Frequently Asked Questions

Can I take a zoo class for graduate credit?

Yes you can! We have a partnership with Dominican university that allows you to take graduate credit for $100 per credit hour through Zoom classes. Six of the graduate credits are transferable to their Masters of Education degree. 

 

I want to take the class for graduate credit, what do I do? 

If you plan on taking graduate credit, don’t worry! There is nothing you need to do ahead of time. Once the class starts, we will discuss the graduate credit requirements, paperwork, and additional assignments on the second day of class. Only after the class is over will you pay the fee directly to Dominican. You cannot pay this fee ahead of time and you cannot pay this fee in a bundle with the cost of the class. We do this for multiple reasons but mainly because sometimes, even with the best intentions, plans change. We do not want you paying for the graduate credit and then not being able to complete the assignments or the class. 

 

Can I pay for the graduate credit at the same time as I paid the fee to take the class?

No you cannot. The Dominican fee must be paid separately and directly to Dominican online. On the second day of class, we will provide you with the registration form and instructions how to register and pay for that credit.

 

Can you provide me with an invoice?

This is not something we do on a regular basis and it is not something that is easy for us to do. We utilize the Active online registrations system for all program registrations and payments. If you have a specific circumstance that requires it, please reach out to Stacy McDonald at Stacy.McDonald@czs.org for assistance and we will do our best to accommodate. 

 

I want to take the graduate credit but I need to complete a form for my district 1st so that I am reimbursed. Where do I find this information?

You can find the course number as well as the course description listed on our website. Should you need more information for your district please email Jennifer.Noncek–Eastman@czs.org

 

How long does it take for grades to be processed? 

More often than not, about a month from the last day of the class. Teachers are provided with an additional two weeks after the courses ended to complete the graduate credit assignments. There are times, that teachers have requested more time to complete an assignment and during the summer, when we offer classes back to back, it can take our staff member more time to meaningfully grade the work and provide feedback. This can delay the processing of grades. While we understand district deadlines, we ask for your patience. 

 

I’d like the graduate credit but I also need professional development hours (PDHs) to renew my teacher license. Can I get both? 

Yes you can. Once you complete the class, you can enter the graduate credit into ISBE. Select Dominican University as the provider. For each graduate credit, you receive 15 PDHs toward renewal. For Illinois educators, you need a total of 120 PDHs every five years. 

 

Are all of your classes still online?

For the foreseeable future? Yes. Our intention is to run hybrid classes in the fall where two sessions will be online and one day will be in person at the zoo. Moving forward, most offerings will likely be a hybrid class where some coursework is conducted online with portions of class when we meet at the zoo as well. 

 

I would like my students to participate in an online chat or some form of virtual zoo experience, is that a possibility?

Currently, any options for student programming are specifically reserved for teachers enrolled in our Science Fellows program. This program is a year long and provides you with two free graduate credits upon completion. If you are interested, please visit czs.org/fellows and complete an application. Our next cohort for the 2021-2022 school year begins in August.