College of Education & Human Sciences
Alternative A (5th year) Program
What is the alternative (5th year) program?
The Alternative Class A (5th Year) Program is a graduate teacher education program designed for candidates who hold a baccalaureate degree in any field but do not yet hold a teaching certificate. Successful completion of the Alt A program will result in a Master's of Education Degree and eligibility for an Alabama Class A Teaching Certificate.
What Alt A teacher education programs are offered by UNA?
UNA offers Alternative Master's degree programs in biology, business marketing, chemistry, English language arts, English to speakers of other languages, general science, general social science, history, mathematics, music, and physical education. Click here to see a complete list of all available majors, including the checklist of required courses for each major.
What are the eligibility requirements for admission to UNA for candidates pursuing the Alt A program?
Admission to UNA for candidates pursuing the Alt A program requires that candidates have the following:
- A bachelor's or higher degree from a regionally accredited institution.
- A GPA of 2.5 (4.0 scale) or higher documented on the earned degree.
- A passing entrance exam score. A passing score on the appropriate Praxis II exam is required for unconditional admission; therefore, it is recommended that the Praxis II be used for conditional admission purposes. Candidates without the appropriate Praxis II test score may submit a score of 388 on the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or a combined score of 800 on the verbal and quantitative portions of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) for conditional admission. Whichever entrance exam you choose to take, make sure to have your test score sent to UNA (institution code 1735).
- MAT - this test is given on UNA's campus about once per month. A passing score of 388 or higher is required for admission to the University. For more information about the MAT, click here.
- GRE - this test is not given on the UNA campus, so we cannot provide further details about this one. For more information about the GRE, click here.
- PRAXIS II - this exam is based on your content area. There are many different subjects available, so you need to decide what you want to major in before you take this exam (i.e., if you choose to major in biology, you will need to take the Praxis II exam in biology; whereas if you choose to major in mathematics, you will need to take the Praxis II exam in mathematics). For more information about the Praxis II exam, click here.
How do I apply for admission to UNA?
To apply for admission to an Alt A program at UNA, an application should be filed with the graduate admissions office. Click here to navigate to the Graduate Admissions webpage. After the graduate admissions office has received all necessary application components, your file will be processed. If accepted, you will receive a letter of acceptance into the program listing the name of your assigned advisor.
*Students must meet with their assigned education advisor to initiate the "Content Area Review" prior to registering for any coursework.* Candidates should consult with their academic advisor(s) throughout their program to ensure all program requirements are being met. Click here for a list of advisors for each major.
All students admitted to an Alt A program are admitted on a conditional basis. Students must formally apply for unconditional admission through the Office of Teacher Certification. Candidates are limited to a total of five (5) graduate courses prior to unconditional admission. Any coursework exceeding the five-course rule may not be used for certification purposes.
Conditional Admission to the Alternative Class A Graduate Teacher Education Program (GTEP)
All Alternative A candidates are conditionally admitted to the program and must complete a formal application for unconditional admission through the Office of Teacher Certification (Stevens Hall #546). Requirements for conditional admission include:
- Entrance Exam: A passing score on the appropriate Praxis II exam is required for unconditional admission; therefore, it is recommended that the Praxis II be used for conditional admission purposes. Candidates without the appropriate Praxis II test score may submit a score of 388 on the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or a combined score of 800 on the verbal and quantitative portions of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) for conditional admission.
- Major: Declare the major you wish to pursue and make sure the registrar's office has this major on file for you. Admission to one program does not necessarily guarantee admission to another. Click here for a complete list of available majors.
- Degree: A bachelor's or higher degree from a regionally accredited institution is required.
- Grade Point Average (GPA): A minimum GPA overall of 2.5 (4.0 scale) is required and must be documented on the official transcript from the degree granting institution and must be the GPA that was used as the basis for granting the degree. If a graduate degree is used as the basis for admission to the Alternative A program, no graduate credit from that degree may be applied to the Alternative A program for certification purposes.
Unconditional Admission to the Alternative Class A Graduate Teacher Education Program (GTEP)
These requirements are effective for candidates who are unconditionally admitted on or after March 1, 2012.
Unconditional admission to the graduate teacher education program is not automatic upon admission to UNA. Candidates must formally apply for unconditional admission to GTEP through the Office of Teacher Certification (Stevens Hall #546). This application process begins in ED 000 "Graduate Orientation." Candidates are limited to a total of five graduate courses prior to unconditional admission. Any coursework exceeding the five-course rule may not be used for certification purposes.
During ED 000, all requirements for unconditional admission to Alternative Class A GTEP and their corresponding deadlines will be discussed. These requirements are outlined below:
- Graduate Orientation: Complete ED 000 with a grade of "P" or "S."
- Application: Obtain an application for unconditional admission to GTEP from your education advisor. Submit the application to the Office of Teacher Certification (SH 546) by the 10th day of the month you wish to be reviewed. If an application is submitted after the 10th day of the month, it will not be reviewed until the following month (i.e., an application submitted on February 9 will be reviewed on February 10; however, an application submitted on February 11 will be reviewed on March 10).
- Prerequisites: Successful completion of ED 382, ED 401, and ED 480W with a grade of "C" or better. Candidates will not be allowed to register for these courses prior to being enrolled as an Alt A student at UNA. These prerequisite courses will be taken concurrently with your graduate classes after enrolling in the Alt A program.
