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Frequently Asked Questions

Secondary Program Frequently

  1. I am not sure if teaching is a career for me. Does UAF offer a course that might help me decide?
  2. How do students complete certification requirements if they want to teach at the secondary level?
  3. What program options are available at UAF to complete a secondary licensure program?
  4. What makes the program unique?
  5. How long does it take to complete the secondary licensure program?
  6. Are there advantages for completing the program in a two year format? Are there disadvantages?
  7. I am considering completing the licensure and the M.Ed. in Secondary Education option. How long does it take to complete the remaining 15 credits?
  8. Can I complete any of the secondary program education courses prior to being admitted to the program?
  9. What if I choose the one-year "fast track option" but find that it is just too stressful or has impacted my daily life too much, can I switch to the two-year option?
  10. I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering but I would like to teach mathematics. Is there a way for me to enter the secondary program with this degree?
  11. I have heard that you have to take and pass several tests before you can be admitted to the Secondary Program. What kind of tests will I have to take and what are the costs?
  12. When must I submit required tests scores?
  13. What kind of fees can I expect to pay beyond tuition?
  14. How long do you have to reside in the State of Alaska to be considered a resident for in-state tuition?
  15. Are there any scholarships or grants for students pursuing a teaching license at UAF?
  16. How will my mentor be chosen?
  17. When do I find out where I will be student teaching?
  18. Am I required to have a lap top computer?
  19. What kind of computer and software are required?
  20. Does UAF offer any free software that I can download as a UAF student?
  21. Does UAF require their licensure students to create an educational portfolio?
  22. When should I start working on my portfolio?
  23. I have professional experience working in schools. Can I use this to fulfill my field experiences?
  24. I have completed some education courses at another university/college. Can I substitute these courses for some of the UAF Secondary Program course work?
  25. When are interviews for admission to teacher education held?
  26. Does the UAF Secondary Licensure Program course work included a State of Alaska approved multicultural and Alaska studies course required for the professional teaching license?
  27. During the fall semester internship, how many other teachers should I observe?

Answers

 I am not sure if teaching is a career for me. Does UAF offer a course that might help me decide?

UAF offers an introductory course in secondary education course that might help you decide. EDSC 205, Introduction to Secondary Education is offered each spring on the Fairbanks campus. The course is designed as an introduction to the profession of education, specifically teaching in middle and high schools.

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How do students complete certification requirements if they want to teach at the secondary level

UAF offers a licensure program that allows candidates to earn a teaching license in one or more of the following areas: art, sciences (biology, chemistry, earth science, environmental science, general science, physical science, and physics), English, mathematics, individual social studies (history, government/political science, economics, geography, social studies), and World languages (Spanish, French and German). Applicants must meet content requirements for each academic content area and complete a student teaching assignment in each area.  Initial Content Checklists

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What program options are available at UAF to complete a secondary licensure program?

Option One: Candidates complete some course work at the 400-level and the remainder at the 600-level. Course work at the 600-level is more intense and of greater volume than at the 400 level. The 400 and 600 levels of the same course meet at the same time. At the successful conclusion of the program candidates are eligible for an Alaska initial teaching license and have completed 15 credits towards a master's degree in secondary education.

Option Two: Candidates complete all course work at the 400-level. At the successful conclusion of the program candidates are eligible for an Alaska initial teaching license.

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What makes the program unique?

  • Several options/timelines to complete the program
  • The ability to complete most of the program from sites other than Fairbanks
  • Content that addresses multi cultural issues in general, and Alaska rural issues in particular
  • Educational software/Technological support
  • Intensive year-long internship in a school
  • Small class sizes
  • Faculty who have multiple years of classroom teaching in a middle/high school setting
  • Specific methodology courses in each content area (art, English, mathematics, science, social studies, and World Languages)
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    How long does it take to complete the secondary licensure program?

    The UAF Secondary Program provides options to complete the program in one calendar year "fast track option", a two-year option, or as a two-year "teaching while training" option.

