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Choose A Teaching Degree & Focus
Choose A Teaching Degree & Focus
Choose A Teaching Degree & Focus
Choose A Teaching Degree & Focus
Choose A Teaching Degree & Focus
Choose A Teaching Degree & Focus
Choose A Teaching Degree & Focus
Choose A Teaching Degree & Focus
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Choose A Teaching Degree & Focus

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Choose A Teaching Degree & Focus

Choose A Teaching Degree & Focus

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  • 1. Choose a Teaching Degree & Focus<br />In order to become a teaching professional, you’ll need to get a degree and choose a teaching specialty. Though most states only require a Bachelor’s degree to become a teacher, a Master’s Degree may help acquire a teaching job in more competitive areas. There are many specialty areas in education that you can focus on to earn a teaching degree, and even more available specialties within the education field.<br />A. Choosing a School for Teacher Education<br />B. Common Majors In Education<br />C. Specialty Majors In Education<br />D. Leadership Majors in Education<br />E. Popular Education Career Summaries<br />A. Choosing a School for Teacher Education<br />You must hold a bachelor’s degree. To become a teacher. Check with your state, however, as some states now require a Master’s degree. Depending on the state you want to teach in, you may need a minor or major in the field of Education.<br />If you plan on teaching grades 6-12, a bachelor’s degree in the subject you wish to teach in mandatory.<br />You must complete an accredited program that fulfills student teaching requirements with a certain number of hours in the classroom.<br />Colleges that charge $20,000 per year and more do exist, but they are the exception. In 2005-2006, the average in-state full-time tuition and fees per year for an undergraduate at a four-year public university was $5,206. (Source: National Center for Education Statistics, Higher Education General Information Survey.) Typically, community colleges cost less and private schools cost more.<br />Types of Schools<br />Most postsecondary schools can be described as public or private, two-year or four-year.<br />Public institutions are state supported. Private for-profit institutions are businesses. Private not-for-profit institutions are independent — for instance, the school might have been established by a church or through local community donations rather than by the state government.<br />Four-year institutions offer bachelor’s degrees, and some offer advanced degrees. Two-year institutions offer associate’s degrees. Less-than-two-year institutions offer training and award certificates of completion.<br />College – A four-year college grants bachelor’s degrees (Bachelor of Arts; Bachelor of Science). Some colleges also award master’s degrees.<br />University – A university grants bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and sometimes includes a professional school such as a law school or medical school. Universities tend to be larger than colleges, focus more on scholarly or scientific research, and might have larger class sizes.<br />Bottom of Form<br />Community college – A public two-year college granting associate’s degrees and sometimes certificates in particular technical (career-related) subjects. Some students start their postsecondary education at a community college and then transfer to a four-year school, either because a community college tends to be cheaper than a four-year college, or because admissions standards at community colleges are often less stringent than at four-year schools.<br />Junior college – Similar to a community college, except that a junior college is usually a private school.<br />Career school, technical school or vocational/trade school- These terms are often used interchangeably. May be public or private, two-year or less-than-two-year. Career schools offer courses that are designed to prepare students for specific careers, from welding to cosmetology to medical imaging, etc. The difference between technical schools and trade schools is that technical schools teach the science behind the occupation, while trade schools focus on hands-on application of skills needed to do the job. Last updated/reviewed October 30, 2006<br />Distance Learning<br />Lots of schools are experimenting with distance learning—whereby students access lectures or course materials via the Internet or through other electronic media rather than in person. Whether a distance learning course or degree is right for you is a matter of personal preference. You should note that not every distance learning course or degree is accredited and/or eligible for federal student aid. To find out whether you can receive federal student aid for your program, check with your school’s financial aid professional.<br />B. Common Majors In Education<br />One of the best things about a degree in education is the variety it can offer. We’ve compiled a list of majors in education with sample courses for each major.