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Tips For Preparing To Apply

To access the full list of application requirements, see the Graduate College Program page.

The following tips may help you prepare your materials to apply:

Copy of Your License to Teach Secondary ELA

Submit a copy or complete screenshot of your current state issued license to teach middle and/or high school English language arts.

Two-Page Statement Drafting

In our program we take the stance that teaching is always a draft work; that is, our teaching should always invite a self-reflexivity about our strengths and areas for continued growth, especially as we seek to open opportunities for all students’ learning. As you draft your statement articulating your professional goals and how this graduate degree will help you achieve those goals, know that we’re eager to hear about your genuine questions and areas of your practice that you genuinely hope to develop and grow through your prospective enrollment in the course. We’re eager to learn more about how those questions and areas for growth emerge as a result of your knowledge of and eagerness to remain responsive to the students in your classes and particular teaching context (school or school district) where you work.

Two Letters of Recommendation

As you consider who might best to positioned to write a letter of recommendation on your behalf, consider who can attest to your strengths as a teacher as well as who might be able to speak to your readiness for graduate study. We encourage you to consider your principal, curriculum coordinator, department chair, or instructional coach from your school building, district, or regional education office. You might also consider a college or university faculty or staff member who taught a course in which you enrolled who can speak to the same qualities.

After you ask each recommender, the university application system will enable you to send a direct request so that the recommender can upload their recommendation directly to the website. You can see whether each person has submitted their recommendation, and you can send a reminder notice through the system as well.

You will need to confirm for each recommender the application deadline that you’re working toward, as the automated request does not include this information.

An Instructional Artifact

As you contemplate which instructional artifact to upload with your application, we’re interested in an artifact that evidences your commitment to or your eagerness to learn more about socially just ELA teaching through your enrollment in the degree program. This non-exhaustive list of possibilities might help you brainstorm possible artifacts from your instructional archives:

  • A lesson plan
  • An assessment (formative or summative, as you prefer)
  • A video or audio excerpt of your teaching
  • Your written response to student writing or work
  • Communication to families
  • An article you’ve written for a peer-reviewed publication

We strongly encourage you not to create a new artifact for submission. Rather, we’re eager to gather a sense of your existing practice and efforts. It’s a way for us to get to know you and your commitments.

Optional Reflection

Although not required, we invite you to consider including a one-page reflection that explains how you think your chosen artifact speaks to your socially just ELA teaching or desire for ongoing professional learning through the degree program. Consider this as an opportunity to provide some meta-commentary about your artifact and what, in your estimation, it illustrates about your instructional efforts, commitments, and, perhaps, puzzles or wonderings.