2020 - 2021 Graduate Catalogue 
    Mar 24, 2023  
2020 - 2021 Graduate Catalogue [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Alternative Class A Program (Certification)

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The Alternative Class A program is designed to serve those educator candidates who have completed a non-teaching baccalaureate degree. The program enables an educator candidate to obtain a master’s degree and Class A certification and is offered in the following teaching areas:

  • MED, Elementary Education (K-6)/Early Childhood Education(P-3)
  • MED, Special Education(K-6)
  • MED, Special Education (6-12)
  • MED, Physical Education (P-12)
  • MAT, Physical Education (P-12)
  • MED, Biology (6-12)
  • MAT, Biology (6-12)
  • MED, Mathematics (6-12)
  • MAT, Mathematics (6-12)
  • MED, General Science (6-12)
  • MAT, General Science (6-12)
  • MED, English Language Arts (6-12)
  • MAT, English Language Arts (6-12)
  • MED, History (6-12)
  • MAT, History (6-12)
  • MED, Social Science (6-12)
  • MAT, Social Science (6-12)

Upon submission of an application for admission to the UWA Graduate School, indicating an interest in the Alternative Class A Program, the Certification Office will determine eligibility for that program.

An applicant may be admitted to the Alternative Class A Program under the following provisions:

  1. At least a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum grade point average of 2.75 on a four-point scale as posted by the degree-granting college or university at the time of graduation. An applicant with a 2.74 GPA to a 2.50 GPA must meet an alternative Praxis II score for admission.
  2. A passing score on the appropriate Praxis II exam for the field of study. The only exceptions are the Special Education K-6 and 6-12 program and Early Childhood program. In these programs, an applicant must submit a passing score on the Praxis II Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects test.  Register online at www.ets.org/praxis or call 1-800-772-9476 or 1-866-387-8602 (for disability services).
  3. A passing score on the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators.  For further information:  http://www.ets.org/praxis/al
  4. Fingerprint clearance by ABI and FBI through Cogent. For more information, go to the following website: www.cogentid.com/al/index_ade.htm 


  • Applicants must be unconditionally admitted prior to enrolling in any courses in the Alternative Class A Program.
  • A program in a given teaching field is designed to develop appropriate Class B teaching competencies.

All other Graduate School admission requirements and policies apply to this program.

Internship Requirement in the Alternative Class A Program

A full time internship in an approved Alabama or partnership school is also required in the Alternative A Program. The educator candidate must be within four semester hours of completing all coursework excluding internship. The deadline to apply for Fall Internship is February 1. The deadline for Spring Internship is September 1.

Applications for Internship may be requested by contacting the Coordinator of Clinical Experiences in the College of Education.

The Educator Candidate Internship Program at The University of West Alabama is the culmination of professional preparation for prospective educators during which their professional knowledge and competencies are put into practice for further development and refinement in actual teaching situations. This phase of training is considered to be one of the most important learning experiences provided for the prospective educator. The educator candidates can expect to spend approximately 15 weeks in an accredited Partnership School System.

Through the guidance of local school officials, the clinical faculty and educator candidate interns progressively assume a share of the responsibility for the learning process in the classroom and are given the opportunity of developing their individual capabilities to the fullest extent possible. It gives them opportunities to apply theoretical knowledge in practical situations, to synthesize what has been learned in courses in professional education, and to reflect upon their experiences in a public school setting.

The Partnership School for educator candidate internships should consist of an orientation, a gradual induction into full teaching responsibility and opportunities to explore those experiences of professional teachers outside of their teaching responsibilities. Freedom to relate principles and theories consistent with the conceptual framework of the practical experience model of teacher education at the University of West Alabama is crucial to internship and field experiences. The process skills of collaboration, application, inquiry, and reflection are practiced under the guidance of the clinical faculty. Continuous evaluation of the growth and development of the intern by the college supervisor and the cooperating teacher in addition to the constant reflection upon experiences by the intern will lead to a successful induction into the world of practice. An Alabama or partnership school site containing these elements should provide the most effective setting for initiation into the profession.

The internship in Alternative Class A programs shall be full-time in the schools for a full semester in the teaching field for which certification is sought.  For educator candidates who are seeking certification in two or more distinct teaching fields, an additional 15 week internship(s) shall be required.


Under no circumstances will the internship requirement be waived regardless of current or prior teaching experience.

The Internship is considered an on-campus courses and educator candidates are expected to be in attendance at any seminars and class meetings on UWA’s campus as required.

General Requirements for Admission to the Internship:

  1. Submission of internship application. The application consists of the appropriate forms, a brief autobiographical sketch, and a student articulated personal philosophy of education and its relationship to teaching practices.
  2. Within four semester hours of completing all coursework excluding internship*
  3. A minimum quality point ratio of 3.25 in each of the following areas: A. Overall, B. Teaching field, C. Professional
  4. Approval of the Educator Preparation Screening Committee, and the Coordinator of Field Education.
  5. Passing score on all required Praxis II testing portion of the Alabama Educator Certification Testing Program must be submitted to the Certification Office prior to the last day of classes of the semester prior to internship being completed.
  6. Current background clearance on file with the Alabama State Department of Education.
  7. Freedom from any physical, mental, or emotional condition which might impair the student’s effectiveness as a teacher.
  8. Good standing of the educator candidate, both academic and disciplinary.


Internship applicants should not seek to do their internship in schools which they attended as students. Interns should not plan to participate in organizational activities and/or University activities that in any way conflict with their internship assignments.

*With approval of the Graduate Dean, educator candidates with a GPA of 3.40 or higher may register up to four semester hours in addition to the internship. No coursework may be taken during the normal operational hours of the P-12 school.

Program Completion Requirements

All policies of the School of Graduate Studies apply to this program.

The educator candidate shall maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.25 or better in all courses in the approved program as verified on an official transcript with no grade less than “C.”


Beginning Fall 2018, a passing score on the Education Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA) is required for all initially certification programs (undergraduate and Alternate A programs).  All University of West Alabama (UWA) student interns must complete and pass edTPA during their internship course (ED 409/ED 509) for student teaching requirements and Alabama educator certification.  A passing score on edTPA is a UWA degree requirement.  UWA students will no longer be required to take the PLT.

edTPA is a portfolio assessment developed by Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity (SCALE) featuring three tasks:  planning, instruction, and assessment.  It is a performance-based, subject-specific assessment and support system used by teacher preparation programs throughout the United States to emphasize, measure, and support the skills and knowledge that all teachers need from Day 1 in the classroom.

All UWA interns will receive support and guidance throughout the completion of edTPA.  For additional information on edTPA, refer to the following website:  https://www.edtpa.com/PageView.aspx?f=GEN_Alabama.html



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