions also apply to those seeking to update or renew their certification or add an additional endorsement to a current certificate. To apply for a summer internship, file an appropriate application with the Office of Clinical Experiences in 105 Graves Hall by March 31 of that year.

 

 


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