Frequently Asked Questions about DTE
Q: Can I make an appointment to talk with DTE faculty before filing my application?
A: We are happy to talk to you by telephone (510) 642-4201 or through e-mail to answer questions you may have before submitting your application. If you are selected for an interview, you will have the opportunity to talk individually with the program coordinator, program faculty, a field supervisor, and a local school administrator.
Q: When are interviews scheduled and what is the interview format?
A: Interviews are usually conducted on Fridays between late January and mid-February. We interview eight applicants at each session. The first half hour is a group orientation, and then applicants rotate through a series of one-to-one twenty-minute interviews. During your interview you will also complete a short written response to a reading that we provide related to a significant educational issue.
Q:What kinds of recommendation letters are most helpful?
A: Letters of recommendation are very important. You must have one academic letter, another describing your work with children, and a third which should be used to strengthen the overall picture of you as a potential teacher and graduate student.
Q:How do I answer the question which asks me to list faculty whose research is a part of particular interest to me?
A: This question is for doctoral students. You can leave it blank.
Q: Do I need public elementary school experience?
A: Experience working with children is expected of all applicants. Paid or volunteer work in a public elementary school is highly recommended so that we know you have an understanding of what a career as a public school teacher entails. Experiences with children in other settings or other types of teaching experiences will enhance your application in conjunction with elementary school experience. Preference will be given to students with longer experience.
Q: What about private school or summer camp experience?
A: Some students have substituted private school, summer camp, or other work with groups of children for experience working in a public elementary school. While we value this work, we are a public university, preparing you for a public school classroom so we give preference to applicants with a background that is closer to our mission.
Q: What about tutoring and babysitting?
A: Individual tutoring and/or baby-sitting are generally insufficient to give a genuine impression of the career of a classroom teacher.
Q: Do I need a car to participate in the program?
A: While it is not necessary to have a car, your options for student teaching placements will be greatly enhanced if you do.
Q: Is financial aid available?
A: There are several sources of financial aid and many of our students receive some funding. All requests for financial aid should be directed to the financial aid office. You can reach it by calling (510) 642-0485. For applicants that want to be considered for summer financial aid, we strongly encourage you to file FAFSA forms for 2013/14 AND 2014/15.
Q: Can I work while I am studying?
A: Many students do manage to hold part time jobs up to 10 hours per week, but it takes excellent organization and planning.
Q:Is it possible to be paid for student teaching? Is there an internship option in DTE?
A: DTE is an advanced degree program as well as a credential program and does not include an internship option. There is no provision for extending time in the program with a reduced course load to allow employment in a public school. Paid employment as a classroom teacher cannot be used in lieu of supervised student teaching in DTE.
Q: How will I be notified if I am selected for an interview?
A: The program administrative assistant will email you and/or telephone the phone number listed on your application to schedule an appointment. Please make sure that the admissions office is kept up to date on your contact information, particularly your email address.
Q: What if I cannot come to Berkeley for an interview?
A: Although it is strongly recommended that you come to Berkeley, if you are absolutely unable to do so, we can offer the chance to be video-interviewed using Skype. It is your responsibility to resolve the technological details on your end and to coordinate a time with the interviewers.
Q: If I am granted an interview, what should I wear?
A: From your knowledge of public school teachers, wear something you would wear on a typical teaching day. Do not wear perfume as some of our interviewers are allergic.
Q: When will I be notified about being accepted or denied?
A: All interviewed applicants will be notified by DTE's Program Director that your application has been forwarded to the Graduate Division for consideration. In most cases, notification will be sent by the mid March. If the applicant has received notification stating that she/he has been recommended, an official admission offer will later be sent from the Graduate Division.
Q: Can I defer my admission?
A: No, you will need to apply in the admission cycle of the year you plan to attend DTE. If you cannot attend that year, you must reapply for future years and be considered as a member of that applicant pool.
Q: If I have not been recommended for admission this year, how can I make my application stronger for the next time I apply?
A: We recommend reviewing all program requirements carefully. You must have passed both the CBEST and the CSET tests. The most common reason for being denied an interview is minimal evidence of work with public school children. Find a way to gain and document experience in a public elementary school classroom.