Western Kentucky University

College of Education and Behavioral Sciences

Connect with CEBS
Facebook     Twitter     Pinterest
img
apply now     apply now
Loading

FAQs Regarding Graduate Admissions and Financial Aid Eligibility

  1. Whom do I contact if I have a question about admission requirements for a specific CEBS graduate program?
  2. Whom do I contact if I have a more general question about admission to any CEBS graduate program?
  3. Whom do I contact with questions about teacher certification?
  4. How do I determine what the admission requirements are for a specific CEBS graduate program?
  5. What does "GAP score" mean?
  6. If I already have a master's degree, do I still have to submit qualifying GRE scores?
  7. Which CEBS programs require me to submit a current, valid teaching certificate?
  8. What if my teaching certificate has expired? May I still be admitted to a program leading to advanced certification?
  9. If I have a Statement of Eligibility (SOE) instead of a teaching certificate, will that be acceptable to submit in place of a teaching certificate?
  10. If I don't have a teaching certificate but would like to qualify for one at the master's level, to which programs could I apply?
  11. If I apply for admission to a graduate program that leads to initial teacher certification, what specific GPA requirements must I meet?
  12. What are some good strategies for preparing to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)?
  13. If I don't meet admission requirements (e.g., GAP score, undergrad GPA), what are my options?
  14. What are the disadvantages to completing a non-degree Planned Fifth-Year (for Rank II pay status) or Planned Sixth-Year (for Rank I pay status) program, versus completing a degree program?
  15. What alternative ways are there to earn Rank I pay status through graduate course work?
  16. Does my eligibility for a federal student loan depend partly on the program in which I enroll?
  17. How can I work on a Planned Sixth-Year (Rank I) program and still be eligible for a federal student loan?
  18. Must I be enrolled in a given term in order to be eligible for a graduate assistantship in that term?
  19. Where can I get more information on loans?

Top
Q. 1: Whom do I contact if I have a question about admission requirements for a specific CEBS graduate program?
   
A: This table lists all CEBS graduate programs and the specific contact persons for each one: http://www.wku.edu/cebs/programs/graduate/contact_persons.php
   
Top
Q. 2: Whom do I contact if I have a more general question about admission to any CEBS graduate program?
   
A: Contact Dr. Janet Applin, Associate Dean for Academic Programs.
   
Top
Q. 3: Whom do I contact with questions about teacher certification?
   
A: Contact WKU's Office of Teacher Certification, (270) 745-4300, teacher.certification@wku.edu. Also see the FAQ's about Teacher Certification.
   
Top
Q. 4: How do I determine what the admission requirements are for a specific CEBS graduate program?
   
A: Check either the current graduate catalog or the program website.
   
Top
Q. 5: What does "GAP score" mean?
   
A: The GAP score is your GRE Verbal score plus your GRE Quantitative score, added to the product of your overall undergraduate GPA multiplied by 100. That is, GAP score = (GRE-V + GRE-Q) + (GPA x 100).
   
Top
Q. 6: If I already have a master's degree, do I still have to submit qualifying GRE scores?
   
A: The answer depends on the program to which you are applying. Some CEBS graduate programs do not require GRE scores for certain groups of applicants, and others have a policy under which students with master's degrees may be considered for admission without GRE scores. Contact the specific program advisor or Dr. Janet Applin for further information.
   
Top
Q. 7: Which CEBS programs require me to submit a current, valid teaching certificate?
   
A: All degree and non-degree programs that lead to advanced certification by Kentucky's Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB) require submission of a current, valid teaching certificate or Statement of Eligibility. In addition, applicants who have teaching certificates should submit them even if the certificate is not required for admission to a given program. This is because advisors may need information about the student's certification in order to provide complete and accurate advice about course selection and program planning.
   
Top
Q. 8: What if my teaching certificate has expired? May I still be admitted to a program leading to advanced certification?
   
