ACT - Frequently Asked Questions
- How does ACT differ from the traditional program?
- Is the ACT Program an approved program of study toward the preliminary credential?
- How long is the ACT Program, and when is it offered?
- Can I substitute a course I have already taken for a course in the credential program?
- What are the criteria for admission to the ACT Program?
- What does a typical weekly schedule for a teacher candidate in the ACT Program look like?
- Can I work while I am in the ACT Program?
- Is Financial Aid available through the university?
- Do I have to find my own placements for field experiences and student teaching?
- Are there extra costs for participating in the ACT Program?
- Do I get paid while I am student teaching in the program?
How does ACT differ from the traditional program?
ACT was designed as a one-year full-time program. Students enrolled in the ACT Program are guaranteed courses that are scheduled to be completed in one year, progressing through the program as a cohort. Throughout the program candidates work with experienced teachers, learning to teach in classrooms serving students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Is the ACT Program an approved program of study toward the preliminary credential?
Yes. The ACT Program, as one of several routes to the preliminary credential, received full state and national accreditation from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Educators (NCATE).
How long is the ACT Program, and when is it offered?
The ACT Program is a full-time, two-semester program offered each year, beginning in the fall semester and ending spring semester or in June, depending on the candidate’s specific program and student teaching assignments.
Can I substitute a course I have already taken for a course in the credential program?
If you have taken a course that you believe serves as a substitute for a course in the credential program, you may petition to have the course reviewed by an analyst in the Credential Office. Contact the Credential Office for a “Course Substitution Request Form,” complete the form, and submit it with appropriate documentation that supports your request (e.g., course outline, syllabus, catalog copy of the course description).
What are the criteria for admission to the ACT Program?
All applicants to the ACT Program must meet the minimum requirements for entrance to the Credential Program. In addition, due to limited space available, applicants are selected based on criteria that include academic record, experience in the field she or he is pursuing, collaboration skills, and potential to successfully complete an accelerated program.
What does a typical weekly schedule for a teacher candidate in the ACT Program look like?
The schedule for a teacher candidate participating in the ACT Program will be determined in large part by the schedule designed for students in that credential option. As a general rule, classes in the ACT Program are offered in the late afternoon and evening beginning at 4:00 PM. This schedule leaves time for ACT candidates to complete fieldwork and student teaching during the daytime hours when schools are in session.
Can I work while I am in the ACT Program?
While some students do hold part-time positions while enrolled in the ACT Program, it is not recommended. The ACT Program is a full-time, one-year, accelerated program with intensive coursework and extensive field experiences. ACT candidates who do work MUST be able to arrange their work schedules to enable them to participate fully in the ACT Program.
Is Financial Aid available through the university?
Financial aid is available to all students in the ACT Program who qualify. Financial aid opportunities include mini-grants, regular grants, forgivable loans, and student loans. Visit the Financial Aid Office located in the Student Services Building, Room 130 or online at http://www.csun.edu/financialaid.
Do I have to find my own placements for field experiences and student teaching?
No. The ACT Program Coordinators place each teacher candidate with a qualified teacher in a participating school in LAUSD or other approved sites.
Are there extra costs for participating in the ACT Program?
No. Participants in the ACT Program pay the usual tuition and fees as a full-time, graduate level student at CSUN. Students bear the costs of tuition and fees and any books and supplies required by individual instructors and courses in the program.
Do I get paid while I am student teaching in the program?
No. ACT candidates complete their field experiences and student teaching under a traditional model of clinical practice and are placed with veteran teachers who guide and mentor teacher candidates during the experience.