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.
Clinical Practicum Experience
Students enrolled in the RN to MSN program and BSN 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. 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.
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 who seek licensure from states requiring more than IDOE requirements may request additional supervision from the academic program.
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 seeking additional internship hours must complete a request for additional internship hours. The College will work with the student to determine the appropriate course of action.
- 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 Arizona or 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 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 Education, then earn an M.Ed. in Integrated Curriculum
- Graduate with an M.Ed. in Integrated Curriculum, then earn an M.Ed. in STEM Education
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.
A set of existing ACE credit-bearing courses, typically three or four, aligned to the title of the micro-credential (could be a focus of study in a degree program). Students must take all courses within the micro-credential and earn a “C” or better to earn the micro-credential badge.