College Station, TX – The College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University celebrated the official kick-off of the Aggie Program of Accelerated Certification for Teaching (PACT) with a luncheon, hosted by the College’s Department of Biomedical Science, the College of Science, the College of Education and the College of Agriculture and Life Science’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries on October 30, 2001.
Over 60 school superintendents across the state of Texas were invited to the luncheon to interact with 30 currently enrolled students and to learn more about the Aggie PACT program.
Dr. F. H. “Skip” Landis, Director of the Biomedical Science program and Dr. Norm Dronen, professor and composite field advisor for biology and science, designed the Aggie PACT Program to address the shortage of science teachers throughout the state of Texas and train highly qualified individuals for quick classroom placement.
“Texas is currently in need of approximately 15,000 teachers qualified to teach science. Our program is an accelerated certification plan that provides an alternative to the traditional model by allowing us to work with the Region IV Education Service Center and place students in paid internships immediately following graduation,” said Landis.
Students majoring in Biomedical Science or Wildlife and Fisheries Science are eligible to participate in the program. The course content between both departments varies except for the final 15 hours in their senior year, which are determined by the College of Education’s Office of Continuing Education. When the undergraduate work is completed, students must participate in a one-year paid internship available in most Texas school districts and facilitated through Region IV.
“The internship completely replaces the need for student teaching and provides Aggie PACT participants with a distinct advantage and a good starting point because they already have a job lined up and a secure future,” said Landis.
During the internship the students take two tests in science and education to certify professional competency called Examination for the Certification of Educators in Texas (ExCET). Upon completion of the ExCET certification exams and the internship, the student teachers will be qualified to teach secondary school grades 8-12. The ExCET in the subject matter is administered prior to the internship. The ExCET professional exam will be taken during the internship.
With the help of the Region IV Education Service Center the Aggie PACT program provides the state of Texas with a distinct advantage by creating another option for students to quickly increase the number of qualified science teachers. This program is excellent for students who want a career in education and allows them accelerated access into the classroom only one year after graduation.
Angela G. Clendenin
Director, Communications & Public Relations
Ofc – (979) 862-2675
Cell – (979) 739-5718