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1. Do you have to be full-time? Can you be a part-time student?
This program requires full-time status. However, it is structured in a way that is more manageable. Instead of micromanaging 5 courses (for a total of 15 credit hours) with 5 different professors, you are only concentrating on 1 course with 1 professor. Most students find this style more appealing.
2. How long does the program take?
The Fast Track program will be completed in 2 academic years, fall and spring semesters only. Sometimes students enter the program needing to complete additional courses required for the University Core Curriculum and so it might they might need an extra semester or two to complete those requirements.
You will find out if you need to take extra classes after you send your transcript to the University of Toledo, and it is reviewed by an academic advisor.
3. Why doesn’t it lead to earning your teaching license?
In order to earn an early childhood teaching license, students must complete a series of practica in preschool and K-3 settings as well as a student teaching experience that includes spending 75 days in an early childhood classroom. For individuals who work during the day, they would have to take off work to complete their practica and student teaching.
Our program targets classroom teachers who are working full time and can’t complete the student teaching requirements. You get to keep your job and earn college credit for it. In this program, 7 credit hours come from the ‘field experience’ which is your job!
4. Is the program accredited?
Not yet, because it’s a very new program. We will be pursuing accreditation through NCATE during the 2011-2012 academic year.
The University of Toledo is accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association. For more accreditation, please visit this website.
5. Are all the classes online?
Yes. There are no requirements to meet face to face.
6. What is the relationship like with my professor(s)?
The instructors who teach these classes are seasoned early childhood teachers who care about your success. They are passionate about what they do and are excellent teacher educators. In addition to the course instructor, you’ll also have the opportunity to interact with skilled early childhood teachers who assist the instructor in leading course discussions or providing feedback on assignments.
This is a cohort-based program with approximately 25 students in each cohort. Through this cohort experience, you’ll also develop valuable professional relationships with fellow students who will be with you as you complete the program.
Professors also have a policy where they address questions in a timely fashion. It has become typical for our professors in this program to respond to students’ needs and questions within a 24 hour or less window of time. In addition, since the program is online, faculty are available over a variety of communication means (skype, IM, email, phone, and face to face).
7. Are there classes over the summer?
Not for the specific program, however, if any classes need to be fulfilled from UT's Core curriculum, summer is the best time to do so. You will find out if you need to take extra classes after you send your transcript to the University of Toledo, and it is reviewed by an academic advisor.
8. What are the requirements to get in the program?
Have an associate’s degree in early childhood education or child development with an earned GPA of 2.7 or higher
Be employed at least 20 hours per week as an early childhood teacher working with infants, toddlers, or preschoolers.
You should also have some level of skill with computers and technology, and be willing to learn new things.
9. I don’t have an associate’s degree in early childhood education or child development. However, I do work in a day care or child care setting. Can I still be admitted?
No, because the program assumes that you already have SOME formal education and training in early childhood education. You must have an associate’s degree in early childhood education or child development in order to be eligible for the program.
10. Is financial aid available for this program?
Yes...more to come soon. Please contact us for more information
11. Are scholarships available for this program?
Yes...more to come soon. Please contact us for more information
12. When should I apply?
We begin a new cohort of students each semester and so it’s best to apply at least 2 months prior to the start of the semester so you can be admitted and have financial aid in place if needed.
13. How much computer knowledge do I need?
You’ll need to know how to send and receive email, download and upload materials (including videos) and use word processing programs such as Microsoft Word. There are tutorials to help you learn those skills through the University of Toledo’s distance learning program, “Learning Ventures”. Learning Ventures also staffs a Help Desk that you can contact via email or toll-free phone line for technical questions you have.
14. Do I need a computer?
You need access to a computer with high speed internet capabilities. This is a full-time program, so you’ll be working hard every week. For this reason, it’s best for you to have your own computer, although sometimes students can complete the program through a computer at work or in the library.
15. Do I need a job in a child care setting (Head Start, Type A Home, day care, etc)?
Yes. You need to be employed in an early childhood setting such as a child care center, Head Start classroom, a Type A child care home, or a nursery school (preschools) for a minimum of 20 hours per week. You also must have the opportunity to design, implement, and evaluate curriculum in that setting.
We will verify your employment once you are admitted to the University of Toledo, and also before the start of the program.
16. What can I expect from the classes?
You can expect a challenging program of study designed to improve your knowledge and skills in early childhood education which will make you a better teacher. Because you’re a full-time student, you can expect a great deal of reading, participation in online discussion groups and completion of assignments. We promise you, though, that everything you do is focused on what you need to improve yourself as a teacher. We recognize that your time is valuable and have worked hard to make sure the program will help you grow professionally.
17. How many classes do I take?
Each Fall and Spring semesters, students complete a total of 16 credit hours. Nine credit hours are associated with course content and 7 credit hours are associated with field experiences that students will complete while they are teaching in their early childhood classroom.
18. How many hours a week should I devote to my classes?
You should probably plan to spend at least 20 hours per week on your classes.
19. Do I ever have to come to the University of Toledo’s campus?
We’d LOVE to see you on campus but there’s no reason for you to come. We do hope you’ll come for graduation, but you don’t have to do that either! Please contact us to arrange a personalized campus visit, including tours, meeting with an advisor, and interacting with faculty.