The first step to becoming a teacher and transforming young minds is earning a teaching degree.
A teaching credential is a basic multiple or single subject credential obtained upon completion of a bachelor's degree and prescribed professional education requirements.
Requirements for aspiring teachers may vary from state to state and from institution to intuition, in both the public and private sector. Certain institutions may also accept an online teaching degree.
Education professional who are looking to go beyond the undergraduate level, usually consider acquiring a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) or Master of Science in Teaching (MST) degree.
normally considered to be part of higher education. In North America, this level is generally referred to as graduate school.
The first step to becoming a teacher is getting the right credentials, which usually involves acquiring a teaching degree at an accredited four year college or university. In the United States a teaching credential is a basic multiple or single subject credential obtained upon completion of a bachelor's degree and prescribed professional education requirements. Teaching credentials are required in the United States in order to qualify to teach in public school, as well as in many other types of instruction. Requirements can vary from state to state and from institution to intuition, in both the public and private sector. Certain institutions may also accept an online teaching degree.
Bachelor's Degree and Postgraduate Degrees
Although prerequisites for becoming a teacher vary throughout the country, all states require that aspiring public school educators have a bachelor's degree in education, at least. Many school systems may also allow professionals to have a four year degree in one of the core subject areas, like English, math, history or science. Once you get your degree and complete the state licensing requirements, you are ready to enter into the classroom. However, depending on where and what you teach, you might consider going further in your education. For example, acquiring a master's in teaching, education or a core subject area can often make you a more attractive candidate to potential employers. Also, in various school systems, having a postgraduate degree results in more pay and possibly a greater opportunity to choose where and what you teach.
Education professional who are looking to go beyond the undergraduate level, usually consider acquiring a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) or Master of Science in Teaching (MST) degree. A MAT and MST degree are generally pre-service degrees that usually require a minimum of 30 semester hours beyond the Bachelor's degree. While the program often requires education classes in order to meet state licensing requirements, it emphasizes advanced coursework in a specific academic discipline to enhance one's knowledge in that subject area. Furthermore, it focuses on educating the candidate in practical teaching skills for use as a teacher, as opposed to focusing on performing research in the educational field. Candidates usually spend a semester as a full time student teacher in order to earn the degree.
There are two general models that (MAT) degrees follow: a 5th year model in which students spend one year extra beyond their bachelor's degree to earn a master's degree and an initial teaching license; and a Flex program which usually offers part-time weekend and evening courses to accommodate professionals who are changing careers. The Master's of Arts in Teaching degree is often advantageous to middle school and secondary school teachers because it allows them to focus on subject area knowledge in their undergraduate program and then acquire pedagogical skills in their graduate studies. It differs from the Masters in Education (MEd) degree which is usually geared toward practicing teachers, or toward those who desire to serve as counselors (school or otherwise) or as educational administrators.
Online vs. Traditional
Once you have decided on which degree is appropriate for your desired career path, you can begin searching for universities or colleges that will best suit your needs. Completing the coursework for a degree in the traditional classroom and in a full time program has been the most common route for a long time. However, with the advent of new technology, students can now participate in programs that support part-time and virtual learners. Submitting assignments via e-mail and participating in web-based discussions are becoming ever more popular. Aspiring teachers can now get their degree online with schools like Walden University or University of Phoenix. Online universities, and universities that support an online component, can allow students to have more flexibility over their schedules. Potential educators can take courses at their own pace, and more importantly, can take classes anywhere they have access to the internet.
The online and/or part-time path is attracting more and more students, and is a great option for people who have demanding schedules. However, getting a degree in the traditional manner and from a fairly well- known school is currently still the most popular choice. There is a wide variety of schools that have strong graduate programs in education; you just have to decide on what you are looking for in a program. Taking the time to visit schools, to talk with alumni, and to meet with education professionals, can help you make the best choice. Also, if you are interested in making your choice based on the ranking of a particular school, check out USNews Education Program ranking. This publication highlights the schools with some of the best education programs in the country, and can assist you choosing the right program that works with your schedule and desired career path.