University Bulletin 2017-2018

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College of Education and Professional Studies

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

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. If passed prior to 9/1/2017, the AECTP basic skills tests are acceptable until 9/1/2022. 
  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. If passed prior to 9/1/2017, the AECTP basic skills tests are acceptable until 9/1/2022. 
  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 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 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 online 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 addition, students seeking teacher certification must have 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), 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).

Grade-Point Average (GPA) Deficiency (Over All)

If additional course work is required to fulfill the GPA requirement, only course work in the humanities, social sciences, science, mathematics, or the teaching field(s)/ specialization(s) may be used. Physical Education activity courses may not be used to improve a deficient GPA. Previous course work with a grade of C or below may be repeated.

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 College of Education and Professional Studies offers the Master of Education degree leading to Alabama Class A Certification in 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, and the Master of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Educational Media and Technology, Exercise Science, Health, Instructional Design and Development, and Sport Management.

The College of Education and Professional Studies offers the following Alternative Master of Education degree programs 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.

In addition to the traditional master's degree and the alternative master's degree, the Leadership and Teacher Education department offers a class "B" certification program with the master of education degree. See academic advisor or advising sheets for specific details.

The College of Education and Professional Studies offers an 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 College of Education and Professional Studies offers a Doctor of Philosophy degree program in Instructional Design and Development and a Doctor of Education degree program in Educational Leadership.

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

Course Fees

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

General Information

Requirements for Admission/Readmission
Each applicant to a graduate program must meet the general Graduate School Standards stated in the "Graduate School Admission Requirements and Procedures" section of this Bulletin. Individual programs may have additional requirements for admission and may be restricted because of capacity limitations. Consult departmental or program descriptions for additional information. 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.

Academic Regulations

  1. All degree programs require a minimum of 30 semester hours of approved course work at the 500-level or above.
  2. A minimum overall 3.25 GPA on all work attempted in the specific Master's Degree programs as well as an overall 3.25 GPA on all work attempted (Educational Administration M.Ed. and certification option - 3.25) and a 3.5 GPA for Educational Specialist Degree programs is required for graduation.
  3. All requirements for a Master's Degree or Educational Specialist Degree must be completed within seven calendar years from the date of matriculation.

Student Responsibilities

  1. Students admitted on a provisional basis will be eligible for regular admission when or before they complete nine hours of approved graduate course work with a minimum grade-point average of 3.0.Some programs do not admit students in provisional status.
  2. Students are responsible to apply for Graduation. See University Calendar for deadline dates. 
  3. Apply for the Written Comprehensive Examination. This should be done by the end of the first week of class in the semester student wishes to sit for the examination.

Teacher Certification

Master of Education degree programs require that students have the appropriate valid State of Alabama Class B Professional Certificate. Sixth-year programs require that students have the appropriate State of Alabama Class A Professional Certificate. Coursework used to meet Class B certification requirements may not be used to meet Class A certification requirements. Coursework used to meet Class A certification requirements may not be used to meet Class AA certification requirements.

Renew/Reinstate State Certification

Students in need of coursework to renew or reinstate certificates can be admitted as non-degree graduate students. However, they may not hold this status for more than two semesters. Courses taken as a non-degree graduate student may be counted toward subsequent degrees after the successful completion of nine (9) semester hours in a declared major. The student is responsible for checking with the State Department of Education to ensure that the course(s) will meet renewal or reinstatement requirements.

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 during business hours are required per week. The 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 during business hours are required per week. The awards are made generally during the summer for the next academic year.

Application forms can be secured by a request addressed to Director, Graduate Studies, College of Education and Professional Studies.

Transferred Work - Degree

(After completion of nine semester hours on USA campus)
For master's programs, graduate credit from a regionally accredited institution may be transferred to the University of South Alabama. The appropriateness of courses for transfer will be determined by the candidate's department. A minimum grade of "B" is required for each course. Courses completed more than seven years prior to graduation may not be used to meet degree requirements. Graduate Transfer Credit Recommendation forms are available in UCOM 3020 or on the web. The institution must have been accredited at the time of students' study for a student to transfer credit.

