The University of Texas-Pan American will distribute bar codes to its current and former students who are planning to take the November administration of the teacher certification exam or ExCET from 6 to 9 p.m. on Sept. 29 and 30 and Oct. 1 at the university's annex at 2412 S. Closner in Edinburg.
"They have to have a bar code to complete registration for ExCET," said Martha Harrison, ExCET improvement coordinator at UT Pan American. "To get the bar code, they must meet eligibility requirements established by the UT Pan American Teacher Education Committee."
Eligibility criteria for current student teachers are that they must have completed the program requirements of an approved certification program at UT Pan American or currently be enrolled in their last semester at UT Pan American, and must provide verification of having attended two ExCET review sessions.
Eligibility criteria for individuals on deficiency plans - those who are currently teaching but have not yet passed ExCET - are that they must have completed the program requirements of an approved certification program at UT Pan American or are enrolled in their last semester at UT Pan American; provide verification of having attended one ExCET review session; apply to take only one ExCET per testing date unless a waiver from the content area is granted for one additional ExCET; have completed 12 hours of professional education certification coursework; have completed academic specialization or major or minor in area of targeted ExCET; and, if seeking elementary certification, lack no more than nine hours in interdisciplinary area.
Individuals in the UT Pan American Alternative Certification Program must be in the second semester of their internship to be eligible to take an ExCET.
To receive a bar code, students and former students must bring a completed ExCET registration form; a copy of their degree plan or deficiency plan (student teachers may choose to bring their fall 1997 course schedule); a current transcript; an approval from the department if seeking secondary or all-level certification; a cashier's check or money order for $72 (for the test registration fee); and a stamped registration envelope. UT Pan American will attach the bar code and mail the application.
Those who attended an institution other than UT Pan American must contact that institution to receive a bar code.
The next administration of ExCET will be Nov. 15.
This is the first year that the bar codes have been required for ExCET registration. Harrison said the bar code system and eligibility requirements are designed to make sure that those attempting the test are as prepared as possible and to discourage unprepared students from taking the exam to "try it out." ExCET pass rates are one of the elements used in the accreditation of teacher education programs.
The new requirements apply only to those who are not yet certified. Currently certified teachers who are planning to take ExCET to gain a certification in another area do not need a bar code.
Bar codes for graduate programs such as counseling, mid-management and superintendent are being handled through their respective departments in the College of Education.
For more information, contact the ExCET Office at UT Pan American at 381-3405.