East St. Louis BTBT3

Our Transition to Teaching Site

Questions and Answers

 Questions and Answers

Who qualifies for the BTBT3 program?
The Transition to Teaching program at SIUE is intended for persons who have successfully completed an undergraduate degree (Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, or Bachelor of Fine Arts) with the equivalent of a major in one of the following areas: Foreign Languages, Mathematics, or Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or Earth and Space), English, and History (with an emphasis in Political Science, Civics, and Economics at an accredited college or university, and desire to pursue certification for teaching at the middle school and/or high school levels. Individuals who already hold an undergraduate degree in teacher education are NOT eligible for this program.
What if my bachelor’s degree is something other than what is listed?
Applicants with degrees outside of Foreign Language, Mathematics, English, History, or Sciences may also qualify based on the content knowledge and course standards required for degree completion.   For example, a mechanical engineering major may have the required math credits to get certified as a Math teacher; an electrical engineer may have the content background to be certified in both physics and math. You should be sure to have a preview of your transcript done by the SIUE representative for this program.
Will I be able to earn teacher certification?
Yes. Upon graduation from the program, candidates will be eligible for an Initial Teacher Certification in their respective discipline at the middle or high school level in a school system in Illinois or in a State offering reciprocity. They will be broadly prepared in their content areas, and will possess leadership experience pertinent to the public school setting. 
How long is the BTBT3 M.A.T. Program?
Three semesters, Summer, Fall, and Spring. The Back to Basics Transition to Teaching M.A.T. program is organized as three 12-credit blocks of integrated course work and field experiences which begins in early June and is completed by mid-May. 
How do I apply for the BTBT3 M.A.T.?
Applications can be picked up at the East St. Louis School District 189 Board of Education at 1005 State Street, East St. Louis, IL 62201 between the hours of 9-5 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, and Friday or go to www.estlps189.net and download application materials. SIUE has two cohorts for the M.A.T. program and both require you to apply to the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Graduate School. Graduate Admissions Application form (degree-seeking) can be obtained from the Student Service Center, Rendleman Hall, Room 1309, (618) 650-2080 or online at www.siue.edu/graduate
When applying for a M.A.T. program keep in mind there are two programs. One program is the Back to Basics Transition to Teaching program and the other is SIUE’s own M.A.T. program. This information packet only supports information pertaining to the BTBT3 program. It is advised to contact Denisa Huff, BTBT3 Director before starting the application process at 618-646-3058 or denisahuff@stclair.k12.il.us.
When should I apply?
You may begin the application process at any time. Applications will be evaluated beginning in January, but no later than April, for the next year’s cohort.
Are there any tests I will need to take?
Yes. Each applicant is required to have a passing score on both the Illinois Certification Testing System Basic Skills Test and the Illinois Certification Testing System Content-Area Test. The Basic Skills test need to be completed and scores reported before admission into the program. The content area test need to be completed and scores reported before the start of the Summer semester meeting date. There is one more test, Assessment of Professional Teaching (APT). This test will be taken in the Spring semester during Student Teaching.
How do I sign up for the tests?
Visit the Illinois Certification Testing System website at: www.icts.nesinc.com
How do I pay for the BTBT3 program?
The cost of the program is estimated at $9,552, that is about $2,480.40 per semester (there can be a slight adjustment depending on the 2011 program cost). BTBT3 will provide stipends to candidates totaling $5,000 to be distributed over the course of the three semesters. Students should anticipate additional expenses for textbooks and materials. Federally-insured loans are available to finance the balance of the tuition costs, and federal law provides for forgiveness of federal loans for candidates in shortage areas who teach in high-need schools for five years. The amount forgiven is up to $17,500 for math and science teachers. For applications and information about the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program visit www.studentaid.ed.gov. SIUE also has the federal TEACH grant which can assist with up to $2,000 per semester. For information about The TEACH grant contact the Financial Aid office at 618-650-3880. The State of Illinois has several scholarships and grants specific to teaching, such as the Minority Teacher of Illinois Scholarship (MTI) Program and Illinois Future Teacher Corps (IFTC). You can access information about these and other financial assistance at www.collegezone.com
Will I be guaranteed a teaching position in a high needs school when I complete the BTBT3 program?
A teaching position is not guaranteed. Decisions affecting school staffing include factors such as union contract issues and enrollment. Because the BTBT3 program is administered through our school district we will have first hand knowledge of a students success and will ensure priority hiring when a position within the student field is open. You will have one year to find a teaching position before the $5,000 stipend turns into a loan. If we place you or you find employment at a “high needs” school within one year of completing the program and fulfill the three year working commitment your stipend is forgiven and you will not owe anything.
What will I study in the M.A.T?
Unlike traditional programs requiring students to take separate courses, the M.A.T. program weaves seven strands of content throughout the three blocks. The way to think about the strands is that really they are seven courses that extend over the three blocks of the program. Students are therefore able to meaningfully connect what they are learning to their field experiences at public schools. The seven strands of the M.A.T. are: Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment; Classroom Management; Special Education; Adolescent Development and Learning; Instructional Technology; Teaching Literacy Strategies Across the Content Areas; and Foundations of Education.
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