A: In most cases, yes, you may be admitted even if your certificate has expired, but only with the understanding that you must take immediate steps to have the certificate reissued. According to the website for Kentucky's Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB), "if a certificate has lapsed as a result of the applicant's failure to meet the renewal requirements, the certificate shall be reissued at a later date for a one year period if the applicant completes at least six semester hours of graduate credit applicable towards the master's degree or planned fifth-year program." Students with expired certificates who otherwise qualify for admission to a graduate program may be admitted but initially will be allowed to take only the necessary six hours to qualify for a re-issuance of the certificate. Approval of students' Form B/C (Program of Studies) will be withheld by the Teacher Certification Officer, pending receipt of a copy of the reissued teaching certificate. After completion of the necessary six hours to qualify for a reissued certificate, the student must file an application with the EBSB for the reissued certificate. The student must provide Graduate Studies with a copy of the reissued certificate, and Graduate Studies will forward a copy to the Teacher Certification Officer. When this has been done, the registration "hold" on the student's file will be lifted (assuming that there are no other reasons for a registration hold), and students will be allowed to continue in the programs to which they were admitted.
   
Top
Q. 9: If I have a Statement of Eligibility (SOE) instead of a teaching certificate, will that be acceptable to submit in place of a teaching certificate?
   
A: Yes, you may submit your SOE if you do not have a teaching certificate. Always submit the most current certification-related document that you have.
   
Top
Q. 10: If I don't have a teaching certificate but would like to qualify for one at the master's level, to which programs could I apply?
   
A: The following graduate programs in CEBS offer initial certification at the graduate level: Master of Arts in Teaching in Special Education: Learning and Behavioral Disorders; Master of Arts in Teaching in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education; Master of Science in Library Media Education; Education Specialist in School Psychology. Beginning in Fall 2013 CEBS will also offer the Master of Arts in Teaching in Middle Grades Education and the Master of Arts in Teaching in Secondary Education. More information will be available on these programs in Spring, 2013.
   
Top
Q. 11: If I apply for admission to a graduate program that leads to initial teacher certification, what specific GPA requirements must I meet?
   
A: In order to be admitted to professional education and be recommended for initial certification after program completion, graduate students must be admitted to a program and possess an overall undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or higher, or a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 in the last 30 hours (graduate hours plus as many undergraduate hours as are needed to total 60). Specific programs may impose higher minimum GPA requirements as well as other requirements for program admission, and candidates for degrees must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA overall and in the graduate major in order to receive a degree.
   
Top
Q. 12: What are some good strategies for preparing to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)?
   
A: Applicants are encouraged to invest time in preparing for the GRE. There are study resources on the web that can be easily identified with a web search, and numerous printed study materials may be found in bookstores. After you review information about content, be sure to take at least one practice exam (available either online or on CDs with purchased study guides), and time the exam so that you can check your estimated score.
   
Top
Q. 13: If I don't meet admission requirements (e.g., GAP score, undergrad GPA), what are my options?
   
A: If you don't meet the GAP score, GRE Analytical Writing score, or other GRE score requirement of the program you wish to pursue, the first action to consider is studying for and then re-taking the GRE in an effort to improve your score enough to qualify for admission. If you know that you have specific skills deficits, such as your writing or quantitative skills, consider ways to improve your skills, such as by taking a course, working with a tutor, or completing a workshop designed to address the skills you need. Writing and quantitative skills are important for success in a graduate program, so it makes sense to remediate problems in these areas.
A second option is to apply for consideration under the college's alternate admission policy. If you decide to request alternate admission, prepare a portfolio consistent with the criteria discussed in the college's policy.
If you don't qualify for admission because you don't meet the undergrad GPA requirement or some other admission requirement, you may also request consideration under the college's alternate admission policy.
   
Top
Q. 14: What are the disadvantages to completing a non-degree Planned Fifth-Year (for Rank II pay status) or Planned Sixth-Year (for Rank I pay status) program, versus completing a degree program?
   
