Frequently Asked Questions
What is a license, and what is an endorsement?
The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) references a license as the document that gives you the authority to teach and an endorsement as the grade level or subject area that you may teach and is printed on the actual license. However, The College of Education and Human Development references an "endorsement" as prerequisite assessment of content knowledge earned through coursework, AP or CLEP exams.
How do Endorsements fit into the Admissions process?
Endorsements are an integral component of the Admissions process. While you will need to submit official transcripts for your Admission packet, unofficial copies are acceptable for Endorsement purposes. However, the Endorsement office has the right to ask for official transcripts at any time if needed. As part of the Admissions process, students are required to include a detailed summary of their Endorsement worksheet verifying that they are within 9 credits (or demonstrate how they plan to be) by turning this in to the Admission Office or uploading to their Admission application.
What documentation do I need to provide for an Endorsement review?
Students (including transfer students from NVCC) must provide legible copies of transcripts from ALL institutions of higher education previously attended. Documents can be mailed, faxed, emailed (if documents do not exceed 4,000 KB), or dropped off at the Endorsement Office in Thompson Hall, Suite 2300.
What are *general requirements for Endorsement courses?
- Courses must be 100 level or above
- Courses must be taken for a grade (no Pass/Fail)
- No duplicate content is permitted
- Courses must be content specific to the domain
- Grades must be a C or better (3.0 GPA in content is desired by the programs)
* Minimum requirements for Endorsements are not limited to this list
How long will it take for a Endorsement review?
Students should expect a turn-around time of at least two weeks (longer during peak periods) from the point at which all documents have been received by the Endorsement Office. Students will be notified by email upon completion of the initial review or update.
Will my courses transfer and/or expire?
The Endorsement review evaluates transcripts based on content, therefore courses do not technically "transfer" to Mason. There is no expiration limit on courses.
How do I get approval for a course to count after my initial review?
Both potential and accepted students are required to obtain pre-approval on all Endorsement courses. Students who do not obtain pre-approval prior to taking a course or exam are not guaranteed approval upon or following completion.
Where can I take these courses?
Courses pre-approved by the Endorsement Specialist may be taken at any college or university which is recognized by one of the Regional Accreditation Organizations: (http://www.doe.virginia.gov/teaching/licensure/regional%20_accreditation_organizations.pdf).
Once I begin an Endorsement review, how long is it good for?
Endorsement worksheets, once reviewed by a Specialist have an expiration date of two years if left dormant.
How often should I update my Endorsement worksheet?
Preferably, students should update on a semester basis or as often as courses/CLEP exams are completed.
What is a CLEP exam?
The College-Level Examination Program® (CLEP) offers students the opportunity to receive college credit for what they already know. CLEP exams must be pre-approved by an Endorsement Specialist in advance of registration for the CLEP exam because not all exams are accepted at GMU. CLEP exam scores range on a scale of 20-80 with a 50 or above as passing. Students may visit collegeboard.org for more information.
How do I enter courses as "in progress"?
Students may enter courses as "in progress" on their Endorsement worksheet by adding the end date in the "date" section of the form. During the application process, potential students must indicate on their Endorsement worksheet how they plan on being within 9 credits by the time they would start their licensure program. Admissions must see this in order to process the application.
How can I appeal a course that has not been accepted?
Though it is unlikely, students may appeal a course if they feel strongly that the content matches. Appeals can be made one time only, and are reviewed by the Endorsement team on a case-by-case basis. Please submit all information for the appeal in one email for review. You will be contacted via email when a decision has been made.
When do my Endorsement courses need to be completed?
An initial verification will be made by the Endorsement office to ensure that students are within 9 credits of completing Endorsements when students begin a licensure program in CEHD (first day of admission term). It is the students responsibility to submit all documents to the endorsement office prior to the beginning of their program to ensure they are within 9 credits and eligible to start their program. All Endorsement courses must be completed prior to application for Internship (second Internship for PK-3).Verification will be made at both checkpoints!