May 9, 2018
Athens State University has established the Teacher Certification Assistance Fund (TCAF) to assist students with the cost of certification testing fees. Preservice teachers are overly burdened with the cost of testing required for certification, as the cost of Praxis II tests start at $266 and are in addition to tuition, books, fees, supplies, and other costs. Additionally, the state of Alabama has added a new certification requirement, the edTPA, which will cost students an extra $300.
Athens State University’s preservice teachers are receiving real-world classroom experiences through hands-on training and unique learning opportunities created by the faculty in the College of Education (COE). As a result of the innovative COE Teacher Preparation Program, Athens State University graduates are sought out by superintendents and principals across the region and state. However, many students have to “sit-out” a semester in order to save enough money to complete these requirements.
Previously, financial aid and scholarships could not be used to assist students with these test fees. The newly-established Teacher Certification Assistance Fund will assist students with these expenses so they can obtain certification and join the teaching profession in a timelier manner without the added financial burden.
More than $8,000 has been donated to build the fund so far, primarily from COE faculty and staff, with the first scholarship of $150 awarded this month. The COE’s goal is to endow the fund and/or reach a level to award ten scholarships per semester.