“How do I become a teacher?”
Most states have the same standard licensure requirements: completing an approved educator preparation program, clearing a background and/or fingerprint check, and passing the state’s exams for the certification.
While these requirements may appear pretty basic, it is helpful to break down each requirement into manageable steps.
Completing an approved educator preparation program
For example, some universities offer a degree in education but do not include all of the state certification requirements such as student teaching.
Don’t rule out community colleges, which have the unique advantage of offering bachelor degree pathways with partnering universities at a lower tuition cost. And remember, community college does not mean low-quality. Many community college educator preparation programs are national award winners!
Some colleges also offer post-baccalaureate certification programs. These are tailored for individuals who already have a bachelor’s degree, but require specific coursework for teacher certification.
When researching programs, keep in mind that colleges and universities may differ in how they deliver their programs – in-person, online or hybrid. So choose a learning method that is right for you.
Clearing a background and/or fingerprint check
Passing the state’s exams for the certification
At Rio Salado College, we offer an Explore Teaching Workshop that covers our program pathways and requirements. For more information visit www.riosalado.edu/teachers or contact a Rio Salado College Academic Advisor at (480) 517-8580.
Paulina Ngo serves as the Field Experience Coordinator and Coordinator of Marketing for Rio Salado's Teacher Education program. She is celebrating 10 years of service with the college and nine years as a member of the Teacher Ed team.