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    Are there advantages for completing the program in a two year format? Are there disadvantages?

    By taking fewer courses each semester, some students find the two-year format less stressful. It provides some students with more time to spend with family or a chance to work while completing part of the program. The downside, of course, is that it takes two-years to complete. Additionally, students are required to spend an extra eight to ten hours during the first fall semester. Candidates in the two year format will be part of two separate cohorts of students.

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    I am considering completing the licensure and the M.Ed. in Secondary Education option. How long does it take to complete the remaining 15 credits?

    You can actually begin your M.Ed. degree immediately after you graduate from the licensure program (during the summer). Students can complete the master's program in three semesters but most students choose to take several years to complete the remaining credits while they work full-time.

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    Can I complete any of the secondary program education courses prior to being admitted to the program?

    Yes, students can complete any or all of the courses in the secondary education minor prior to being formally admitted. Two courses, EDSC 205 and EDSC 458/658 require practicum assignments in a local school site. The Secondary minor is currently only available at the Fairbanks campus.

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    What if I choose the one-year "fast track option" but find that it is just too stressful or has impacted my daily life too much, can I switch to the two-year option?

    In most cases, yes. Start by speaking with your supervisor, he/she may have suggestions on how to reduce the stress or problem. If not, the program can make adjustments to assist you in completing the program.

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    I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering but I would like to teach mathematics. Is there a way for me to enter the secondary program with this degree?

    Yes, the UAF School of Education has worked with other university academic departments to develop a list of minimum course work competencies for each content teaching area. Applicants who hold degrees in other areas may have their transcripts reviewed by university faculty content specialists to see what courses meet the specific teaching area competencies and to determine what additional course work might be needed prior to enter the secondary program. You would not need to complete a new degree in mathematics but would need to meet the minimum competency check list for mathematics.

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    I have heard that you have to take and pass several tests before you can be admitted to the Secondary Program. What kind of tests will I have to take and what are the costs.

    The UAF Secondary Licensure Program requires that applicants submit scores that meet the State of Alaska's set scores for Praxis I tests in reading, writing, and mathematics. Applicants are also required to submit Praxis II content test scores for each teaching area they expect to teach. Additionally, applicants applying to teach a World Language are required to submit scores for the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPic II) and Writing Proficiency Test (WPI).

    Costs for the Praxis I and II tests can be viewed a www.ets.org or at http://www.uaf.edu/educ/secondary/faq/praxis_info.html

    ACTFL Oral Proficiency http://www.languagetesting.com/

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    When must I submit required tests scores?

    Applicants are encouraged to complete testing prior to admission. Applicants who do not submit test results with their applications, may be conditionally admitted, but must submit all passing scores prior to beginning their internship year (normally early August). Most test results are sent four to six weeks after your testing date.

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    What kind of fees can I expect to pay beyond tuition?

    Other fees may include books, purchase of a lap top computer (if you do not already own one), purchase of software, internship fee of $150 for each of the two internship courses – EDSC 471/472, Livetext account fee, and handbook

    If completing courses on the Fairbanks campus , additional fees could include: student government fee, athletics and campus recreation fee, health and counseling center, health insurance, parking, student recreation center, technology, transportation, UA network fee, and wood center student life fee.

    If completing courses by distance, fees could include : UA fee, book mailing fees, and headphones for your computer.

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    How long do you have to reside in the State of Alaska to be considered a resident for in-state tuition?

    In general, students are expected to have resided in the state of Alaska for the previous two years in order to be eligible for resident tuition; however, there are additional criteria to meet the eligibility requirements. Receipt of the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend will be the standard accepted documentation to be provided along with an application for residency but other specific proof of residency, as outlined at the website below, may be accepted. http://www.uaf.edu/admissions/pdf/res_tuition_app.pdf

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    Are there any scholarships or grants for students pursuing a teaching license at UAF?