Certification Transfer Courses

(Prior to completion of the first semester at USA)
Students with a previous master's degree, seeking Class A level certification without obtaining a second master's degree and wish to count course work from a previous master's degree must seek approval during the first semester of enrollment in the new certification program. The form for this process is Transfer Credit Evaluation - Certification Courses and is located on the web
(http://www.southalabama.edu/colleges/ceps/gradschool/). No previously taken course will count in the new certification program without this approval. Courses approved in this manner may count for the certification, but not a second master's degree.

Master Of Education Degree Program

The programs for the Master of Education degree in the College of Education and Professional Studies provide for a major in each area. Both thesis and non-thesis degree options are available to the graduate student. Each degree area specifies courses that support the major area. Supporting courses are developed for the particular demands of the individual degree areas. The programs may lead to the Alabama Class A Certificate, or equivalent.

Requirements For Admission

The following criteria supplement the Graduate School criteria (see Categories of Admission in the general section of this Bulletin).

Regular Admission

  1. Sufficient courses in the major area to qualify for graduate study in the involved discipline.
  2. An appropriate advanced degree may be used in lieu of other requirements for Regular Standing.
  3. A completed application and application fee for admission to the Graduate School.
  4. All graduate programs in the College of Education and Professional Studies require nationally normed tests. These official test scores must be sent by the agency to Office of the Registrar. To insure correct test selection, contact the Office of Graduate Studies at (251) 380-2000.
  5. Official transcripts from all institutions attended.
  6. If entering a certification program, a copy of a valid Alabama Teaching Certificate in the appropriate teaching field or instructional support area.
  7. Two recommendation forms or letters of recommendation addressing the prospective student's scholarship and professional abilities. (See program for preferred format.)
  8. For programs requiring proof of teaching experience, {(e.g., Instructional Leadership (3 years), Library Media (2 years), Reading Specialist add-on (2 years), School Counseling – Traditional (2 years)}a Supplemental Experience Form is required.
  9. See departments for any other or more specific requirements.

Provisional Admission

See Categories of Admission in the general section of this Bulletin for criteria for Provisional Admission and requirements for a provisional student to be changed to Regular Standing. Some programs including certification programs do not admit students provisionally. Please contact the Office of Graduate Studies (251.380.2630) in the College of Education and Professional Studies for more information.

Master of Science Degree Programs

The programs for the Master of Science degree program in the College of Education and Professional Studies provide for a major in each area. Both thesis and non-thesis degree options are available to the graduate student. Each degree area provides for areas of study that support the major area. These are developed for the particular demands of the individual degree areas. Supporting areas of study draw upon other divisions of the University, as well as the College of Education and Professional Studies, to give greater depth and breadth to the major. Courses in the supporting area are elected by the student after consultation with the advisor.

Requirements For Admission

Students are admitted each semester. The following criteria supplement the Graduate School criteria (see Categories of Admission in the general section of this Bulletin).

Regular Admission

  1. Sufficient courses in the major area to qualify for graduate study in the involved discipline.
  2. An appropriate advanced degree may be used in lieu of other requirements for Regular Standing.
  3. A completed application and application fee for admission to the Graduate School.
  4. Official test scores must be sent from the testing agency to the Office of the Registrar. All Master of Science programs require the GRE or MAT for admission.
  5. Official transcripts from all institutions attended.
  6. Submission of resume with chronology of professional employment.
  7. Two letters of recommendation, preferably from outside the academic department, attesting to the prospective student's scholarship and/or professional abilities.
  8. See departments for any other or more specific requirements.

Provisional Admissions

See Categories of Admission in the general section of the Bulletin for criteria for Provisional Admission and requirements for a provisional student to be changed to Regular Standing. Some programs do not admit students in provisional status.

