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Teacher Training and Recruitment
Due to increasing demand for qualified teachers, colleges and universities have joined with school districts to develop new types of partnerships to facilitate adult entry to teaching. The changing economy has caused huge shifts in types of employment.
Many adults who may have developed a skills-set useful in teaching through military training or other corporate experiences may enroll in post-baccalaureate teacher licensure programs designed for adults. Others are dissatisfied with an initial career choice and decide they want to teach. Adults are looking for programs that enable them to make a gradual transition from one career to another, so that they can maintain a salary during the period of career change.
Almost all accredited teacher preparation institutions have post-baccalaureate programs that provide preparation for individuals who want to enter teaching but did not enroll in an education program while an undergraduate.
Approximately 150 of those accredited teacher preparation institutions have alternate route programs that reduce financial barriers to entry.
Following are features and examples of the many types of programs available. For a list of programs that reduce financial barriers to entry, visit NCATE. Be sure to visit the "Call to Teach" section of the site for a wealth of information from financial aid to frequently asked questions about teaching and teacher preparation.
Entry to teacher licensure programs usually requires a certain GPA, transcripts of undergraduate work, letters of recommendation, successful interviews, and written essays relating to teaching as a career.
Institutions now offer programs which place their teacher candidates in classrooms as interns, instructional assistants, resident teachers, or substitutes. These candidates draw an intern, substitute, or resident teacher’s salary and work under supervision. Resident teacher salaries range usually between the beginning salary of a fully licensed teacher and that of a substitute teacher. Often the candidates will be the teacher of record and will earn a corresponding salary. Other programs are designed to provide stipends to candidates as they move through the program, with tuition for the courses paid to the university by the participating school districts, and the university providing stipends to candidates.
Sometimes programs begin with a summer institute which includes topics such as classroom management, instructional design and delivery, and teaching for student achievement. The university and school district collaboratively plan the institute and coursework. During the institute, candidates spend half of their time in practicum experiences in public school classrooms and the other portion in instructional seminars. Throughout the rest of the program, which may be one or two years, candidates attend university courses one or two evenings per week and teach during the day with assigned mentoring provided by school district and university supervisors. In some cases, tuition costs for candidates have far been reduced.
The programs feature supervision by a university supervisor and usually personnel in the school district as well. Interns receive collegial and professional support from veteran teachers who serve as clinical supervisors, and from university faculty. Sometimes interns will work in pairs, and some programs focus on developing cadres of candidates who move through the program at the same time, which provides additional support.
In most states, all teacher candidates must pass basic skills and licensure tests focused on content knowledge. In some locations, interns must promise to teach in the district for four years following initial licensure or repay the program costs.
Courses are usually designed to accommodate a working adult schedule: a number of courses are available online, on weekends, and in the evenings and summers.
Editorial supplied by "National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education" (NCATE)
NCATE is a non-profit, non-governmental alliance of 33 national professional education and public organizations representing millions of Americans who support quality teaching.
NCATE currently accredits 552 colleges of education with 100 more in candidacy. The 552 institutions produce two-thirds of the nation’s new teacher graduates. There are 1,200 colleges of education in the United States. NCATE accreditation is a mark of distinction, and provides recognition that the college of education has met national professional standards for the preparation of teachers and other educators.
In NCATE’s performance-based accreditation system, institutions must provide evidence of competent teacher candidate performance. Teacher candidates must know the subject matter they plan to teach and how to teach it effectively so that students learn.
An independent study by the Educational Testing Service shows that graduates of NCATE-accredited colleges of education pass ETS subject matter and pedagogy examinations at a higher rate than do graduates of unaccredited colleges of education.
The National Conference of State Legislatures issued a report that calls NCATE a cost-effective means to upgrade quality in schools of education. The National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, a blue-ribbon commission, recommends that all colleges of education be professionally accredited through NCATE.
View NCATE’s website at http://www.ncate.org to identify NCATE accredited colleges of education.