Q: What is the difference between the CGS and the CAGS program?
A: The Certificate of Graduate Study (CGS) is for individuals who have a bachelor’s degree. They are taking graduate level courses but do not have the prerequisite graduate degree and are not eligible for the Massachusetts Transition Specialist Endorsement. They also are not required to take TRS 750: School-based Practicum. The Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) is for individuals who already possess a graduate degree. Those who have an eligible license and experience also have the option to pursue the Massachusetts Transition Specialist endorsement. An individualized program of study is developed based on collaboration between the student and Transition Specialist Coordinator at the beginning (ideally prior to the student taking his or her first class).
Q: Are there any specific classes I need to take in order to be in the program? Does my degree have to be in a specific area of study?
A: The answer to this depends on which Transition Specialist certification program track the students takes. Students interested in the CGS track are not required to have any specific prerequisite degree, training, or classes. However, students with a human services, education, rehabilitation, psychology, or other social science related background are likely to find the classes more consistent with their prior knowledge. Students pursuing the CAGS (non-endorsement) option also do not need any specific type of graduate degree, training, or classes. However, students with clinical, education, human service, and social science type graduate degrees will more easily relate to and integrate the content based on their prior knowledge. Students pursuing the CAGS (with endorsement) MUST have a graduate degree in either Special Education, School Counseling, or Rehabilitation Counseling, AND a current license or certification appropriate for their graduate training, AND a minimum of TWO (2) years experience.
Q: What transition-related fields will this certificate program prepare me for?
A: Specialized training to work with transition aged youth is most commonly needed in Schools/School districts; Adult agencies providing services to transition-aged youth; and Government funded agencies providing services to transition-aged youth (e.g., State/Federal Vocational Rehabilitation organizations).
Q: What does an endorsement mean and will this program make me eligible?
A: In Massachusetts, legislation established the need for schools to have individuals with the Transition Specialist Endorsement working with transition-aged youth. The transition specialist endorsement (like all endorsements but for Sheltered English Immersion) is a voluntary endorsement indicating that the educator has acquired specialized knowledge and skill in this area. However, school officials may require the endorsement or other qualifications for educators, in addition to basic licensure. work as a transition specialist in MA school settings (see http://www.mass.gov/edu/government/departments-and-boards/ese/programs/e... for additional information).
Q: What are the requirements for the practicum?
A: There are two practicums associated with the Transition Specialist certification program curriculum (TRS 740: Community-Based practicum and TRS 750: School-Based practicum. For TRS 740, students must have at least taken TRS 700 and concurrently be taking at least one of TRS 710, 720, or 730. Students participating at the CGS level do not take TRS 750 and, if they choose, can take an appropriate elective in its place. Students at the CAGS level must have taken TRS 700 and at least one of TRS 710, 720, or 730. They will also have to be taking at least one of TRS 710, 720, or 730 concurrently with TRS 750.
Q: How are classes offered?
A: Classes are primarily offered using an asynchronous online format. There may be times, especially for the practicum classes, when synchronous or, for those seeking a Massachusetts Transition Specialist endorsement, in-person observation will be required. No face-to-face classes are held on the weekends.
Q: How large are class sizes?
A: All content-based classes (TRS 700, 710, 720, 730) are capped at 20. Practicum classes (TRS 740, 750) are smaller with usually 5 or less students.
Q: How long does it take to complete the program if I am a full-time student?
A: Generally, it takes one calendar year (3 semesters). However, it is possible in special circumstances with approval from the Coordinator, to complete the program in 2 semesters.
Q: How long does it take to complete the program if I am a part-time student?
A: Assumption College allows graduate students up to 7 years to complete their graduate studies.
Q: When in the program does practicum begin?
A: In most cases, the earliest a practicum will begin is in the second semester of the program of study (see What are the requirements for the practicum for additional information). On rare occasions, in consultation with the Transition Specialist Coordinator, exceptions can be made.
Q: What are the application deadlines?
A: Click here for the Application Schedule & Deadlines. While admissions are accepted on a rolling basis, interested students should register early to guarantee a slot. Rarely will applications be considered less than two weeks prior to the start of that semester’s classes.
Q: What documents do I need to provide for my application process?
A: Click here for admissions requirements.
Q: What information does the Admissions Committee consider when evaluating applications?
A: Applications are reviewed based on an holistic evaluation of each candidate. Factors like GPA (undergraduate and graduate), transcripts, work and volunteer experience, letters of recommendation, personal statement, and interview (in-person or using video conferencing) with program faculty help the Admissions Committee make a decision.
Q: What grade point average do I need to have?
A: While there is strong preference for a GPA of 3.0 or greater, there is no absolute minimum GPA to get into the program. However, applicants with GPA less than 3.0 should have additional strengths (see What information does the Admissions Committee consider when evaluating applications) to increase their chances for acceptance.
Q: Do I need to take the GRE?
A: No, GRE scores are not required
Q: Can I take classes as a non-degree student?
A: Any student who is interested in the program may take up to 2 courses with special student status.
Q: What advice do you have for what I write in my personal statement?
A: Your personal statement should provide a rationale for why you are interested in entering the Transition Specialist program. Many applicants include their human services education, interest in working with persons with disability and transition-aged youth, experience with individuals with disability and transition-aged youth, beliefs about helping others, future goals, and other factors supporting their interest in the profession.
Q: Who should I ask for my letters of recommendation?
A: All letters of recommendations should be academic or professional in nature. Examples of types of references are current/former professors, supervisors, coaches, advisors, mentors, etc.
Q: Where do I send my application materials?
A: Students are strongly encouraged to submit their applications materials online.
Additionally, you may send completed application materials to:
500 Salisbury Street
Worcester, MA 01609-1296
You may also email materials to email@example.com or fax them to 508-799-4412.
Q: If I am admitted, can I defer my enrollment?
A: Students can, if they so choose, defer their enrollment for up to one year. The student is expected to maintain contact with the program during that time and confirm their desire to start in advance of their return.