Avery Point STEM Program FAQ’s

1.  How much time is required to earn my science teaching credentials?

The certification program begins in early June and concludes eleven months later.

2.  What credentials will I receive?

A secondary teaching certificate in Math, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Earth Science and/or General Science.  This allows you to teach science in any Connecticut middle or high school.

3.  Where am I being certified to teach science?

Your teaching certificate is specific to Connecticut.  Once you have a CT teaching certificate in hand, we can help you obtain reciprocity with other states.

4.  What are the course requirements?

Courses correspond to Connecticut teacher certification requirements while also addressing UConn requirements for a Master’s degree.  These range from fundamental lesson design courses all the way to conducting STEM education research.

5.  How is the summer portion scheduled?

Summer is equivalent to two semesters:  12 weeks, classes Monday through Thursday, 8:30am to 3:30pm.

6.  And fall semester is student teaching?

Yes.  You are placed with a mentor STEM teacher and you follow his or her schedule — which starts with back to school meetings in the days before students arrive.

7.  Is it possible to work during student teaching?

No,  We don’t officially prevent people from working.  But the intensity of student teaching has proven to be more demanding than most people expect.

8.  And what about the spring semester?

Coursework and field experiences continue in spring but the schedule is such that you can do coursework, field experiences, and conduct your research study — and still find time to substitute teach.

9.  What’s the job placement situation?

Science and math teachers are in high demand.  All Avery Point graduates obtain teaching positions and most of those happen before the end of June.

10.  How does this teacher preparation program compare to other certification routes?

There are many pathways available to become a science teacher.  UConn’s Teacher Certification Program for College Graduates (TCPCG) is a well-respected model that combines in-depth coursework and carefully supervised field experiences.

11.  How does the Avery Point program compare to other UConn campuses?

Three UConn campuses offere teacher certification for asipriing high school teachers.  Avery Point, Waterbury and West Hartford.  In contrast to the other campuses, Avery Point is exclusively focused on science and math.

12.  What experiences are you looking for in strong candidates?

The best candidates provide evidence of firsthand STEM experiences above and beyond college courses:  conducting research, working in a STEM career, completing advanced studies in a STEM major, etc.  In addition, stronger candidates have immersed themselves in high school science classrooms (e.g. as a paraprofessional, as a long term substitute, etc.) especially in settings where a substantial proportion of the students are underrepresented in STEM fields.

13.  Am I ineligible if I have not spent much time in science classrooms?

There is no shortcut to the benefits of working directly with adolescents while they are learning science or mathematics.  Applicants are ranked based on their classroom experiences but we always recommend more between the time application decisions are made and when coursework begins (i.e., between January and June).  In other words, eligibility is greatly enhanced by time spent in classrooms.

14.  What does the application process entail?

In addition to paperwork (e.g. college transcripts, personal statement and other documents) all applicants participate in interviews.  Admissions decisions are made in January for the following summer.

15.  What are the chances I can find a suitable job after graduating?

Avery Point has a stellar track record.  For the first two cohorts, every person seeking a teaching position landed a fulltime job before the end of June.