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Home  > Article

Pursuing Entry Level Jobs in Education

By Experience

What positions can you get right out of college with only a bachelor's degree? What are their corresponding salaries, roles, and responsibilities?

 
The Provisional Certification Degree requires only six months of student teaching.
 

In truth, recent college graduates can enter just about any area of education in some capacity or another. However, without some teacher training and certification, your full-time teaching opportunities are somewhat limited. Check out the following positions to see how your skills, interests, and experience can best meet the needs of today's educational employers.

Teaching Certification

In order to teach in the U.S. public school system, you need both your state certification and any additional qualifications required by the school district in which you'd like to teach. Be sure to contact both your State School Board and local school district for their lists of specific requirements.


Most states require proof of the following items in order to grant you teaching certification, but keep in mind that requirements do vary:

  • Bachelor's or higher degree
  • Completion of a teacher education program
  • Student/practice teaching
  • Passage of your state's basic educational skills test
  • Completion of a U.S.Constitution course or examination

Once you have your state teaching certificate, a school district in that state may consider you for employment. (If you're certified in the District of Columbia or one of the 35 states that comprise the *Interstate Agreement on Qualifications of Educational Personnel, you will also be certified to teach in any member state.) Most school districts ask for the following types of information on your teaching employment application but, again, requirements vary by individual district:

  • State certification information
  • Passage of the school district test(s)
  • Any teaching experience, including student, substitute, and/or full-time
  • Non-teaching experience
  • References
  • Extracurricular training experience
  • Academic record
  • Personal data
  • Your answers to "moral character" questions?

Teacher Education Programs

Many undergraduate and graduate education programs are designed so that upon graduation, you have completed all of the above and are basically certified to teach. In addition to walking you through the steps to earning your teaching certificate, most programs educate potential teachers on pedagogical issues, classroom management, and public school operations. Teacher education programs grant two types of degrees:

The Provisional Certification Degree requires only six months of student teaching. Most undergraduates majoring in Education receive their provisional degree upon graduation. This usually enables them to teach in a public high school (grades 9-12) in one particular subject area (e.g., history, English, science or math).

The Standard Education Certification is more comprehensive than the Provisional Certification, and involves a yearlong internship program. The Standard Certification enables the student to teach early childhood, elementary (K-5), middle (6-8), or high school (9-12) upon certification--but just one particular age group


State Educational Skills Test

All states administer a basic educational skills test to teaching certification applicants, and are referred to by a variety of titles across the nation, from California's Basic Educational Skills Test to Kentucky's Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills to Hawaii's Pre-Professional Skills Test. Regardless of name, all serve the common purpose of ensuring that candidates seeking to educate society's youth are competent enough for the task. All states' tests require a fee and assess proficiency in English, reading, writing, spelling, math, and teaching skills, but each state has its own standards for passing. Contact your State School Board for further information on your state's basic educational skills test.

U.S.Constitution Course or Examination

To qualify for state certification, you will need to take tests assessing basic knowledge of the U.S. Constitution as well as that of your own state. These constitution tests are usually administered as part of teacher training programs. Contact your State School Board for further information.

School DistrictEducational Skills Test

Most public school districts hold their own set of teaching standards, which may include a district-authored educational skills test as well as specific tests for the subject a candidate plans to teach. For example, an English teaching candidate may be asked to write an essay to demonstrate his writing ability. Contact your target school district(s) about they types of tests they require, where and when they're administered, how much they cost, and passing requirements.

**Interstate Agreement on Qualifications of Educational Personnel: This agreement provides for reciprocity in teacher certification among participating states. Members include: Alabama, Alaska, California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.







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