Difference between endorsement and getting certified in a new area

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Pisces, Nov 4, 2019.

  1. Pisces

    Pisces Rookie

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    Nov 4, 2019

    What exactly is the difference between getting an endorsement versus getting certified in a 2nd content area?
    I live in Georgia and want to teach computer science next year. I am certified in a science discipline. I want have the option of getting a computer science endorsement or getting another certification. Is one better than the other? (I have 30 credits of computer science coursework complete, if that makes a difference.)
     
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  3. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Nov 4, 2019

    A "major" is the curriculum within an academic department that leads to a degree. An "endorsement" lists the courses that are required to receive certification to teach a particular subject.

    API defines endorsement as "Documentation that indicates that minimum requirements have been met for additional qualification in the designated area of expertise."

    OP, I know that we through around endorsement and certification as though they are totally interchangeable, but depending on the way teachers are earning the right to teach in these varied fields, it is seldom the same one state to another. Example: I have a full major in my undergraduate degree, classified as a minimum of 30 credits in a logical sequence, with about half of those credits earned as upper level courses. Having that education allows me to sit for the Praxis Content Exam. I must have qualified for the endorsement with education, but need to pass the content exam with a passing exam to earn my certification. The amount of credits and sequences will often be dependent on whether or not it is a K-12 certificate, or a lesser certificate, such as Elem. Ed., or a middle school endorsement (15 credits in the subject matter at college). Once we are proved to have the college credits, and we have passed the requisite Praxis Exam, we are approved, here in NJ, to a provisional teaching certificate. So I was a provisional Biology teacher. Once I was cleared by the state as completing my provisional certificate, all of my provisional certificate became standard certificates in this state. I am now holding 8 standard certificates, which are all based on college education requirements being met, and Praxis exams being passed.

    Different from other states, my certificates will not ever need to be renewed. Let me state, however, that I am tasked with acquiring a minimum of 20 hours of professional development per school year.

    I don't know if this answers your questions.
     
  4. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 5, 2019

    As with practically everything else having to do with public education, the ins and outs of the difference between a license and an endorsement will vary from state to state. In California, one gets a single subject credential exactly once, and every additional subject area is added by endorsement - though there are two levels of endorsement (or three? I so don't do credentialing), depending on what one has had to do to qualify and on the level of sophistication of what one means to teach. Obviously vickilyn's experience in New Jersey (and, I think, New York?) is different.

    Pisces, if you want the district in Georgia for which you're currently working NOT to know what you want to do, and if you completed either a bachelor's in teaching in Georgia or a university-based teacher-preparation program in Georgia to get the license you currently hold, you might want to take your question to the licensure experts at that university. (Am I sympathetic to people who just aren't quite ready to "out" their intentions to their employer? Believe it.) But you may feel less obliged to keep your district in the dark, and in that case do please put your questions to the nice people in the district's Human Resources office. If there isn't someone on HR staff whose business it is to ensure that the holder of endorsement X can indeed teach course Y to students at levels Z without incurring the unwelcome attention of either state or federal authorities charged with policing the ranks of the Highly Or Sufficiently Qualified, it would be surprising. At worst, it will surely be the case that someone in HR will be able to point you in the right direction.

    Whoever you ask, what you want is to know (a) EXACTLY what hoops are required for endorsement vs. additional certificate and (b) EXACTLY what the full-on certificate will buy you - in terms of authority to teach the subject matter in Georgia and to teach it to few, some, or all students - that the endorsement won't, and vice versa. I could do some research and make some informed guesses - but with the best will in the world, I cannot hope to give you a Georgian's-eye view of what Georgia requires and allows, and that's what you're lacking.
     
  5. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Nov 5, 2019

    20 hours of professional development PER year seems kind of excessive. I’m all for PD, but requiring continual development despite you being a highly qualified teacher and having 8 standard certificates, plus else, says that they think you will somehow become inadequate as an instructor if you don’t go to some seminar to hear the same thing again and again.

    I do PD some years and not others because it gets repetitive after a while. For example, I don’t need to hear that differentiated instruction is important in multiple ways — I know it is and know how to do it in many different ways.
     
  6. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Nov 5, 2019

    I can agree with what you are saying, but actually, the PD has never been much of an issue for me. There are so many free webinars, conferences, and courses out there that are right down my alley and I would most certainly be interested in many of them even if PD wasn't required. I think that because I have so many certifications this is a requirement that simply makes it very easy to revisit aspects from many of them, building on what interests me. Fortunately, it is simply 20 hours per year whether you have one certificate or ten. I find it harder to limit learning opportunities than to find new ones that may bore me to tears. In this, I truly feel blessed.
     
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  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 5, 2019

    Gracefully replied, vickilyn.

    Now let's return to the OP's topic, please.
     
  8. Pisces

    Pisces Rookie

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    Nov 19, 2019

    I am currently preparing for the GACE in computer science. It's GA's equivalence of the Praxis II. I am still uncertain as to whether I should do an "endorsement" or "approved area". The difference between the two isn't clear to me, still. I think the term varies from state to state.
     
  9. Pisces

    Pisces Rookie

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    Nov 19, 2019

    .
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
  10. whizkid

    whizkid Habitué

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    Nov 21, 2019

    There is no difference in my state.
     