<br />Many majors in education have a core curriculum in common. It’s important to focus your major in education as soon as possible to maximize your time for the courses you need to take. Many majors offer a more interdisciplinary approach, so inquire how different disciplines can be combined. The majority of education majors can be combined with a teaching license track for your state.<br />Major in Child Development<br />This major will prepare majors by focusing studies on cultural, family, peer, school and neighborhood contexts where children live. It should provide a strong background in social and behavioral sciences and how they relate to child development. Clear understanding of the theory and research necessary to this field should be developed through major specific courses.<br />Sample Courses:<br />Developmental Psychology<br />Cognitive Aspects of Human Development<br />Social and Personality Development<br />Infancy and Adolescence Development<br />Experimental, Observational & Psychometric Methods<br />Major in Child Studies<br />A major in child studies is interdisciplinary, drawing on areas of psychology, education, special education, and human development. It prepares students for various health related areas involving children (medicine, nursing, child and family advocacy.)<br />Sample Courses:<br />Developmental Psychology<br />Research Methods<br />Language and Literacy<br />Family Communities<br />Diversity<br />Major in Elementary Education<br />This major will prepare students to teach children in grades K-8.<br />Sample Courses:<br />Child Development<br />Society, the School and the Teacher<br />Classroom Technologies<br />Language and Literacy<br />Parents and Their Developing Children<br />Teaching Diverse Students<br />Student Teaching<br />Social and Philosophical Aspects of Education<br />Exploring Literature for Children/Adolescents<br />Assessment Strategies<br />Arts Education<br />Teaching English<br />Teaching Foreign Language<br />Teaching Math in Elementary Schools<br />Science for Elementary Teachers<br />Teaching Social Students in Elementary Schools<br />Major in Secondary Education<br />This major will prepare students to teach one or more subjects at the secondary level, grades 7-12. It usually requires an area of emphasis in at least one field, which needs additional course work in that discipline.<br />Sample Courses:<br />Society, the School and the Teacher<br />Classroom Technologies<br />Language and Literacy<br />Teaching Diverse Students<br />Student Teaching<br />Social and Philosophical Aspects of Education<br />Exploring Literature for Adolescents<br />Assessment Strategies<br />Arts Education<br />Teaching English<br />Teaching Foreign Language<br />Teaching Math in Secondary Schools<br />Science for Secondary Teachers<br />Teaching Social Students in Secondary Schools<br />Major in Special Education<br />This major prepares students to work with persons with disabilities and should provide direct involvement with individuals with disabilities. There are different emphases in special education:<br />Mild and moderate disabilities<br />Multiple and severe disabilities<br />Visual impairment<br />Hearing impairment<br />Sample Courses:<br />Introduction to Exceptionality<br />Managing Academic and Social Behavior<br />Assessment Strategies for Students with Disabilities<br />Procedures for Students with Severe Disabilities<br />Audiology<br />Manual communications<br />C. Specialty Majors In Education<br />Speech Language Pathologist<br />In 2005, 47 States required speech-language pathologists to be licensed if they worked in a health care setting, and all States required a master’s degree or equivalent. A passing score on the national examination on speech-language pathology, offered through the Praxis Series of the Educational Testing Service, is needed as well. Other requirements typically are 300 to 375 hours of supervised clinical experience and 9 months of postgraduate professional clinical experience. Forty-one States have continuing education requirements for licensure renewal.<br />Only 11 States require this same license to practice in the public schools. The other States issue a teaching license or certificate that typically requires a master’s degree from an approved college or university. Some States will grant a temporary teaching license or certificate to bachelor’s degree applicants, but a master’s degree must be earned in 3 to 5 years. A few States grant a full teacher’s certificate or license to bachelor’s degree applicants.<br />Social Worker<br />A bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) degree is the most common minimum requirement to qualify for a job as a social worker; however, majors in psychology, sociology, and related fields may qualify for some entry-level jobs, especially in small community agencies. Although a bachelor’s degree is sufficient for entry into the field, an advanced degree has become the standard for many positions. A master’s degree in social work (MSW) is typically required for positions in health settings and is required for clinical work as well. Some jobs in public and private agencies also may require an advanced degree, such as a master’s degree in social services policy or administration. Supervisory, administrative, and staff training positions usually require an advanced degree. College and university teaching positions and most research appointments normally require a doctorate in social work (DSW or Ph.D.).