Area residents who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field but have always wanted to be a teacher now have the opportunity to make that dream a reality through the updated online VOICE program at the University of Houston-Victoria.
The VOICE program at UHV School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development began in 2003, but the university recently revamped the program online to make it more affordable and give students the opportunity to apply course credit to get a master’s degree. Students who participate in the program can earn a teaching certificate in as little as one year.
“Texas faces a shortage of teachers, and VOICE helps those who want to teach receive quality preparation in a short time so they can be ready to enter the classroom and have a positive impact on students,” said Fred Litton, dean of the school.
To participate in the program, students must have a bachelor’s degree and pass the Texas Pre-Admission Certification Test. Students must also have a GPA of at least 2.75 in the last 60 hours of their academic work or as an overall GPA. Additionally, students must pass a criminal background check by the Texas Department of Public Safety and an interview with the UHV Faculty of Education.
A major change the School of Education made to the VOICE program was to make it more affordable. Students can get their teacher certification in as little as one year for $3,750, not including books and supplies.
Additionally, the school has adjusted VOICE so that 12 of the 18 credit hours required for the program can be used for three new Master of Education concentrations in the curriculum and teaching: early childhood through eighth grade. year, higher and secondary education and English as a Second Language/Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.
“The program is a real benefit for professionals who already have a bachelor’s degree, because it doesn’t require them to come back to do more undergraduate work — instead, they take graduate courses online,” said Mary Lasater, assistant curriculum teacher. and Teaching, and Coordinator of VOICE and Graduate Curriculum and Teaching. “That way they have already started on the path to earning a master’s degree.”
As students go through the VOICE program, they have two options for the internship portion. They can do 66 days of teaching students, or they can find a paid internship that will allow them to work as classroom teachers for a full year while completing the last two courses of the program. Interns will be assessed and mentored by UHV supervisors, many of whom are former education professionals and administrators.
“The primary goal of the VOICE program is to bring new teachers into the classroom,” Lasater said. “These changes will allow students to move into teaching positions with confidence while preparing them for future growth through higher education. We always want to set educators up for success, and these changes will help us do that.
To learn more about the program, contact Lasater at (361) 570-4335 or [email protected]
The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in Schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions and Human Development. UHV offers face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ Opportunities for All initiative to raise awareness of state colleges and universities and the important role they play in providing high-quality education and accessible to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional development. and the economic development of the state.