ED 382 is a prerequisite for ED 480W, so students generally take ED 382 and ED 401 during their first semester of enrollment and then take ED 480W during their second semester of enrollment.
Content prerequisite coursework may be recommended based on the admission audit.
- Interview: Complete an interview with the teacher education panel with a passing grade. Candidates are limited to two (2) attempts to successfully complete the GTEP interview.
- Grade Point Average: Maintain a grade average of "B" or better on all graduate work attempted. A student who makes a grade of "C" or below on more than six semester hours of graduate work is automatically eliminated from the program.
- Background Clearance: Attain suitability clearance from the Alabama State Department of Education based on your ABI/FBI fingerprints. Click here for more information regarding background clearance.
- Basic Skills Exam: Attain a passing score on all three (3) parts of the Basic Skills Exam (includes Reading, Writing, and Mathematics). Click here for more information regarding the Basic Skills Exam.
- Praxis II Exam: Pass the appropriate Praxis II exam(s) for your major. Click here for more information regarding the Praxis II exam.
When will I know if I'm unconditionally admitted into GTEP?
You will be notified of your admission status shortly after the 10th day of the month in which you are reviewed. The notice will be sent to your UNA portal email address. If you are denied admission to GTEP, you must fill out an application to re-apply for admission in order to be reviewed again at a later date.
Once I have been unconditionally admitted to GTEP, can my admission status ever be revoked?
After you have been unconditionally admitted to GTEP, you are expected to maintain all standards covered in the GTEP handbook. Your admission may be rescinded if:
- You fall below required standards, including but not limited to:
- Unacceptable disposition ratings
- Revocation/suspension of background clearance
- Grade of "C" or below on more than six semester hours of graduate coursework
- You become inactive in GTEP for longer than one academic year.
I have been unconditionally admitted to GTEP, now what do I do to complete the program?
Requirements for program completion include:
- Coursework: Complete remaining coursework on official checklist.
- Field Experiences: All education courses require a variety of field experiences in diverse settings. This is an integral preparation component embedded throughout the curriculum. These field experience hours should be logged in the format required by each instructor. Alt A students must satisfy 51 additional hours of field experiences outside of class requirements.
- Multicultural Experience: Submit documentation of a completed multicultural experience to the Office of Teacher Certification.
- Internship: A nine (9) hour internship is the last requirement before graduating and applying for certification. Before a candidate can be admitted to internship, all other teacher education program requirements must be complete.
- Portfolio: Teacher education candidates will develop a professional portfolio, documenting their progress toward becoming knowledgeable practicing professionals. The portfolio provides the basis for assessing progress in, and successful completion of, internship and the teacher education program. This document will provide evidence that all conceptual framework commitments of the University of North Alabama, College of Education and Human Sciences have been met. Interns are responsible for portfolio maintenance, completion, and submission to the university supervisors meeting designated deadlines. A professional portfolio is required of each candidate during their semester of internship. Additional information outlining portfolio requirements will be presented in the internship syllabus.
- Content Area Assessment: Requirement varies by department. Must be completed prior to graduation.
- Graduation: Apply for graduation two (2) semesters in advance.
After completing my teacher education program, and graduating, how do I apply for certification?
You will receive the necessary paperwork to apply for certification during your internship semester. During this semester you will:
- Complete and return the application for certification, along with a certification fee, to the UNA Office of Teacher Certification by the posted deadline.
- After the semester has completed and degrees have been conferred, all recommendations for certification will be sent to the Alabama State Department of Education.
- The Alabama State Department of Education will send your issued certificate to the mailing address listed on the application.
- Candidates who wish to complete a teacher education program at UNA and apply for teacher certification in another state are responsible for contacting the appropriate Department of Education of that state to determine specific requirements of that state.
Other Important Information Regarding the Alt A program
Candidates who hold a degree with less than the required 2.5 GPA will not be allowed to take coursework to improve that GPA. The Alabama State Department of Education will only accept the GPA that was used as the basis for granting the earned degree.
If a graduate degree was used as the basis for admission to the Alt A program, no graduate credit from that degree may be applied to the Alt A program for certification purposes. However, if an undergraduate degree was used as the basis for admission to the Alt A program, then master’s level coursework previously taken will be reviewed and may be applied to an Alt A teacher education program if approved by the College of Education & Human Sciences.
Although UNA does offer some online courses, there is a significant portion of this degree that requires student presence on campus. Graduate education courses are offered in the late evening/night timeframe to accommodate the working professional.
This program typically takes students two-three years to complete. It cannot be completed in one year.
For cost of attendance, please contact Student Financial Services at (256) 765-4278 or you may visit their webpage at http://www.una.edu/financial-aid/.
SAC employment status must be initiated by an employing superintendent. Candidates will not be eligible for a SAC until unconditionally admitted to the Alt A graduate teacher education program.
Click here for an official checklist (program of study) for an Alt A program.
Click here for an Admission to Candidacy form.
Alt A Contact Personnel
If you are not yet a UNA student, and you have questions regarding the information presented above and/or additional questions that were not addressed above, please contact Dr. Simpson at:
Dr. Jill Simpson
If you are already enrolled in the Alternative A program at UNA and are seeking advisement, please contact Dr. Lewis at:
Dr. Linda Lewis