Further Teacher Education Information
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 teacherís 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)