Through the Department of Teaching and Learning, postbaccalaureate students may enroll in courses that lead to teaching certification at the elementary and secondary levels. SMU offers courses in all three grade ranges: early childhood–grade six, grade four–grade eight and grade seven–grade 12. For all educator preparation questions, students should contact the Department of Teaching and Learning at email@example.com or 214-768-2346.
To become a teacher, students must pass two state examinations: one that covers content and one that covers both instruction/pedagogy and professional responsibilities. The exams are offered periodically throughout the year by the State Board for Educator Certification. Once an individual has completed preparation coursework, completed student teaching or an internship, and passed the appropriate examinations, she/he submits fingerprints, passes a criminal background check and is awarded a standard teaching certificate by SBEC. General information about educator preparation in Texas is available from the SBEC at www.sbec.state.tx.us.
An individual who already has a bachelor’s degree and wants to attend SMU to become a certified teacher must satisfy most of the same curricular requirements as undergraduates and follow many of the same procedures. SMU’s Educator Preparation program requires 21 credit hours of coursework plus nine credit hours of field-work (three hours of early field experience and six hours of either student teaching or internship) for a total of 30 credit hours. Students meet each term with their adviser, who guides the program of study.
The classroom courses and field experiences are based on the Texas standards for beginning teachers and can be completed in three regular terms if attending full time. Throughout the course of study, students are expected to maintain high levels of performance and to develop habits of reflection, as well as acquire knowledge and skills of practice. Professors model learning experiences that are considered best practices for all learners. Within their classes, students are expected to work collaboratively in small groups, complete simulated teacher tasks, pose questions for class inquiry and use multiple resources to answer questions.
Postbaccalaureate Educator Preparation Entrance Requirements
Before enrolling in the Postbaccalaureate Educator Preparation courses, all students must provide the following:
- An official transcript showing a bachelor’s degree awarded with an overall GPA of 2.500. Transcripts from countries outside the United States must be accompanied by official evaluations by an SMU-recognized evaluation agency.
- Students applying for teacher preparation in EC through grade six and grade four–grade eight must have at least 24 hours of core content comprised of six credit hours in each of the following, with no grade lower than a C (2.000): math, English, science and social studies.
- Students applying for grade seven–grade 12 must have at least 24 credit hours, with 12 hours of advanced courses in an approved teaching field.
- A letter of reference from an employer or professor.
- For international students applying from countries where English is not the native language, the TOEFL English language proficiency test must be taken. A minimum score of 92 must be earned on the IBT version of the exam with a minimum score of 26 on the speaking portion of the exam.
- A written essay that must be completed in the adviser’s office; a prompt for the essay is supplied.
- An official interview with Department of Teaching and Learning advisers.