  11. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    Nov 22, 2019

    I took the Praxis in Computer Science: Content Knowledge (5652) two weeks ago and barely passed. With the passing score set by my state, once I submit my paperwork, I will be certified to teach computer science. If the same goes for you with regard to the GACE, go ahead and do that. With a huge lack of CS teachers, I don't think the title matters as much as being certified to teach the subject. You may need to ask the GA DoE for guidance.
     
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  12. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Nov 22, 2019

    Hey, a pass is a pass. It shows you are qualified to teach CS and so I congratulate you! Well done!
     
  13. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    Nov 23, 2019

    Thanks! I was pretty nervous but confident when clicking the “Report Score” button. And when the unofficial score came and it was about the minimum, I let out a huge sigh of relief!! It was a challenging test but doable if you know stuff about computers and basic level programming.
     
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  14. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Nov 23, 2019

    Your situation is relatable, except I didn’t take a CS certification test. My fellow admin know that I am well versed in Python, Ruby, C and C++ programming languages and so they pester me all the time to teach the computer science courses since our current teacher is officially retiring at the end of this year (he’s been floating the idea for the last few years and finally decided it was time)!

    The thing is that my plate is already full teaching AP Calculus AB/BC and Calc 3, plus my admin duties as Dean for Academic Affairs/STEM Director. I most likely will be asked to teach AP Stats if they can’t find someone, but I am just too lazy and don’t want to spend my summer preparing for new classes (don’t tell anyone, lol!).
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2019
  15. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    You’re definitely more qualified than I am! I’m not particularly well-versed with computer programming but barely studied enough to pass! The more straight-forward questions with algorithms, swapping, sorting I kinda did ok with. Then there were questions that talked about queues and stacks and object-oriented programming? S.pop or S.push?? I left those question for last and just guessed!!

    FWIW, the coolest program I ever wrote by myself was a synthetic division program in Python!
     
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  16. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    No biggie, just watch YouTube videos. That’s literally how I learned as I could watch them work through the problems in real time.
     
  17. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    There are many helpful links online, such as this one: https://computersciencewiki.org/index.php/Queue.

    I would handwrite notes and copy these almost verbatim when I learned and now I have a huge compiled book (get it, I’m the compiler, lol!) of various concepts. Use free online resources!
     
  18. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I don't think there's a difference between endorsement and certification in Virginia. We can add new endorsement areas to an existing certificate just by taking the corresponding Praxis. That's how I got the Math endorsement... I just decided to take the Praxis to see how I'd do, and lo and behold, 187.
     
  19. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 24, 2019

    Yes. My point above was precisely that you need an authoritative answer that no one here seems to be in a position to supply.

    I made two suggestions above as to authorities in Georgia to which you could go with reasonable expectation of finding a live person who can give you some guidance: your district's human resources department, or the college/university at which you completed your teacher preparation program.

    The most authoritative source, of course, would be the Georgia state department of education (DOE), and I mean the office: on the teacher-licensure webpages that haven't been helpful to you there should be contact information, including email address and/or phone number(s). If there's a regional or county-level DOE office for your area, try there first: the more local the office, the likelier it is that a live person with some knowledge will answer the phone and do you some good.

    If that doesn't get you somewhere, let us know. I have a few other ideas.
     
  20. Pisces

    Pisces Rookie

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    Nov 26, 2019

    Thanks Teacher Groupie. I did contact the county office but they are not responsive. The credentialing website (GaPSC) gave me the "ok" to take the exam. (It's very different here than in CA. I have to basically get their permission to take the test. They do this to make sure that you are eligible to test and are taking the correct one.) Since the test gets sent directly to the GaPSC, they issue the credential right away as long as it's been (pre)paid for.
    A GA teacher who got certified in CS told me that after I pass the test, contact the county office again since I will have the credential.
    Whew!
    I will also reach out to schools when they begin posting the openings if my school does not anticipate a computer science opening.
    Thanks again.
     
  21. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Sounds like you were able to get advice reasonably close to what you were hoping for, Pisces, and it's gratifying that it came from the top.
     
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  22. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    This process in Georgia sounds very similar to Texas. You absolutely can't sign up to take an assessment test unless they approve it and "let" you test. I only know this because my son went through the process in Texas before landing in Virginia. I do remember talking to the TEA, or whatever the initials are. It all hinged on what was in your transcript.
     
  23. Pisces

    Pisces Rookie

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    Dec 6, 2019 at 2:12 PM

    Thanks TeacherGroupie. The county finally responded saying they don't have job openings right now but will post ones for next year, next month. That totally didn't answer the question I sent to them, though... lol!!! It's OK. I found others who went through the process much more helpful. I will begin reaching out to schools over Christmas break.

    By the way, I used to teach in NJ. (Newark public schools of all places!) I receive NJDOE newsletters and Gov. Murphy is about to approve a computer science endorsement for NJ. I plan to apply as soon as that happens! The Praxis II exam has already been designated but I can just apply via reciprocity. I like to keep credentials / certs from places I used to live, current. You never know if life might take one back to a certain place.
     
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