TAMIU Adds Master Technology Teacher Certification Program March 17, 2005

TAMIU Adds Master Technology Teacher Certification Program


As students become computer savvy at younger ages, traditional teaching methods must adapt to a generation accustomed to technology such as mobile phones and the Internet. Starting Fall 2005, Texas A&M International University will make it easier for area teachers to incorporate technology into their lesson plans.

"Last week the State Board of Educators Certification unanimously approved our proposal to offer a Master Technology Teacher Certification Program (MTCCP). This will allow us to certify teachers to do educational technology in public schools. It's an addition to the certifications we currently offer. We're currently certified to deliver all certificates for educators," explained Dr. Humberto Gonzalez, dean of the TAMIU College of Education.

"More and more teachers are using technology and now there are pilot schools where every student has a laptop. Teachers need to know how to effectively implement technology. This program will help teachers develop those skills. It brings them up to par with technology and they will be able to accomplish the same goals they would normally accomplish without technology, but with technology. It's a different approach to teaching," added Dr. Gonzalez.

Currently, Laredo Independent School District (LISD) has someone full-time at every campus assisting other teachers implement technology in the curriculum. With TAMIU's new certification program, the teachers will know software, hardware and also instructional strategies that need to be applied in the classroom. They will be certified to deliver that service. About 40 faculty members at LISD have expressed a desire to enroll in the MTTCP.

"We presented the proposal as a joint venture with the school districts. The University can only offer the certificate. They're the ones who need to utilize it. I think that says something about developing programs where you already have the people who are going to use it and support it. It's not as if we're offering something and hope someone will come and use it," said Dr. Gonzalez.

The program incorporates 18 hours of college work at the master's level. Candidates must be teachers and will take a certification test at the end of the 18 hours. If they choose to continue with a curriculum and instruction degree, those 18 hours can be applied as a resource or a minor within the master's degree.

Gonzalez said it will take about a year to get through the program. The first cohort will consist of 20 people and they will start Fall 2005. When the first cohort completes the program, another group will start. Then it will become part of the normal offerings once they build the capacity.

"We want to have a master's degree in educational technology in the future. If we are successful with this program and we are able to deliver and train people that can go out and work, then we have established a very successful track record and that will reflect on what we're trying to do," said Gonzalez.

For more information, please contact Gonzalez at 326.2420, e-mail him at hgonzalez@tamiu.edu, or visit offices in the Killam Library room 329.

University office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu