Here are answers to some questions you might have about Project LEA:
A: In order to be accepted into Project LEA, applicants must:
a) Have earned a 3.0 GPA while completing an accredited Master’s program AND
b) Be currently supervising preschool special needs teachers, ………OR…………
c) Be interested in moving into such a supervisory position and hold the necessary
supervisory credentials (see below) to do so, or…….. be enrolled in a program that
leads to this credential.
*** In addition, applicants must meet the following requirements as per Rule 3301-51-11 of Operating Standards for Ohio Educational Agencies Serving Children with Disabilities (2008).
The early childhood supervisor shall meet the following minimum qualifications:
(a) Have at least three (3) years of experience teaching young children birth through age eight AND one (1) of the following licenses or certificates:
- A valid professional early childhood intervention specialist license (ECIS);
- A valid professional early childhood education teacher license (ECE); OR…………
- A valid teaching certificate/license with early education of the handicapped or preschool special needs as a teaching area;
(b) Have at least three (3) years of experience teaching special education and one (1) of the following licenses or certificates:
- A valid administrative specialist license;
- A valid supervisor certificate/license;
- A valid principal certificate/license; or
- A valid superintendent certificate/license.
A: Project LEA staff will review applications, which will be screened on such factors as professional experience, licensure or certification status, interest in maintaining a career in ECSE, quality of academic record in the Master’s degree program and confidence/comfort levels in completing online distance education courses. We will also review applicants’ academic records to make sure that they meet academic standards for admission to UT’s Ed. Specialist program. Priority admission will be offered to professionals working in high-need urban areas, and to qualified minority applicants.
The goal of LEA is to enroll 10 participants for Cycle D, which begins classes in
January, 2017 (Spring semester).
A: Yes! It is a good opportunity for motivated professionals!
There are three important USDOE requirements you must be aware of:
- Service Obligation provision: Individuals that receive scholarship assistance from projects funded under IDEA are required to complete a Service Obligation. Participants must agree to work after graduation for a specified amount of time in the field of study for which they were supported (i.e., special education). If students drop out of the program or choose other employment, they will be required to pay back the funds they have received. Please see the Service Obligation page on our website for details. If you are accepted into Project LEA, you will sign a Pre-Scholarship agreement verifying your knowledge of, and agreement to, the terms and conditions of this requirement. Prior to your final acceptance, Project LEA staff will meet with you via conference call to ensure that you fully understand the Service Obligation requirements.
- Before UT is allowed to award scholarship funds, we must ensure that you are a citizen or a permanent resident of the United States (e.g., we would need to see a Driver’s License or some other acceptable form of identification)
- You must also sign a Certification of Eligibility for Federal Assistance, indicating that you are not, currently, in debt or in default to the federal government.
A: We will be recruiting in summer and fall 2016 for our final cohort which will begin the program of study in Sp 2017 (Cycle D).
A: If you are completing your initial Master's degree, you should consider applying to Project LEA in the cycle that would begin after you have completed the Master's degree requirements. If you hold a Master's degree and are enrolled in a Master's or Ed. Specialist program at another college or university, please contact Project LEA staff to discuss your situation re: possibility of transfer of credits for selected courses, suspension of your program and immediate application to Project LEA, deferred application to future cycle of Project LEA, or other options.
A: Yes! Project LEA will cover the full cost of *tuition for the Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree (32 semester hours). Current (2015/16) graduate tuition at UT is $548.58 per semester hour. So, the USDOE will pay $1,645.74 for 3 semester hours; $3,291.48 for 6 semester hours, etc. *Note: Project LEA can cover only in-state tuition costs.
A: A stipend provides payment to cover student costs other than tuition (e.g., general fees, internet access, etc.). You will receive the stipend after successful completion of each class. You will receive a stipend of $120 for EACH semester hour completed successfully ($360 for each 3 semester hours; $720 for 6 semester hours; $1080 for 9 semester hours).
A: Students are responsible for all costs except tuition. As with all universities, there are a variety of ancillary fees (e.g., application fees, general fees, technology fee, service fee). Current (2015/16) UT fees are approximately $470 for 6 semester hours. Students are also responsible for all textbook costs. There are also one-time fees (approx. $200) related to your admission to UT’s graduate program. NOTE: Students are responsible for payment of these ancillary and one-time admission fees prior to the beginning of Spring semester classes on January 9, 2017. However, as noted previously, in subsequent semesters your stipend will help cover the fees costs. Please see LEA Tuition and Fees for full details on costs.
A: NO, you will need to have completed a Master’s degree before you are eligible to participate in Project LEA. You will be admitted to the Education Specialist degree program in Curriculum and Instruction, with an emphasis in early childhood special education.
A: Completing the Project LEA Program of Study will NOT result in any certification or licensure from the State of Ohio Department of Education. The focus of Project LEA is to provide advanced graduate level study, at the Education Specialist level, that focuses on leadership in ECSE.
If you are interested in working towards a Lead Teacher Endorsement or an Administrative License/Certificate, and are wondering if any of the courses in the Project LEA plan of study could be substituted for any of the required courses for these credentials, please check with a college or university in your region that offers the Lead Teacher Endorsement or an Administrative License/Certificate program.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Current Ohio Department of Education regulations do NOT necessarily require early childhood supervisors to hold a supervisory license or certificate. Please see the ODE requirements under Question 1 above.
A: The Ed.S. degree meets the needs of professionals involved with the curriculum, teaching and supervision aspects of education and instruction. The degree provides a program of study for teachers and supervisors who have a Master’s degree and want to further their education, but are not interested in a doctoral degree.
A: Good news………NO! The requirement is that students complete 32 semester hours beyond the Master’s degree. The program of study for the Ed.S. degree also does not include any required courses outside of special education/early childhood education in the case of Project LEA. For the purposes of Project LEA, you will need to earn a grade of ‘B’ or higher in each class.
A: Students will follow the Project LEA Program of Study, which totals 32 semester hours.
A: In fall and spring semesters, you will take 2 classes (6 semester hours). For Cycle D cohort which will begin in Spring 2017, in summer Year 1 (2017), 3 classes (9 semester hours) are required. Please see Cycle D Sequence of Classes. Please NOTE that ALL classes and academic program requirements of Project LEA will be completed via online distance learning. No classes will be conducted on campus.
A: As part of the program of study, Project LEA students will complete a 3-credit hour internship (120 clock hours) across 2 semesters. The internship will have two major components: job-embedded assignments, and experience in a high-need urban school district. Since we anticipate that most scholars will be working as supervisors, we have designed 80 clock hours of the internship to be completed “on the job”. The additional 40 clock hours of internship activity will be completed in a high-need urban school district. Scholars will need to use their vacation time and/or personal days to complete this internship during the academic year.
A: Online classes are conducted in a number of ways. In Project LEA, the instructors might use tools like discussion boards, video conferencing, email/instant messaging, Skype, wikis, and blogs to create a meaningful learning experience. If you are unfamiliar with some of these tools, don’t worry—the University of Toledo provides extensive (and user-friendly) technical support to all of its students. With Project LEA, you will be involved in virtual learning communities with other individuals that will provide the professional support essential to successfully complete the program.
A: High speed Internet access is required. On-line classes will be conducted via Blackboard 9 (Bb9) course management system. Recommended browsers are Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer, or Safari. Specific details for Mac and PC users will be provided. UT has available a number of browsers and programs that students can download for free (e.g., Adobe Reader, Apple i-Tunes player, Google Docs). Tech support is also provided. Stipend payments may offset some of the costs of internet upgrades.
One final note: Some school districts award pay increases based on completion of advanced degrees or additional hours of graduate credit. Be sure to check with your school district………..