As we start the new semester, I want to update our readers who are current or future UTPA Reading M.Ed. students about some changes and events related to our program.
The state of Texas has changed its laws regarding teacher certification. Since the current Reading M.Ed. is a certification program along with a degree program, these changes affect us. Most importantly, students who want to be certified as Reading Specialists must now have 160 hours of internship. Since our current program really isn’t set up to support 160 hours of internship, we are working to revise the program. We believe that all these changes will result in a stronger Master’s degree. Our hope is that the new degree plan will be approved to begin fall 2012.
We are not being allowed to grandfather in students, so anyone who is currently a Reading M.Ed. student will have to complete the internship (with the exception of a few current students who took READ 6325 last year). In addition, people who graduated from our program already but did not get certified for some reason may run into some certification difficulties. If you are in this situation–you graduated last semester or a year ago or two years ago and did not pursue certification–and you want to get your Reading Specialist certificate, do it RIGHT AWAY. At some point soon, possibly this fall, the certification office will begin enforcing the law for you and and you will have to go back and take two internship courses.
TExES Review Sessions
Another fairly recent change is that the state of Texas now requires everyone who gets a teaching certification to have six hours of test preparation. You will not qualify for certification if you don’t have those hours, even if you pass the test without them!
There are two Reading Specialist and Master Reading Teacher test preparation sessions scheduled for spring. The first will be March 24 from 9:00-12:00. The second will be April 14 from 9:00-12:00.
Written Comprehensive Exam
Current students who anticipate graduating this May or August must pass the written comprehensive exam. The exam will be on April 21 from 9:00-12:00. This is the only time the exam will be offered until next fall. Dr. Schall will be in contact with eligible students, but if you don’t here from her soon and you think you should be taking the comps, let her know.
Once a student passes their written comprehensive exam and completes six hours of test preparation, they are eligible to take the Reading Specialist TExES.