Frequently Asked Questions
Below please find answer to some of the more commonly asked questions about our programs. If you have a question that is not on this list, please do not hesitate to contact us at (630) 654-0151 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our staff would be happy to speak with you.
What are the prerequisites for the AMS credential programs?
Adult learners must have already earned, at minimum, a high school diploma or its equivalent. Preference is given to those with a Bachelor’s degree, and the American Montessori Society advises that those without a Bachelor’s degree make plans for furthering their educational qualifications within a window of seven years. The applicant comes for an initial interview prior to acceptance in the program and must provide three written references, an original high school diploma or college transcripts; or, in the case of a degree earned outside of the United States, an official transcript evaluation report.
What are the prerequisites for the Elementary AMS credential programs?
The candidate for a full credential (for Elementary I or Elementary I-II) must hold as a minimum:
- A Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited United States college or university (or its equivalent from a university outside of the United States), as verified by an official transcript analysis report. An Elementary I or Elementary I-II credential may be awarded to adult learners who hold a Bachelors degree or higher from a non-U.S. college/university, and whose degree does not equate to a Bachelor’s degree from a regional accredited U.S. college/university. The degree and country in which the degree was awarded are then indicated on the credential.
- A Montessori Early Childhood credential issued by an AMS or other MACTE accredited course. Or alternatively, successful completion of a prerequisite Overview Course offered twice each year at Seton.
How long does it take to complete the AMS credential programs?
Adult learners in the Infant-Toddler and Early Childhood courses are given up to three years to meet all requirements. A program that includes the complete cycle of course components for either of these course levels can be completed within approximately a twelve month period of time. Adult learners needing to extend their coursework for a fourth year are assessed a late completion fee.
The full Elementary I-II course requires a minimum of eighteen months to complete, but actual completion times may vary depending on the personal program and practicum design of the individual adult learner. A four-year window of time is allowed for completion of the Elementary I-II course.
Adult learners who elect to work for only the Elementary I credential are able to complete course requirements in the Fall following their second summer of academics. Candidates for the Elementary I credential are allowed a three-year window of time for course completion.
My degree and/or experience is not in education. May I still apply?
Yes. Everything you need to become a Montessori educator will be given to you as part of the program.
I’d like to do the summer academics, but I cannot be away from my family and/or job that long. What can I do?
The Seton Montessori Institute staff can work out an individualized schedule for you, allowing you to do part of your academics this summer, and complete the rest next spring or summer.
I have to miss some dates due to a family event or emergency; can I still do the program?
Yes. However , you will need to make up any lectures you miss. They will be repeated the following spring or summer.
What is the difference between the spring and summer programs? Is one more intense than the other?
The adult learner receives the same scope and breadth of course material and attends the same clock hours of coursework whether they participate in the spring or the summer cohorts for their respective course level. By starting in spring, the registrant opts for a Beginning Academics schedule that spreads seminar days over a longer span of time, starting with an initial series of spring weekends, and continuing with summer academics that take place on consecutive weekdays. The summer registrant, by contrast, condenses the same course content into one continuous session of consecutive weekday seminars, approximately six weeks in length. With either choice, the seminar days are full, eight-hour days, and both cohorts follow the same scheduling approach for their advanced academics.
What arrangements for childcare do you offer during the beginning academics?
You are responsible for arranging childcare on your own. Those attending summer classes might look to schools in the Oak Park/River Forest area for summer programs for children during the duration of our course.
Is there financial aid or scholarships available from Seton Montessori Institute?
There are a variety of ways you can seek help with your tuition. In addition to the American Montessori Society, ETC-Montessori and Elgin Community College scholarships, many schools will sponsor students for our program. This can be done in the form of a loan or scholarship. In exchange for this assistance, schools normally ask a student to sign an agreement to work for the school for a specific period following certification. Seton Montessori Institute offers a variety of payment plans once the initial payment is complete.
Are there exceptions to the payments plans?
Occasionally we make a special arrangement, but most often abide by the established payment plans, which offer a variety of options.
What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept checks, Visa, Mastercard, and money orders. We do not accept cash or American Express.
What expenses are involved in the program besides tuition?
There is a certification fee paid to the American Montessori Society which varies by credential type. Housing expense (if needed) is not included. Seton Montessori Institute sells books if you need to purchase any required readings.
What is the difference between Seton Montessori Institute programs and other teacher preparation courses?
As one of the oldest AMS courses in North America, we have had extensive experience with preparing Montessori educators for a wide variety of settings in public and private education. From the outset, our faculty has been international in its outlook, faithful to Maria Montessori’s insights, and committed to keeping up-to-date with the latest research. Each member of our highly qualified faculty team presents in the areas of their strongest skill and experience, the topics about which they are most passionate. Our program offers two lab schools that provide adult learners with resources for learning and observation. In addition, we offer flexibility of scheduling and a staff that’s ready to assist in any area. We serve students across the U. S. and abroad, visiting them at their practicum sites throughout their enrollment in the program.
Do you have a site closer to my home? Is there public transportation available?
Seton Montessori Institute’s spring classes and advanced academic seminars meet at our campus in Clarendon Hills, IL, a Western suburb of Chicago, and the summer classes meet on the campus of Concordia University in River Forest, IL, also a Western suburb of Chicago. We have students who travel to us from across the U.S. and abroad. Rail transportation is available near both our sites, and many students form car pools for travel to and from class.
How will I find a practicum site?
Seton will provide you with guidance for this important part of your preparation. The Seton Montessori Institute Practicum Coordinator will assist you in locating an appropriate school, and we have extensive resources in finding practicum sites, including a comprehensive database of school in your area.
What are the requirements for a practicum site?
The supervising teacher must have a minimum of two years experience in the classroom. Also, the practicum school must be affiliated with AMS, although in certain instances an exemption may be granted by AMS.
Is the practicum a paid practicum?
This depends on the school, and is one of many questions you should ask when selecting a site.
What housing do you have available for your students?
During the summer, we have dormitory housing at Concordia University that our students share for a nominal cost. There are also extended stay motels available near the college. Motels are an option for those attending spring classes at our center in Clarendon Hills.
Do you offer student visas for foreign students?
We can help foreign students to apply for student (F1) visas, provided they meet federal eligibility requirements. Although we cannot guarantee they will be approved, we have been very successful in the past.
If I miss the application deadline can I still apply?
Yes. However, a $200 late application fee will apply. It is to the student’s benefit to apply early to the program in order to begin their preparation to be a student as well as complete beginning reading assignments and independent study work. These assignments are designed to provide the student with a framework before jumping into academics.