Initial Certification Program
In addition to meeting the requirements for admission to WBU Graduate Programs, students seeking their initial certification must meet Teacher Education Program requirements and certification requirements. The student expecting to enter a program leading to teacher certification should indicate his/her certification interest on the graduate application and apply for admission to the Teacher Education Program as part of the course responsibilities during the first education course. This application should be filed with the education coordinator at the respective campus.
Students may satisfy, in certain instances, the requirements for both the master’s degree and state certification. Three post baccalaureate certification plans are available - elementary (grades EC-6), secondary (middle school [grades 4-8] and high school [grades 7-12], and an all level (grades EC-12) generic special education. Each plan can result in completion of a master of education degree and eligibility for teacher certification. The Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree program with initial certification is a 36 to 39 semester hour program.
In addition to graduate programs leading to a Master of Education degree, a post baccalaureate non-degree program is available. This program is designed for secondary teacher candidates. Students must have a major in one of the areas for which Wayland Baptist University is approved for licensing and must have at least 24 semester hours in the subject area to include 12 semester hours in upper-level courses. The post baccalaureate program is individually designed for the students, and courses focus on the areas in which the student is expected to demonstrate proficiency on the state examination. Additionally, the student is expected to take courses in preparation for the Professional Practices and Responsibilities (PPR) portion of the state examination.
In lieu of student teaching, students in the graduate level initial certification program may take six hours of supervised internship (EDUC 5350 and EDUC 5351 ). The student seeking probationary certification must demonstrate content proficiency through either obtaining a passing score on a state approved and administered content certification examination or a passing score on a state approved and administered Pre-Admission Content Test (PACT) prior to receiving the probationary certification. All teacher education standards are established by Teacher Education Advisory Councils in compliance with the state department of education. Certification is a function of the state and not the university. Students on probationary certification must be continually enrolled in the internship until a standard certification is issued.
General Certification Requirements
Individuals seeking to teach in the elementary, middle school, and high schools of the State must meet specific certification requirements. Individuals seeking an elementary certification must prove content proficiency by passing the generalist benchmark examination prior to admission to the teacher education certification program. If the applicant does not pass the benchmark test, additional work or courses will be prescribed to improve content competency and mastery. A secondary teaching field is 24 semester hours in an approved teaching specialization with twelve hours at or above the junior level (3000). A teaching field may be established by making a satisfactory score on the Pre-Admission Certification Test (PACT) prior to formal admission into the teacher education program. Certification requirements include formal admission to a teacher education program, the satisfactory completion of structured field experiences, satisfactory performance on required subject area and professional practices competency approved State examinations, compliance with an investigation to determine absence of a criminal history, and completion of a certification application accompanied by the required fee. Information related to these requirements follows:
Admission to Teacher Education Program
Additional requirements for admission to and retention in the Teacher Education program include the following:
- Admission to the graduate school.
- Filing a completed application for admission to the Teacher Education Program and a copy of the certificate or degree plan in the School of Education office.
- A minimum overall GPA of 2.7 for the last sixty hours (60) hours of graded academic work attempted.
- A minimum overall GPA of 2.7 in the subject area (teaching field) with no grade below a C or a passing score on a state approved and administered content area exam.
- English (9 semester hours) and mathematics (3 semester hours of college algebra or higher or equivalent level mathematics course) with a grade of C or better in each course.
- Completion of at least 24 semester credit hours in the subject-specific content area for certification being sought of which 12 must be upper level work or a passing score on the state content certification exam, or a passing score on the PACT (Pre-Admission Content Test) exam. Twelve hours may be met through the following:
- Elementary generalist and all level generic special education: completion of 12 hours from 3 of the following 4 content areas: English, math, history, science
- Secondary education: 12 hours in content area teaching field.
*Students seeking post baccalaureate secondary certification who do not plan on pursuing a master’s degree MUST have at least 24 semester hours in the subject specific content area for the certification being sought including 12 semester hours in upper-level courses or satisfactory scores on the PACT Test.
- Evidence of freedom from any incapacitating physical or emotional defects (It is University policy that no otherwise qualified disabled person be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any education program or activity in the University).