A: For both the Planned Fifth-Year (Rank II) and Planned Sixth-Year (Rank I) programs the main disadvantage is that these non-degree programs may not be recognized outside of Kentucky. Thus, if you complete a non-degree program and then move to a state that only recognizes graduate degrees, you may not qualify for a higher pay status.
A second disadvantage of enrolling in a Planned Sixth-Year (Rank I) program is that it may not provide eligibility for a federal student loan, whereas enrollment in degree programs (e.g., a master's degree or education specialist degree) does provide loan eligibility.
A third disadvantage is that if you should want eventually to teach at the postsecondary level, completion of a non-degree program won't provide the qualification that completion of a degree does. Postsecondary institutions have to meet regional accrediting guidelines for faculty credentials, and the usual minimum qualification for teaching baccalaureate-level courses is a master's degree in the teaching discipline, including at least 18 hours in the discipline. Someone who has completed a Planned Fifth-Year (Rank II) program would not be qualified in this case.
Finally, some advanced certification programs require applicants to have completed a master's degree, and a Planned Fifth-Year (Rank II) program is not an acceptable substitute. For example, at WKU both the EdS and Planned Sixth-Year (Rank I) programs in Educational Administration require applicants to have completed master's degrees to be eligible for admission.
   
Top
Q. 15: What alternative ways are there to earn Rank I pay status through graduate course work?
   
A: An individual who has Rank II status may earn Rank I status by completion of an EPSB-approved Education Specialist (EdS) degree, by completion of a (second) EPSB-approved master's degree, or by completion of an EPSB-approved Planned Sixth-Year program. For information about which WKU programs are EPSB-approved, contact WKU's Office of Teacher Certification or the CEBS Dean's Office.
There are two alternatives for earning Rank I status without completing graduate course work: National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification, and the Kentucky Continuing Education option. Information about these options may be found on the EPSB site: http://www.kyepsb.net/certification/rankchange.asp
   
Top
Q. 16: Does my eligibility for a federal student loan depend partly on the program in which I enroll?
   
A: Yes. Students may be loan-eligible if they are enrolled in a degree program (e.g., MA, MAE, MS, EdS, etc.) or certificate program (e.g., Educational Technology Certificate). Students may also be loan- eligible if they enroll in a non-degree program (such as an endorsement program) that leads to a new certification, thereby qualifying them for a new job. Enrollment in a Planned Sixth-Year (Rank I) program that only leads to rank change/pay status change does not provide loan-eligibility. If you have questions about your specific situation, contact an advisor or the department head for the program you want to pursue, or Dr. Applin in the CEBS Dean's Office.
   
Top
Q. 17: How can I work on a Planned Sixth-Year (Rank I) program and still be eligible for a federal student loan?
   
A: Students who wish to be loan-eligible must be enrolled in both a certification-only program (their primary program) and the Planned Sixth-Year program (their secondary program). For example, a student in elementary education will be loan eligible if he/she has "Certification-only – Gifted" as the primary program and the Planned Sixth-Year in Elementary Education as the secondary program. A second example is a student in the Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research, who could declare as the primary program, "Certification-only – DPP," and have the secondary program be the Planned Sixth-Year program.
Students who enroll in both programs can work on them concurrently; however, the aid will be paid based on the certification-only program. The student can continue to receive loans until it is determined that he or she should reasonably have completed the loan-eligible program (i.e., "satisfactory academic progress toward completion of the program"), which is about 150% of the required hours in the program. Thus, for a certification-only program that requires 15-18 hours, the student will not be identified as having "excessive hours" until he or she has about 24-27 hours. At that point, if he or she has not completed the certification-only program, he or she would be placed on financial-aid probation and given one more semester to complete the certification.
The student who wants to continue the aid for the full Planned Sixth-Year program (not just for the certification-only program) should NOT take the final certification-only course until he/she is in the last semester for which he/she will be requesting aid. The eligibility for aid will end when the loan-eligible certification-only program is completed. Similarly, the student who wishes to continue to be loan-eligible should not file a request to be recommended to the Education Professional Standards Board for the completed endorsement/certification; once WKU recommends the student for the endorsement/certification, he or she will no longer be eligible for aid for the remaining courses in the Planned Sixth-Year program.
   
Top
Q. 18: Must I be enrolled in a given term in order to be eligible for a graduate assistantship in that term?
   
A: Yes. There is an exception for the Winter (January) term: a student who has been awarded an assistantship for the full academic year (fall through spring) may work in the Winter term even if not enrolled in that term. To receive an assistantship in the summer, a student must be enrolled in at least one of the summer terms.
   
Top
Q. 19: Where can I get more information on loans?
   
A: Visit the website for the Office of Student Financial Assistance or contact them at (270) 745-2755.
   
 Last Modified 8/2/13