Associate of Arts Degree Concentration in Education Foundations

What is this program?
An Associate of Arts Degree with a concentration in Education Foundations (60 cr) is now being offered through the College of Adult Scholars program at Valparaiso University. The associate's degree meets requirements for certification as a teacher aide and serves students wanting to take steps toward a career in teaching. The degree also provides a general foundation appropriate for any student intending to pursue a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree at Valpo or at most other accredited universities.

How long will it take to complete the AA degree?
You can expect to complete about 15-18 credits each year, so you should plan on slightly over 3 years.

Can I transfer credits from another college or university?
Up to 15 credits may be transferred into Valpo, assuming they fulfill basic requirements set forth in the degree program. At least half of the credits for the concentration in Education Foundations must be completed through Valpo, and 30 of the final 34 credits must be completed through the Valpo Associate of Arts program.

After I complete the AA degree, may I continue on for a baccalaureate degree at Valparaiso University?
Assuming you maintain a 2.0 GPA (C) out of 4.0, you may continue for a bachelor's degree at Valpo--all of your AA courses will count toward the BA or BS degree. But, you will need to complete most of the remaining Valpo coursework for a bachelor's degree at the Valpo campus (some coursework may be offered online). Additional credits (beyond the initial 15) from other colleges and universities may be eligible for transfer at this time.

You may continue as a regular full time student, or as a part time student (11 credits or fewer each semester) in the College of Adult Scholars. The tuition and fees respectively for on-campus coursework as a College of Adult Scholar student are currently $460/credit and $95 administrative fee each semester.

In order to qualify for the teacher education programs, which enable you to become a fully licensed teacher, you must have a 2.5 GPA, pass the PPST (Praxis I test), and meet the other requirements for this program. Your AA degree is designed to prepare you for entry into this program, so all or nearly all of your coursework will count toward this degree, assuming you have achieved the minimum grades required. The actual number of credits that count will vary slightly depending on the level of certification you are seeking (elementary, middle, secondary). Be aware that if you are admitted to a teacher education program, you will have to attend Valpo full time during your "professional" semester.

Am I eligible for a loan or any kind of financial aid?
Most students in this program will be eligible for federal loans or grants. For more information, refer to the accompanying brochure and then call the Valpo Office of Financial Aid at 219.464.5015 if you have specific questions. As a general rule, to qualify for federal loans, you must be enrolled in at least 6 credits (or two courses) each fall and spring semester. If you work in a Title I school, you may also be eligible for loan forgiveness up to $5,000. For more information, check the following website: www.studentaid.ed.gov

How do I register for classes?
Once you have been admitted, a Valpo advisor will explain the course options available to you, and review your requirements for the AA degree. The first time you enroll in a Valpo course, you'll need to register using the standard form provided by the advisor; this can be done during orientation at the site where the course is being offered. Thereafter, you will be able to register online through the university's web site.

How do I get financial aid?
Start by filing the 2011-12 FAFSA. You can file these forms online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Once this is submitted, you will be notified of your eligibility for Pell grants and/or loans by the Valpo Office of Financial Aid, along with specific procedures to finalize your aid. For most students, financial aid transactions can be completed without a visit to the campus.

How do I obtain my course textbooks?
You have two choices. You may order textbooks online by visiting the Valpo Book Center website. Payment through credit card is required, and there will be a UPS shipping fee. Or you can visit the Valpo Bookstore on campus in the Harre Union, hours 9-5 pm daily and 10-3 pm on Saturday.

In either case, you can identify your course by its number and section; courses for this program are designated with OC (off-campus) as the section. The particular section designation for your site will be communicated to you through your Valpo adviser.

What "tools" will I need to be a successful student?
Proficiency with word-processing and access to word processors is essential. Having access to the web, either at your home or your worksite, will be useful for many courses and may even be required in some. A quiet and uninterrupted place for study will be important to your success. For every 60 min of class, assume about 100 minutes of outside reading, preparation, and study.

Will I have access to the VU library and computer networks?
Yes, when you are a registered student, you are automatically issued a Valpo network account, including email, DataVU, and Blackboard accounts. More information on how to access these accounts will be provided once you are fully enrolled. DataVU enables you to register online in the future, check your grades, determine your degree requirements, and access a lot more information relevant to your academic progress at Valpo. Blackboard is the support system for online courses at Valpo. Some of your courses may incorporate an online component.

What Courses would I take?
Course Descriptions

General Education
32-33 credits
CORE 110 & CORE 115  
10 cr
ENGL 200
 
3 cr
THEO 200
 
3 cr
Fine or Performing Arts
 
3 cr
Social Science
 
3 cr
History  
3 cr
Cultural Diversity course
 
3 cr
Natural Science  
4 cr
Mathematics 211/213
  4 cr
Concentration Education
21 credits
ENGL 321
Intermediate Composition
3 cr
PSY 110
General Psychology
3 cr
PSY 330
Child & Adolescent Development
3 cr
ED 204
Educational Psychology
3 cr
COMM 145
Interpersonal Communication
3 cr
Any US Diversity course
 
3 cr
One of the following two courses
3 cr
GEO 101
World Geography
3 cr
SOC 160
Contemporary Social Problems 3 cr
Electives
4-7 credits
If MATH 110 is required, 4 credits of electives are available.