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Education Department News

Teacher Education Program offers Ninth Semester option

The Teacher Education Program (TEP) at the College of the Holy Cross now allows students enrolled in the TEP to complete their student teaching requirement in a "Ninth Semester Option." 

The Ninth Semester Option will consist of a supervised student teaching experience at one of the Worcester Public Schools at the middle or secondary level and a seminar on teaching.

Typically, the student teaching experience takes place during the fall or spring semester of a student's senior year. The Ninth Semester Option focuses on students who have completed all of the other requirements for the program, but who are unable to free up a full semester for the student teaching component. These students include "late-deciders" who realize during their junior year (or later) that they wish to pursue a profession in teaching; student athletes, who often have many characteristics that translate well to teaching, but have sports schedules that are very difficult to manage during the practicum semester; mathematics and science majors who must complete a sequence of upper level courses that may include laboratories or that are two-semesters in duration;  and foreign language majors who participate in the Study Abroad program.

These students frequently run out of time to complete the TEP requirements due to opportunities to participate in research, departmental thesis work, and honors thesis work. The Ninth Semester Option is a way to encourage students to consider teaching without giving up other important academic opportunities at the College that contribute to their development as highly competent teachers.

The completion of the TEP allows students to obtain an initial five-year license to teach in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (with reciprocity with other states), as long as that student passes the appropriate Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure.  Currently, the TEP accepts up to 20 students per year.

The Ninth Semester Option is available only in the fall semester and only in the semester following the student's graduation from Holy Cross. Students will not be offered housing on campus. 

While Holy Cross has been educating and preparing students to be teachers since the early 1900s, the Teacher Education Program at the College was started in 1996. More than 150 students have graduated from the program with their teaching credentials.