University Bulletin 2018-2019

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College of Education and Professional Studies

Administrative Staff (251) 380-2738
Dean Andrea Moore Kent
Associate Dean   Andre Green
Associate Dean John Kovaleski
Director of Field Services Jennifer Simpson
Director of Academic Advising and Teacher Certification Josh Wooden
Director of Assessment  Matthew Binion

http://www.southalabama.edu/colleges/ceps

Mission, Vision, And Goals

The mission of the College of Education and Professional Studies is to provide the highest level of leadership in furthering education, life-long learning, and well-being for all citizens of Alabama as members of a global community. In fulfilling this mission, we envision becoming an exemplar for preparing high quality professionals who are committed to maximizing the potential of every citizen to participate fully in a global society. To realize this vision, we have set the following goals:

  • To raise academic quality and enhance the learning environment
  • To maximize the quality of student life
  • To embrace diversity
  • To enhance visibility, collaboration, and civic engagement
  • To strengthen financial resources
  • To ensure appropriate planning and assessment
  • To promote research and scholarship

International Education

As part of its mission, the College of Education and Professional Studies is committed to broadening students' understanding of different cultures and preparing them for the global community in which we live. We believe that an international academic experience, in which students immerse themselves in a different culture and apply what they have learned in their USA classes, can enhance their cross-cultural competence and improve their interpersonal skills. While abroad, students develop a greater understanding and a deeper appreciation of the complexity of educational, cultural, political, environmental, economic, and social issues worldwide that promote the knowledge and skills needed to interact effectively in today's global society. Students are encouraged to explore the full range of international opportunities for directed study, teaching internships, collaborative research, and service learning projects available in the College and in other programs across campus.

Interested students should contact the College's Office of Student Advising (http://www.southalabama.edu/colleges/ceps/advising.html) or the USA Office of International Education (http://www.southalabama.edu/ie) to explore options available to students majoring in programs in the College.

Accreditation And Approvals

The College of Education and Professional Studies at the University of South Alabama is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), 2010 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20036; phone (202) 466-7496. This accreditation covers initial teacher preparation programs and advanced educator preparation programs.

Additionally, teacher and support personnel certification programs are approved by the Alabama State Board of Education.

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at the University of South Alabama is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) beginning in July of 2013.

The Combined-Integrated Clinical & Counseling Psychology Ph.D. program is accredited by the American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation.

Choice Of Bulletin

If a student does not attend the College for a period of one (1) calendar year or longer, he/she will be required to fulfill the requirements of the program as specified by the Bulletin in effect during the year of his/her return as a student.

Students requesting to change their program, major, or concentration must meet the requirements as specified by the Bulletin in effect at the time of the change.

Computer Access Requirement

College of Education and Professional Studies Computing Policy
In addition to the University Access Requirement the College of Education and Professional Studies requires all students who are pursuing a degree in designated programs to own or have access to a personal portable laptop computer or equivalent device and accessories that conform to the College's current minimum standards. See http://www.southalabama.edu/colleges/ceps/resources/computerpolicy.pdf for details.

Fingerprint/Background Check Requirement

Beginning fall term 2011 proof of a clear ALSDE background check (Suitability Letter) will be required to complete any course in a teacher education program which contains a field experience/placement in a K-12 school.

In addition, proof of clear background check may also be required prior to enrollment in any course which contains a field experience in a Non Teacher Cert program.

Undergraduate

Programs

The College of Education and Professional Studies, working in cooperation with the Administrative staff and with other colleges of the University, recognizes and accepts the responsibility for identifying, recruiting, and preparing students who will be capable of providing education in a dynamic society. It accepts the further responsibility of insuring that every student preparing to teach will have the advantage of continuous counseling. Planned observation and participation are regular parts of the students program throughout the preparation period.

The College of Education and Professional Studies has five major objectives: to prepare professional educators for meeting the educational needs of children, youth, and adults; to prepare support personnel for meeting the educational needs of the schools; to assist schools with the improvement of instructional programs; to prepare students in professional areas other than teaching; and to conduct research to expand, enhance, and evaluate instructional programs and personnel.
Undergraduate preparation is offered in elementary education, middle and high-school education, special education, and Instructional Design and Performance Improvement. Offerings in educational psychology, foundations of education, health, physical education and leisure studies, safety education, and other areas of general appeal are available to students in the University.

