Certificate vs. Certification
A difference exists between a “certificate” and “certification”. Certification is granted from an external agency, such as a state professional licensing board that entitles the holder to a specific benefit, such as an increase in salary or a change in title. A certificate at ACE is a document indicating completion of a specific set of academic courses. Upon completion of a certificate program, the student may request an official transcript.
A set of three ACE credit-bearing courses aligned to the title of the micro-credential (could be a focus of study in a degree program). Students must take all three courses and each course with a “C” or better to earn the micro-credential badge.
Clinical Practicum Experience (RN to MSN Program)
Students enrolled in the RN to MSN program are required to complete a 200-hour clinical practicum experience in their coursework. Students are required to complete these hours under the direction of an approved preceptor (see Preceptor Approval Policy). If the clinical practicum experience is not successfully completed, the student’s degree will not be able to be conferred.
Field-Based Experiences (Education Licensure Programs)
The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) establishes requirements for Indiana educator licensure. American College of Education programs approved by the IDOE for educator licensure may require practicums, internships, student teaching or clinical experiences. ACE complies with IDOE degree requirements. All ACE students in programs requiring successful completion of a supervised practicum, internship, student teaching or clinical experience, as defined by the Indiana Department of Education, must fulfill the requirements for degree completion. Students in the Educational Leadership program approved by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) are required to fulfill additional hours for degree completion. Students seeking educator licensure in other states may require additional supervised practicums, internship, student teaching or clinical hours. Students may request additional supervised hours which ACE will try to accommodate.
Degree Completion Requirement
Practicum, internship, student teaching or clinical experiences are fully documented during specified, academic course/s of the student’s degree program.
- Educational Leadership students will be required to document a minimum of 120 internship clock hours congruent with Indiana Department of Education requirements.
- Students in the Educational Leadership program approved by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) are required to fulfill 160 internship clock hours for degree completion.
- MAT and T2T students are required to complete student teaching requirements congruent with Indiana Department of Education requirements.
- Students in other programs requiring field-based experiences are required to meet program and/or licensure requirements.
Unfulfilled Field-Based Requirements for ACE Degree Conferral
If a student has not completed the minimum clock hours or other field-based experience requirements within the ACE designated course/s for degree completion, the student will be required to repeat the course. Tuition and fees apply and are not refundable.
Other State Requirements
If a student needs to document practicum, internship, student teaching or clinical hours to meet state licensure requirements beyond those required for American College of Education degree completion, the College will provide optional academic procedures to accommodate the students’ needs by establishing an additional course or ways to obtain hours during courses. Students request the manner in which they wish to obtain these documented hours on a student request form. If the manner includes enrolling in an additional course, all tuition and fees apply and are not refundable. The student is responsible for knowing and meeting their state’s licensure requirements.
On Site, Field-Based Requirements
Depending on the nature of the program, the ACE supervisor must approve the student’s mentor and field-based site location, and specific hours at an approved site relevant to the purposes of the program and the student’s intended outcome.
The experiences are documented in the student’s appropriate course and include individualized written reflections and artifacts specific to the program, and the student’s knowledge and area of intended expertise. The required capstone captures individualized, culminating experiences in the program for each student.
Mentor Teacher Requirements
- Must hold a current U. S. teaching license and be a practicing classroom teacher with at least three years’ experience in the grade level or content area of the student teacher’s certification.
- Received an evaluation rated as effective or highly effective (or the equivalent) on the teacher evaluation system in the school district for the last three years.
- Located within the same school as the student teacher.
- Cannot be related to the student teacher.
Internship Waiver Policy
Due to state requirements, some states grant a waiver for internships or other field experiences. These have specific processes aligned to state expectations and described in the Student Handbook. If you have questions, contact Student Services.
- Illinois allows waivers for ESL/Bilingual Internships.
