Early Childhood Education - FAQ's


Q. I have a bachelor's degree but not in the field of education. Can I earn my Teacher's Certification?
A. For initial certification at Marygrove, all elementary teachers are required to have a major in a discipline appropriate for teaching. All secondary teachers must have both a major and a minor in a teaching field. Each teacher preparation college is approved to certify teachers in specific disciplines. If you do not have a major and/or minor in a teaching area, you would need to complete the courses needed for that purpose. Apply to the certification program that interests you, in order to have a plan of work completed.

Q. I am already teaching as an uncertified teacher in a private or charter school. Can I earn my teaching certificate without giving up my position?
A. Once you have completed a "certifiable major" for elementary or a "certifiable major and minor" for secondary level and you have the bachelors degree completed with a 2.7 or better GPA, you can begin taking the education sequence of courses while you are teaching; you will attend late afternoon/early evening, or weekend courses. When the time comes, if your school and position are approved for student teaching, you may be able to complete student teaching in an "on-the-job" arrangement.

Q. How can I complete my courses for certification if I am working in the daytime?
A. Marygrove College offers teacher certification courses in the evenings and on weekends, in different program configurations. In general, these courses are provided to "cohort" groups. Once you begin the sequence with your cohort group, it is essential that you stay on track with that cohort group in order to be assured that the classes will be available when you need them.

Q. How long will it take for me to earn my teaching certificate?
A. After meeting the entrance requirements for a graduate program, you must complete six-to-seven semesters of professional teaching courses to complete both initial certification and the master's degree. Undergraduate/Post-degree students complete the requirements for a degree and/or certification based on the number of courses taken each semester. The professional teaching sequence does not include the time it may take to complete pre-requisites.

Q. I am already a certified teacher and I want to earn a master's degree. How long will this take me?
A. The most popular program for certified teachers at Marygrove is the Master in the Art of Teaching (MAT) program. Students can complete this 30-credit program with a Study Team in five semesters. This program is available in a distance-learning format and in a weekend cohort group format on-site at six different locations in Michigan. Either mode of delivery will be a five-semester program.

A master's degree is also offered in Educational Leadership and Reading. These two masters' level programs usually take a minimum of six semesters.

Q. Do I need to take the GRE or another exam before I can be accepted into a graduate level program at Marygrove?
A. The GRE is not required at Marygrove. However, for teacher certification candidates the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification [MTTC] must be passed. All students entering a teacher certification program are required to take the MTTC Basic Skills test and pass all three areas of Reading, Writing, and Mathematics. This test must be passed within the first two semesters or the student is required to sit out until it is passed. Before student teaching, elementary candidates must pass the MTTC Elementary Education test and the MTTC test in their major. Secondary candidates must pass the MTTC in both the major and minor before they are permitted to student teach. Additional information is available at www.mttc.nesinc.com.

Q. Do the professors in the Education Department have experience working in K-12 schools?
A. Many of the professors in Marygrove's Education Unit transitioned to higher education from a career in K-12 public education. Also, some of the courses are taught by adjunct faculty members who are currently working full-time in K-12 public school settings. A balance is maintained between the instructors who are deeply rooted in the theoretical base necessary for building strong foundations for teacher preparation and those who have the actual classroom experiences that inform the theory with practice for application.

Q. Whom would I contact about scholarships or financial aid?
A. Information on financial aid is available on our Marygrove Web site - www.marygrove.edu. Candidates begin by obtaining the Federal Aid form and completing this over the Internet. Initially candidates also complete information specific to Marygrove. Successful candidates follow through on their applications leaving nothing to chance. Planning ahead is essential for candidates who must depend on financial aid. Undergraduate students generally have more options for financial aid than graduate level students. For eligible candidates who are full-time employees of Catholic schools there are other opportunities for help through the office of the education unit. Call 313-927-1459 for a Catholic School Scholarship application. The Michigan Tuition Grant, Sanford Loans, and Perkins Loans tend to be the sources most students investigate.

Q. How can I ensure that all of my teaching certification requirements are met?
A. At Marygrove every student in teacher certification, both undergraduate and graduate, will have an advisor. The advisor will work closely with the director of student teaching and with the teacher certification officer to check that each candidate is meeting the requirements for the major, minor, MTTC tests, student teaching mandates, and course requirements. It is, nonetheless, the responsibility of each candidate to meet with the assigned advisor to review his or her own file for completion. Posted deadline dates for applying for student teaching, for taking MTTC examinations, and for applying for graduation audit must be met in order that the candidate achieve his/her goal.

Q. Do I have to have a certain GPA to enter the education programs at Marygrove?
A. At the undergraduate level, all teacher certification candidates must maintain a GPA of 2.7 in order to enter the Education Unit as a teacher certification candidate. No methods courses may be taken until the student has applied to the unit and been interviewed and approved by the unit. The 2.7 must be met in order to receive this interview.

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