Student Portfolio Assessment

The College of Education and Professional Studies uses student portfolio assessment as a part of program requirements and assessment of student learning outcomes.

Students majoring in the College of Education and Professional Studies are required to purchase the License to use the portfolio beginning with the first College of Education and Professional Studies course containing teacher education standards taken and will continue to use the software throughout their program of study.

Undergraduate Residency Requirement for Teacher Certification Programs

In addition to the University Residency Requirements, a student seeking a degree in the College of Education and Professional Studies that leads to teacher certification must complete 25 percent of the credit hours required for the degree from the last 45 semester hours and a minimum of 32 hours of upper level course work in the major discipline as a student at the University of South Alabama.

The Teacher Education Program

The Teacher Education Program begins with selective recruitment, gives careful attention to each phase of the preparation program, and assists in the proper placement and adjustment of teachers and other educational personnel. Follow-up studies of graduates are made in an effort to assist them, to gain knowledge of their effectiveness on the job, and to secure data vital to future planning and development. Programs for the preparation of teachers are built on a liberal arts foundation. Those preparing for teaching positions in the secondary schools pursue a composite teaching specialization in the College of Education and Professional Studies, and a content area in the College of Arts and Sciences. Those preparing to teach in elementary school concentrate on subject matter relevant to the elementary school curriculum while completing general requirements in the liberal arts. Those preparing for a teaching specialization which extends from nursery through twelfth grade pursue a broad program appropriate to elementary and secondary schools. All groups complete their undergraduate programs with suitable professional preparation.

Undergraduate Program Options Within The College

The College of Education and Professional Studies offers teaching and non-teaching programs. Teaching programs are presented first and predominate among all programs offered.

Various teaching program options are available at the Class B (Bachelor of Science degree) level in the College.

Course Fees

All undergraduate three semester hour courses in the CEPS, except the PE activity
courses, internships and practicum, have a special computer fee. Internships have an internship fee, and some PE activity courses have special fees as noted in other sections of this Bulletin.

Minimum Professional Studies Requirements

Because professional studies requirements vary from program to program, the student is referred to the appropriate departmental section in this Bulletin. However, a candidate may not enroll in more than five professional studies courses before the candidate has met all criteria for unconditional admission to a teacher education program. The candidate may repeat any of the five courses in which he or she received a grade of "C" or below. A student who changes from non-teacher certification to a teacher certification program must comply with this standard. A student who violates this standard is in jeopardy of losing academic credit.

Requirements For Admission To Candidacy In Teacher Education Programs

Student should make a written application for admission to a teacher education program during the semester preceding the completion of 60 semester hours of credit. Courses in progress during the semester the student makes the application for candidacy may be used as a part of meeting the regulations.
Admission to a program in teacher education requires that:

  1. The student
    (a) declare teaching specializations,
    (b) take any necessary tests 
    (c) submit any needed evaluations, and
    (d) be available for necessary interviews.
  2. The student's application must be submitted to the College of Education and Professional Studies Advising Center by the published deadline of the semester in which the student is eligible to be admitted.
  3. Transfer students must complete twelve semester hours of work at the University of South Alabama to be eligible for candidacy consideration.
  4. The student's application receives approval from the Undergraduate Candidacy Committee.

Criteria For Admission To Teacher Education Candidacy

  1. Completion of 60 semester hours of course work, 48 of which must be in general studies.
  2. A minimum overall grade-point average of 2.75 on all work attempted at the University of South Alabama and a minimum program grade-point average of 2.75 (including transfer work).
  3. A minimum grade point average of 2.75 in professional studies (including transfer work), no grade below "C" is acceptable.
  4. A minimum grade-point average of 2.75 in area(s) of teaching specialization(s) (including transfer work).
  5. Completion of EH 101, 102, CA 110, EDM 310, EPY 351 including successful completion of the e-portfolio assessment of standards in completed courses. Secondary Education, Health Education, and Physical Education and SPE Collaborative 6-12 must also complete EDU 400.
  6. Satisfactory performance on Core Academic Skills for Educators tests of mathematics, reading, and writing. 
  7. K-6 Teacher Education majors must pass at least two of the four subtests of the Elementary Ed:Multiple Subjects Praxis II.  Students in Teacher Candidacy must pass all subtests of the Multiple Subjects Praxis II to register for Tier III classes. 
  8. Completion of The Dispositions Survey and satisfactory completion of a departmental interview designed to provide information on the applicant's personality, dispositions, interests, and aptitudes consistent with the requirements for the successful teaching.
  9. Proof of clear (ALSDE) background check, and professional liability insurance.
  10. Sufficient physical ability and emotional stability to perform successfully as a teacher. (NOTE: These factors might be covered in the departmental interview.)
  11. Recommendation of advisor and department chair.
  12. Department/program may have additional candidacy requirements.

