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Steps That Can Help a Bachelor’s Degree Graduate Become a Teacher

Higher Education Articles October 30, 2014

Students with a bachelor’s degree are given two options if they want to become a teacher: enroll in alternative teaching certification programs or teacher education programs that are part of their bachelor’s degree. Those that have not yet completed a teacher education program, but hold a bachelor’s degree should look into alternative programs.

Becoming a Teacher

In this article, we will take a look at the step-by-step process by which a bachelor’s degree graduate can become a teacher:

1. Obtain a GED Certificate or High School Diploma

Students enrolled in most universities and colleges are required to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma before they are allowed to begin core coursework. This is a mandatory requirement for admission to any teacher education program.

2. Define the Nature of the Teaching Job You Seek

Decide whether you want to be a special education, high school, middle school, or elementary school teacher as well as the setting in which you would like to work, such as religious, private, and public schools or in the confines of your own home. You can direct your postsecondary studies in accordance with your choices.

3. Seek Admission to a Teacher Education Program

Seek admission to a bachelor’s program of four to five years’ tenure that results in teacher licensure. If you wish to teach at the elementary level, you would need to teach every subject, while a secondary teacher’s work would require you to concentrate on just one or two subjects. Teacher training begins in the fifth or last year of the bachelor’s program.

Core coursework includes multicultural foundations, secondary education principles, educational psychology, social foundations, digital learning, and teaching strategies, in addition to completion of a student teaching internship before they seek licensure.

4. Seek Admission to an Alternative Licensure or Certification Program

Graduates of undergraduate degrees that have yet to complete a teacher education program can seek admission to alternative certification programs that allow individuals with career experience and a bachelor’s degree to obtain teaching licensure through a non-conventional mode. Holding an alternative teaching certification would allow the graduate to seek a teaching job in the subject area that he or she earned his or her degree in.

During the course of an alternative program, enrolled students generally begin to teach under supervision. Licensure may be obtained by the student within one to two years. Coursework within this kind of program is devised to aid math and science teachers, in addition to those willing to teach in urban or rural schools.

5. Obtain Licensure

Licensure is mandatory in the United States for all special education and public school teachers, although private school teachers don’t generally need to obtain licenses. Licensure is usually issued to special education and public school teachers by state education boards, which test the candidates for competency in basic skills such as writing and reading, among others.

Special and specific subject areas, such as secondary, middle, elementary, and early childhood, are included in public school teachers’ licensure areas. Learning disabilities and behavioral disorders may be included within the licensure areas for special education teachers.

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