Diploma Courses FAQ
Diploma Courses FAQ
GENERAL DIPLOMA QUESTIONS
How are applicants selected?
We have limited spots for each course. Though we’d love to accept everyone who wants to join, that simply might not be possible. We will ask each applicant to submit an application that shows their current qualifications and future ambitions and require a recommendation from a previous employer. We do want to make sure that those selected are available and willing to dedicate time to complete all course requirements. You will be asked for a recommendation from your Head of School, and those selected must be in good standing with their role as a Lead Guide or Assistant Guide. However, if you are currently not employed at a school, you’ll need a relevant reference that can respond accordingly as to why you are applying for the diploma course.
Who is a relevant reference for my diploma course application?
If you are currently not employed at a school, then ask a reference who would have appropriate knowledge of why you would want to pursue a Montessori guide certification and to be able to rate your readiness for such an endeavor. This will vary depending on your situation.
Will I be able to teach at a Montessori school after I complete this diploma course?
It depends, mostly on where you live. Our diploma courses are accredited by the Montessori Accreditation Council of Teacher Education (MACTE) which is the only accrediting body for Montessori teacher education programs recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. In order to be a lead guide at a Montessori schools, the qualifications will most often involve an accredited diploma. However, there may be local and state regulations for childcare and preschool licensing which require additional job requirements. You will need to research the public and private schools in your area to determine local hiring requirements.
Do I need someone to supervise my Practice Teaching?
There are portions of your studies that it is highly recommended that you have supervision by a qualified lead guide: Classroom Observations and Practice Teaching. A qualified supervising guide is a guide:
- with a MACTE diploma
- and at least one year of post-certification Lead Guide experience in the same age range in which you will be studying
If there is not a qualifying Supervising Guide, the guide-in-training is designated as a "Self-Directed Guide" and will have additional review and support required from the Prepared Montessorian training team.
I am not currently affiliated or employed with a Montessori school, but access to materials and classrooms is required to successfully complete every component of the training. Will Prepared Montessorian help me with finding placement?
Fortunately, Prepared Montessorian works with our partner brand’s network of schools, Guidepost Montessori. You can find locations at this link: Locations | Guidepost Montessori
It will be up to you to reach out and make arrangements whether it's a Guidepost Montessori school or different Montessori school.
I am currently an Assistant Guide at a Montessori school. Will I be promoted to Lead Guide after I finish the course?
Hopefully! But promotion is not guaranteed just by taking this course and must be earned through your work as an Assistant Guide. This course does, however, better position yourself for a promotion when an opportunity arises and Guidepost Montessori is a growing organization, so your hard-work, professionalism, love and respect for children, and ability to employ the Montessori method may very well lead you to your goal of being a Lead Guide. If relocating is an option, the chances are even stronger, especially as we move into many new cities in coming years. Make sure you’re in communication with your Head of School so he or she knows of your goals and can help you on your path.
You can also keep your eye on our partner brand, Guidepost Montessori’s careers page for lead guide positions opening up for next school year: https://guidepostmontessori.com/careers.
Can I attend if I am currently an Assistant/Lead Guide in another age range?
You are eligible to apply for this training as long as you meet the course requirements. For example, if you are a lead guide teacher for a Toddler group but have access to complete your materials practice, observations and practice teaching in an Elementary classroom, then you are eligible.
What kind of workload will be required?
You can expect 6 - 8 hours of work per-week on your own time, though some of the observations and practice teaching might take place during your regular work day, depending on your current position and schedule. There will be readings, assignments, observations, and practice work to be completed between online recorded and live sessions.
How proficient do I need to be in technology? What platforms will you be using in your training?
During your training, we will be using Zoom to host our remote sessions and giving you the opportunity to fully engage in our course content and materials via our learning management system, Altitude Learning.
You will need a laptop (or desktop computer) with a good internet connection and a quiet place to study online. All of our blended learning content can be accessed directly via the web and you will be provided with usernames and passwords on enrollment. Your laptop should have speakers and a microphone (a headset is even better) and you should have the ability to type written assignments and view videos, pdf files and some other standard file types. In general, any modern computer will be able to handle all of these requirements.
Do you offer the course in other languages other than English? How proficient do I need to be?
Currently, we offer training in English and Mandarin for the early childhood diploma programs (Nido Toddler and Children's House). Elementary is only offered in English. We hope to add more languages in the near future.
The courses involve live online and interactive sessions, written instructions and assignments, and videos so you will need to be highly proficient in English or Mandarin.
Does your program qualify for military member or military spouse funding?
Currently, we do not qualify. However, we are considering our eligibility for such programs. Feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for status updates.
How do I qualify for a scholarship?
When you apply, you will describe your financial needs. If you are accepted into the program, we will evaluate your needs and determine your eligibility for a scholarship and/or payment plan. The payment plan is typically in 3-5 installments with the first installment due before the training starts and the subsequent 2-4 payments due the consecutive months following the start of the training.
Current Guidepost Montessori employee applicants in good standing may be offered a tuition sponsorship during their employment with Guidepost. This scholarship covers only the tuition fees for the program, and does not include costs related to travel, lodging, materials, or expenses for the In-Residency Studies portion of the training program.
What does a MACTE accreditation mean?
