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Alternative Certification - PACE FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

How is PACE different from the traditional method of preparing teachers?
The State Board of Education has authorized West Texas A&M University to offer PACE as an accelerated teacher preparation program. Because PACE operates under the guidelines of alternative certification, degreed individuals have the opportunity to obtain teacher certification within 16-18 months.

Under the PACE program, can the intern be designated as a teacher of record?
Yes. Under a probationary certificate, the intern will be assigned as teacher of record and required to teach a full load.

What if I enter the program and cannot locate an employing school district?
PACE will continually work with the intern to accomplish placement; if the candidate has not obtained a teaching position by the spring following the summer's course work, that candidate may opt to complete certification through graduate clinical teaching. Also, course work will carry over to employment in the following year.

Will PACE interns be subject to rules and regulations of the school district?
Yes. A condition of the program requires participants to conform to rules and regulations of the school district in all matters related to teaching performance and professional conduct.

Must an emergency situation exist before a district can employ a PACE intern?
No. Districts may fill vacancies with interns at their convenience, just as they would with any other qualified candidate.

Who supervises the PACE intern while in residence at the school district?
The intern will be under the direct, ongoing, and shared supervision of the building principal (or administrative alternative), PACE personnel, a field supervisor hired by PACE, and a mentor teacher. This cadre of individuals will provide instructional and professional support and assistance to the intern.

Why am I required to complete classroom observation?
School society is ever changing. Each applicant needs to experience the present day school atmosphere before making a final commitment to teaching. In addition, the applicant can gain valuable information from the observation and interactive experiences. Also, 30 hours of field-based experiences prior to internship or clinical teaching is a requirement of Texas Administrative Code.

How do I find a job?
Begin applying with school districts early, but usually not before March.

  • The WTAMU Office of Career Services holds an Educator Expo (job fair) each Spring, which is an excellent opportunity to meet principals, superintendents, and personnel directors from the area.
  • Open a personnel file with WTAMU Career Services, 806/651-2345, and access the website for resume writing and interviewing assistance: www.wtcareer.wtamu.edu.
  • Substitute teaching, if possible, is an excellent method of “getting known” in the school(s).
  • Region 16 (Amarillo) and Region 17 (Lubbock) Educational Service Centers have listings of teaching positions on their websites.