Winter and spring make up our busiest admissions season at UVEI, and during this time I get a glimpse into the lives of educators. Just like the new year, application season is an exciting, encouraging, and hopeful new beginning. At the registrar and admissions desk, I receive and process applications for our MEd degree pathways as well as our teacher, school leadership, and literacy licensure programs. That is the official description, but what really happens in the admissions process goes far beyond that.
Supporting application materials
When our admissions committee considers a potential candidate for degree or licensure, we want to familiarize ourselves with the whole person. The supporting application materials – resumes, written essays, transcripts, letters of recommendation from people familiar with their capacities in education – aim to give a complete picture of the applicant’s experiences, abilities, and potential struggles. An interview with a faculty member further serves as a way to get to know the person, and for the applicant to get to know us as well. A decision to enroll should be based on a mutual recognition that this program is a good fit at this time.
A personal relationship
When the admissions committee convenes, we discuss not only the strengths and challenges the applicant brings to the program, but also their potential trajectory through the program and into their next career phase. What type of mentor and placement will help them grow? What additional support might they need? Are there any particular areas of focus for them as a new teacher or leader? The decision that results is a personalized commitment to each applicant, and, if admitted, this personalization carries through the program and beyond.
As a New Hampshire educator preparation program, we are required to ensure that certain prerequisites are met. One of these, the Praxis Core exam, is an admissions requirement for our Teacher Internship Program. Others, such as criminal records checks and experiential and degree requirements, might be completed later but will be clearly laid out in the admissions process.
Praxis Core: A basic skills test in reading, writing, and mathematics required for admissions to the Teacher Internship Program. It is administered by ETS. We have written more extensive reflections on preparing for the Praxis and taking the Praxis at home for those who wish to know more.
Criminal Record Checks: New for 2022, the state of New Hampshire requires a Department of Education-administered criminal records check for all candidates for New Hampshire licensure, upon selection to an educator preparation program. Candidates being placed in school settings where they are not already employed will also need to do a background check through their school district. More details on the state version will be coming later this spring.
Degree and experiential requirements: Our licensure programs are designed to lead to… licensure! As such, we strive to convey any additional requirements to our applicants so that they have a complete understanding of their path to licensure. Potential complications for candidates can arise in our literacy and leadership programs. For example, an applicant to our Principal Internship Program may have three years of teaching experience – this would allow them to qualify for principal licensure in Vermont but not in New Hampshire (NH requires 5 years of experience). Prospective applicants are encouraged to get in touch with us as soon as possible to understand whether they have the appropriate degrees and experience for the license(s) they seek.
When I see our current candidates on seminar days in our building, I often think back to last year when they were submitting their application. It wasn’t that long ago that we were just starting to get to know them. What started as an application has become a relationship. I hear some of their stories from the field and see them interact with their cohort and with the faculty members who coach them. The relationship is strong during the program and it will continue in some form even after a candidate completes. We will stay in touch, we will read and celebrate their accomplishments, and we will welcome them back for additional training and conversation. The future is full of possibilities, and this is when it all starts.
Welcome to admissions season!
Marie McCormick is the Registrar and Operations Associate and a former math teacher. You can get in touch with her anytime.