FAQs

What are job prospects like in Montessori education?
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The number of Montessori schools continues to grow throughout the United States in both the public and private sectors. As a result, there is a demand among Montessori schools for professional, competent teachers who have earned a Montessori Credential from a high-quality training course. In recent years, the newest area of growth nationwide has been at the Infant / Toddler level and at the Elementary level (especially Upper Elementary). Some schools, especially public Montessori schools, prefer or require a state teacher license in addition to a Montessori credential. License requirements vary from state-to-state. Some states have alternative licensing processes. Contact your state Department of Education for more information.

What kinds of credentials does MECR offer?
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MECR offers coursework leading to an AMS credential working with children at these ages:
Infant/Toddler: ages 0-3
Early Childhood: ages 2½ – 6
Elementary I: ages 6-9 (grades 1-3)
Elementary I-II: ages 6-12 (grades 1-6)

How do I know what level I want to teach?
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We urge every applicant to observe at an established Montessori school. This is an especially important step if you are trying to decide what age child most appeals to you. Contact a Montessori school near you and ask to spend an hour at each level that you think might interest you. Watch the way that the teachers and children interact at each level, especially the amount and nature of their conversations. Notice the kinds of work that the children do. Most people find that making an observation or two really clarifies this important decision.

What are the prerequisites for the Credential Courses?
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The Infant / Toddler level credential
  • The prerequisite for an AMS Infant & Toddler credential is a college degree at the bachelor’s level or higher. Additionally, the Infant and Toddler course requires a 1-week overview course on Montessori in the Early Childhood Classroom. (Overview Course waived for applicants who hold a Montessori EC Credential from any AMS/MACTE recognized credentialing agency.)

  • The prerequisite for an Associate AMS Infant & Toddler credential is a high school diploma or equivalent. Additionally, the Infant and Toddler course requires a 1-week overview course on Montessori in the Early Childhood Classroom. (Overview Course waived for applicants who hold a Montessori EC Credential from any AMS/MACTE recognized credentialing agency.) We strongly encourage all such students to complete a BA/BS degree within seven years of graduation from the MECR course. On later completion of a BA/BS degree, the Associate credential may be upgraded to a full AMS credential. Candidates for an Associate credential should verify their local regulations to determine the required qualifications for employment in their home state.

The Early Childhood level credential

  • The prerequisite for an AMS Early Childhood credential is a college degree at the bachelor’s level or higher. The degree can be in any field of study, which we find makes for dynamic and interesting interactions with other members of the cohort during training.

  • The prerequisite for an Associate AMS Early Childhood credential is a high school diploma or equivalent. We strongly encourage all such students to complete a BA/BS degree within seven years of graduation from the MECR course. On later completion of a BA/BS degree, the Associate credential may be upgraded to a full AMS credential. Candidates for an Associate credential should verify their local regulations to determine the required qualifications for employment in their home state.

  • Graduates of the MECR Early Childhood course are Early Childhood Teacher qualified in the State of Colorado.

    The Elementary-I and Elementary I-II level credential

    • The prerequisite for an AMS Elementary-I credential is a college degree at the bachelor’s level or higher. The degree can be in any field of study, which we find makes for dynamic and interesting interactions with other members of the cohort during training. The Elementary Course also requires a 1-week overview course on Montessori in the Early Childhood Classroom. (Overview Course waived for applicants who hold a Montessori EC Credential from any AMS/MACTE recognized credentialing agency.)

    • The prerequisite for an AMS Elementary-II credential is an Elementary – I credential from any AMS/AMI/MACTE recognized credentialing agency.

How long does it take to earn a credential?
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All of our programs are designed to deliver the vast majority of academic coursework during summer sessions, with a full 9-month student-teaching practicum.
Infant/Toddler: 12 months, including 7 weeks summer coursework + 9 month practicum including 2 weekend seminars (+1 week for required prerequisite EC Overview Course, unless waived).
Early Childhood: 12 months, including 8 weeks summer coursework + 9 month practicum including 4 weekend seminars
Elementary I: 13 months including 8 weeks summer coursework + 9-month practicum including 3 weekend seminars (+1 week for required prerequisite EC Overview Course, unless waived).
Elementary I-II: 15 months including 8 weeks summer coursework + 9-month practicum including 3 weekend seminars + 6 weeks additional coursework in the second summer (+1 week for required prerequisite EC Overview Course, unless waived).
Elementary II (extending a previously earned E-I credential): 6 weeks summer coursework

Do I need to have an internship site to apply? How do I find an internship site?
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Only some of our applicants have a relationship with a school before applying to one of our Certification Courses. Once accepted, those seeking internship sites are provided with contact information for all schools in their area(s) of interest. We will coach you on the steps to take to find a suitable site. For more information, see the level Application Information Packet on the website.

What is the application window?
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Application forms are released to the website on January 1 each year. MECR does rolling admissions, so the earlier you apply, the earlier you will be considered for admission. Class enrollment is capped and once that cap is reached, no additional applicants will be considered. Applicants who submit their applications prior to May 1 receive an early-bird discount of 50% of the application fee.

What is the process for applying to MECR? What are the application deadlines?
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While the General Application form is straightforward, the application process has several steps that require cooperation of other people and institutions, so it is well to budget at least a month to complete the process. Here are the steps to take to complete the application:

  • Decide which Certification Level you wish to take and read the Application Information for that level
  • Prepare and/or gather the following information:
    • Dates and locations for
      • all formal education completed from High School to present
      • Montessori Credential(s) previously earned, if any
      • other certificates/diplomas, if any
      • teaching experience, if any
    • Contact information for your Professional References and for your Practicum Site, if you have already secured a site
    • Your Current Resume (This file will be uploaded, and can be in .doc, .docx or .pdf format)
    • Your Personal Statement. (This file will be uploaded, and can be in .doc, .docx or .pdf format. See the Application Information Package for the course level to which you are applying for more on the Personal Statement.)
  • Open the General Application on your computer. Complete the application in one sitting. (Partially completed applications cannot be saved.)
  • Submit your application fee using Paypal (link is on the application page). Alternatively, you may mail a check to the MECR office. Please write “Application Fee” and the course level to which you are applying on the memo line.
  • Submit your completed application electronically.
  • Request the additional documents needed to complete your application.
    • 3 professional references on MECR’s reference form. Note: Reference forms are found under PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS / Application Information. Applicants may either download the form in WORD (.doc) or print the PDF version.
    • 2 official college transcripts (paper copies only) OR notarized high school transcripts
  • As soon as we have received your completed Application, 3 references, transcripts, and application fee, we will contact you for an application interview. Interviews are face-to-face with local applicants, while interviews with applicants from out of the area are conducted by phone / Skype. Acceptance decisions are made following the interview.

What financial assistance is available?
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Most students receive a stipend, hourly wages, or a salary from their school during the student teaching practicum phase.
Additionally, Federal Financial aid in the form of Pell Grants and Federal Loans may be available for students in the Infant / Toddler, Early Childhood, and Elementary-I Courses who are U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens, and have financial need.
The American Montessori Society also offers a limited number of grants annually to select applicants who have been accepted for enrollment in an AMS teacher education course. For more information on financial assistance, consult the level Application Information Packet and/or our Financial Director, Susan Roth at susan@mecr.edu or 303-494-3002.
The Information Packet for each level also outlines different payment plans.

What support does MECR offer during the practicum phase?
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Each intern is assigned a field consultant – an experienced, credentialed teacher who maintains monthly contact with the intern throughout the practicum phase. Additionally, the field consultant visits the intern in his/her classroom at least 3 times to provide active support for the intern’s developing skills in the classroom.