**Completion of the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to Teacher Candidacy.**

See departmental section of the bulletin.

Requirements for Admission To Student Teaching

Admission to student teaching requires that the applicant:

  1. Submit an application for student teaching to the Office of Field Services through the advisor February 15 for fall placements and September 15 for spring placements.
  2. Receive approval of the application from the Director, Office of Field Services.
  3. All students must comply with the College of Education and Professional Studies Policies and Procedures, which are on file in the Office of Field Services and in the Office of the Dean.
  4. A student may not enroll in any other course during the hours assigned for student teaching except by approval and for one course only.
  5. Student Teaching Assignments: All student teaching placements and nontraditional fifth-year teaching field internships will be coordinated by the Office of Field Services. All student teaching placements will be made in the Greater Mobile area to facilitate the supervision of students by University of South Alabama faculty or other personnel so designated by the chair of the department in which that student is enrolled.

Criteria for Admission To Student Teaching

  1. Be admitted to Teacher Candidacy and senior standing.
  2. A minimum overall grade point average of 2.75 at the University of South Alabama.
  3. A minimum program grade point average of 2.75 (including transfer work).
  4. A minimum grade point average of 2.75 in professional studies (including transfer work). No grade below a "C" is acceptable.
  5. Completion of a minimum of three-fourths of teaching specialization(s) with a minimum grade point average of 2.75 (including transfer work).
  6. Completion of all program prerequisite courses.
  7. Continued satisfactory progress in meeting requirements for admission to the program of teacher education.
  8. Recommended for Student Teaching by assigned faculty advisor.
  9. Satisfactory performance on the Core Academic Skills for Educators tests of mathematics, reading, and writing. 
  10. Satisfactory score on the required Praxis II test(s).
  11. Completion of any departmental prerequisites.
  12. Proof of clear (SDE suitability letter) background check and professional liability insurance.
  13. Completion of field experience requirement, hours vary with program.
  14. Department/program may have additional admission requirements.

See departmental section of the bulletin.

Retention

To remain in the teacher education program, each student shall make satisfactory progress as determined by continuous evaluation. A student shall be removed from candidacy when any of the minimum required program GPA's drop below 2.75, or, the USA transcript GPA drops below 2.75 (Per the ALSDE, effective for student unconditionally admitted July 1, 2017, and thereafter.) or if a D or F or U grade is received in a candidacy course. Violations of the Alabama Educators Code of Ethics is grounds for dismissal from the program or delay in advancing through the program. Failure to receive or maintain a clear background check is grounds for dismissal from the program.

Minimum Completion Requirements for Certification Programs

Successful completion of the following minimum requirements may qualify the student for Class B Certification. Currently in Alabama this certificate is valid for five years.

  1. Satisfactory completion of a program approved by the State Board of Education with a minimum overall grade-point average of 2.75 (Per the ALSDE, effective for student unconditionally admitted July 1, 2017, and thereafter.) on all work attempted at the University of South Alabama and a minimum program grade-point average of 2.75 (including transfer work), a minimum grade point average of 2.75 in professional teacher education with no grade below "C" (including transfer work), and a minimum grade-point average of 2.75 in area(s) of teaching specialization(s) (including transfer work).
  2. Demonstrated readiness to teach through on-the-job performance as a student teacher as determined by an evaluation plan approved by the State Board of Education.
  3. Satisfactory completion of the student teaching experience.
  4. A minimum of 25 percent of the credit hours required for the degree from last 45 semester hours and a minimum of 32 semester hours of upper level course work in the major discipline must be earned in residence at The University of South Alabama.
  5. A community college graduate can transfer no more than 50% of the credits used toward the degree with a maximum of 64 semester hours toward the Bachelor of Science degree requirements.
  6. Satisfactory performance on the specified Standards as determined by the e-portfolio assessment.
  7. Satisfactory performance on all requirements of the Alabama Educator Certification Assessment Program (AECAP).
    (a) Core Academic Skills for Educators tests of mathematics, reading, and writing. If passed prior to 9/1/2017, the AECTP basic skills tests are acceptable until 9/1/2022.
    (b) Praxis II test(s)
    (c) Effective September 1, 2018, a performance assessment (edTPA) administered by Pearson will be required for initial certification in a teaching field or area of instructional support.
  8. Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  9. Course work used to meet certification requirements (B, A, AA) may not be used to meet a different level requirement.
  10. Secondary Education programs require an academic major in Arts & Sciences.
  11. Remedial or developmental studies courses may not be used to meet program requirements.