- Evidence of oral communication proficiency.
- Conduct in harmony with that established by University standards from the University Student Handbook and the Educator’s Code of Ethics.
- Recommendation by the Teacher Education Advisory Council.
Any conduct not in harmony with that encouraged by University standards and/or a student’s failure to maintain all above stated criteria may constitute grounds for dismissal from the teacher education program. State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) is responsible for disciplining educator applicants for certification for conduct indicating unsuitability to teach as well as unethical conduct. WBU and SBEC will enforce the Educators Code of Ethics. This code may be reviewed at www.tea.state.us. The Teacher Education Advisory Council assumes the role of determining whether the behavior is detrimental to performance as a teacher and delineating pertinent details of the alleged misconduct or the incident. The Teacher Education Advisory Council shall review the documentation and other pertinent information regarding the alleged misconduct or violation of university policy or Code of Ethics and determine appropriate action pertaining to retention, conditional retention, or dismissal from the teacher education program.
Structured Field Experiences
The teacher education field experiences begin with the initial education course. Field experiences are designed to offer interactive, continuous, sustained exposure to the complexities exhibited within the classroom environment. The field experience progressively intensifies and increases the student’s involvement to a full-day student teaching or internship experience as the culminating event of the teacher preparation program. For all courses with documented minimum field experience hours, successful completion and documentation of those hours is required for course credit.
Advancement to Student Teaching/Internship
All initial teacher certification programs require an apprenticeship component through either student teaching or internship. Individuals holding a baccalaureate degree may be eligible for an internship in lieu of student teaching. Advancement to student teaching requires the student to have demonstrated proficiency on the state content test in his/her teaching field Advancement to Student Teaching/Internship is restricted to those students who meet the prerequisite criteria, have been admitted to the Teacher Education Program, and, after additional review by the Teacher Education Advisory Committee, have been approved for student teaching or internship.
The student teaching experience is considered the beginning of a student’s professional career, and the student’s energies should be directed in making the most of the professional assignment. During this period of time, the students’ first responsibilities are to the classroom of students they teach in the student teaching assignment. As student teaching is an all-day, 12 week assignment, it is strongly recommended that students limit outside activities during this time. Outside activities include employment, sports, sororities, fraternities, and cheerleading. Outside responsibilities should not interfere with the apprentice teaching responsibilities. Therefore, outside employment or taking coursework in addition to student teaching block are not recommended actions. If students believe employment is a necessity, it should be restricted to weekends if at all possible. A conference with the student’s University Student Teaching Supervisor, the Field Experience Coordinator, the education advisor at an external campus, or the Dean of the School of Education will determine the best options for the student who must maintain employment. In the event that additional coursework is required to finish a degree, anything beyond one additional course plus the student teaching block will require review by the Teacher Education Advisory Committee to determine if the student should consider student teaching during another semester.
Enrollment for student teaching semester will occur at the campus from which you were admitted to teacher education. Placement recommendation for student teaching is a function of the local campus teacher education advisory committee, and any assignment greater than twenty-five miles from your home campus may have an additional student fee attached. Student teaching must be completed under the supervision of a Wayland Baptist University Supervisor at a Wayland Baptist University campus unless a written cooperative agreement with another university has been approved by the Dean of the School of Education and the agreement is on file in the School of Education office.
Student teachers are guests in the schools in which they teach and serve. Student teachers must meet all regulations established by the principal, school administration, and school district. The student teaching assignment is made with much care and attention to many factors. Adjustments in assignments are not made after the student teaching experience begins except for unusual circumstances.
Occasionally, some incompatibility may arise, thus interfering with the success of the student teaching experience. If this should occur, you are to notify your University Supervisor at once. Requirements for advancement to student teaching are to be submitted no later than 2 terms prior to student teaching, and only in extreme circumstances will students be concurrently admitted to teacher education and student teaching. Student teaching requirements include:
- Filing a completed application for admission to Student Teaching. Applications for admission are available from the School of Education or the Education advisor on each campus. (If denied admission to student teaching, the student may reapply when the deficiency is corrected, and the student is required to submit documentation of deficiency removal and initiate a new application for student teaching.)
