West Texas A&M University

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PACE - Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

PACE FAQ

How is PACE different from the traditional method of preparing teachers?
The State Board of Education has authorized West Texas A&M University to offer PACE as an accelerated teacher preparation program. Because PACE operates under the guidelines of alternative certification, degreed individuals have the opportunity to obtain teacher certification within 16-18 months.

Under the PACE program, can the intern be designated as a teacher of record?
Yes. Under a probationary certificate, the intern will be assigned as teacher of record and required to teach a full load.

What if I enter the program and cannot locate an employing school district?
PACE will continually work with the intern to accomplish placement; if the candidate has not obtained a teaching position by the spring following the summer's course work, that candidate may opt to complete certification through graduate clinical teaching. Also, course work will carry over to employment in the following year.

Will PACE interns be subject to rules and regulations of the school district?
Yes. A condition of the program requires participants to conform to rules and regulations of the school district in all matters related to teaching performance and professional conduct.

Must an emergency situation exist before a district can employ a PACE intern?
No. Districts may fill vacancies with interns at their convenience, just as they would with any other qualified candidate.

Who supervises the PACE intern while in residence at the school district?
The intern will be under the direct, ongoing, and shared supervision of the building principal (or administrative alternative), PACE personnel, a field supervisor hired by PACE, and a mentor teacher. This cadre of individuals will provide instructional and professional support and assistance to the intern.

Why am I required to complete classroom observation?
School society is ever changing. Each applicant needs to experience the present day school atmosphere before making a final commitment to teaching. In addition, the applicant can gain valuable information from the observation and interactive experiences. Also, 30 hours of field-based experiences prior to internship or clinical teaching is a requirement of Texas Administrative Code.

How do I find a job?
Begin applying with school districts early, but usually not before March.

  • The WTAMU Office of Career Services holds an Educator Expo (job fair) each Spring, which is an excellent opportunity to meet principals, superintendents, and personnel directors from the area.
  • Open a personnel file with WTAMU Career Services, 806/651-2345, and access the website for resume writing and interviewing assistance: www.wtcareer.wtamu.edu.
  • Substitute teaching, if possible, is an excellent method of “getting known” in the school(s).
  • Region 16 (Amarillo) and Region 17 (Lubbock) Educational Service Centers have listings of teaching positions on their websites.

POST-BACC FAQ 

How do I apply to the CERT program and for Graduate School admission?
First, a candidate must submit the CERT program application with the $50 applicaton fee, 2 passport pictures, and sealed, certified transcripts to the Office of Alternative Certification (OAC) by the prioirty deadlines. Next, the candidate must apply to WT'sGraduate School, submit the $40 application fee, and complete the Bacterial Meningitis vaccination requirement by the suggested deadlines.

I have applied and received my teacher certification plan? What do I do next? Who is my adviser? 
Retun the acceptance page of your certification plan to the OAC and schedule an advising appointment, 806-651-2599. Gilbert Antunez, the OAC Assistant Director, serves as the adviser for the PB CERT candidates. He will advise/register eligible students for couse work.

What if I do not have an overall or content area GPA of 2.75?  Do I have any options?
You can work with the PB adviser on correcting your GPA deficiencies. The quickest way to bring up your GPA is to repeat classes in which you did poorly. You will not be pre-admitted due to GPA issues, abd you cannot begin education course work until the 2.75 overall GPA has been reached. 

What is the difference between pre-admitted versus fully admitted to the program?
Pre-admittted students may start education course work and complete 30 hours of early field-based experiences. However, they cannot take EDPD 6331, and are not eligible for a supervised teaching experience (clinical teaching or internship).

A fully admitted candidate has passed theTExES content test under the PACT system, has completed/submitted the 30 hours of early field experience, and has completed or is enrolled in 6 hrs and  to the OAC. Fully admitted candidates are allowed to complete education course work and may pursue completion of a teaching experience (clinical teaching or internship).

Do I have to do clinical teaching for my supervised teaching experience?
No. Fully admitted candidates may chose to finish through two options, clinical teaching or internship. Plesae refer to the PB application and information packet for a description of each option.

Under full admission, can I be hired as an intern teacher and be designated as teacher of record?
Yes, fully admitted candidates may teach on a Texas probationary certificate, and must be assigned as teacher of record  to teach a full day in the grade level and content area of the certificate.

Must an emergency situation exist before a district can employ a CERT candidate as an intern? 
No. Districts may fill vacancies with interns at their convenience, just as they would with any qualified candidate.

Who supervises the CERT intern while in residence at the school district?
The intern will be under the direct, ongoing and shared supervision of the building principal (or assistant principal), CERT personnel, a field supervisor, and a mentor teacher. This cadre of individuals will provide instructional and professional support, assistance, and supervision. They will also evaluate the success of the intern's teaching experience.

How do CERT/MAT candidates pursue/find jobs? 
Eligible candidates should begin applying with school districts early, but usually not before March.

  • WT's Career Services holds an Educator Expo (job fair) each Spring, which is an excellent opportunity to meet principals, superintendents, and personnel directors from the area.
  • Open a personnel file with WTAMU Career Services, 806/651-2345, and access the website for resume writing and interviewing assistance: www.wtcareer.wtamu.edu.  
  • Substitute teaching, if possible, is an excellent method of “getting known” in the school(s).
  • Region 16 (Amarillo) and Region 17 (Lubbock) Educational Service Centers have listings of teaching positions on their websites.
  • Fully admitted candidates may request to be placed on the OAC's web list of eligible candidates. This list is shared with ISDs to help meet their staffing needs. 

Please note that candidates are responsible for obtaining their own teaching internship.  Entering into our program does not gaurantee a teaching position in the future.     

What are the high demand fields for internship? What is the largest, non-demand field for internship?
The highest demand areas are bilingual elementary and high school math, science, and foriegn language. These areas usually have the smallest candidate pool across the state, also. The largest candidate pool across the state is EC-6 Generalist. 

What may cause me from being removed from the program?
Students may be removed for the following reasons:

  • Unprofessionalism to any WTAMU staff, faculty, or personnel departments (discretion of program director)
  • Unprofessionalism in classroom observations, concerns by school personnel
  • Falsification of personal/academic information
  • Felonies/Misdemeanors charges that TEA/SBEC flag