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Department of Education  

FAQ


All Prospective Students

Who should I contact first if I am interested in becoming a teacher or if I have any questions about your area of interest?

E-mail:

  teach@unca.edu

or call: 

  828.251.6304

Why should I choose UNC Asheville over other universities’ programs?

UNC Asheville’s licensure program is effective and provides rigorous preparation for prospective teachers. The typical UNC Asheville candidate passes the PRAXIS II Specialty Area Exams (required for licensure) with a score that is more than 30 points above the required passing score in North Carolina. Classes are small (generally no larger than 20) and are taught by full faculty or highly qualified adjuncts (no graduate teaching assistants here!). Candidates are given extensive experience in schools prior to student teaching; the vast majority of classes in our program have a field component, where candidates are observing, assisting, and teaching in public school classrooms.

Will I get the same sort of license I would get if I completed a program that grants a bachelor’s degree in Education?

Yes. You will be recommended for a North Carolina Standard Professional I license, which is the same license anyone completing an education degree gets.

What if I want to move away from North Carolina after I get my license?

North Carolina has reciprocity with the majority of states, Puerto Rico, and Guam. Further, UNC Asheville is an NCATE-accredited institution, which makes transferring your license simpler, even in states that don’t have formal reciprocal licensing agreements with NC. You may not get the exact same license, because different states use different licensure categories – but your license is definitely “portable.”

I am working full time. Will it be easy for me to complete UNC Asheville’s licensure program?

That depends on how much flexibility you have with regard to your job. UNC Asheville is primarily an undergraduate daytime institution and we cannot guarantee that every class you need will be offered at a time that is convenient for you. We do rotate courses so that they are offered mornings one semester and afternoons or evenings the next semester.

What is the difference between informal and formal admission to the program?

Take a moment to review departmental requirements on the Admission to Licensure Program page.

Can I ever get a license if I have been convicted of a crime other than a minor traffic violation?

We cannot say for sure; a lot will depend on what the offense was and when it happened. Schools are becoming more particular about safety, and that includes carefully screening their volunteers and other adult visitors. At several points in the UNC Asheville program, you will be asked to disclose whether or not you have been convicted of a crime; further, all candidates will be asked to do one or more criminal background checks during the licensure program. Complete honesty is critical; in some cases, failure to disclose a crime has caused more problems for candidates than the crime itself.

Unfortunately, we are not able to say definitively whether a school will allow a candidate with a criminal record to complete field placements within their walls – each school/district has particular policies regarding convictions. Nor can we tell you definitively whether or not the state will give you a license – that decision is up to the State Ethics Panel, and they choose to withhold judgment until each candidate is completely finished with his or her program of study. The good news is that only a very small percentage of candidates with convictions are rejected by the state as ineligible for licensure. Some candidates have been called before the Ethics Panel, but the great majority of them are eventually approved for licensure.

In the event that you disclose a conviction to us and/or your background check reveals something pertinent, you will be asked to write a letter of explanation and to provide all relevant court documents. With that being said, know this: your privacy is of paramount importance to us. Only those faculty members whose job it is to make decisions about candidates’ progress through the program will be privy to the information you provide.

What programs (areas of licensure) are available at UNC Asheville?

Areas of Licensure at UNC Asheville 

Current Undergraduate Students

What tests do I have to take to become licensed?

The answer to this question depends on your individual circumstances. In general, everyone is expected to demonstrate adequate ability in reading, writing, and math. Many do this by taking the PRAXIS I Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST) or Computer-Based Test (CBT). Some people are exempt, though, from all or part of the PRAXIS I. Consult with your education advisor to figure out which of the following requirements applies to you.

Can I major in education at UNC Asheville?

No. But that is a good thing! At UNC Asheville, you can complete a degree in one of the liberal arts disciplines offered here, and earn your K-6 teaching license in addition to your major. Unlike those candidates who major in education at other universities, candidates who seek licensure through UNC Asheville have a two-pronged career path. They can teach, of course, but they can also get a job related to their major field of study. UNC Asheville program completers can go to graduate school in education OR in their major academic discipline.

I have heard that UNC Asheville’s program takes five years to complete. 

With careful planning, undergraduate students can complete their degree and licensure coursework (including student teaching) in four years. If you are interested in licensure, it is in your best interest to contact the departmental administrative assistant as soon as possible; you will be assigned an education advisor who will help you plan your course of study.