Master of Education (M.Ed.) Dual Degree Programs
The dual degree programs at American College of Education provide an opportunity for graduates of specific ACE degree programs to earn a second degree in another ACE program. This applies exclusively to graduates of American College of Education. The current opportunities are as follows:
- Graduate with an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership, then earn an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction
- Graduate with an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, then earn an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership
- Graduate with an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, then earn an M.Ed. in Elementary Education
- Graduate with an M.Ed. in Elementary Education, then earn an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction
- Graduate with an M.Ed. in STEM Leadership, then earn an M.Ed. in Integrated Curriculum
- Graduate with an M.Ed. in Integrated Curriculum, then earn an M.Ed. in STEM Leadership
By completing specific courses, including the Capstone Experience course for the second program, and any required internship requirement (M.Ed. in Educational Leadership), the student can earn a second master’s degree. Equivalency credit is granted only for courses that satisfy degree requirements in both programs.
Equivalency credit can be applied to no more than two degrees; a graduate seeking a third master’s degree at ACE must earn the full number of credits required of the degree through a degree plan approved by the department chair. After graduating from the first program, a graduate may apply for admission to the second degree by completing the standard admission process. Conferral of the second degree is dependent on fulfilling the graduation requirements set forth in the Catalog in effect at the time of admission to the second program. Once the coursework, including the Capstone Experience, is completed, the student may apply for graduation. The degree conferral fee will be assessed at the start of the final course of the second program. A degree audit will be completed, and notification of graduation will be sent to the student from the Registration Office.
ACE permits individuals to enroll as students-at-large (SAL). In this enrollment status, students can take courses to satisfy educational, personal, or career goals. It is the student’s responsibility to know his/her state’s requirements for accepting these credits. Students are required to submit a new application after 365 days have passed since original application date to continue to take courses.
Stand-Alone Courses and NBCT Credit
PDELFL Educational Leadership Test Preparation (Florida)
This non-credit bearing professional development course provides an examination of the standards and competencies of educational leadership in Florida-Instructional Leadership, Operational Leadership, and School Leadership-and the skills that principals exhibit as a result of mastering these competencies. The course provides preparation for the Florida Educational Leadership Examination (FELE), including the written performance assessment.
The FELE Prep course is a comprehensive review of the material tested in the exam. The course includes video information, data reviews, discussion boards, practice exams, writing samples and a study guide. The course allows students to work at their own pace as they review for the 6.5-hour exam versus attending a one-day (8-hour) cram session. Feedback is provided, and students will have an opportunity to ask questions from faculty members who have both taken and passed the exam or have written for the FELE in recent years. Fees apply.
PDELTX Educational Leadership Test Preparation (Texas)
This non-credit bearing course provides preparation for the Texas Educational Leadership (EL) Principal as Instructional Leader (268) examination. This course includes readings, presentations, progress monitors, study materials, and suggested resources to prepare students to take the Principal as Instructional Leader (268) examination. Participation in PDELTX also requires the completion of a third-party practice exam. ACE provides access to the practice exam.
Testing eligibility is determined through a review of the student’s performance in the Educational Leadership program and successful completion of a third-party practice exam.
The following Texas Educational Leadership (EL) students are required to complete PDELTX:
- Those who intend to obtain principal certification but are not eligible to test at the conclusion of ELX5983 , or
- Those who were eligible to test at the conclusion of ELX5983 but were not successful in their first attempt to pass the Principal as Instructional Leader (268) examination.
- Those who were cleared at the conclusion of ELX5983 but did not test within a six-month window of eligibility.
Students enrolled in PDELTX will be cleared for test registration once they complete all components of the preparation course and have scored 80% or better on a third-party practice exam. Test clearance will expire six months from the date of issue. Fees apply.
PDELOH Educational Leadership Test Preparation (Ohio)
This non-credit bearing professional development course covers requirements for Ohio Educational Leadership (EL) students anticipating completing the Ohio Assessments for Educators (OAE) Educational Leadership Exam (#015). The course includes modules on school law, school supervision, and teacher evaluation plus the critical knowledge Ohio requires of their principals: facilitating a vision, school culture and instructional programs, managing the school organization, collaboration and community engagement, ethics and integrity and understanding public. Fees apply.