    Teach Grant - Through the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, Congress created the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program that provides grants of up to $4,000 per year to students who intend to teach in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families. If you are a mathematics, science or world language applicant: http://studentaid.ed.gov/students/attachments/siteresources/4807Teach_FactSheet_v3.pdf

    Other scholarships at UAF - http://www.uaf.edu/finaid/types/scholarships.html include the Talent Award for Art students, UAF Privately Funded Scholarships which include education specific scholarships, the University Women's Association Scholarship as well as many others. February 15th is the deadline for many of these applications. Some application do not require a written essay or resume, it is recommended that you provide documentation that may be used to assist the selection committee.

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    How will my mentor be chosen?

    The Placement Coordinator and secondary faculty consider the following items when placing a candidate with a mentor: The needs of the intern; availability of master teachers in your teaching content in the local schools; as well as the recommendation from the principal and/or department head at the school site.

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    When do I find out where I will be student teaching?

    Usually interns are notified their confirmed student teaching placement information (school site/mentor(s) name) in early June.

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    Am I required to have a lap top computer?

    Yes, all students are required to have use of a lap top computer throughout their internship year. For specific information on lap top and software requirements, go to http://www.uaf.edu/educ/technology/index.html

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    What kind of computer and software are required?

    In order to run current programs required for use in the School of Education, your laptop must have:

  • A minimum of 1 GB RAM; more is strongly recommended, especially for Windows Vista;
  • A wireless networking card installed, at least 802.11b standard (802.11g strongly recommended);
  • A CD-ROM reader. A DVD reader/writer is highly recommended.
  • In addition, we strongly recommend that you choose a laptop with a built-in web camera and microphone (all Macs come with these feature) or acquire a small web cam to facilitate participation in the increasing use of desktop videoconferencing in the School of Education. For additional information

    Software requirements may be viewed at http://www.uaf.edu/educ/technology/standards.html

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    Does UAF offer any free software that I can download as a UAF student?

    UAF offers a variety of software to UAF students. Unfortunately, this does not include Microsoft Office or Inspiration. For a complete listing of available software; http://www.alaska.edu/oit/downloads/index.xml

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    Does UAF require their licensure students to create an educational portfolio?

    Yes! Our teaching candidates complete an electronic portfolio that demonstrates their strengths in meeting the Alaska Teaching Standards. Candidates demonstrate the professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions that they have acquired during their program.

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    When should I start working on my portfolio?

    As early as possible. Save, save, save and make sure when you save your documents, you provide the documents with a name that will enable you to find them later for use in lesson plans or your portfolio.

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    I have professional experience working in schools. Can I use this to fulfill my field experiences?

    Because the required field experiences correspond to course content and assessment by university faculty supervisors, prior experience cannot be substituted.

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    I have completed some education courses at another university/college. Can I substitute these courses for some of the UAF Secondary Program course work?

    Generally, the faculty will consider course work that is not more than several years old completed at an accredited institution that meets course requirements for one or more of the following courses: EDSC 205/415, EDSC 407, EDSC 414/614, EDSC 458/658. Applicants must submit syllabi for each course with a request for review prior to application to the program. A review of the course syllabi will be made by faculty and you will be notified of their decision.

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    When are interviews for admission to teacher education held?

    Interviews for entrance in to the Secondary Program are held in March and April. Candidates not located in Fairbanks will be interviewed via phone and provided an 800-number to use to call in for their interview.

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    Does the UAF Secondary Licensure Program course work included a State of Alaska approved multicultural course and Alaska studies course required for the professional teaching license?

    Yes and no, the secondary program provides an approved multicultural course (EDSC 457/657) but not an Alaska studies courses. A complete list of approved Alaska studies courses may be viewed at: http://www.eed.state.ak.us/TeacherCertification/pdf/Approved_Alaska_Studies_Courses.pdf

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    During the fall semester internship, how many other teachers should I observe?

    Try to observe as many as possible. During the spring semester you will not have time to visit other classrooms so during the fall take advantage of the available time and visit other disciplines, different levels, music and physical education classes, and special education classes. Make sure you have thoroughly researched your site and what resources are available.

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