Recommendation For Certification

The Dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies is responsible for recommending qualified University of South Alabama students seeking teacher certification. Only those students who have completed requirements of the University and of the Alabama State Department of Education will be recommended for Class B Professional Teaching Certificate. The State Department of Education and Teacher Certification do not recognize minors in teacher education programs.

Warranty Statement

Consistent with the policies of the Alabama State Department of Education, the College of Education and Professional Studies at the University of South Alabama warranties its graduates (State Approved Program Competencies) under the following conditions:
Warranties will be provided to USA graduates who receive their initial professional certification through the college and are employed by a public school district in Alabama in their area of specialization. The College of Education and Professional Studies shall provide assistance at no cost to such individuals who were recommended for certification by the College of Education and Professional Studies and are deemed to be unsatisfactory based on performance evaluations established/approved by the Alabama State Board of Education and recommended by the Local Education Agency within two years after program completion.

Transfer Credit From Non-Accredited Institutions

No degree credit will be accepted by the College of Education and Professional Studies from any collegiate institution unless that institution has regional accreditation and prepares teachers on the same degree level of certification. Course work from institutions in foreign countries require an official (WES or IEE) evaluation to determine if the course may be used for programs leading to Teacher Certification.

Persons with Degrees Other Than In Education

Persons holding degrees other than in Education may apply for study in an approved program leading to professional certification; they will be required to complete their approved programs outlined in this Bulletin to qualify for Alabama certification.

Worksheets Available For All Programs

Course of Study sheets are available on-line at (http://www.southalabama.edu/colleges/ceps/programs.html). Each student will have access to his/her degree audit via PAWS.

Approvals And Services

Upon satisfactory completion of an approved program of study and upon recommendation of the Dean and Certification Officer of the College of Education and Professional Studies, a professional certificate will be issued by the appropriate State Department of Education only if the student is eligible and applies. Presently, many State Departments of Education have reciprocal agreements for issuing certificates to graduates of NCATE-accredited institutions.

Certification In More Than One Teaching Field

Students enrolled in the College of Education and Professional Studies desiring to complete certification requirements in more than one teaching field will complete the curriculum in each field including general studies, professional studies in teacher education (including the internship), and teaching specialization. Courses used for one level of certification may not be used again for a higher level certificate.

The Teacher Education Exit Examination, The Electronic Portfolio Assessment, The Core Academic Skills For Educators Tests, Praxis II Exam(s), And edTPA  

Students under the current Alabama state standards must pass satisfactorily the assessments mentioned above if they are to be recommended to be certified by the Alabama State Department of Education. Test dates are announced in advance. Application information for the Core Academic Skills for Educators and Praxis II Test(s) may be obtained from the Student Services Office, UCOM 3020 or Advising Center, UCOM 3360. Information pertaining to the exit examination may be obtained in the student's major department.

Graduation Average

A minimum grade-point average of 2.2 in the major/specialization (including transfer work) and a grade-point average of 2.2 on all work undertaken in residence at the University of South Alabama are required for the Bachelor of Science degree in CEPS majors other than teacher certification, Hospitality and Tourism Management, and Interdisciplinary Studies. In addition, students seeking teacher certification must have a minimum overall grade-point average of 2.75 (Per the ALSDE, effective for students unconditionally admitted July 1, 2017 and thereafter.) on all work attempted at the University of South Alabama and a minimum program grade-point average of 2.75 (including transfer work), a minimum grade-point average of 2.75 in professional teacher education with no grade below "C" (including transfer work), and a minimum grade-point average of 2.75 in area(s) of teaching specialization(s) (including transfer work).