<br />Librarian<br />A master’s degree in library science (MLS) is necessary for librarian positions in most public, academic, and special libraries and in some school libraries. The Federal Government requires that the librarians it employs have an MLS or the equivalent in education and experience. Many colleges and universities offer MLS programs, but employers often prefer graduates of the approximately 56 schools accredited by the American Library Association. Most MLS programs require a bachelor’s degree, but no specific undergraduate program is required.<br />Counselors<br />All States require school counselors to hold a State school counseling certification and to have completed at least some graduate course work; most require the completion of a masters degree. Some States require public school counselors to have both counseling and teaching certificates and to have had some teaching experience before receiving certification. For counselors based outside of schools, 48 States and the District of Columbia have some form of counselor licensure that governs their practice of counseling. Requirements typically include the completion of a master’s degree in counseling, the accumulation of 2 years or 3,000 hours of supervised clinical experience beyond the masters degree level, the passage of a State-recognized exam, adherence to ethical codes and standards, and the completion of annual continuing education requirements.<br />Counselors must be aware of educational and training requirements that are often very detailed and that vary by area and by counseling specialty. Prospective counselors should check with State and local governments, employers, and national voluntary certification organizations in order to determine which requirements apply.<br />Special Education<br />All 50 States and the District of Columbia require special education teachers to be licensed. The State board of education or a licensure advisory committee usually grants licenses, and licensure varies by State. In some States, special education teachers receive a general education credential to teach kindergarten through grade 12. These teachers then train in a specialty, such as learning disabilities or behavioral disorders. Many States offer general special education licenses across a variety of disability categories, while others license several different specialties within special education.<br />Bottom of Form<br />For traditional licensing, all States require a bachelor’s degree and the completion of an approved teacher preparation program with a prescribed number of subject and education credits and supervised practice teaching. However, many States require a master’s degree in special education, involving at least 1 year of additional course work, including a specialization, beyond the bachelor’s degree. Often a prospective teacher must pass a professional assessment test as well. Some States have reciprocity agreements allowing special education teachers to transfer their licenses from one State to another, but many others still require that experienced teachers reapply and pass licensing requirements to work in the State.<br />D. Leadership Majors in Education<br />If you’re considering becoming a principal, an assistant principal, or an instructional specialist, you will need to take courses to fulfill the requirements for those positions. In addition to a bachelor’s degree, you will need to earn an advanced degree in administration or educational leadership.<br />Here are some sample degree programs for a career in leadership.<br />MA in Education/Administration and Supervision<br />Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership<br />Bottom of Form<br />Doctor of Education/Curriculum and Instruction<br />M.S. in Education – Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment M.S. in Education – Educational Leadership Doctor of Education (Ed. D)<br />Doctor of Education (Ed. D) – Administrator Leadership Doctor of Education (Ed. D) – Teacher Leadership PhD in Education PhD in Education – Higher Education PhD in Education – K-12 Education Leadership<br />E. Popular Education Career Summaries<br />The field of education is vast and so are the careers that it offers. If you want to be in education, but haven’t quite narrowed your search to specific careers, you’ll want to read our popular career profiles. Each career profile give detailed information about the education necessary to become qualified, the average salary expectations, and a description of what the job entails.<br />Elementary School Teacher<br />Middle/High School Teacher<br />Special Education Teacher<br />Gifted Education Teacher<br />Principal<br />Professor/Post-Secondary<br />Preschool Teacher<br />Bottom of Form<br />Paraprofessional/Teaching Assistant<br />Counselor<br />Librarian<br />Social Worker<br />Speech-Language Pathologist<br />Occupational Therapist<br />

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