To our Student Teacher Interns-
We finally have clarity on the matter of internship requirements. Because Governor Ivey shuttered the public schools for the remainder of the academic year, the Alabama State Department of Education has waived all ‘length of placement’ and ‘cumulative hour’ requirements for student teaching. There is no need for any of you to return to campus! So, as long as you earn a passing grade for your internship, and fulfill all other program requirements, including passing grades on the Praxis assessments and the edTPA, you should be good to go.
By now you have probably noticed that the University is allowing all students to opt for a pass/fail grade this semester. I suggest that you consider the statement that our Advising Office posted on this matter or otherwise seek the assistance of an advisor before you make a pass/fail selection.
STUDENTS IN CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS IN TEACHER EDUCATION ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO CONTINUE WITH THE TRADITIONAL GRADING SYSTEM RATHER THAN THE PASS/FAIL OPTION. UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES, THE PASS/FAIL OPTION COULD PRESENT A CHALLENGE FOR TIMELY PROGRESSION AND PROGRAM COMPLETION.
STUDENTS IN UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMS LEADING TO TEACHER CERTIFICATION
If you are an undergraduate student in a teacher certification program and plan to exercise the Pass/Fail option for the Spring, 2020 semester, it is imperative that you contact an advisor in Student Services before doing so. Your minimum GPA must be 2.75 overall, 2.75 in the teaching field, and 2.75 in professional studies courses. A grade of “Pass” does not calculate into your GPA. You are strongly encouraged to complete this semester with the traditional grading system and not to choose the Pass/Fail Option.
STUDENTS IN GRADUATE PROGRAMS LEADING TO TEACHER CERTIFICATION
Graduate students in all certification programs are encouraged to contact their faculty advisor before exercising the Pass/Fail option for Spring, 2020 semester. All master’s level students (Alt A and Traditional A) must complete a program with a minimum 3.25 GPA, while EdS (Class AA) program completers must earn 3.50 for graduation and program completion. The State Dept. does not allow the ‘rounding-up’ of GPAs. Grades of “Pass” do not calculate into the GPA.
Update on Teaching Internships (March 19, 2020)
To Our Student Teachers
We have been notified that the Superintendent of Education in the State of Alabama will decide on March 30th whether to keep the schools shuttered. This decision will obviously determine whether the internship obligations that many of you still face will continue to be required. If the schools are closed, the internships will no longer be available and we will rely on the State to give us direction on how to proceed. I would expect something of an accommodation to follow. In such a case, there will be no need for you to return to campus. If the schools reopen, we will reevaluate the situation altogether. We still might be able find our way through the problem. We are, in fact, working to avoid a scenario that involves returning to campus. My advice, at this point, would be to do nothing until we learn more on March 30th.
The Things You Should Know and Do in the Coming Weeks, as Matters Stand today, March 15th
To all COE Students, March 15, 2020, From Dean Peter Hlebowitsh
To All COE Students-
This a challenging time for us. It is also the best time for you to demonstrate helping behaviors marked by responsibility and goodwill. We need to work together to find a way to move through this disruptive period. This will require patience and understanding – not panic and discord.
You all have a little time to get ready for your online classes. Be sure that you have everything in order. Do not hesitate to contact your professors and if you have any issues with technological concerns, be sure to contact Traci Sellers (email@example.com 205-348-2445). We want you to have a solidly strong educational experience online, so you should do everything on your end to be maximally prepared. For those of you who are remaining on campus, most of the facilities will remain open but will be operating under restrictive conditions. The campus will be open and staffed, but the social distancing strategy still holds and you should avoid any large group gatherings.
To Student Teacher Interns-
On Monday, I will be petitioning State Superintendent Mackey for a blanket waiver of all internships requirements for currently enrolled UA student teacher interns. There is no telling whether the request will be approved or even how long it might take to get a response. Therefore, as of today, March 15th, all student teacher interns should understand that all internship requirements still apply. Because Governor Ivey shuttered all of the P-12 schools in Alabama for a two and one half week period, student teacher interns should now be thinking about resuming their internship work on April 6th. If any of you have campus housing, you need to contact Matt Kerch (firstname.lastname@example.org 205-348-9364) to ensure that your housing will be ready for you no later than April 6th. Please also remember that all other requirements for graduation and certification remain intact and are not affected by the decision to move to an online teaching platform. All GPA, edTPA and Praxis test requirements still apply. If any of you are not comfortable returning to your internship for any reason, please contact Tammy Brown (email@example.com 205-348-5089) to get advice on what you should do next. We will try to work with you but you have to understand that the teacher certification rules belong to the State. We cannot change them. Let’s hope we get some help from the Alabama State Department of Education this week. I suggest you wait a few days before you arrange to return to campus. Wish me luck and stay tuned!
