LSC offers new approach to teacher certification
By ANN PARKS
Lone Star College Cy-Fair is offering the Clinical Alternative Teaching Certification Program, which is designed to fast track people through the teaching certification process.
Local residents who have a degree in marketing or biology or any of scores of fields but want a career change might be interested in this program.
What is required
Applicants need to have a bachelor's degree in any subject, must complete an Educator's Preparation Program, must pass the appropriate certification exams, submit a state application for certification and complete the requirements for fingerprinting and background check.
The program is divided into four semesters. All students must attend the first two semesters of training together.
At the end of the first two semesters, the students have two options.
The first option allows the student to use the last two semesters to teach in an accredited school under the supervision of the ATCP," said Dell Burditt, senior ATCP program manager. These students are actually working and being paid as teachers on a probationary status. This option is especially good for those requiring an immediate income.
The second option is new at Cy-Fair. Known as clinical teaching in ATCP circles, it is an unpaid assignment to a classroom teacher (much like student teaching) for 12 weeks in which the student progressively takes responsibility for the role of classroom teacher."
One of the college's successes is Andy Hasselbring. Andy entered the ATCP program with a doctorate in history and completed his training, earning his teaching certificate last summer.
The school did everything they could to get me prepared to start teaching," Hasselbring said. A stay-at-home dad until his children left for college, Hasselbring will be teaching at Cypress Ridge High in the fall.
The ATCP program takes, on average, about 24 months to complete, though some students do it in 12.
The program requires a minimum of 300 hours of coursework. The cost for the regular certification program is approximately $4,000, and approximately $3,000 for the clinical program.
We want students to know, however, that rebates are being offered on fall courses for accepted candidates to defray some of the costs to students," said Burditt.
Asked if ATCP graduates were as attractive in the workplace as those who arranged their degree plans toward becoming a teacher Burditt said, Those who chose teaching as a career path are perceived as being better trained than those in an alternative certification program in most cases. But the advantage to hiring a teacher who went through an alternative certification program is that they have completed their bachelors degree in another field such as business, industry or finance, for example, and have worked in the corporate world. They bring maturity and experience that 22-year-old college graduates simply don't have."
Though the Alternative Teaching Certification program has been offered here at Cy-Fair for a few years, this is our first year to offer the Clinical option. We're very excited about what the addition could mean to our students," Burditt said.
More than 3,000 teachers have received their certificates through the Lone Star College ATCP program since it began in 2000.
The next ATCP monthly information session is Aug. 10.
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