Directed/Independent Studies

No more than two (2) Directed/Independent Study courses may be used for degree and/or certification requirements, including use in improving the grade-point average. For students with a minor, no more than 12 hours can count toward major or professional studies.

Graduate

Programs

The Master of Education degree leading to Alabama Class A Certification in Art Education, Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, English for Speakers of Other Languages, Health Education, Instructional Leadership, Library Media, Physical Education, Reading Specialist, School Counseling, Secondary Education, Special Education, and Visual Arts. Both thesis and non-thesis degree options are available to the graduate student.

The Alternative Master of Education degree leading to the Alabama Class A Certificate, or equivalent, to persons who have earned a non-education baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher education: Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, English for Speakers of Other Languages, Foreign Languages, Secondary Education, Special Education and Visual Arts.

The Master of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Educational Media and Technology, Exercise Science, Health, Instructional Design and Development, and Sport Management. Both thesis and non-thesis degree options are available to the graduate student.

The Educational Specialist degree leading to AA Certification, in Alabama, in the following areas: Early Childhood Education, Elementary education, Instructional Leadership, Reading Specialist, Secondary Education, Special Education and Teacher Leader.

The Doctor of Philosophy degree in Instructional Design and Development and a Doctor of Education degree program in Educational Leadership. The doctoral program in Educational Leadership offers two tracks--one with a focus in P-12 education and the other with a focus in higher education.

The combined-integrated Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Clinical and Counseling Psychology offered jointly with the Department of Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Requirements for Admission/Readmission

Each applicant to a graduate program must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate School (http://www.southalabama.edu/colleges/graduateschool/), The College of Education and Professional Studies (http://www.southalabama.edu/colleges/ceps/index.html), and the specific program that the student is seeking admission. Individual programs have additional requirements for admission and may be restricted because of capacity limitations. Consult departmental or program web sites for program specific admission requirements. Readmission to some programs in Education (e.g., Educational Administration, Doctoral Program, and some AA/ Ed.S. and M.Ed. Programs) require review by program faculty.

Regular Admission

1.      A minimal grade-point-average of 2.75 or higher on a 4.0 scale based on GPA calculated from degree granting institution.

2.      Each program has specific requirements for admission in addition to the Graduate School and College of Education and Professional Studies requirements. Persons interested in applying for admission to a specific program should consult the program web site for specific admission requirements. Sufficient courses in the major subject to qualify for graduate study in the involved discipline. A student who has a deficiency in courses in the discipline but who otherwise qualifies for Regular Admission will be required to complete appropriate prerequisite course work.

Provisional Admission

Students who do not meet the requirements for Regular Admission may be admitted to the Provisional Admission category. A student in provisional status will not be allowed to enroll in courses other than those specified by their program of study. Some programs do not admit students in provisional status.

1.      A minimal grade-point-average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale based on GPA calculated from degree granting institution OR 2.75 GPA on the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate course work or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) OR Miller Analogies Test (MAT) score at or above the 50th percentile.

2.      Each Program in the College has different requirements as to whether standardized testing is required. Please consult specific Program web pages and/or bulletin entries to determine which test results are accepted.

3.      If a student does not have a qualifying GPA for provisional admission (2.50 GPA overall or 2.75 on the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate course work, and the program requires standardized testing, they can be admitted provisionally with a GRE or MAT test score at or above the 50th percentile. For the GRE this standard is defined as having scores at the 50th percentile on all of the following subtests: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing.

For the Miller Analogies Test, students must have a score at or above the 50th percentile based on the overall test score. Submission of a qualifying GPA or a qualifying test score does not guarantee admission. Persons interested in applying for admission to a specific program should consult the appropriate program's requirements for admission found on the Department web site.

4.      Sufficient courses in the major subject to qualify for graduate study in the involved discipline.

5.      For those students who have had previous graduate work, performance at the graduate level may be taken into consideration as well as undergraduate performance. An earned advanced degree may substitute for some admission requirements.

