How to Prepare for a Teacher Certification Program

Teacher Certification Programs are a practical extension to your post-secondary education. Earning a teacher certificate provides you the opportunity to enter a career in education whether it is your initial focus or a career change. If you are looking for a career in education you must earn a teaching certificate to legally be a teacher of record at any public school.

There are several Teacher Certification Programs to choose from. It is important to research the options carefully to determine which program fits your needs. There are online options for busy individuals and more traditional programs through colleges and universities. Additionally, you need to be aware of requirements for teaching credentials in your state as they do vary. You can locate these requirements online or through your state education agency.

Generally, individuals seeking a teaching certificate are required to have earned a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. From that point, you will need to determine the age group and content areas you are interested in teaching. For example, if you are interested in teaching high school math your undergraduate transcript will need to reflect a minimum number of hours in math related coursework. The Academic Counselor or the Teacher Certification Program will be able to help you determine which areas you are qualified to enter the program under and additional course work that may be required to enter the program area you are interested in.

Teacher Certification Programs will require you to work in an education environment, often referred to as a clinical piece. This is a “hands on” approach providing you the opportunity to gain experience in the classroom and practically apply the information you have gained through the program. The clinical piece will involve observations of other teachers, being observed by a mentor, and reflecting on your experiences in the classroom. Depending on the program you may work as an assistant teacher or as a teacher of record through the program. Depending on the requirements of the program and state, the time period of this portion will vary from a semester to a full academic calendar year.

Working in education is a rewarding experience and Teacher Certification Programs are an essential piece preparing individuals to take on the role of teacher.

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