PDELIN Educational Leadership Test Preparation (Indiana)
This non-credit bearing professional development course provides an examination of Indiana standards, domains, and competencies of educational leadership, preparing students for the Indiana Building Level Administrator Licensure Exam (039). The School Building Leader standards for human capital management, instructional leadership, personal behavior, building relationships, culture of achievement, and organizational, operational, and resource management, reflect the most current research on effective educational leadership and advance a new and powerful vision of principal effectiveness. The standards define those skills and abilities that school leaders must possess to produce greater levels of success for all students.
The Assessment Framework and Exam Structure consists of 6 domains directly aligned to 6 REPA School Leader-Building Level Administrator Standards:
- Human Capital Management (REPA Standard 1)
- Instructional Leadership (REPA Standard 2)
- Personal Behavior and Relationships (REPA Standard 3 & Standard 4)
- Culture of Achievement (REPA Standard 5)
- Organizational, Operational, and Resource Management (REPA Standard 6)
Bringing significant improvement to student achievement and teacher effectiveness requires an unapologetic focus on the principal’s role as driver of student growth and achievement. The standards provide a basis for professional preparation, growth, and accountability. However, the standards should not be viewed as ends in themselves; rather, they provide clarity for building leaders about the actions they are expected to take in order to drive student achievement and teacher effectiveness outcomes. The Indiana standards for School Leader-Building Level Administrator consists of “core” and “supplementary” content and skills. Content and skills considered “core” are indicated with bold text. Supplementary content and skills are indicated with non-bold text. It should be noted that all of Standard 6 is supplementary, including both the standard and the essential elements of knowledge within the standard.
PDELIL Education Leadership Test Preparation (Illinois)
This non-credit bearing professional development course provides an examination of Illinois standards, domains, and competencies of educational leadership, preparing students for the Illinois Principal as Instructional Leader (195 & 196) Exam, which focuses on principals serving as instructional leader with an emphasis on planning, change, and accountability; instructional improvement, visionary leadership, collaboration, contexts of education, school management, and legal/ethical guidelines.
This non-credit bearing course provides an examination of the test framework and sub-test areas of the Illinois Licensure Testing System (ILTS) to prepare educational leadership students for principal licensure in Illinois, as the exam focuses on Principal as Instructional Leader (Field: 195 & Field: 196), and as the framework applies to Planning, Change, and Accountability, Instructional Improvement, Visionary Leadership, Collaboration, and Contexts of Education, School Management and Legal/Ethical Guidelines.
The purpose of the principal licensure test is to measure the requisite knowledge and skills that a principal in an Illinois public school must possess. The test is made up of 2 Field Areas (195 & 196) and (Sub-test 1 & Sub-test 2), and is a requirement for candidates seeking Illinois Principal Licensure.
Additionally, the Illinois exam framework illustrates the alignment of State Board of Education adopted content-area standards with the Illinois Licensure Testing System’s (ILTS) licensure tests. The frameworks provide a set of objectives upon which the tests are based and also represent the content knowledge that is assessed on the Illinois licensure tests.
Teachers may convert their National Board of Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) work into College credit with American College of Education:
- NBCT-0001 National Board Certification Candidacy: Complete Score - Independent Study
(4.5 quarter credit hours = 3 semester hours).
- NBCT-0002 National Board Certification: Certification Accomplishment - Independent Study
(9 quarter credit hours = 6 semester hours).
- NBCT-0003 National Board Recertification: Advanced Professional Growth - Independent Study
(4.5 quarter credit hours = 3 semester hours).
Once converted into College credit, NBPTS work does not transfer into American College of Education master’s degree programs. Students receiving NBPTS College credit will still be required to take the full sequence of required courses.