One of the most influential factors in a teacher candidates’ preparation is internship (Lemma, 1993; Wilson, 2006). The Expert Mentor Teacher (EMT) program is an alternative model for teacher candidate internship for both traditional and nontraditional students in their capstone term. The School of Education faculty in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction attempt to have candidates placed with the most effective teachers for internship. The Expert Mentor Teacher Program includes a process of application that originated with master teachers in the community contributing to the design of the program tenets.
Originally, the program was under the umbrella of in-house Bell-South funding. Once the funding exhausted, the Department of Curriculum and Instruction maintained the program. The teacher candidates now apply to be placed with master teachers that have been identified by administrators in schools systems, the faculty at UAB School of Education, and often by people in the community. Many of the master teachers are former EMT candidates, Nationally Board Certified, have advanced degrees, and are recognized as teachers of the year in schools, systems, and the state. For our teacher candidates to have opportunities to learn about teaching early childhood and elementary learners in apprenticeships from the most effective and innovative teachers in the area is an advantage. Once the participants in the program graduate, most are placed in school teaching positions. After 17 years of the program’s existence, many of the graduates from the School of Education serve as mentor teachers for teacher candidates.
The EMT program is not accepting applications for Fall 2016.