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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions concerning Education are listed below.

  1. What is the difference between the CDA certificate and the TECTA Program?
  2. What is the difference between the Associate of Arts and the Associates of Science degree?
  3. What is the TEP Program?
  4. What is the Praxis I: PPST?
  5. What is the Praxis II test?
  6. What Southwest courses will transfer to a four-year institution?
  7. What is the AST degree?

Q: What is the difference between the CDA certificate and the TECTA Program?

A: CDA (Child Development Associate) is a nationally recognized, professional credential for individuals interested in a career in early childhood education. The CDA substantiates training and skills necessary as a primary caregiver for young children.

The TECTA Program is a grant program designed to enhance and support the qualifications of early childhood education personnel. In some cases, TECTA may provide scholarships monies for students who meet the program's requirements and are pursuing a CDA. However, a student does not have to be a TECTA student in order to enroll in Southwest's CDA certificate program.

For more information on the TECTA program, call 901-333-5534 or visit the Tennessee Early Childhood Training Alliance (TECTA) website.

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Q: What is the difference between the Associate of Arts and the Associates of Science degree?

A: The main factor differentiating the Associate of Arts program of study from the Associate of Science program of study is the inclusion of a foreign language requirement (Spanish I and II) in the Associate of Arts program. The Associate of Science in Teaching has several requirements (i.e. GPA, Praxis I completion, and index of suitability) that are not included in the Associate of Arts Education program of study.

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Q: What is the TEP Program?

A: Usually at the sophomore or early in the junior year, one is ready for admission to an Undergraduate Teacher Education Program (TEP). Students must apply for and meet standards required for admission to the TEP at their respective four-year institution. Standards vary from institution to institution. Students must be fully admitted to the TEP before taking Level II or upper level education courses or before they can begin student teaching or an internship.

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Q: What is the Praxis I: PPST?

A: The Pre-Professional Skills Test is designed to be taken early in your college career to measure reading, writing and mathematics skills. The PPST is a paper-based test and is a general requirement for admission to a teacher education program. The PPST is offered six times a year and requires pre-registration. For more information on registration and preparation materials, refer to the Praxis Registration Bulletin, which is available in the Department of Education Office, the Memphis City School Board of Education, or your local bookstore. Students can also log on to http://www.ets.org/praxis/.

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Q: What is the Praxis II test?

A: The Praxis II, also known as the NTE, is a set of rigorous and carefully validated assessments that provide accurate, reliable information for use by state education agencies in making licensing decisions. Where the Praxis I is designed for those entering a teacher education program, the Praxis II is designed for those individuals entering the teacher profession and is generally taken one full semester before graduation. Subject Assessments measure candidates' knowledge of the subjects they will teach, as well as general and subject-specific pedagogical skills and knowledge. Principles of Learning and Teaching is also included in this group.

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Q: What Southwest courses will transfer to a four-year institution?

A: Any non-remedial, academic, course from an accredited institution in which you have earned a grade of "C" or better qualify for transfer. On average, freshman and first semester sophomore course requirements vary less among institutions than do upper divisional courses, which mean these classes are likely to transfer. The institution that receives courses credits, i.e. the institution that you intend to transfer to, always makes the final decision about transferability of your credits.

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Q: What is the AST degree?

A: The Associate of Science in Teaching (AST) degree program is a program designed for students who aspire to be elementary teachers. This program provides a course of study that prepares students to transfer to a TBR college or university in a teacher education program. The program is different from the A.A. degree, with an emphasis in education, in that it requires students to attain a 2.75 grade point average, successfully complete the Praxis I exam, and have a satisfactory rating on a disposition index of suitability for the teaching profession.

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PPST, Praxis I, and Praxis II are registered trademarks of Education Testing Service.