What Are the Requirements to Get a Teaching Credential?

Completing a postsecondary degree program specific to teaching is the prerequisite route for acquiring teaching credentials. Read on for more information about educational options and requirements. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of Teaching Credentials

Teaching credentials indicate what areas, grades or subjects you're trained to teach. Obtaining general teaching credentials requires completing at least a bachelor's degree program in education and a student teaching experience. You must also take and pass credentialing exams offered by your state's Board of Education or licensure committee.

Teachers and aspiring teachers have the opportunity to gain additional credentials in specialization areas, such as special education or ESL (English as a Second Language), through graduate programs. This additional training leads to add-on endorsements on a teaching certificate.

Important Facts About Earning Teaching Credentials

Degree Levels Bachelor's and master's
Online Availability Some education programs are available partially online
Key Skills Communication, ability to work with students of all abilities, patience
Continuing Education May be required for career advancement

Undergraduate Programs

Becoming a teacher requires completing an accredited teacher education degree program. These programs provide you with pedagogy techniques and professional standards for teaching specific grade levels, such as pre-K and elementary, or specific subjects, such as English or math. Additional subject-specific areas that span all grade levels are art, music and physical education. Completing a teacher education program prepares you to take state credentialing exams.

Credentialing Exams

In order to gain a teaching credential, students must pass state examinations. The examinations vary based upon your subject base; however, most teachers must complete a basic skills exam, as well as a subject-specific exam. Additionally, many states require teachers to complete further education to maintain licensure.

Graduate Programs

Graduate programs provide additional opportunities to specialize in areas of teaching to expand your teaching credentials. Some common specialization areas include special education, reading and language, ESL or instructional technology. Teachers may pursue graduate work to add an endorsement to an existing teaching certificate for specializations or to change grade levels.

National Certification

Another credential available to you is the National Board Certification, which is administered by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). The NBPTS offers 24 nationally recognized certificates, ranging from art and English to exceptional needs and science. Eligibility for national certification requires holding a minimum of a bachelor's degree and a valid state teaching license, as well as completing three full years of teaching experience. The certification process involves completing ten teaching practice assessments compiled into a portfolio. Peer teachers then review the portfolio. The national credential is valid for ten years.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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  • Grand Canyon University

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    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
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  • Strayer University

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    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master

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  • Capella University

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    Popular programs at Capella University:

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    • Master

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  • Regent University

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    Popular programs at Regent University:

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  • Purdue University Global

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  • Concordia University Portland

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    Popular programs at Concordia University Portland:

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

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