Frequently Asked Questions

When can I apply to the Master of Education for Non-Traditional Certification (MENTC) program?

You may apply anytime. However, there are deadlines by which all documents must be submitted. Please check with the graduate admissions office as the dates vary from semester to semester click here.

Do I have to have my undergraduate degree completed when I apply?

No, but you must provide an official transcript with your degree conferred by the end of the semester in which you complete your degree. Applicants who do not show evidence of an undergraduate degree, have not submitted all supporting documents to the graduate admissions office, or have not successfully interviewed, will not be eligible to begin graduate studies.

Can I be admitted without taking the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)?

No, we must have your GRE scores and all other documents in your application packet before being considered for admission to the MENTC program. For more information on the GRE, go to:  However, students can be considered for conditional admission if they provide proof of GRE registration and complete testing during the first semester of coursework.

What is unique about this program?

Unlike other alternative certification programs, this state approved program offers students an opportunity to earn a master’s degree in education and teacher certification through the OLLU Weekend College format.

What is Weekend College?

The OLLU Weekend College (WEC) offers working students on opportunity to complete their coursework on weekends. Classes are offered during trimesters (12 weeks) and students attend classes on alternate weekends. NOTE: it is possible to take some of the required graduate classes in the evenings (traditional semester format) if that better suits an individual’s schedule.

How many credit hours will I have to take in order to complete the degree program?

You are required to complete 42 hours of graduate studies in order to complete your graduate degree (Master of Education). This includes 36 hours of content and pedagogy coursework and completing a total of six hours of internship (two three credit hour courses).

What is an internship?

An internship is an opportunity for you to work as a teacher of record in a public /charter/private school in the certification area and level you are pursuing. Internships are one semester and occur during the Fall and Spring semesters. You are issued a One-Year Probationary Certificate; this can be extended twice. 

Does the university help in placing students?

Yes, the OLLU Career Services Office is instrumental in facilitating interviews between potential employers and students. In addition, the placement office assists students with developing a resume and maintains a placement file for students.  Additionally, the University hosts a MENTC breakfast for eligible students and area school district personnel directors. Copies of students’ resumes are also disseminated at this breakfast.

How do I get started in applying for an internship?

Once a student passes his/her TExES content exam or documents 24 hours of coursework in the certification field, the student may begin applying for teaching positions.  Upon recommendation from their advisor, students are issued a MENTC letter and Statement of Eligibility for Internship Form by the Certification Officer.  The student also attends the MENTC Breakfast and meets with area school district personnel directors. 

What is required for a One-Year Probationary Certificate?

Once the MENTC intern has secured employment, the student will notify his/her advisor and the Certification Officer of employment and will request that the OLLU Certification Officer and hiring school district complete the Statement of Eligibility Form.   Important Note to Students: This form must be completed and returned to the certification officer BEFORE the applicant can be recommended for the probationary certificate.

How long will it take to complete the program?

Most students complete the program in two to two and half years. It is important to note, that once MENTC students begin their internship under a probationary certificate (good for a year), they are eligible to renew it twice.

Is financial aid available?

Yes, however, you must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as this determines your eligibility for financial aide. NOTE: some loans can be forgiven if you teach in a high need certificate area.  Click here for more information on completing the FASFA.

Applicants who are transitions from the military may also be eligible for benefits.  Contact OLLU’s veteran’s benefits coordinator and the Troops to Teachers Office at for additional information.

Finally, full-time employees of school districts are also eligible for a 20% discount on graduate tuition. You must complete the Verification of Employment form and have it signed by the appropriate personnel in your district.

All of the above information can be found on the OLLU Financial Aid page click here.

Are grants available for graduate students?

Some grants are available to eligible students. However, check with a graduate admissions recruiter on availability of grants and with the financial aide office as grants may be in effect for a certain period of time.

What does Highly Qualified mean according to No Child Left Behind (NCLB)?

Teachers participating in an alternative route to certification program (such as MENTC), must hold 1) a bachelor’s degree and 2) demonstrate subject area mastery.  Students seeking EC-4 certification must pass the EC-4 content TExES exam.  Students seeking 4-8 and 8-12 content certification can demonstrate content mastery either by passing the appropriate content and level TExES exam or have the equivalent of 24 credit hours of college coursework in the certification field.

When can I begin teaching?

You are eligible to begin your internship after you have completed 6 to 12 hrs. of graduate studies and have passed the appropriate state content exam for the certificate you are pursuing. NOTE: secondary students who have completed 24 hrs. in a core content area as identified by the No Child Left Behind Act, may be eligible for hiring by a school district/charter school without taking the content exam first. However, that is at the discretion of each school district. If you are hired under this NCLB Content Competency, you are strongly encouraged to take and pass the content exam during the first semester of your internship.

What all is required for  five-year standard teaching certification?

In order to be recommended for certification by  the certification officer: student must have met all the following requirements: successful completion of all coursework (36 hours); 2) successful completion of teaching internship in certification area (6 hours); 3) pass TExES exams (appropriate level PPR and content exam(s); 4) formal application and payment to SBEC website using the route of alternative programs for educator preparation; and 5) completion of  fingerprinting process. 

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