Frequently Asked Questions: Admission to the Undergraduate Professional Preparation Programs

I am very excited about a career as an educator and want to change my major to one of the options in Education. How do I make an appointment with an academic advisor in the College of Education?
The Office of Student Services can be reached at 520-621-7865. We can help you schedule an appointment, or you can schedule your appointment using the links provided here.

When should I apply to a College of Education’s Professional Preparation Program?
The College of Education professional preparation programs are upper-division (junior standing is required to begin). Most students will apply early in the second semester of their sophomore year. Deadlines for admission are the second Friday in February for Fall admission (all programs), and the second Friday in September for Spring admission (Elementary only). Please see an advisor for more information.

What are the general requirements for professional admission to the College of Education?
Students applying for admission to a professional preparation program must have a strong GPA; documented experience working with groups of children from different racial and ethnic groups (60 hours in a classroom; teacher preparation programs only); excellent oral and written communication skills; and the ability to meet the standards of the teaching or educational interpreting profession.  Students must also have a current Arizona IVP Fingerprint Clearance Card.

What is the first step in the application process?
The first step is to schedule an appointment with an academic advisor to discuss the program you're interested in and the application requirements by calling 520-621-7865. After you have met with an academic advisor in the College of Education and declared you as a pre-major student, you should read the application instructions

Is there a minimum GPA requirement for admission to the College?
Yes, students applying to a professional preparation program must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 (3.0 preferred). This can be either in transfer coursework, U of A coursework, or a combined GPA. However, all applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Additionally, meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to our program.

What kind of experience with children is necessary to apply to the College of Education?
The College of Education is looking for evidence that you have a commitment to the profession, and to make sure you understand the nature of the profession prior to program entry. This evidence can be in the form of documented paid or volunteer experiences in your local community or school system, and in the Tucson community. Babysitting, parenting, or non-documented experience will not apply. Additionally, the College requires that every student applying for admission to teacher preparation have at least 60 hours of experience in a public school classroom during regular school hours, and with diverse groups of children. Experience should be appropriate to the age and type of classroom of the program for which you are applying (early childhood, elementary or special education). Please click here for details about the experiential requirements for professional admission to each program.  Please see an advisor to discuss your experiences with children and to determine which of your experiences are applicable to your program application. Experience with children must be documented on a Recommendation Form.

Experience must be within the last three years at the time of application.

What is cross-cultural experience, and how do I obtain it?
One of the requirements for admission to a teacher preparation program in the College of Education is evidence that you have an understanding of and the ability to work with members of different racial and ethnic groups represented in Tucson, Arizona, and the Southwest. This may be demonstrated by documented experiences with school-age children from target or non-target racial, ethnic or cultural groups or self-reported sustained association with target groups. This may be included within your required 60 classroom hours or it may be other, additional experiences with diverse groups of children.

Does the college offer any special programs that would help me gain the cross-cultural experience and experience with children that I need?
The College of Education has a variety of opportunities for student to gain experience with children. To learn more about these programs and services, please visit the Opportunities for Students page.

Is there a writing proficiency component to the application?
The application process includes a written essay that is part of the online application. Additionally, students who do not earn a grade of B or better in second semester English must pass the Mid-Career Writing Assessment (MCWA). For College of Education students, passing the Mid-Career Writing Assessment requires that a student either retake ENGL 102 and earn a grade of B or better; complete ten writing workshops at the Writing Skills Improvement Center; complete ten 30-minute writing tutoring sessions through Think Tank; OR complete a Writing Emphasis Course with a grade of B or better. For more information about meeting the MCWA requirements, please talk to your academic advisor.

Is there an interview component to the admissions process?
Students who apply to the College of Education may be interviewed. Interviews consist of an individual interview with a member of the COE faculty and possibly a local school administrator.

If you are scheduled for an interview, here are some tips. You do not need to dress in a suit, but please dress in appropriate teacher attire. Keep in mind that the faculty and school interviewers have not seen your admissions packet so they do not know anything about your background, experience with children, or your academic history. You will have an opportunity to discuss your experiences during the interview.

The preliminary review of your online application and documents determined whether you would be selected for an interview. The interview then becomes a determining factor in our decision to admit you. With this in mind, you are encouraged to get some practice in interviewing. The UA Student Engagement & Career Development office has resources here: career.arizona.edu/interviewing

The COE interview process is an opportunity for you to share your passion and excitement for teaching with our faculty and local school officials; to demonstrate your communication skills; and to allow you to gain experience in interviewing, which will help you when you are searching for a job after graduation. We find that most students agree that our interview process was a beneficial -- and even enjoyable -- process for them.

How long does the professional program take to complete?
The length of your program will vary depending on your academic history. An advising plan should be completed with your advisor after you have completed the online General Information Session. The advising plan will give you an idea of the length of time it will take to complete your program. A rough estimate is two years or four semesters.

What is the post-baccalaureate program?
The post-baccalaureate program is a non-degree certification program for Elementary Education designed for those already holding a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution.