THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA GRADUATE CATALOG

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10.3 PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION

Alabama Class A Professional Certificate

Class A teacher education programs are designed to help teachers more effectively serve the purposes defined for the same teaching field at the Class B level, provided such programs exist. The intent of the fifth-year program is to help the teacher develop higher levels of competence than is possible in the Class B program. Following a review by the Alabama State Board of Education, the Class A Professional Certificate is granted to the student who (a) has applied for and has been recommended for certification by the College of Education, and (b) has completed a preplanned graduate program, approved by the state board of education, that includes a master's degree. It is important to remember that the awarding of a master's or higher degree does not necessarily imply that the student is eligible for Class A certification. Applicants for the certificate must also present to the Alabama Department of Education evidence of successful and appropriate educational experience, as follows: for certification as a library/media specialist, two years; as a counselor or psychometrist, two years; sport management, two years; as an educational administrator, three years.
 
The Class A certificate is valid for five years and may be renewed according to regulations of the
Alabama State Board of Education.
 
Alabama Class AA Professional Certificate

The essential objective of the sixth-year program is to extend upward the level of competence of the teacher. Following a review by the Alabama State Board of Education, the Class AA Professional Certificate is granted to students who (a) have applied for and are recommended for certification by the College of Education, and (b) have completed a preplanned graduate program, approved by the state board of education. Students seeking Class AA professional certification must enroll in and complete the EdS. (or doctoral) degree program in the desired certification area in order to obtain the University's recommendation for Class AA professional certification. Courses used to qualify for a lower-level supporting certificate may not be used again as part of a higher-level certification program.
 
A cumulative grade point average of not less than 3.25 is required for all graduate work attempted after the master's degree, and a final comprehensive examination is required. A maximum of 15 semester hours of appropriate post-master's-degree credit earned through an institution approved to offer graduate programs beyond the master's level in the field of study in which the credits were earned may, with approval by the department head or his or her designee, be applied toward the Class AA Professional Certificate. It is important to remember that the awarding of a graduate degree does not necessarily imply that the student is eligible for Alabama certification.
 
A student completing requirements for a masters degree during a semester or summer session who does not need a full class load to meet those requirements may, with approval of the advisor and department head, register for additional courses toward a Class AA Professional Certificate, not to exceed the maximum prescribed class load.

Alternative Approaches to Certification

In addition to "regular" certification programs, the Alabama State Board of Education offers five alternative approaches to certification. These are as follows: (a) alternative baccalaureate-level approach (contact the Alabama Department of Education); (b) alternative Class A approach (see information in this catalog); (c) speech- and language-impaired approach; (d) nationally certified school psychologist approach; and (e) National Board for Professional Teaching Standards approach. Further information regarding these alternative approaches is available via the Office of Student Services and Certification, 104 Carmichael Hall.
 
Policies for Out-of-State Students at Fifth-year (Class A) and Sixth-year (Class AA) Levels for Any Area Except Educational Administration

Admission requirements for fifth-year (Class A) programs for teachers include "eligibility for Class B certification in the teaching field(s) in which Class A certification is sought," except in a few specified fields.
 
Admission requirements for sixth-year (Class AA) programs for teachers include "eligibility for Class A certification in the teaching field(s) in which Class A certification is sought," except in a few specified fields.
 
Out-of-state students who do not meet the above admission requirements to enroll in courses at the respective levels may be recommended to other state departments of education based only on completion of coursework, not completion of approved programs. Thus, these students will not be eligible for Alabama certification and, if and when the students wish to receive Alabama certification and teach in Alabama, they must present verification of eligibility for an appropriate prerequisite Alabama certificate before being recommended for Alabama certification.
 
Policy for Fifth-year Level Educational Administration

All students (not just Alabama students) must meet all admission requirements for the Class A Educational Administration Program before enrolling in the program.
 
Changes in Certification Requirements

The programs listed in this catalog that lead to Alabama Class A and Class AA professional certificates for service in the public schools may be altered to meet certification standards adopted by the Alabama State Board of Education. Check with the appropriate department head for information.

Foreign Credentials
Coursework and/or a degree accepted from institutions outside the United States shall be substantiated by an evaluation of the foreign credentials from a state, federal, or private foreign credential evaluation service recognized by the Teacher Education and Certification Office. Contact the College's
Office of Student Services and Certification for more information.

 


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