Changing from Provisional to Regular Status

For a Provisional student to change to Regular status, the following are required:

1.      Provisional students will be eligible for Regular status after completing a minimum of nine (9) semester hours of designated course work taken at the University of South Alabama for graduate credit toward degree requirements, provided at least a “B” average is maintained in all such worked attempted. No more than 15 semester hours of graduate credit earned as a provisional admission may be approved for change of status to regular admission. The provisionally admitted student who does not have the required “B” average upon completing 15 semester hours of graduate credit that is part of the student’s program, will be dismissed from the graduate program.

Non-Degree Admission

Non-Degree Admission - Students holding baccalaureate degrees from accredited institutions of higher education who are not interested in earning graduate degrees or who need to complete prerequisites for particular degree programs may enroll as Non-Degree graduate students. A suitable background for the courses to be taken is expected. A minimum grade point average of 2.5 on all undergraduate work ("A" = 4.0) is required to enroll as a Non-Degree graduate student. Some graduate programs may impose additional requirements.

Because of limited class size and resources, academic programs may limit the enrollment of non-degree students. After admission, permission to enter each course is obtained from the Graduate Director upon recommendation of the Program Coordinator in the department.

International students must submit documentary evidence showing TOEFL test scores of 525 or above (197 on computer based test or 71 on internet based test), or bachelor's or graduate degrees earned at accredited United States institutions of higher education.

Non-Degree students subsequently seeking admission into one of the graduate degree programs of the University must submit a formal application. Students may be subject to further conditions, such as the completion of necessary undergraduate background courses. The student's record in graduate courses taken while in the non-degree status may be considered. Students may be able to transfer courses toward a graduate degree program (see section on Transfer Credit).

Non-Degree graduate students are subject to the Graduate School Dismissal Policy. For dismissal purposes, program GPA will be calculated based on all credits earned while in non-degree graduate status.

Examinations

Students are responsible to apply for the Graduate Comprehensive Examination. This should be done prior to the end of the first week of class in the semester student wishes to sit for the examination. Two types of examinations are available. See departmental programs for specific information.

Type I Comprehensive Examination – Written or Oral

This examination is written or oral, or both, at the option of the faculty of the student's major department, and is in the candidate's field(s) of concentration. The examination is conducted by a committee of at least three members appointed by the chair of the department in which the student has majored. This examination shall not exceed three hours. Comprehensive examinations are scheduled once each semester. The student is responsible for ascertaining the date and time of the examination. Student must be in good standing, i.e. not on academic probation in order to take the exam.
The comprehensive examination is taken during the semester in which students complete during their degree requirements or a subsequent semester. The examination is given at least two weeks before the end of the semester, and the result is reported to the Director of Graduate Studies, College of Education and Professional Studies.

Application for the comprehensive examination can be obtained from http://www.southalabama.edu/colleges/ceps/gradschool/resources/compsapp.pdf. Submission deadlines for the application are available at http://www.southalabama.edu/colleges/ceps/gradschool/comps.html. The result of this examination is reported to the Director of Graduate Studies College of Education and Professional Studies by the Chairperson of the department.

Comprehensive examinations may be repeated at the discretion of the graduate student's department. A student will be dismissed from the program after two unsuccessful attempts to pass the examination. Specific recommendations for additional work, following failure of the comprehensive examination, will be at the discretion of the department involved.

Type II Comprehensive Examination Performance

This examination requires a performance either as part of a culminating seminar, internship, field study, or practicum review. Successful completion of this examination is determined by the faculty of the department of the student's major.
The result of this examination is reported to the Director of Graduate Studies, College of Education and Professional Studies, by the Chair of the Department. The student should consult with an advisor for entering this phase of graduate work.

If a thesis is submitted, an oral examination on the thesis is required. The examination is conducted by the candidate's Thesis Committee. Approval by a majority of the examination committee is required.

course Fees

All graduate three semester hour courses in the CEPS, except internships, practicum and pre-practicum experiences have a special computer fee.

Graduate Assistantships

Masters level assistantships are awarded on an annual basis and are granted for the fall and spring semesters. The stipend for the two semesters is $6,000 and waiver of up to 10 hours of tuition. Fees are paid by the student. In return, twenty clock hours of work are required per week. Awards are made generally in the summer for the next academic year.

Doctoral level assistantships are awarded on an annual basis and are granted for the fall, spring, and summer semesters. The stipend for the three semesters is $11,000 and waiver of up to 10 hours of tuition. Fees are paid by the student. In return, twenty clock hours of work are required per week. The awards are made generally during the summer for the next academic year.