To Graduate Students-
All graduate students supported by the University, which includes those supported by grant funding, should continue to fulfill your normative obligations. Please work with your advisors for instructions on how to move forward.
To Students in Teacher Education Courses with Field Experience Obligations-
Field experience obligations in teacher education courses not tied to student teachers are suspended. Faculty will continue to teach the courses online but will no longer expect students to log time in the schools.
To Students in Kinesiology with Internship Obligations-
A handful of Kinesiology majors have internships that stand in the way of graduation this semester. I am working with Dr. Wingo to see if we can simply relax or altogether dispense of the requirements.
Let’s use this moment in time to convert a disadvantage into an advantage by following the rules set down by the CDC and by transcending the proscriptions we face and finding a way to make ourselves better and stronger.
Response to COVID-19, March 14, 2020
To UA students presently enrolled in last semester of internship or residency requirements:
All P-12 public schools in Alabama will close no later than the end of the school day Wednesday, March 18, 2020 and reopen Monday, April 6, 2020 in response to COVID-19. This closing will impact many students/candidates/interns who are completing their final semester of field experiences, internships, and instructional leadership residency requirements. We have received notice from the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) that case-by-case waiver requests for candidates unable to complete the “full semester” or “required number of days” in the schools due to these closings will be considered for program completion and certification if certain criteria have been met.
You are encouraged to check the UA and College of Education websites regularly, as information is subject to change. You are now scheduled for an extended Spring Break until Monday, March 30, at which time the UA will move to distance learning. Since the P-12 schools in Alabama will not be in session the week of March 30th, you will not be going to a placement. If you are enrolled in UA classes other than internship, you can expect a distance delivery format.
Please know that if you are granted any type of waiver for internship/residency hours in the P-12 schools, you will still have to meet all additional requirements for graduation and certification, including GPA, edTPA (undergrads and alt cert) and Praxis test scores.
Governor Ivey closes all P-12 schools in the State of Alabama
Governor Ivey just announced that all P-12 schools in the State of Alabama will be closed effective this Thursday, March 19 through Friday, April 3, 2020. This means that the internship placements for our students will not be available until Monday April 6th when schools reopen. Students should plan accordingly. We are hopeful that this will also result in the easing of the State’s internship hour requirement. News and updates will be communicated as available.
The University of Alabama is on Spring Break (March 14-22), but we are more than willing to answer any questions you might have relative to the recent decision to shift to an alternative online teaching platform. If you have an academic advising question, Chris Lee is standing ready to respond, so do not hesitate to email him – firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 205-534-8024. If you have any other questions specific to the College of Education, please call 205-348-6052. You can also email Dean Hlebowitsh at email@example.com. We will be sure to get back to with a response as soon as possible.
In the light of recent events, any students who think they can benefit from speaking to a counselor can contact the University’s on-call counselor at 205-348-3863.
Information about Internship Placements and Fieldwork Requirements for Teacher Education
Any student teachers who are currently enrolled in an internship experience tied to any of the following courses (CEE 497; CSE 497; CSE 597; KIN 497; MAP 445; MUE 497; SPE 479; SPE 499; SPE 598) should continue to work to fulfill their internship obligations. This means that, as long as the school or internship site remains open, all interns should remain on campus to complete their internship experience. Students may return to their internship placement on April 6th. If the school or internship site closes, we will seek a waiver from the Alabama State Department of Education or otherwise try to find a pathway that ensures an on-time graduation.
Any student who is not comfortable with staying on campus should contact the Office of Clinical Placement or Dr. Tammy Brown to be advised on next steps.
All field experience hours required in teacher education courses not specifically listed above are suspended for the remainder of this spring semester. Students should follow the guidelines for transitioning to online courses with their course instructor.
Information about Kinesiology Internship Placements and Other Programs
From President Stuart Bell
- Message from President Stuart Bell: re: Campus Operations for Friday, March 13 (posted March 12, 2020)