Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long will it take to complete the Alternative Masters Program?

Unfortunately there is no one answer to this question. Much depends on your previous coursework, your GPA, the program you’re interested in, and how many classes you want to take each semester. We’ll be able to give you a specific answer once we evaluate your records (see "What’s Next?" below).

2. When are classes taught?

Classes in the Alternative Masters Program are available at night; however some of your courses will require extensive school-based experiences that will have to be completed during normal public school hours. Your internship (student teaching) will also take place during public school hours.

3. Is it possible to work full time while completing the Alternative Masters Program?

The answer depends on your work schedule, your goals, and the specific courses involved. It is important to discuss your situation with your faculty advisor or the department chair as early in your planning as possible. As noted above, some of your courses will require school-based experiences that you will have to complete during public school hours.

4. Do I have to complete an internship (student teaching)?

Yes. All Alternative Masters students complete at least one internship appropriate to their certification program. Some programs may require a second internship of fewer hours.

5. What does an internship involve?

The internship requires that you be in school full time (bell-to-bell) for a minimum of fifteen weeks (note that some programs may require slightly less than this). The internship is not limited to one classroom or grade level.

  • Secondary Alternative Masters students seeking two teaching fields have their internship divided among their two fields.

  • P-12 internships are divided between early childhood/elementary grades and secondary grades.

  • Your experiences during this internship will gradually progress to the point where you will be required to teach for at least twenty days, ten of which must be on consecutive days.

    6. Is it possible to work full time during my internship?

    Because the internship is full time and during regular public school hours, many students need to quit their jobs or take a leave of absence in order to complete it. It is important, then, that you decide very early in your program whether you will be able to make such a commitment. We strongly recommend that you talk with your faculty advisor for help in making this decision.

    7. Can I take other courses while I am completing my internship?

    Since your internship is the culmination of all your coursework, it is necessary to complete that coursework first. Any request for an exception should be discussed with your faculty advisor. In no case will you be allowed to leave the internship classroom in order to take courses.

    8. Are there other ways to get certified to teach in Alabama?

    Yes. One option is to complete certification requirements at the undergraduate level. If you are not eligible for admission to the Alternative Master’s Program we’ll send you an outline of undergraduate requirements when we evaluate your transcript (see next page). There are also other routes to certification. For additional information regarding those routes, contact the Alabama State Department of Education:

    Alabama State Department of Education

    Teacher Education and Certification Office

    5201 Gordon Persons Building

    Post Office Box 302101

    Montgomery, AL 36130-2102 7

    (334) 242-9977

    http://www.alsde.edu/html/home.asp

    9. Do I need a minimum GPA to be certified at the master’s (Class A) level?

    Yes. You will need a cumulative (overall) GPA of 3.00 on all courses in your program.