Teacher Certification Policies

For all Graduate Programs Leading to Alabama Class A or AA Certification

1.      Prior-Level Credit: Credits used for prior-level certification or degree in any teaching field or area of instructional support may not be used to meet subsequent-level certification requirements.

2.      Special Education/Diversity Requirement: A survey of special education course is required unless that course was taken for prior-level certification. If taken for prior-level certification, then an ALSDE-approved diversity course is required for each subsequent level of certification.

3.      Transfer Courses from Previous Degrees: Students with a previous master's or specialist degree, seeking Class A or AA certification without obtaining a second master's and second specialist degree, and wish to apply this credit, must obtain approval from the CEPS Office of Graduate Studies. Courses approved in this manner may be applied to certification requirements, but will not be applied toward earning a second master's or second specialist degree.

4.      Degree for Certification: If seeking Class A certification, then a transcript from a regionally accredited institution documenting an earned master’s degree is required. If seeking Class AA certification, then a transcript from a regionally accredited institution documenting an earned education specialist degree is required.

5.      Validity of Certificate: The certification used as the basis for admission must be valid at the time of admission and at the time of graduation for certification recommendation.

For Graduate Programs Leading to Alabama Class A Certification

1.      Certification/Graduation Requirements: For students unconditionally admitted July 1, 2017, and thereafter, to Class A programs, a minimum GPA of 3.25 is required in coursework used to meet the requirements for the ALSDE-approved program.

2.      Level of Course Enrollment: Students may not enroll in courses unique to Ed.S. programs that lead to Class AA certification while enrolled in Class A programs.

Master of Education, Traditional Class A Certification in a Teaching Field

1.      Admission Requirements: A valid bachelor’s-level professional educator certificate in the same teaching field(s) in which the Class A Professional Educator Certificate is sought, with the exception of special education, English for speakers of other languages (ESOL), and reading specialist.

Master of Education, Alternative Class A Certification in a Teaching Field

1.      Admission Requirements: (1) A criminal history background check. (2) Passing scores on the three tests of the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators. (3) A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum overall GPA of 2.75 or a master’s or higher degree with a GPA of at least 3.0. This GPA must be documented on the official transcript of the degree granting institution and must be the GPA that was used as the basis for granting the degree, not a GPA that includes post-degree courses. (4) Appropriate coursework in the teaching field or a passing score on the prescribed Praxis subject assessment.

2.      Certification/Graduation Requirements: (1) A qualifying score on the prescribed Praxis subject assessment(s). (2) A passing score on the appropriate Educative Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA) handbook administered by Pearson.  

Master of Education, Class A Certification in Areas of Instructional Support

1.      Admission Requirements: (1) A valid bachelor’s-level or valid master’s-level professional educator certificate in a teaching field or a valid master’s-level certificate in another area of instructional support. (2) A minimum of two full years of full-time, acceptable P-12 professional educational work experience documented on the Supplement EXP form. The School Counseling program at USA is CACREP accredited, leads to Class A certification, and does not require existing certification or work experience for admission.

2.      Certification/Graduation Requirements: (1) A qualifying score on the prescribed Praxis assessment.

Master of Education, Class A Certification in Instructional Leadership

1.      Admission Requirements: (1) A valid bachelor’s-level or valid master’s-level professional educator certificate in a teaching field or a valid master’s-level certificate in another area of instructional support. (2) A minimum of 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 P-12 classroom teaching experience documented on the Supplement EXP form. (3) Three letters of recommendation to include the applicant’s principal or supervisor. (4) Completed copy (all forms) of the most recent performance appraisal to include the professional development component, if available. (5) Evidence of ability to improve student achievement. (6) Evidence of leadership and management potential, including evidence of most recent accomplishments in the area of educational leadership. (7) Summary of candidate’s reasons for pursuing instructional leadership certification. (8) Summary of what the candidate expects from the preparation program. (9) Pass an interview conducted by a program admission committee that includes both P-12 instructional leaders and higher education faculty.

2.      Certification/Graduation Requirements: (1) A qualifying score on the prescribed Praxis assessment.

For Graduate Programs Leading to Alabama Class AA Certification

1.      Certification/Graduation Requirements: For students unconditionally admitted July 1, 2017, and thereafter, to Class AA programs, a minimum GPA of 3.5 is required in coursework used to meet the requirements for the ALSDE-approved program.

