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Adolescence Education

Frequently Asked Questions

APPLYING TO GRADUATE AND SECOND BACHELOR DEGREE PROGRAMS

How do I apply to the graduate degree programs offered by the Department of Teaching & Learning? How do I apply for a second bachelor's degree?

You must have completed a bachelor's degree to apply. Apply for a second bachelor's degree through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Apply to the Graduate school through the Office of Graduate Studies & Extended Learning.

Who can I talk to for advisement?

Advisers will meet with you after you have attended an Adolescence Education information session.

Information sessions will be held on campus twice a semester.  The sessions are held from 4:00 - 5:30 p.m.  Please check the Events link on the Adolescence Education website for the day and location, or call the department secretary at 845-257-2850.

If you are unable to attend one of these sessions, a friend or family member can attend to gather information for you.

After attending an information session, you will be able to make an appointment to receive additional advising from a program coordinator in the appropriate discipline:

Foreign Language: Dr. Marinella Garatti - garattim@newpaltz.edu or (845) 257-3485

Mathematics: Dr. Jason Huang - huangj@newpaltz.edu or (845) 257-2818

English: Dr. Mary Sawyer - sawyerm@newpaltz.edu or (845) 257-3114

Second Language: Dr. Beth Clark-Gareca - garecab@newpaltz.edu or (845) 257-2856

Science: Dr. Devon Duhaney, Interim Coordinator- duhaneyd@newpaltz.edu or (845) 257-2853

Social Studies: Dr. Laura Dull - dullj@newpaltz.edu or (845) 257-2849

How do I know what degree to apply for in order to get my initial teaching certificate?

Generally speaking, if you have a bachelor's or more advanced degree in biology, chemistry, earth science, English, history, mathematics, or physics, you would apply for a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) to obtain your initial teaching certificate. Apply to the Graduate school through the Office of Graduate Studies & Extended Learning.

If you have a bachelor's degree but it is not in one of the above areas, or you do not have a significant number of credits in one of the above areas, you would apply for a second bachelor's degree in Adolescence Education and one of the above disciplines. This degree is housed in the Department of Teaching & Learning. Apply for a second bachelor's degree through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions

I already have my initial teaching certificate. What graduate program do I apply to for my master's degree?

You have several choices. Many students select the Department of Teaching & Learning's Master of Science in Education (MSED) program. Those interested in dual certification consider Special Education, Second Language Education (Teaching English as a Second Language/TESOL) or Literacy. These programs prepare students to teach in K – Grade 12.

The Department of Educational Studies & Leadership in the School of Education offers a master’s degree in Humanistic/Multicultural Education that appeals to many of our graduate students. You may also select a liberal arts degree from the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences that meets the New York State Education Department's requirements for being functionally related to your initial certificate.

For any of these programs, apply to the Graduate school through the Office of Graduate Studies & Extended Learning.

Do I have to take any tests as part of the application to the Department of Teaching & Learning's Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) or Master of Science in Education (MSED) programs?

Yes. All SUNY master's degrees leading to teacher certification require the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) for admission.

What are the deadlines for applications to the Department of Teaching & Learning's graduate programs?

MAT and MSED program application deadlines are March 1 for Fall applicants and October 1 for Spring applicants.  Please note that MAT science and mathematics students starting the program in the Fall semester may take longer to complete the program than two years.

I missed the application deadline for a graduate program, but I would like to take classes next semester. What should I do?

It depends on your plans to transfer graduate credits into the degree program you are applying to. You may be allowed to transfer a maximum of six graduate credits, depending upon the approval of the program coordinator. These six approved credits may be from SUNY New Paltz or from another graduate program.

Do not enroll in any SUNY New Paltz courses prior to matriculation if you already have six graduate credits that you wish to transfer. If you have fewer than six credits to transfer, or none at all, you should meet with the appropriate program coordinator and select a course or courses to take before matriculation.

What are the deadlines for applications to the Department of Teaching & Learning's second bachelor's degree  programs?

Undergraduate program application deadlines are June 1 for Fall applicants and December 1 for Spring applicants. Apply for a second bachelor's degree through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions

I missed the application deadline for a second bachelor's degree program, but I would like to take classes next semester. What should I do?

