West Texas A&M University

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PACE - Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Please read through the MAT/PACE Information/Application for specific program information.
How is MAT/PACE different from the traditional method of preparing teachers?
Candidates in a traditional program complete teacher preparation/certification and a bachelor's degree. The State Board of Education and The Higher Education Coordinating Board have authorized West Texas A&M University to offer an accelerated teacher preparation program in conjunction with a master’s degree. Because MAT/PACE operates under the guidelines of alternative certification, degreed individuals have the opportunity to obtain teacher certification within 16-18 months. Upon completing certification, candidates may continue their studies and complete the Master of Arts in Teaching degree.
How do I apply to the MAT/PACE program?
Determine the content/grade level of the target certificate and take the applicable Texas Examination of Educator Standards (TExES) prior to program application, if possible, through the Pre-Admission Content Testing system. Submit the TExES score report or a copy of the ticket confirming test registration, with the application, fee, two passport photos, and sealed certified transcripts; and complete the online interview. Once the application has been evaluated, the applicant will be notified of program approval status. 
 
I have applied and received my certification plan? What do I do next? 
Sign and return the confirmation/acceptance of admission page within 10 days of receipt and apply to WT’s Graduate School (Education/Teaching Masters) to begin professional development course work during the fall, spring, or summer semesters. Call if you want to schedule an appointment with an adviser. Upon completion of 30 clock hours of field-based experiences, submit the Field Experience Reflection Survey.
 
What if I do not have an overall or content area GPA of 2.75? Do I have any options?
You can work with a program adviser to correct your GPA deficiencies. The quickest way to bring up your GPA is to repeat classes in which you did poorly. If you are not admitted due to GPA issues, you cannot begin course work until the required GPA has been reached.
 
What is the difference between an "approved" candidate and an "eligible" candidate?
An approved candidate may begin course work and early field-based experiences. An eligible candidate has met requirements to seek a teaching position: 1) passed the TExES content test , 2) submitted 30 hours of early field experience documentation, and 3)  completed or will complete 6 SCH  of professional development course work prior to beginning work as a classroom teacher.
 
Why am I required to complete early field-based experiences? How do I obtain or  arrange a placement? Will substitute teaching or educational aide experience count for field-based experiences?
School society is ever changing, and 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.
 
Detailed information, including how to request a local placement (Amarillo or Canyon ISD), how to arrange a non-local placement, and how to complete 15 of the 30 hours by video, is available in the Applicants/Candidates folder. Access the folder through "LINKS" from the PACE homepage.
 
Substitute teaching experience may not be used for field-based experience. Educational aide experience may meet the requirements, but that is determined on an individual basis. Contact the PACE office for more information.
 
Do I have to do clinical teaching for my supervised teaching experience?
No, you may choose to finish through two options, clinical teaching or internship. Please refer to the information/application packet for a description of each option.
 
Can I be hired as an intern teacher and be designated as teacher of record?
Yes, eligible 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 PACE 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 MAT/PACE intern while in residence at the school district?
The intern will be under the direct, ongoing and shared supervision of district administration, MAT/PACE 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 PACE/MAT candidates secure 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.
  • 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 online list of eligible candidates. This list is shared with school districts to help meet their staffing needs.
Please note that candidates are responsible for obtaining their own teaching internship. Entering into our program does not guarantee a teaching position in the future.
 
What are the high demand fields for internship?
These are teacher-shortage areas in Texas for 2015-2016 as determined by the US Department of Education:   Bilingual, English as a Second Language, Career and Technical Education, Computer Science, Mathematics, Science, and Special Education. We have candidates hired in all certification areas each year; however, bilingual elementary, secondary mathematics and science,and foreign languages are the most requested by districts.
 
Is financial aid available for this program?
Since the MAT/PACE program is a graduate degree program, qualified candidates may receive student financial aid. All inquiries regarding financial aid should be directed to the WT’s Office of Financial Aid, (806) 651-2924, Old Main, Room 108. 
 
What could cause my removal from the program?
Students may be removed for the following reasons:
  • Unprofessionalism
  • Concerns by school personnel
  • Falsification of personal/academic information
  • Felonies/Misdemeanors charges subject to action by the Texas Education Agency
  • Failing grades in course work and/or falling below a 3.0 in course work