School of Education Alumna Mai Hassan '23 Reflects on the Value of Point Park's ABCTE Program Alumni Profile
Meet Mai Hassan '23
- Job Title & Employer
- 2nd Grade Permanent Substitute Teacher , South Fayette School District
- ABCTE Program
- Now Living In
- Pittsburgh, Pa.
- Hobbies & Interests
- Cooking and jigsaw puzzles
"The ABCTE program supported my professional development and growth by offering an essential curriculum that covered fundamental concepts and delved into advanced topics. It provided opportunities for practical experience and mentorship, which significantly enhanced my teaching abilities and knowledge."
Point Park University is the only Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE)-recognized institution in the commonwealth that offers an American Board for the Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) program, a nonprofit organization dedicated to putting qualified professionals in the classroom through a state-approved alternative teacher certification program.
For Mai Hassan, the ABCTE program offered an affordable, quick route to teaching certification. Hassan holds a Ph.D. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. After staying at home for 10 years to raise her four children, she decided to pursue her certification to teach in Pennsylvania.
"Starting the program at Point Park was very smooth," she said. "Classes were hands-on and to the point. I enjoyed my student teaching, and my mentor was great, very understanding and always there when I needed her."
In the Q&A below, learn more about Hassan's positive Point Park experience.
Why did you choose Point Park University’s ABCTE program?
I opted for Point Park as my choice for obtaining my teaching certificate because it offered a quicker alternative than the traditional certification route. It was convenient for my schedule, cost-effective and provided me with all the necessary requirements without the unnecessary additional coursework often found in regular classes.
How did the program support your professional development and growth?
The ABCTE program supported my professional development and growth by offering an essential curriculum that covered fundamental concepts and delved into advanced topics. It provided opportunities for practical experience and mentorship, which significantly enhanced my teaching abilities and knowledge.
What are the key benefits of the program?
The majority of teachers I know have completed their education at Point Park University. The University is well-regarded for its commitment to academic excellence, and this distinction carries over to its ABCTE program. Graduates can have faith in the program's ability to provide them with a top-tier education, equipping them for success in the education field. Another significant benefit is the mentorship component. Participants receive guidance and support from experienced educators who can provide valuable insights, feedback and advice. This mentorship enhances the learning experience and helps participants grow as effective teachers.
What do you love about teaching?
What I love about teaching is the opportunity to inspire, empower and positively impact the lives of my students; the continuous process of learning and growth; the relationships I build and the chance to foster curiosity and create a positive learning environment. Teaching is a calling that allows me to contribute to the betterment of society by shaping the minds of future generations.
What advice do you have for aspiring educators?
Stay passionate about your work. Teaching can be challenging, but your enthusiasm and dedication will inspire your students and keep you motivated during tough times. Always build strong relationships with your students. Understanding their needs and fostering a supportive learning environment will make a significant impact on their education.
Why would you recommend Point Park’s ABCTE program?
The program's flexibility and convenience make it an attractive option for those seeking an alternative route to teacher certification. It is structured to accommodate the needs of working professionals and individuals with busy schedules, allowing for a smoother transition into the teaching profession without compromising the quality of education. In addition, Point Park's ABCTE program emphasizes hands-on experience and mentorship, which are invaluable for building teaching skills and confidence. The program's commitment to providing opportunities for real-world classroom practice and guidance from experienced educators is a significant advantage.
Contact Mrs. Beverina-Moore, M.A., lecturer and director of student placements, at email@example.com to learn more about the ABCTE program and request an invitation to an informational Zoom meeting.