Educational Specialist, Class AA Certification in a Teaching Field

1.      Admission Requirements: A valid master’s-level professional educator certificate in the same teaching field(s) in which the Class AA Professional Educator Certificate is sought with the exception of Special Education (Class A in any teaching field), Early Childhood (if Class B in Early Childhood and Class A in Reading), Elementary Education (if Class B in Elementary and Class A in Reading), English Language Arts (if Class B in English and Class A in Reading), and any teaching field for which Class B is valid if Class A in ESOL. 

Educational Specialist, Class AA Certification in areas of Instructional Support

1.      Admission Requirements: A valid master’s-level professional educator certificate in the instructional support field in which the Class AA Professional Educator Certificate is sought with the exception of Teacher Leader.

2.      Teacher Leader Admission Requirements: (1) A valid master’s level professional educator certificate in any teaching field or area of instructional support. (2) A minimum of three full years of full-time teaching experience in a P-12 setting documented on the Supplement EXP form. (3) Three letters of recommendation. (4) Evidence of ability to positively affect student achievement. (5) Evidence of collaborative leadership potential.

Educational Specialist, Class AA Certification in Instructional Leadership

1.      Admission Requirements: (1) A valid Class A Professional Educator Certificate in Instructional

Leadership or a valid Class A Professional Leadership Certificate. (2) If certificate is not Instructional Leadership, then applicant must submit same admission documents as required for Class A Instructional Leadership and meet one of the following criteria on Supplement EXP form: (i) Currently serving as a superintendent, assistant or associate superintendent, assistant to the superintendent, principal, assistant principal, supervisor (any subject and/or grade level), administrator of career and technical education, coordinator, or evaluator. (ii) Document three years of employment in an instructional leadership position.

General Education Requirements

Required electives in the Major to total 64 hrs.

*As a part of the General Studies Curriculum, students must complete a 6 semester hour sequence in Literature or History.

K-6 Teacher Education (Elementary Education, Early Childhood Education, and Special Education) majors must complete 12 semester hours (as specified on the advising sheets or in PAWS) in each of the following four disciplines: English Language Arts, mathematics, social sciences and natural sciences (with a grade of C or higher in each course). In addition, K-6 Teacher Education majors must include BLY 101 + lab or BLY 121 + lab and two laboratory science courses from BLY, CH, GY, or PH representing two areas.

See Departmental Advising Sheets for Specific Course Requirements.

College of Education and Professional Studies General Education Requirements
Area I. Written Composition (6 HRS)

EH 101 (3)

EH 102 (3)

Area II - Humanities and Fine Arts (12 HRS)

CA 110 (3)

1 course from: ARS 101; MUL 101; DRA 110; ARH 100, ARH 103, ARH 123 (3)

1 course from *EH 215, EH 216, EH 225, EH 226, EH 235, EH 236 (3)

1 course from EH 215, EH 216, EH 225, EH 226, EH 235, EH 236; AFR 101; AIS 105; PHL 110, PHL 121, PHL 131, PHL 231, PHL 240; LG 111-272; ARS 101; MUL 101; DRA 110; ARH 100, ARH 103, ARH 123 (3)

*Students must complete a six semester hour sequence in either literature or history. A sequence in literature is required for secondary-English/language arts.

Area III - Natural Sciences and Math (11 HRS)

1  course from MA 110, MA 112, MA 113, MA 115 (3)

2  courses  + labs from *BLY 101 or BYL 121, *BLY 102 or BLY 122; GY 111, GY 112; CH 101, CH 103, CH 131, CH 132, CH 141; GEO 101, GEO 102; PH 101, PH 104, PH 114, PH 115, PH 201, PH 202 (8)

Area IV - History, Social and Behavioral Sciences (12 HRS)

1 course from *HY 101, HY 102, HY 135, HY 136 (3)

3 courses from **HY 101, HY 102, HY 135, HY 136; AN 100, AN 101; GEO 114, GEO 115; SY 109, 112; PSC 130; PSY 120, PSY 250; ECO 215, ECO 216 (9)

*Students must complete a six semester hour sequence in either literature or history. A sequence in history is required for secondary-social studies