Alternative Master Of Education Degree Programs

Alternative Master of Education degree programs are available in selected areas to persons who have earned a non-education baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education. The program provides for a major concentration in an area of teacher certification. Each certification area specifies courses that support the particular demands of the individual certification areas. The programs lead to the Alabama Class A Certificate.
The following Alternative Master of Education degree programs are offered: Art Education, Early Childhood Education, English for Speakers of Other Languages, Elementary Education, Secondary Education, and Special Education.
In addition to the traditional master's degree and the alternative master's degree, the Leadership and Teacher Education department offers a class "B" certification program with the master of education degree. See academic advisor or advising sheets for specific details.

Requirements For Admission

Students are admitted each semester. Students must meet the criteria for Provisional or Regular Standing in the Graduate School described in Categories of Admission in the general section of this Bulletin and the Master of Education Requirements for Admissions section listed above, as well as the following program criteria:

  1. A grade-point average of at least 2.75 (A=4.0) documented on the official transcript from the degree-granting regionally accredited institution.
  2. Evidence of having earned as many hours of credit in the subject to be taught as are required in an undergraduate teacher education program. (Minimum 32 semester hours/19 semester hours upper level.) Social science, general science and English language arts composite programs require at least one course in each area of the composite program. For example general science composite program requires course work in biology, chemistry, earth and space science, and physics.  Passing score on the appropriate Praxis II test may meet this requirement.
  3. Elementary and Early Childhood Education and Special Education require completion of 12 hours of course work in each of the following areas prior to admission to the program: mathematics, social sciences, general sciences, and English language arts (with a grade of "C" or higher in each course). Passing score on the appropriate Praxis II test may meet this requirement.
  4. Official test scores must be sent by the testing agency to the Registrar. In addition to the admission requirements listed above for all Master of Education programs, some Alternative Master's programs may accept a passing score on the appropriate Praxis II test in lieu of the GRE or MAT.
  5. Satisfactory performance on the 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. Test scores are sent directly to the Office of Student Services in the College of Education and Professional Studies. 
  6. All Alternative Master's programs require SPE 500 or the equivalent.
  7. Proof of clear ALSDE background check.
  8. See department for additional prerequisites or admission requirements.

Completion Of a Teacher Education Program

Master of Education Programs
Satisfactory performance on the following minimum requirements and completion of the required master's degree curriculum qualifies the student for Class A Certification.

A. Program for Teachers:

  1. A minimum grade-point average of 3.25 on all work attempted in the graduate program.
  2. Successful completion of a written comprehensive examination including the teaching field, humanistic and behavioral studies, curriculum and teaching, and evaluation of teaching and learning.
  3. Successful completion of an internship required for: Alternative Master's programs, Reading Specialist, and other initial teacher certification programs.
  4. Satisfactory performance on the appropriate Praxis II test, edTPA (Alternative Master’s programs),  and the electronic portfolio are required for a recommendation for certification.

B. Programs for Instructional Support Personnel:

  1. A minimum grade-point average of 3.25 on all work attempted in the graduate program (3.25 in Instructional Leadership).
  2. A satisfactory score on a comprehensive written examination covering content of the program.
  3. Satisfactory performance of the responsibilities of the specialist in an internship.
  4. The curriculum in each area of specialization must be taken in work approved for graduate students.
  5. Satisfactory performance on the appropriate Praxis II test and the electronic portfolio are required for a recommendation for certification.

Examinations

Two types of examinations are available. See departmental sections for departmental option(s).

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/. 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. In no case may the comprehensive examination be repeated more than twice. 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, not to exceed one hour, is required. The examination is conducted by the candidate's Thesis Committee. Approval by a majority of the examination committee is required.

Educational Specialist Degree Program For The Instructional Specialist

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

Admission To The Program

  1. The requirements for admission to the program are as follows:
  2. The applicant shall have a valid Alabama Class A certificate in the same teaching field or instructional support area in which the sixth-year program is sought (with the exception of Teacher Leader);
  3. The applicant shall have a Master's degree from a regionally accredited institution; and
  4. The applicant shall have at least two years' successful experience as a teacher in the area of specialization in which the sixth-year program is sought, except for Instructional Leadership, which requires three years of acceptable experience. A Supplemental Experience Form is required as proof of teaching experience.
  5. A two to three page narrative, typed and double spaced, stating the applicant's reasons for pursuing an Educational Specialist Degree.
  6. Two letters of recommendation.
  7. Official Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores including the Analytical writing section.
  8. Submission of resume with chronology of professional employment.
  9. The Instructional Leadership program requires an admission portfolio with specific content and format. Please refer to the department section for additional information.