- Updated certification (degree) plan on file in the School of Education office
- Minimum overall GPA of 2.7 for last 60 hours of academic work attempted
- 3.0 minimum GPA on professional education courses with no grade below C
- Completion at WBU of a minimum of nine semester hours of required professional education courses at the student’s level of certification.
- 2.7 GPA in student’s teaching field(s) with no grade below C (completion of all prerequisites for student teaching) or a passing score on a state approved and administered content area exam.
- Student must have passed the state approved content test prior to the assignment of the student teaching experience.
- Completion of a criminal background check
- Passing the state’s content examination
- Recommendation by the Teacher Education Advisory Council (TEAC)
An internship program is available to some students in lieu of the student teaching experience. The specifications and requirements outlined above for student teachers also hold true for post baccalaureate interns. Additional requirements for those seeking admittance to the internship program include:
- Filing a completed application for admission to the Intern Program. Applications for admission are available from the School of Education or the Education advisor on each campus. (If denied admission, the student must reapply in order to be considered for admission.)
- Completion of all requirements and admission to Teacher Education (as outlined above).
- Completion of all requirements for admission to student teaching (as outlined above).
- At least 24 hours including 12 hours of upper division courses in internship subject area or a passing score on a state approved and administered content area exam.
- Student must have passed the state approved content test prior to being recommended for an internship and probationary certification.
- Employment as the teacher of record by an accredited public school district or a recognized private school.
*Students seeking a probationary certificate must pass a state test in the internship subject area prior to receiving the certificate.
Prior to Recommendation for Certification:
Student Teachers/Interns must complete the following requirements:
- maintain all GPA requirements
- complete a satisfactory student teaching/internship experience
- satisfactory performance on content area and professional state competency examinations
- comply with an investigation to determine absence of criminal history and submission of fingerprints as required by law
- complete an application for certification along with all required fees.
Recommendation for Teacher Certification/Licensure:
Certification or licensure is a function of the State, not a function of the university. Therefore, certification is NOT automatic with the completion of an approved program of study. Upon completion of the required program of study and passing the appropriate state licensure tests, a student may apply for certification through the state certification entity (Texas certification entity is the State Board for Educator Certification - http://www.sbec.state.tx.us/SBECOnline/educator_why.asp). Students should make application for the appropriate certification(s) or endorsement(s) during the last semester in which they complete all requirements for a certificate or endorsement.
The application and required fee is to be sent to the state certification entity which has the authority for the issuance of certificates/licenses. Any questions regarding certification should be addressed to Certification Officer, at (806) 291-1056. Every applicant must be investigated for a record of a felony or misdemeanor conviction. As well, the student must submit fingerprints as a part of the background investigation. In the event a criminal record exists, certification may be denied.
Failure to Complete Licensure After One Year:
Students who have completed the teacher education program and have not passed the state licensure test one year following the completion of the program may be required to do additional work or review to obtain permission to take the state licensure test.
All students seeking the M.Ed. with teacher certification must complete a capstone experience. The capstone experience includes a written component and/or an oral examination.
- Completion of EDUC 5318 - Becoming a Teacher . The written portion consists of passing the practice certification exam with a score of 80 or better. The oral component consists of a presentation of the certification standards to an audience which includes faculty who will evaluate the oral presentation as the completion of capstone requirement for the M.Ed. The professor supervising the research may invite other faculty to assist in evaluating the oral presentation.
- Passing the required state certification examinations constitute the written examination requirement.
Master of Education with All Level Generic Special Education Certification
The program is designed to provide teacher certification and a Master of Education degree (M.Ed.). According to TEA guidelines, teachers must meet applicable highly-qualified requirements for the grade level and the subject area taught. Consequently, students who choose to pursue the All Level Generic Special Education certification and who pass the accompanying TExES certification exam cannot be hired as a teacher of record in a subject area but can only serve in an inclusion support role or as co-teachers in classrooms with a teacher of record. The states have different testing requirements; one needs to check with the program coordinators as to what specific tests have to be taken. The state certification examination is required for the special education specialization.