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Master of Arts

A master of arts degree in different programs in education can be earned by completing a program of study in any of the following programs: educational administration and Leadership, curriculum and instruction, multicategorical special education, reading, early childhood education, elementary education, secondary education, Spanish education, music education, teaching and leadership, Different strands of the the individualized program: science education, educational technology, reading teacher endorsement, integrative STEM, English as a second language ESL/bilingual education, community counseling, clinical mental health and school counseling, and school counseling.

Individual program descriptions and requirements are described below:

  1. Satisfactory completion of the number of credit hours of graduate credit as required by each graduate program of study (see specific program requirements).
  2. Completion and approval of the required research study. Candidates enrolled in the early childhood education, elementary education, secondary education, and the individualized track programs may, after consultation with the associate dean of graduate studies or designee, elect a two-course option in lieu of EDGCC 514 to complete graduate requirements.
  3. Completion of specific program requirements including clinical experiences. All initial certification programs require a minimum of 100 clock hours of clinical experience.
  4. Completion of general education requirements and courses in the teaching field, when applicable.
  5. Completion of all required coursework with a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.0.
  6. Grades of D are not acceptable toward satisfying degree requirements.
  7. Successful completion of benchmark and program requirements approved by the faculty. Benchmarks for each program can be found in the Graduate Studies Handbook.

State of Illinois Certification Requirements

Upon completion of their graduate program, candidates who wish to apply for a state of Illinois certificate in teaching, administration, multicategorical special education, reading or school counseling may secure application materials from the Office of Teacher Education. Any candidate in administration and reading must present evidence of two years of successful full-time teaching experience for reading and four years of teaching experience for administration upon completion of the requirement for the degree and for certification.

Persons who hold master's degrees and wish to qualify for the administrative or multicategorical special education certificates without earning a second master's degree may do so by completing the coursework for certification. These students must submit the same application materials as do applicants for the degree programs.

Each person applying for an early childhood, elementary, high school, special, school service personnel, or administrative certificate must pass the Illinois Certification Testing System (ICTS) Basic Skills test, or Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP), or show a score of 22 on ACT (plus the writing portion) taken less than 10 years prior to admission to the program,  and or the appropriate content area test. The ICTS's content area test must be taken and passed prior to the start of the semester prior to student teaching. Candidates applying for teacher certification are required to pass the assessment of professional teaching (APT) before they will be eligible for a teaching certificate.

Complete information on the testing program is found in the ICTS registration bulletin. Copies are available in the Office of Teacher Education or online.

Field Experiences

Programs offered through the School of Education provide opportunities for candidates to apply the knowledge, skills and dispositions required for effective professional practice through planned, sequenced and assessed field experiences. The transfer of pedagogical knowledge and skill to professional practice is accomplished through pre-student teaching field experiences and student teaching at the initial certification level, and through internship and practicum experiences at the advanced certification levels.

Field experiences are intended to provide candidates with opportunities to broaden and deepen their understanding of educational theory and integrate this theory with educational practice. Therefore, these experiences

  1. connect candidates with the community, and provide them with learning experiences in a variety of educational environments with exposure to diverse cultures, encouraging candidates to embrace and celebrate the diversity of students in American schools;
  2. are directly connected with professional courses, and are designed to sequentially complement and expand upon University course content;
  3. are assigned by the Office of Teacher Education to take place in selected educational settings that have written contracts with the University, which serve to establish a professional development relationship;
  4. are supervised by University faculty in collaboration with selected in-service certified educators;
  5. are documented by University procedures that describe the quantity and qualitative characteristics of candidates' experiences;
  6. are part of candidates' course credit load and are assessed commensurate with performance;
  7. take place during typical daytime school hours;
  8. recognize National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) standards and follow Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the School of Education policies.

The coordinator of practicum and internship experience assigns practicum and internship experiences in community agency counseling and school counseling in collaboration with community agencies and schools.

The field experiences associated with each program are noted as part of the course descriptions. Field experiences completed at other institutions cannot be transferred to the professional program of study at Saint Xavier University. A minimum of 100 clock hours of field experiences are required of all candidates prior to clinical practice (student teaching). Candidates who intend to complete their clinical practice in private schools must complete at least 60 clock hours of field experiences in public school settings.

Criminal Background Investigations

Certification in Illinois requires candidates to be of good character. Certain convictions may prohibit certification by the Illinois State Board of Education and/or employment in Illinois public schools. The School of Education has made a commitment to local area schools to require federal and state criminal history fingerprint checks for all non-certified, certified teachers seeking subsequent certificate or certified but never employed teacher candidates in programs leading to initial certification at strategic points during their academic career. Movement through the program may be suspended in the event that the background check reveals certain felony offenses in any candidate's background. Individuals seeking a teaching certificate are advised to examine Illinois's school code requirements regarding certification and employment (see Illinois School Code) and to seek legal council concerning all convictions whereby certification and/or employment may be prohibited in Illinois public schools.

Graduate Students and CLEP Credit

Graduate students applying for Illinois state certification may elect to take the college level examination program (CLEP) examinations. If a passing score is attained, these courses and the credit hours earned will be listed on the Saint Xavier University transcript. This policy applies only to graduate students seeking certification in Illinois. CLEP credit may be earned only to fulfill general education requirements for certification.

Approved Programs Leading to Certification

The School of Education operates the following programs approved by the Illinois State Board of Education through which graduates are certified in the state of Illinois:

Appropriate majors in the secondary program and appropriate areas of concentration in the early childhood and elementary programs are listed in the description and requirements for the respective programs.

Approved Programs not Leading to Certification

Change of Major

Candidates whose professional goals change and who subsequently decide to switch to another program must formally request a change of program. This request must be in written form and be addressed to the dean of the School of Education.