I am thinking about transferring from a community college. What should I do to make my transition to UNC Asheville as smooth as possible?

The most important thing to do is to make sure you have completed the 44-hour core. (Remember those words: the 44 hour core!) Completing the core (with or without an Associate’s degree) will give you the most seamless entry into the UNC Asheville licensure program.

When should I take the PRAXIS I (if I am required to take it)?

Taking PRAXIS I during the semester in which you take EDUC 210 is strongly recommended. You cannot be formally admitted to the program until you have taken PRAXIS I (or met the requirements for its equivalent as outlined above).

I am an undergraduate, but I made 1100 or higher on the SAT, or had a composite score of 24 or higher on the SAT. You do not have to take PRAXIS I. Your SAT or ACT scores satisfy the basic competency requirements.

I am an undergraduate, and I did not have 1100 on my SAT or 24 on my ACT, but I did have 550 on an SAT subtest or a 24 on an ACT subtest. You do not have to take PRAXIS I in any area where you scored 550 or better on the SAT or 24 or better on the ACT. In other words, if you had 450 in math, but 550 (SAT) or 24 (ACT) on the reading and writing sections of the test, you would not have to take the reading or writing sections of the PRAXIS I. Your scores in reading and writing would satisfy the basic competency requirements. You would however, have to take the Math section of PRAXIS I.

How do I get an Education Advisor? What if I already have an advisor in my major?

All undergraduate licensure candidates have two advisors: one in the major field or study, and one in education. Having two advisors ensures that you are taking exactly the courses you need and that you will not spend time completing unnecessary requirements.  To request an education advisor, visit the Department of Education Administrative Assistant in ZAG 110. You will also be given a chance to complete a form during EDUC 210. Completing the form as early as possible is the best idea as it will allow Department of Education personnel to help you plan your course of study.

Can I take any courses during student teaching? 

No courses other than EDUC 455 (Student Teaching and Seminar) and EDUC 456 (The Teacher as a 21st Century Professional) can be taken during student teaching. All other coursework must be complete before you student teach.

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Current Post-Baccalaureate Students

What tests do I have to take to become licensed?

The answer to this question depends on your individual circumstances. In general, everyone is expected to demonstrate adequate ability in reading, writing, and math. Many do this by taking the PRAXIS I Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST) or Computer-Based Test (CBT). Some people are exempt, though, from all or part of the PRAXIS I. Consult with your education advisor to figure out which of the following requirements applies to you.

I already have a degree, and my GPA upon completion was 2.5 or greater.

 You do not have to take PRAXIS I. Your completion of the degree satisfies the basic competency requirement.

I already have a degree, but my cumulative GPA upon completion was between 2.0 and 2.4999.

You are required to take all three sections of PRAXIS I in fulfillment of the terms of the Plan of Study under which you were admitted.

I already have a degree. Can I pursue licensure at UNCA?

Yes. If your cumulative GPA was 2.5 or higher when you finished your degree, you can be informally admitted to the UNC Asheville licensure program to seek licensure.

If your cumulative GPA was between 2.0 and 2.5 when you finished your degree, you will enter UNC Asheville’s licensure program on a Plan of Study. The Plan of Study requires you to (a) pass PRAXIS I in reading, writing, and mathematics, and (b) complete nine hours of non-education coursework (in areas determined by a program advisor) with a GPA of 3.0. Once you have fulfilled the terms of your plan of study, you can be informally admitted to the program.

I am a post-baccalaureate student. How long will the program take me?

Most post-baccalaureate students take two or three full-time semesters of coursework and a semester for student teaching.

 I already have a teaching license. I want to…

Add K-6 as an area: One way to add K-6 licensure would be for you take the coursework for elementary education and student teaching, just as other candidates do. You might also consider adding K-6 as an area to your license, which you can do by taking and passing the PRAXIS II Specialty Area Exams for Elementary Education (Tests 100011 and 20012). A word of caution: passing the test does not necessarily mean that you know all you need to know to become a successful classroom teacher. For individuals considering taking PRAXIS to add K-6 to their license, we recommend taking the content-area methods courses (EDUC 317, 322, 340, 344, 388) PRIOR to taking the test.

Reactivate my expired license:

I have an out-of-state license. I want to get licensed in NC. What do I do?

Click here to view the NC Department of Public Instruction’s procedures for obtaining licensure, along with other Frequently Asked Questions.

 

Last edited by amartine@unca.edu on February 8, 2013