The University of West Alabama has been approved by the Alabama State Board of Education to offer Education Specialist programs in the following areas: Elementary Education, Early Childhood, Collaborative Special Education K-6 and 6-12, Library Media, and School Counseling. The essential objective of the sixth-year level programs shall be to extend upward the level of competence of the teacher.
All students seeking certification in any field shall be required to complete a general survey course in Special Education (3 semester hours) if such a course was not a part of their undergraduate program or another graduate program. A research component including research and/or field work will be an integral part of all specialist programs in education.
A candidate who took a course for credit in a master’s level program cannot take the same course for credit in the education specialist program. Completion of sixth-year programs requires at least 30 semester hours of credit not used for prior level certification in the same teaching field.
Program Admission Requirements
General requirements for admission to all programs at the sixth-year level include the following:
The candidate shall:
Meet all requirements for admission to the School of Graduate Studies.
*Hold the master’s-level professional educator certificate in the same teaching or instructional support field in which the Education Specialist degree is sought.
Have had recent experience in the area of specialization.
*All Instructional Leadership candidates must hold a Class A Professional Educator Certificate in Instructional Leadership or one of the other Class A leadership certificate designations [Instructional Leader, Principal, Superintendent, Superintendent-Principal, Educational Administrator, Supervisor (any subject and/or grade level), Administrator of Career and Technical Education.]
Program Completion Requirements
The following requirements must be met prior to completion of the sixth-year programs.
The candidate shall:
Maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.25 in all courses in the approved program as verified on an official transcript.
Make a satisfactory score on a written comprehensive examination documenting mastery of the curriculum of the teacher education program.
Demonstrate leadership ability in his or her area of specialization.
Additional Information. If an individual completes an Alabama Education Specialist program based on a master’s level certificate from another state and applies for Alabama certification at the Class AA level, the individual must earn an Alabama Class A (master’s level) Professional Educator Certificate prior to applying for the Class AA certificate.