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Graduate Certificate in Language Acquisition and Bilingual Psychoeducational Assessment
Basic Certificate Description
This 15-hour certificate in Language Acquisition and Bilingual Psychoeducational Assessment (LABPA) is designed to meet the needs of prospective students interested in developing skills in bilingual psychoeducational assessment and foundational knowledge in language acquisition and the bilingualism continuum, with an emphasis on Spanish-speaking English Language Learners (ELLs). Briefly, bilingual psychoeducational assessment refers to the utilization and interpretation of tests of language proficiency, cognitive abilities, and academic achievement. Results of these assessments are typically utilized in the educational planning for children experiencing academic or behavioral difficulties; these include children served in the general education setting, as well as those receiving special education and related services. These assessments may also be used for determining a student’s eligibility for receiving special education services. The emphasis on bilingual assessment is significant in that professionals trained in bilingual psychological assessment continue to be in shortage, sometimes resulting in unstandardized testing and invalid interpretation of test results (Ochoa, Rivera, & Ford, 1997).
Why pursue a Graduate Certificate in Language Acquisition and Bilingual Psychoeducational Assessment (LABPA)?
The LABPA Certificate is to increase the utilization of best practices in bilingual psychoeducational assessment based upon an understanding of language acquisition. Best practices incorporate knowledge of tests of cognitive and achievement abilities, of tests of language proficiency, and bilingualism and language acquisition. The goal is to improve the educational experience, educational planning, provision of special education services, and overall well-being of ELL children, and youth in general.
Admission Requirements and Prerequisites
Students who are not currently enrolled in a graduate degree program will be required to apply for admission to UTSA as a special (non-degree-seeking) graduate student and to indicate their intent to seek admission into a certificate program. Applicants will be required to meet University admission requirements for special graduate students. Once admitted as a special graduate student, the student will contact the Certificate Program Advisor and complete a form requesting permission to enter and complete the certificate program. The [LABPA Certificate] Program Advisor and the Dean of the College of Education and Human Development will sign the certificate form. A copy of this form will be sent to the Graduate School.
University policy allows for a maximum number of only twelve hours of graduate coursework as a special graduate student status to be transferred to a graduate degree program. Students accepted into the LABPA certificate program as special graduate students will be required to designate formally at the completion of the first nine hours whether they want to remain as a special student or be formally admitted to another graduate program.
Departmental requirements include:
- A bachelor’s degree from an accredited university in an approved area of study (e.g., psychology, education).
- A master's or doctoral degree from an accredited university in an approved area of study (e.g., school psychology, educational diagnostician) or completion of graduate level coursework in academic and cognitive assessment.
- Successful completion of a state-mandated Spanish proficiency test (e.g. Texas Bilingual Target Language Proficiency Test - Spanish).
- A minimum GPA of 3.0 for the last two years of work toward the bachelor’s degree.
- To maintain enrollment in the certificate program, students should maintain a 3.0 GPA throughout tenure in the program.
- Be in good standing at the last institution attended.
Graduate Studies Application: Yes- unless already a currently enrolled degree seeking graduate student.
Transcripts: Official transcripts from all institutions attended. All international transcripts must be recorded in English or officially translated to English.
Letters of Recommendation: Recommended.
Evaluation of Foreign Credentials: All applicants including non-U.S. citizens (International), U.S. citizens (Domestic), or permanent residents who have earned university-level credit from foreign institutions are required to submit an evaluation from an approved Foreign Credential Agency of transcripts from all foreign institutions attended. If official transcripts are used in the foreign credential evaluation, the official transcript requirement will be considered met. However, if unofficial documents are used in the foreign credential evaluation, final official transcripts must be sent to UTSA.
- An approved evaluation requires a detailed course-by-course evaluation. Summaries will not be accepted.
- The Foreign Credentials Service of America (FCSA) is a private corporation that provides evaluations of foreign school credentials. The application is available at: Application for Credentials Evaluation.
- IELTS: Minimum score of 6.5.
- TOEFL: Minimum scores of 79 or 60 for Internet or paper versions, respectively.
Additional Requirements: A degree seeking applicant must meet international graduate student admission requirements.