If you are accepted into the second bachelor's degree program, you will already be transferring in up to 90 undergraduate credits. You cannot exceed 90 transfer credits, so it is best to wait until you are matriculated before taking any courses.

Under some circumstances, you may register for a course offered within the program before matriculation. Registration will reserve you a place in the class, and you can drop the course before classes begin if you are not accepted into the program.

How long does it take to finish the MAT program?

The MAT program is designed to take two years, full time, to complete.

What if I cannot go to school full time?

You can complete these programs part time. The time limit for completion of a graduate degree is seven years.

How long does it take to finish the bachelor's degree program?

If you have few or no transfer credits in your chosen discipline (biology, chemistry, earth science, English, history, mathematics, or physics), the bachelor's degree program will take you two to three years to complete, full time. If you have a graduate degree in one of the above subject areas, the bachelor's degree program will take you two to two-and-a-half years, part time.

From whom should I get letters of recommendation for my graduate program application?

Ask your college professors, professional colleagues, and employers for these letters. Ideally, you will want letters that attest to your disciplinary knowledge, academic skills, and character.

I have a bachelor's degree in an area other than biology, chemistry, earth science, English, history, mathematics, or physics. How do I become certified to teach in one of those areas?

If you have fewer than nine credits in the discipline for which you wish to be certified, you will need to apply for a second bachelor's degree in Adolescence Education and your specific discipline. In highly sequenced degrees (e.g., science or mathematics) you may not be able to apply for a second bachelor's degree until prerequisite courses are completed. If your chosen discipline is English, the nine credits in English must be in addition to required courses in English composition.

Apply for a second bachelor's degree through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

I have a graduate degree in an area other than biology, chemistry, earth science, English, history, mathematics, or physics. How do I become certified to teach in one of those areas?

If you have fewer than nine credits in the discipline for which you wish to be certified, you will need to apply for a second bachelor's degree in Adolescence Education and your specific discipline. In highly sequenced degrees (e.g., science or mathematics) you may not be able to apply for a second bachelor's degree until prerequisite courses are completed. If your chosen discipline is English, the nine credits in English must be in addition to required courses in English composition.

Apply for a second bachelor's degree through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

I have my Master's in Business Administration. Can I become certified to teach business?

You cannot become certified to teach business in a degree program at SUNY New Paltz. However, you can learn more about business education programs by going to the New York State Education Department (NYSED) website for certificate questions: http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert

I already have my Master's in one of the Adolescence Education discipline areas (biology, chemistry, earth science, English, history, mathematics, or physics). How do I get a teaching certificate?

Apply to the college as a transfer student in order to obtain your second bachelor's degree. You will most likely have satisfied your undergraduate disciplinary requirements. Thus, you will take the required education courses (which include fieldwork and student teaching) to obtain a bachelor's degree in Adolescence Education and your discipline.

Apply for a second bachelor's degree through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

I did not take six credits of a foreign language. Does that mean I cannot be accepted into an MAT degree program?

You may still be accepted into an MAT degree program as long as you agree to complete six credits (a two-semester sequence) of a language other than English to remedy this deficiency. This deficiency can also be satisfied by taking one intermediate-level course. American Sign Language (ASL) is considered a language other than English. These courses can be taken at a college other than New Paltz.

I have a bachelor's degree and my certification is now lapsed. Now I want to teach. What should I do?

If you have an older provisional certificate, you must apply to the New York State Education Department for an initial certificate before you can be accepted into our Master of Science in Education (MSED) program.

I have heard that student teaching can sometimes be "waived." Is this true?

Student teaching and pre-student-teaching fieldwork are never waived in the degree programs at SUNY New Paltz. For information about evaluation of teaching experience by the New York State Office of Teaching, go to http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert for more information.

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OBTAINING A NEW YORK STATE TEACHING CREDENTIAL

The easiest way to obtain a NYS teaching certificate is by completing approved teacher preparation degree program, such as those offered by SUNY New Paltz. For more information on the credential process through the State, please visit the New York State Education Department's website: http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/certificate/transeval.html

I wish to extend my grade 7-12 certificate to include grades 5-6. How do I do that?

For certificate extension information, go to the New York State Education Department website.