Accreditation is one of several means to ensure quality institutions. According the MACTE website, “The Montessori field gains enhanced credibility through the accountability provided by accreditation. Certifying bodies and state agencies are assisted in the process of issuing professional credentials, registration, or licensure. Because MACTE requires its programs to evaluate the competencies of students and graduates, both before and after they have entered their professional roles, employers have a reasonable means of assessing the quality of the preparation completed by job applicants and employees.” You can learn more at: https://www.macte.org/about-accreditation/
NIDO TODDLER AND CHILDREN'S HOUSE DIPLOMA RELATED QUESTIONS
Is there a course that combines ages 0-6?
There is not a course that combines the two age ranges 0-3 and 3-6.
I am passionate about early childhood education but I’m having a hard time choosing between the Nido Toddler (ages 0-3) and Children’s House (3-6) diploma courses. What do you recommend?
Dr. Montessori called the period from birth to 6 years old the “Absorbent Mind.” During this period, children go through rapid growth and development. From 0-3 years, the child has an “unconscious absorbent mind” taking in everything around them through their senses. Around age 3, the child shifts to a “conscious absorbent mind” and begins to direct their focus and attention in a more intentional manner. Ultimately, the choice of which age group to work with will be your own. We encourage you to consider what about the early childhood educational experience is most interesting and exciting to you! The main difference are the development milestones that you’ll be fostering.
Nido and Toddler trained Montessori guides support infants and toddlers through:
- Independence in movement, both gross and fine motor, and bodily awareness.
- Early language development and acquisition of speech
- Early social interactions with peers and caregivers
Children’s House trained Montessori guides support young children through:
- Increased independence and refinement of movement, both gross and fine motor
- Increased language development and acquisition of literacy skills
- Refinement of social interactions, including problem solving, empathy and conflict resolution
Will I need access to Montessori materials?
During the first part of your training, the Foundational Studies portion, you will be doing your first Guided Material Practice sessions where you will be using Montessori materials to practice how to use them and present them to children.
For the Nido Toddler Diploma Course, you have the option of creating a sample of temporary materials to practice that will suffice the need of this experience. As you move along on your training, you will need access to all of the materials in a Montessori classroom. A checklist and photos of each material will be given to you during training.
For the Children's House Diploma course, we have an option to send you a full set of materials for a discounted price so that you can practice at home for the materials practice. However, you will still need to be placed in a Montessori school for the observations and the practice teaching portion of your Diploma training.
Is all of the training self-paced?
The vast majority of the training is self-paced and self-directed (Continuing Studies & Self-Paced Independent Studies). The beginning called Foundational Studies, and towards the end, called In-Residency Studies, are set schedules where you’ll need to register/apply for in order to complete.
Is all of the training online?
The Prepared Montessorian is proud to develop a training program that highlights the ‘virtuous cycle’ between understanding theory as well as practical hands-on experience with the children, classroom, and materials. With this in mind, most of the live instruction time can be done at a distance, but there are several components that requires work away from the screen.
In-person requirements to complete the components of the coursework include:
- Access to Montessori classroom
- Travel to In-Residency Studies
Your observations and practice teaching as part of your Self-Paced Independent Studies will need to be in a Montessori classroom. Also, the In-Residency Studies will likely require travel (costs not included in tuition).
The In-Residency Studies, prior to COVID, has been in-person and for three weeks. Due to COVID, they are currently virtual. In the past, our in-residency took place in Southern California. However, our plans are likely to re-open in-person in-residencies in Fall 2021 with two locations in China and two locations in the US in addition to the one in Southern California.
ELEMENTARY DIPLOMA COURSE RELATED QUESTIONS
Will I receive diploma upon completion? Are there any prerequisites?
Yes. If you complete and pass all of the required components of our Elementary I/II Training Course and you already have a Bachelor’s Degree, you will receive a Full Diploma from our training center, which is accredited by the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE). MACTE is the only Montessori accrediting body that is recognized by the government and has accredited many Montessori training centers affiliated with AMI or AMS, as well as independent Montessori training centers like The Prepared Montessorian.
If you do not have a Bachelor’s Degree, you can earn an Associate’s Diploma. If you complete a Bachelor’s Degree within three years of graduation from our course, you can turn that Associate’s Diploma into a Full Diploma without completing any additional coursework.
I am interested in just the Upper Elementary (9-12) training. Do you offer that as a separate training course?
At this time, our only Elementary offering is the combined 6 – 12 training, which includes: Lower Elementary (I) and Upper Elementary (II). We believe it’s an asset to guides to be familiar with the full range of elementary lessons, so they can serve children who might be working at a level different from their age group.
Lower Elementary lessons are covered in the first year of our two-year training; Upper Elementary lessons in the second year.
But we are always re-examining and expanding our offerings to meet your needs. If you would like to be added to our interest list for possible future offerings of just Lower Elementary I (6-9) or Upper Elementary II (9-12) please email us at email@example.com.
Can I attend if I am currently an Assistant Guide in Nido, Toddler, or Children’s House?
You are eligible to apply for this training as long as you have access to a complete Montessori Elementary classroom environment. Training spots for Guidepost employees are limited, however, and preference is given to those already placed in elementary classrooms.
What qualifies as a Montessori Elementary environment?
To qualify as a Montessori elementary environment, there needs to be:
- A mixed-age group (typically more than 5 children)
- The full range of Montessori materials
- An extended work period