College of Education & Human Sciences

Requirements for the Class A Teacher Education Program in a Teaching Field

What is the Class A program for teaching fields?

The purpose of Class A programs for teaching fields shall be to help teachers more effectively serve the purposes defined for the same teaching field at the Class B level provided such programs exist. The intent of the Class A program shall be to help the teacher develop higher levels of competence than is possible in the Class B program.

The UNA College of Education and Human Sciences offers Class A teacher education programs in the following teaching fields: biology, business marketing, chemistry, collaborative teacher, elementary, English to speakers of other languages (ESOL), English language arts, general science, general social science, geography, history, mathematics, music (both choral and instrumental), physical education, and physics. 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 a traditional Class A teaching field program?

Admission to the University does not constitute unconditional admission to a teacher education program. All candidates are admitted to the University on a conditional basis. Conditional admission to the University for candidates pursuing the Class A program for a teaching field requires that candidates have the following:

  1. Degree: A bachelor's or higher degree from a regionally accredited institution is required.
  2. Grade Point Average: A minimum overall grade point average of 3.0 (4.0 scale) on undergraduate or graduate work is required and must be documented on the official transcript documenting the earned degree.
  3. Entrance Exam: A passing score on the appropriate Praxis II exam, a score of 388 on the Miller Analogies Test (MAT), or a score of 146 on the verbal and 140 on the quantitative portions of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required.
  4. Sliding Scale: For candidates with less than the recommended GPA or test score, consideration will be given based on a combination of GPA and test scores. Click here for the current sliding scale.
  5. Background Clearance: Suitability clearance from the Alabama State Department of Education based on ABI/FBI fingerprints is required. The candidate is responsible for the non-refundable, non-transferable fee. A candidate whose suitability determination precludes admission to a State-approved teacher education program has the right to due process. Click here for more information regarding background clearance.
  6. Valid Certificate: A valid bachelor's level professional educator certificate in the same field is required (except for ESOL and collaborative teacher programs, which require a valid bachelor's level certificate in any teaching field). If you have recently been recommended for a bachelor's level certificate, and are waiting to receive your official certificate from the State Department of Education, you may be admitted conditionally for one semester until your official certificate is documented with the UNA Office of Teacher Certification.
  7. 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 to see a complete list of all available majors, including the checklist of required courses for each major.
  8. Graduate Coursework: 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.

How do I apply for admission to UNA?

To apply for admission to 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. All students are admitted to the University on a conditional basis.

How do I register for classes?

Click here for instructions on course registration.

How do I apply for unconditional admission to the graduate teacher education program?

Unconditional admission to the graduate teacher education program (TEP) is not automatic upon admission to the University. All candidates are admitted to UNA on a conditional basis. Candidates must formally apply for unconditional admission to TEP through the Office of Teacher Certification (Stevens Hall #546).  This application process begins in ED/EED 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/EED 000, all of the requirements for unconditional admission to graduate TEP and their corresponding deadlines will be discussed. These requirements are outlined below:

  1. Application: Obtain an application for unconditional admission to graduate TEP from your education advisor or from the Office of Teacher Certification (Stevens Hall #546). Submit the application 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 not be reviewed until March 10).
  2. Graduate Orientation: Complete ED/EED 000 with a grade of "P" or "S."
  3. Valid Certificate: A valid bachelor's level professional educator certificate in the same field is required (except for ESOL and collaborative teacher programs, which require a valid bachelor's level certificate in any teaching field). If you were conditionally admitted to the University based on a recent recommendation for certification, documentation of your official valid certificate must be on file in the Office of Teacher Certification prior to unconditional admission.
  4. Grade Point Average: Maintain a grade average of "B" or better on all graduate coursework 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. A grade point average of 3.0 or higher on graduate work is required for program completion.

When will I know if I am unconditionally admitted into graduate TEP?

You will be notified of your admission status shortly after the 10th day of the month in which you apply. The notice will be sent to your UNA Portal email address. If denied admission to a Class A teacher education program in a teaching field, candidates must fill out an application to re-apply for admission to be reviewed again at a later date.

Once I have been unconditionally admitted to graduate TEP, can my admission status ever be revoked?

After you have been admitted to TEP, you are expected to maintain all standards covered in the graduate TEP 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 graduate TEP for longer than one academic year.

I've been admitted to graduate TEP, what's next?

