Natchitoches, LA (KMSS) — Northwestern State University’s Practitioner Teacher Program (PREP), an alternate certification pathway to teaching, will be available online beginning this summer, making Northwestern State the only Louisiana university with an online practitioner teacher program.
PREP is an intensive summer program available to individuals who have already completed an undergraduate degree who would like to become certified to teach. The PREP program appeals to individuals interested in making a career change by becoming teachers, as well as those hired with temporary authority to teach who are seeking certification. The program is designed for those who wish to teach while earning certification.
“Previously, PREP candidates attended classes here on campus to complete coursework during the summer. Now, because the courses are on-line, this opportunity is open to individuals statewide,” said Ramona Wynder, Transition to Teaching Facilitator in the Department of Teaching and Learning, part of NSU’s Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development.
Through PREP, candidates complete nine hours of education and educational psychology in the summer session, then enroll in six hours of internship and seminar teaching for the fall and spring semesters. Participants must be employed in an approved teaching position in a Louisiana school. Completion leads to a Louisiana teaching license in elementary grades 1-5, middle grades 4-8 or secondary grades 6-12.
“By offering these classes online, we will be able to attract and accommodate more people from throughout Louisiana who feel a desire to become teachers,” Wynder said. Online program delivery is both synchronous “real time” learning and asynchronous independent study. Participants will see each other and interact with their instructors through the use of WebEx and other online meeting websites, Wynder explained.
PREP is not a program that awards a degree, Wynder clarified, but completers of NSU’s PREP program can apply 12 hours of coursework towards a graduate degree in education.
A 2.5 grade point average is required for admission to PREP and students must maintain a 3.0 GPA while in the program. Other eligibility requirements include a baccauleaurate degree from an accredited university, passing scores on the PRAXIS I test or ACT composite score of 22 or higher or SAT 1030 or higher. Candidates must have passing scores on PRAXIS II Content Area Examination and a letter of intent to employee from a school district for the school year following the PREP summer session. The deadline to apply for the 8-week summer session is April 15.
U.S Department of Education TEACH grants are honored at NSU and scholarships may be available through the NSU Foundation.
“By participating in the Practitioner Program, candidates gain a foundation in educational theory and practice, designed to help them meet the new, rigorous standards set forth by the state. Our goal is for the candidates to become successful teachers who positively impact the lives of the children they serve,” Wynder said.
Applications for alternate certification at NSU is available online at dtl.nsula.edu/application-process. Applicants must submit a resume’, official transcript, application to NSU’s Graduate School (nsula.edu/graduateschool), PRAXIS scores and a letter of intent. For more information, email Wynder at email@example.com.