OUR TEACHING PHILOSOPHY and CURRICULUM
Study Online, Face-to-Face, or Hybrid Online/F2F
The conceptual framework, “Why UDL? Because every child deserves access to a personalized education,” drives the mission of the Institute to prepare highly qualified and effective professional educators equipped to meet the diverse learning needs of all students. Since learner variability is as unique as the human fingerprint, we effectuate our mission by preparing beginning educators to link current cognitive and neuroscience research to classroom instructional practices through Universal Design for Learning (UDL).
UDL is a research-based, teaching and learning framework that harnesses the power and flexibility of modern technology to eliminate instructional barriers and promote inclusive classrooms. For example, the design of web pages for users with low vision make it easier for all to read. UDL drives our online course delivery design and enhances personalized learning. We encourage teacher candidates to select their preferred format for reviewing and completing tasks, such as using text, audio, video, and/or graphics across desktop, mobile, and tablet platforms. Since UDL fosters a sense of social, cognitive, and teaching presence within each course, our teacher candidates discover that we “practice what we preach.”
The Institute curriculum is designed to prepare teacher candidates for 21st century inclusive classrooms. Since all children learn differently, teachers must be prepared to address learner variability to ensure all students meet and exceed grade-level standards. Driven by the principles of universal design for learning, our program prepares teacher candidates to use educational technology to improve student learning outcomes, especially through robust instructional data analysis.
We grant transfer course credit based upon meeting one of the following conditions: transfer credit based upon similar university or EPP coursework; challenging a course by earning a passing score on the course final examination; or earning a passing score on a state-approved examination. Upon program admission, teacher candidates are given a personalized Certification Plan that outlines all required coursework and TExES examinations for their intended certification area(s). Each course is 45 clock hours.
Required Pre-Teaching and Professional Practicum Coursework
Texas and US schools continue to grow, and certified classroom teachers are in high demand. Teacher candidates who complete our teacher certification program earn the highly coveted Texas Standard Teacher Certificate. This certificate transfers to all states through the Interstate Reciprocity Agreement.
Our program is comprised of 8 self-paced modules that include an assortment of interactive exercises, readings, case studies and self-assessments that will help you develop 21st century teaching skills. Instructor-led, weekly webinars provide qualitative context and connect you to a network of professional colleagues for career support. All instructors are veteran educators and hold advanced degrees in their academic specialties.
Orientation: Participants gain understanding of program and TEA policies and regulations governing teacher certification.
Introduction to Education: This course introduces teaching a standards-based curriculum (TEKS) through Universal Design for Learning (UDL). The seminar uses a cross-disciplinary approach to prepare teacher candidates to teach the TEKS across all content areas and grade-levels: ELAR, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Physical and Health Education, and Fine Arts.
Introduction to Inclusive Education: Learner variability is as unique as the human fingerprint, especially for K-12 students with exceptional learning needs. Candidates develop expertise in using a cross disciplinary, multi-grade level approach to teach the TEKS (ELAR, Math, Science, Social Studies, PE, Health, and Fine Arts) to students with disabilities.
UDL and Instructional Planning: Educational Neuroscience Implications of Professional Practice: This seminar is a concentrated study of evidence-based instructional methodologies and materials for teaching K-12 students. Formal coursework begins with a critical examination of standards-based, culturally competent classroom instruction and management.
UDL and Instructional Assessment: Educational Neuroscience Implications of Professional Practice: This course is a concentrated study of assessment and measurement in education. The course provides an introductory survey of assessment/measurement principles for teachers, formative and summative assessment instruments, and assessment techniques designed to inform classroom instruction.
Teaching Literacy and Social Studies to Students with Diverse Learning Needs: This course examines research-based methods and materials for teaching literacy (reading, writing, listening, and speaking) and social study inquiry skills to K12 students with and without disabilities.
Teaching Mathematics and Science to Students with Diverse Learning Needs: This course examines the research-based instructional strategies and materials used in teaching mathematics and science to K12 students with and without disabilities. The course highlights the theoretical and practical aspects of pedagogy as it applies to effective and scientific research-based methods for teaching mathematical and scientific understanding.
Multi-disciplinary Curriculum and Instruction: This course examines evidence-based instructional methodologies and materials for teaching core content areas, including fine arts and health/physical education, to K12 students with diverse cultural, linguistic, and exceptional learning needs. The seminar provides preparation for the TExES Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (PPR) examination.
Professional Practicum: This course provides in-service clinical/intern/probationary teachers with the opportunity to acquire advanced skills for ensuring all students have equitable access to instructional services. Clinical teachers elect to complete an unpaid 14-week, full-time professional practicum. Intern/Probationary teachers are employed as salaried Teachers of Record and complete the one academic year professional practicum. Intern teachers have passed the TExES Content exam prior to employment. Probationary teachers have passed the TExES Content and TExES PPR exams prior to employment. Teachers will learn how to use the Universal Design Framework to meet the learning needs of all students.
Who Should Enroll
Individuals interested in earning a Texas Standard Teacher Certificate to teach in US public, charter, and private schools.
School personnel seeking to broaden their skills and improve their organization’s effectiveness.
Individuals interested in pursuing teaching careers in institutions of higher education.
Individuals interested in becoming education teacher-leaders in the public and private sector.