  1. Coursework: Complete remaining coursework on official checklist. Click here to see a complete list checklists of required courses for each major.
  2. 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 individual instructor.
  3. Program of Study: All candidates must file a signed and approved Program of Study (checklist) with their advisor after completion of 12 hours of graduate coursework.
  4. Admission to Candidacy: All candidates must file a signed and approved Admission to Candidacy form with their advisor after completion of 12 hours of graduate coursework (usually filed along with the Program of Study).
  5. Praxis II exams (ESOL and Collaborative majors only): Pass all appropriate Praxis II exams required for your major. Praxis II exams are administered by Educational Testing Services (ETS). Candidates must pass all Praxis II exams required for their major prior to internship.
  6. Internship (ESOL majors only): Successful completion of an internship shall be required in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programs.
  7. Practicum (Collaborative majors only): Successful completion of a practicum shall be required for initial certification in all special education teaching fields.
  8. Portfolio: Candidates in the graduate teacher education program will develop a professional portfolio, documenting their progress toward becoming knowledgeable practicing professionals. Additional information outlining portfolio requirements will be presented in your last semester of coursework.
  9. Content Area Assessment: Requirement varies by department. Must be completed prior to graduation.
  10. Grade Point Average: Maintain a grade average of "B" or better on all graduate coursework 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. A grade point average of 3.0 or higher on graduate work is required for program completion.
  11. Graduation: Apply for graduation two (2) semesters in advance.
    • Fall candidates should apply between January 1 and April 30
    • Spring candidates should apply between May 1 and August 31
    • Summer candidates should apply between September 1 and November 30

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 last semester of coursework. 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 applications for certification will be sent to the Alabama State Department of Education, along with the UNA recommendations and official transcripts. The Alabama State Department of Education will send your issued certificate to the mailing address listed on your application.

  • An individual who completes a State-approved program must submit an application for Alabama certification within 60 calendar months of program completion.
  • A candidate cannot be recommended for certification based on completion of a program for which State approval expired more than seven years prior to the date of program completion.
  • Coursework used to meet Class B certification requirements may not be used to meet Class A certification in any teaching field or area of instructional support. Coursework used to meet Class A certification requirements may not be used to meet certification requirements for Class AA certification in any teaching field or area of instructional support.
  • Candidates who wish to complete a teacher education program at UNA and apply for teacher certification in another state are responsible for contacting the Department of Education of that state to determine specific requirements of that state.

Other important information regarding the Class A teacher education program:

  1. Tuition: 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/index.html.
  2. Transfer Credit: Graduate students may request up to six hours of coursework from other institutions to be counted toward their UNA degree program. A decision will be made after the request has been reviewed to ensure compliance with UNA and Alabama State Department of Education standards. This process should start with your assigned advisor. Transferred courses and/or credits used to meet approved program requirements must have been completed at a regionally accredited institution that prepares teachers on the same degree level of certification.
  3. Transient Credit: Candidates who are enrolled at UNA and who wish to take coursework at another institution to transfer credits back to UNA must secure pre-approval from the Dean of the college in which the candidate is enrolled. Candidates on academic probation, academic warning, or conditional admission cannot be approved for transient work. Candidates may not receive transient approval for courses failed in residence at UNA. Transferred courses and/or credits used to meet approved program requirements must have been completed at a regionally accredited institution that prepares teachers on the same degree level of certification.
  4. Program/Course Validity: Each University catalog is in effect for seven (7) years. If requirements for program completion are not met during the 7-year period, the bulletin expires and the candidate must elect and satisfy requirements of a more recent bulletin in effect. Enrolled candidates, whose 7-year bulletin entitlement expires as a result of discontinued enrollment or from having transferred to another university, are subject to the requirements of the bulletin current at the time of re-enrollment. Courses taken that have exceeded the 7-year period may not be counted towards program completion.
  5. Special Alternative Certificate (SAC): A Special Alternative Certificate (SAC) allows a superintendent or administrator to employ an applicant who is completing requirements for initial Class A certification in a teaching field through a State-approved Class A program at an Alabama institution. The SAC employment process must be initiated by a school system.

For more information about a specific teaching field program, please contact the administrative assistant of the respective department:

Elementary Education - contact Ms. Susan Freeman at (256) 765-4251 or sjfreeman@una.edu.

Collaborative Teacher - contact Ms. Susan Freeman at (256) 765-4251 or sjfreeman@una.edu.

Secondary Education (including both 6-12 and P-12 disciplines) - contact Ms. Charlotte Justice at (256) 765-4575 or cfjustice@una.edu.