We are looking for candidates for the Master’s with Initial Certification Program in English who:
- exhibit both breadth and depth in their academic preparation in English;
- love to read and write;
- want to help adolescents and young adults participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities;
- view student diversity as a strength;
- are reflective about language, literacy, their own life experiences, schools, and teaching;
- enjoy and respect adolescents and young people, especially those who have experienced little school success.
We welcome traditional English and English Education majors into the English Education Program, but we also work with candidates from many other backgrounds. The diversity of students who enter our program is one of its strengths, as you will have the chance to interact with colleagues from across the state, the country, and the world. Students in the MIC Program in English Education usually form fast friendships with members of their cohort group and their colleagues in English Education.
In Kentucky, new English teachers are certified to teach English 8 – 12, along with journalism, speech, theater, and humanities. The statewide assessments, implemented as part of the 1990 Kentucky Education Reform Act, give great weight to reading and writing, making the responsibility of the English teacher greater than ever before to ensure that all students are highly literate.
Candidates for the Master’s with Initial Certification Program in English must hold a degree in English, English Education, or its equivalent. You can view the requirements for the undergraduate English Education major for more information. Even students with a degree in English may still need to take additional courses, such as an advanced writing course or a multicultural literature course, in order to meet these requirements for certification. Also note that completion of the English Support Area is required of all candidates.
The English Support Area consists of a total of 18 hours of journalism, speech, theater, and fine arts. Candidates must complete at least one course in each area and at least three courses in one area. If you have significant life or career experience in any of the areas, you may work with the English Education advisor to document some of this experience in lieu of coursework.
During the English methods class in the fall semester, you will learn and practice many teaching strategies before a supportive audience of your peers. You will also have many opportunities to observe experienced, skilled English teachers and to learn from them in the high school classroom. Before the end of the fall semester, you will enter your student teaching placement and have nine weeks to get to know your cooperating teacher and your students before you actually begin student teaching. By the time student teaching officially begins in January, you should feel confident, comfortable, and ready to try out your teaching skills. In the spring semester, an English teaching seminar accompanies student teaching. In this seminar, we discuss your own teaching experiences and address many practical concerns of English teachers, such as managing the paper load and working with the Kentucky Writing Portfolio.
You must also complete nine elective graduate credit hours in order to earn the master’s degree: six in your content area and three in education. MIC English students must take a course in the teaching of reading as their graduate level education elective. The English department offers many graduate courses that fit the interests, needs, and schedules of MIC students.
Today is an exciting time to embark upon a career in teaching English, as definitions of literacy and intelligences expand, canons are questioned, and the languages of visual arts, dance, and music are welcomed into the English classroom. In 1996, the Standards for the English Language Arts identified six English language arts: reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing, and visually representing. English teachers must help students develop skills in all the language arts in order to prepare them to meet the literacy demands of today and tomorrow. In addition, technology is reshaping our use of visual and written language, our definitions of text, and the skills all members of society need to become active, critical, and creative users of many media. With all its challenges, English teaching remains a most rewarding, stimulating, and vital profession.
- An undergraduate degree that includes a major in English or English Education and other coursework sufficient for certification in secondary English Education.
- Qualification for admission to a UK College of Education teacher certification program, which requires letters of recommendation; an interview by the appropriate program faculty; GPAs of at least 2.75 overall as well as in major, minor, and support areas; demonstrated basic skills (GRE, PRAXIS Core Skills Test); and a statement of moral/ethical background.
- Admission to the Graduate School, which requires a minimum of 2.75 undergraduate GPA, 3.0 GPA in any graduate work, and standardized test scores.
- Applicants are also encouraged to have substantial experience with 14-18-year-old adolescents as well as community and cross-cultural experience.
Students may submit applications from August through May with plans to begin the program the following academic year.
Dr. Les Burns
Curriculum and Instruction
University of Kentucky
313 Dickey Hall
Lexington, KY 40506-0017
phone: 859 257-2939