A new program at ASU will give undergraduates who are non-education majors the opportunity to earn certification to teach grades 7-12 in Arizona.
The Secondary Education Certificate is an initiative that targets primarily sophomores and juniors who are capable of adjusting their academic schedules to dedicate 30 credit hours during their senior year to complete the program.
Creative writing junior Sophean Soeun said in an email that she is interested in joining the program because of the flexibility it gives her.
“What interests me most about this program is that it’s allowing me to change career paths without having to change majors,” she said. “Without the certificate, I could have been held back another semester from graduating with a teaching degree, but instead, I can graduate on time or even have the option to graduate a semester early.”
Soeun said she hopes to teach English in the future.
“What gave me the inspiration to teach is this notion that creative writing has almost little to no emphasis in schools, unless a specified course exists for it,” she said. “What I want to do is be able to take what I know best about creative writing and implement it into English curricula as much as possible.”
Soeun said the first step to accomplishing her goals would be the certification, which would allow her to teach through the Secondary Education Certificate program. It could give her many useful skills, she said.
Through the certificate, Soeun would also get valuable experience, she said.
Hilary Pierce, Teachers College senior assistant dean, said she hopes the program expands.
“Our goal is to have 800 ASU graduates be certified to teach in middle school and high school by 2015,” Pierce said.
There are about 200 non-education students enrolled in the program.
Pierce also said the program is designed to benefit students even before they attend ASU.
“It’s an especially good fit for students who completed much of their coursework before they even started at ASU either through dual enrollment or AP testing,” she said.
Monica Martinez, who’s double-majoring in psychology and biology, said the program will help strengthen her leadership skills.
“I believe adding the Secondary Education Certificate to my degree will exemplify my commitment to learning and strengthen my role as a leader,” she said.
The first step in the application process includes passing the appropriate Arizona Educator Exam that demonstrates proficiency in the area the applicant plans to teach. Exams are available in various content areas including, biology, business, chemistry, Chinese (Mandarin) and many others.
Applicants must also obtain a valid Arizona IVP fingerprint card issued by the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
Furthermore, applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 and be enrolled at ASU as an undergraduate degree-seeking student. They also must have the majority of their major coursework completed before beginning the Secondary Education Certificate program.
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