Applications for Teach Ascension Academy are due by February 19.

Ascension Public Schools has begun accepting applications for Teach Ascension Academy, which is an alternative certification program for teachers. TAA was launched in 2015 to recruit, train, and hire teachers from alternative professions and academic programs.

The one-year program includes four weeks of professional development over the summer. Professional development sessions will include training on classroom management, child and adolescent psychology, standards-based learning lesson and unit planning, foundational reading, and teaching high-poverty students. Candidates will also be given field experience during the summer, when teachers will observe, co-teach, plan and teach lessons during a summer school program.

During the school year, teachers will be placed in classrooms and with mentor and supervising teacher support. Throughout the school year, candidates in the Teach Ascension Academy will have access to assistance, support, and followup from both master and mentor teachers. The training also includes 90 minute sessions of professional development and Professional Learning Community meetings once a week. Candidates receive four evaluations per year that ensure improvement and growth.

Tuition costs $4,000, but there is no out-of-pocket expense for candidates who teach in an Ascension Parish public school for two years. After teaching one full year, half of the tuition will be paid for by the Ascension Parish School Board, with the remaining half being paid after completion of the second year at a local school. Individual Praxis exams range from $90 to $150 each, and there is an application fee of $50 for a Practitioner License, which is due at the end of summer training.

Requirements for enrollment include holding a Bachelor's Degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA. Candidates are also required to pass the Praxis I and Praxis II for the designated areas in which they will teach.

A rigorous selection process determines which candidates can enter the program, as Teach Ascension Academy is highly selective. During its first year, only 20 percent of all applicants were offered a position. The process consists of a written application, writing sample, teaching sample, data analysis task, video review, and individual review. Only candidates who demonstrate the potential to be effective educators will be accepted into the program.

Applications for Teach Ascension Academy are due by February 19. For more information, visit apsb.org/TeachAscension.

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