1Can I transfer credits from another program?
No, because this is a funded program, you cannot transfer in any credits, even if the course description is similar to the course you are required to take at UM.
2Can I take a different number of classes per semester than the rest of the cohort?
No, the SEALED course rotation follows a cohort model, so you must take the courses in the predetermined sequence along with the rest of the cohort. Please look at slide #9 in the PowerPoint presentation for the SEALED course rotation.
3What happens if I do not pass a class (earn lower than a C)?
If you fail to pass a course, you must retake the course at your own expense. Depending on course availability, you may not be able to graduate with your cohort.
4Can I choose which condition I am in (coaching or non-coaching)?
No. Conditions will be determined randomly by grant staff. Regardless of which condition you are in, you will need to be videotaped in class. The only difference between the two conditions is that the coaching condition teachers receive coaching throughout the program, and the non-coaching condition teachers receive coaching during the summer academy at the end of the program.
5What if I can’t make it to campus by 5:00 for class?
If you think you will have difficulty getting to campus by 5:00 due to your teaching schedule and traffic, know that all other students in the program will be teachers as well and will have similar issues. Courses may be offered at a different location depending on where students are teaching, or the professor may agree to change the start and finish time to accommodate everyone. It is UM's policy that the first course meets at its designated time and any changes would need to be agreed upon by the professor and all students.
6What if I would like to change schools during the program?
Because we will be collecting data on your students (e.g., work samples for course assignments, etc.), we discourage transferring schools mid-year, but if you were to remain in a M-DCPS school serving high-needs populations, it would be o.k. at the end or beginning of the school year (i.e., summer).
7What if I'm not sure I will stay teaching with M-DCPS for two years after I graduate?
In order to receive the tuition support, the SEALED project requires a commitment to teaching in M-DCPS high-needs classrooms two years after degree conferral.
8Will we be expected to do a thesis?
You will not be expected to do a thesis, however you will complete action research (examining and addressing areas specific to the needs of the students you are teaching) during a summer teaching academy and write up a paper on the project.
9How much will I be expected to pay for tuition per semester?
During 2018-19, you will be expected to pay approximately $201.90/credit hour;
During 2019-20, you will be expected to pay approximately $208.00/credit hour. You will also need to pay mandatory part-time graduate student fees each semester, which sums to approximately $200 for fall, spring, and summer registration. The fees are explained in detail here
10Do I need to ask my principal about allowing classroom observers to come in?
If admitted to the program, your principal should know that there will be SEALED project staff coming in to video record lessons, and possibly M-DCPS Curriculum Support Specialists coach your instruction (depending on the condition you are randomly assigned). M-DCPS is a partner with UM for SEALED, and there will be a protocol submitted for approval to the M-DCPS Research Review office. You will need to assist in the dissemination and collection of permission forms from your students and their parents, which will also be approved by the M-DCPS Research Review office. Additionally, course work will include applications of material learned. Project staff are happy to meet or speak with your principal if there are any questions.
11Is the GRE required?
The GRE is required; however, if you have been teaching full-time for 3 years or more, you may fill out a GRE waiver application (linked on this website) to see if you qualify to have the GRE waived for your graduate application.
12Will the job-embedded support be provided as a part of coursework, in the classroom, or will teachers be required to attend trainings/coaching sessions during the weekend?
If selected to receive job-embedded support (coaching) in your classroom, the Curriculum Support Specialist will work with you as part of your course assignments. There will not be any extra meetings or time required on the weekends.
13Who does SEALED consider to be “high-needs students?”
High-Need Students means students who are “at risk for educational failure” or otherwise in need of special assistance and support, such as students who are living in poverty, who are far below grade level, who have left school before receiving a Regular High School Diploma, who are at risk of not graduating with a diploma on time, who are homeless, who are in foster care, who have been incarcerated, who have disabilities, or who are English learners.