Public Service & Education covers a wide area of MC programs and lots of options for
fulfilling careers. Three of these programs are Education/Early Childhood Development,
Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counseling and Paralegal. Find out answers to common questions
for each of these areas below.
1. What is the timeline of start to finish of the Associate of Arts in Teaching degree?
An associate’s degree is 60 hours. In a traditional format, 15 semester credit hours
per semester would lead to four semesters (2 academic years) completion. 12 semester
credit hours is considered full-time, so by also taking courses during the summer,
one could still complete in 2 academic years. The more courses taken at one time,
the more quickly one can complete.
2. What are the teaching jobs that are most in demand right now?
Teaching jobs are always in demand. Math, Science, bilingual and special education
are nearly always in demand, but other areas are in need as well. The Permian Basin
has been experiencing a high need for teachers in all areas over the last few years.
3. How hard is the test for the teaching certificate and what do you need to study
to take the test after you go to school?
There are various tests. Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities entails what
are your legal, ethical and professional responsibilities as well as what pedagogy
(instructional strategies) are used for the most effective instruction in a classroom.
There are also content exams which cover the subject matter that one would be teaching.
The TExES educator exams that one takes are dependent upon the grade and subject area one would like to teach.
The TExES exam website provides sample practice tests. Most educator preparation programs provide support,
tutoring, and practice tests.
4. What is the salary range for first-year teachers?
The minimum salary for teachers in the state of Texas is $33,660, however each school
district sets their own salary schedule so it is wise to visit a district’s human
resources page to find out what the salary range is for each district.
5. What options are available after I complete the Associate of Arts in Teaching
degree at Midland College?
To teach in the state of Texas, a bachelor’s degree is required. The AAT (Associate
of Arts in Teaching) is designed as a university transfer program. Throughout your
time here at Midland College, the Education Division will work with you to help you
navigate the transfer process to the university of your choosing. Completing the
AAT also makes you eligible to work as a Teacher’s Assistant within a school district.
6. I have a bachelor’s degree in another field, but want to change careers and do
something more meaningful, like teaching. What courses will I need to take?
There are a number of options for individuals who already have a Bachelor’s degree.
Alternative certification programs and post Baccalaureate programs provide you with
the additional training needed to be eligible for the Texas teacher exams for certification.
Typically, these programs are one-year programs and could place you in a classroom
immediately while you are completing the certification process.
Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counseling
1. What are the requirements for being accepted into MC’s Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counseling
We want serious devoted students who have a passion to help others and in return receive
additional scholarship money and opportunities beyond their wildest dreams. These
unprecedented times have increased our enrollment and this field is wide open in the
legal, medical, rehab and counseling fields.
2. Am I eligible to enter the program and become a Licensed Chemical & Drug Abuse
Counselor (LCDC) if I am a recovering addict?
Students at MC may pursue DAAC if they are a recovering addict but they need to be
clean for at least 6 months and receiving treatment in a program. Convicted felons
have been approved by state board to become licensed as LCDC depending on charge,
length of time and some other considerations. The state board can look at the criminal
record and respond provide their charges as long as additional charges obtained while
pursuing educational component. There is a disclaimer on criminal background to be
signed upon entering the program. All requirements are carefully spelled out on our
3. What do I have to do to become a Licensed Professional Counselor?
MC has a very unique (one of only three in the state at the community college level)
LCDC program to become a fully licensed substance abuse counselor. We do provide all
classes as well as a 300 practicum hours of opportunity at various sites to gain experience.
4. What is the average salary for a substance abuse counselor?
The starting salary with a CI Certificate is around $25,000 while a fully licensed
LCDC has finished an Associate Degree and 4,000 clock hours as well as passed the
state board test starts around $50,000. Additionally, those students wishing to pursue
further education such as LPC masters level can do so through our unique agreement
with Texas Tech by first getting 90 hours at MC and 30 additional on line with Texas
Tech for a bachelor’s degree and then a master’s degree.
1. What jobs can I get with a paralegal degree?
Traditionally, paralegals work in law firms or with solo attorneys handling everything
from office management to client intake to research and writing to case organization.
In Midland, paralegal skills are also useful in Oil and Gas companies land offices
as a land tech. The skills a paralegal learns can assist them in landing many jobs
outside of the traditional model especially after the newest executive order that stresses skills over degree. Paralegals learn outstanding organizational skills,
technical reading, applying standards to different scenarios, technical writing, communication
and so much more.
2. Does Midland College offer online paralegal courses?
YES! This program moved online and allows so many students that would like the opportunity
to attend MC, but work or have other familial obligations that make coming to an in-person
class impossible, such as Tiffany Stott. We use online live meetings that are recorded to replicate the classroom environment.
For example, instructors provide a link and conduct a live lecture or host a guest
speaker. These are recorded and shared within the Canvas classroom management system.
I also meet with students via Zoom/Microsoft Teams and they present case briefs, or
I provide feedback on assignments.
3. Can paralegals perform services on their own without a supervising attorney?
No, paralegals may not render legal services without supervision of an attorney as
this is the Unauthorized Practice of Law! Paralegals are not allowed to directly represent
a person in legal matters. However, a paralegal may be a freelance paralegal. (A
freelance paralegal offers services under the direct supervision of a duly licensed
4. What types of certificates and degrees does Midland College have for people wanting
to become a paralegal?
We offer a Beginning Legal Technician Certificate and an Associate of Applied Science-Paralegal.
Every course in the Certificate counts towards the Associates degree. The course
catalog has the most up-to-date information on required classes.
5. I already have a degree in another area and what to change careers to become a
paralegal, so what is the best educational pathway for me?
Start with the Certificate because every class counts toward the Associates and by
starting with the Certificate, you immediately begin taking legal classes. We will
work with you to count as many credits as possible from your other degree towards
the Paralegal program.
6. I work as a secretary in a law firm and want to become a paralegal. What is the
best educational pathway for me?
Start with the Certificate program because all of the classes count toward the associate
degree and you begin the legal coursework immediately.
7. Is there professional certification for paralegals?
Yes, there is the option for professional certification for paralegals through NALA-The
Paralegal Association or NFPA which requires passing an examination and taking continuing
legal education classes.
8. Do paralegals concentrate in a particular area of law, like bankruptcy, criminal,
probate and estate planning, intellectual property rights, etc.?
They can! In Texas, the Texas Board of Legal Specializations (TBLS) was created in 1974 by the Supreme Court of Texas at the request of the State
Bar of Texas. TBLS certifies paralegals in 8 specialty areas.
9. What is the salary range for paralegals?
This is a tough question. Sometimes, the salary number might seem low, but the firm
offers excellent benefits that if added to the salary would make it quite high. The
US Department of Labor-Bureau of Labor Statistics states the median pay for 2019 was
$51,740 per year or $24.87 per hour. Salary.com shows a range in Texas of $44-70K per year. ZipRecruiter.com shows a range of $30,000-54,000 per year in Texas.