I wish to extend my elementary grade certification to include grades 7-9. How do I do that?

For certificate extension information, go to the New York State Education Department website.

I have had my transcripts evaluated by the New York State Education Department, and they say I am deficient in "professional education" courses. Can I take professional education courses at New Paltz without being in a degree program?

You may take any course at SUNY New Paltz provided you satisfy its prerequisites. In some cases, you will need permission of the instructor.

Is there an easier way for me to get certified?

Probably not. All New York State teacher certification applicants must meet all coursework, examination, workshop, and other requirements specified in New York State regulations.

How do I register for the teacher certification exams?

Register at the New York State Teacher Certification Examination site. Information about the exams and other requirements is on the New York State Education Department website: 

 

GENERAL QUESTIONS

Why does it take so long and so many credits to become certified to teach?

Simply said, teaching is tremendously challenging, difficult work. Today's Adolescence Education teachers are working to help a wide range of students become thoughtful, productive citizens and successful learners in a variety of disciplines. Teachers need skills to help English language learners and special education students. They need skills to work collaboratively with their colleagues to address diverse students' needs and to advocate for youth. Teachers also need skills to work with parents, families, and communities to ensure young students' success. They need skills to facilitate young students' collaborative group work, to develop project-based curriculum, and to design productive assessment activities. Finally, teachers need to be experts in their subject areas and to be exemplary writers, speakers, listeners, and readers.

Teachers who are not adequately prepared to meet these challenges often either leave the profession prematurely because they are unhappy in their work or are not effective, competent professionals.

Will there be a job for me when I am finished with the program?

This all depends on your willingness to relocate, your success in the program, and your area of expertise. SUNY New Paltz graduate programs have an excellent reputation with regional schools and top graduates often have more than one job offer. Graduates in the areas of foreign language, math, science education, and Special Education have excellent employment opportunities as these areas currently have a teacher shortage.

Once I get my bachelor's degree and initial certification, what do I do next?

You will start to seek your professional certification. One of the requirements for professional certification is a master's degree (e.g., and MSED) functionally related to your discipline. You need to obtain this degree within five years. (Extensions are possible under certain conditions.) You can apply for your professional certification once you have completed three years satisfactory teaching experience. For more information on professional certification, go to the New York State Department of Education website http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert.

I have had my transcripts evaluated by the state. The state says I only need to complete three more courses for a credential, but SUNY New Paltz is telling me I need to complete five more courses in order to complete my degree and credential. Why is SUNY more stringent than the state?

The state requirements are the minimum. Institutions such as SUNY New Paltz can develop higher thresholds for degrees or for completion of their programs. SUNY New Paltz's teacher preparation programs have outstanding reputations as a result of the high standards our students meet.

Who can I talk to for advisement?

Advisers will meet with you after you have attended an Adolescence Education information session.

Information sessions will be held on campus twice a semester.  The sessions are held from 4:00 - 5:30 p.m.  Please check the events link on the Adolescence Education website for the day and location, or call the department secretary at 845-257-2850.

If you are unable to attend one of these sessions, a friend or family member can attend to gather information for you.

After attending an information session, you will be able to make an appointment to receive additional advising from a program coordinator in the appropriate discipline:

Foreign Language: Dr. Marinella Garatti - garattim@newpaltz.edu or (845) 257-3485

Mathematics: Dr. Jason Huang - huangj@newpaltz.edu or (845) 257-2818

English: Dr. Mary Sawyer - sawyerm@newpaltz.edu or (845) 257-3114

Second Language: Dr. Beth Clark-Gareca - garecab@newpaltz.edu or (845) 257-2856

Science: Dr. Devon Duhaney, Interim Coordinator- duhaneyd@newpaltz.edu or (845) 257-2853

Social Studies: Dr. Laura Dull - dullj@newpaltz.edu or (845) 257-2849

 

Application Deadlines:

For the fall:

Review of applications for the fall semester will begin March 1. Late applications will be considered; however, enrollment for the fall semester is not guaranteed. Please note that MAT science, math and foreign language students starting the program in the fall semester may take longer than the three semesters outlined.

For the spring:

Review of applications for the spring semester will begin Oct. 1. Late applications will be considered; however, enrollment for the spring semester is not guaranteed.