Application forms can be requested from the Director of Admissions, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama 36688-0002.

Transferred Work (After completion of nine semester hours on USA campus)
Graduate credit from a regionally accredited institution having a sixth-year program may be transferred to the University of South Alabama for the program. Only graduate credit earned following the completion of a Master's degree may be transferred. The appropriateness of courses for transfer will be determined by the candidate's department. Courses more than seven years old may not be used to meet degree requirements. Graduate Transfer Credit Recommendation forms are available in UCOM 3020 or on the web.

Description Of The Program

The Program for the Instructional Specialist is organized around the following program components.

  1. Core Courses
    Core courses are designed to insure that each candidate possess required basic knowledge and competencies. The Core Courses are IDE 615 or IDE 620, EDU/IDE 640, EDU/IDE 650, and EDU/IDE 692, and Departmental 699.
  2. Area of Certification
    In addition to the core courses, each candidate will complete an area of specialization from among the following available in the program: Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education; Instructional Leadership, Reading Specialist, Secondary Education; Special Education or Teacher Leader. The specializations are designed to provide candidates with an in-depth study of instructional concerns and skills appropriate to specific student groups and areas of study in the school curriculum.
  3. Research Project Seminar (EDU/IDE 692)
    The Research Project Seminar is designed for the purposes of selecting and developing a field project proposal. The proposal, in turn, provides the basis for the Field Project. Successful completion of the core courses is prerequisite to the enrollment in the research project seminar.
  4. Research Project (Departmental 699)
    The field project, as the culminating experience in the Instructional Specialist Program, provides an opportunity for the candidate to synthesize and apply the various program components in a selected instructional setting. The research project may carry three semester hours of credit. The candidate must reach suitable agreements with the appropriate public school system. A project report in standard form is required. Students must enroll in the Department 699 course each semester until the project is completed. A grade of "B" or higher in IDE 692 is a prerequisite.

Educational Specialist Degree Programs
Successful completion of the required curriculum and the following minimum requirements qualifies the student for Class AA Certification recommendation.

A. Programs for Teachers:

  1. A minimum grade-point average of 3.5 on all work attempted.
  2. Successful completion of a written comprehensive examination covering the content of the program.
  3. Satisfactory performance as a teacher.

B. Programs for Instructional Support Personnel:

  1. A minimum grade-point average of 3.5 on all work attempted.
  2. Successful completion of a written comprehensive examination covering the content of the program.
  3. Two years satisfactory performance in the area of specialization or three years for Educational Administration.

Doctor Of Philosophy Program In Instructional Design And Development

The College of Education and Professional Studies offers a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Instructional Design and Development. The purpose of the program is to produce graduates who will discover, advance, and disseminate knowledge in the field of instructional design and development. See Department of Professional Studies for details.

Doctor Of Education Program In Educational Leadership

The College of Education and Professional Studies offers a Doctor of Education degree with two concentrations. One area of focus is for K-12 practitioners, the other for aspiring Higher Education administrators. The purpose of the program is to provide educational leaders with the knowledge and skills to connect research, theory, and practice in leading high performing organizations.
The Doctorate in Educational Leadership is 30 hours beyond the Specialist degree in Educational Leadership or 60 hours beyond the Master's. Applicants to the K-12 track must hold an "A" certificate in Instructional leadership or its equivalent.
The deadline for submission of admission materials is March 15th.  A cohort model is utilized with new cohorts beginning each summer semester.   For information, contact the Department of Leadership and Teacher Education.

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 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 from BLY 101, BLY 102; 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 

Area V - College Requirements (7 HRS)

1 course PE 100 and 1 course from PE 101-PE 157 (4)

1 course EPY 251 (teacher education majors take EPY 351) (3)