How to Choose a Teacher Education Program
One of the most vital decisions high school students make is choosing the right college or university to enroll at. Since this is such a critical decision, high school students should carefully evaluate the schools they are interesting in attending, especially when finding a school offering the right teacher education program.
There are many jobs graduates of teacher education programs can pursue. Many graduates find teaching jobs instructing students of various ages. Likewise, graduates can find jobs coaching at schools or for youth recreation leagues. Many teaching education graduates eventually become superintendents, principals, and school administrators. They also work in day care centers and youth camps.
Many educators and school administrators derive a lot of happiness from their jobs since they devote their careers to the betterment of others. In many cases, they work exclusively with children and adolescents, so they have the opportunity to influence young people. One of the best parts of teaching is when a student finally grasps a difficult concept after the instructor has worked extensively with the student. No matter the job a teacher education graduate lands, educators and school administrators play a vital role in society and the lives of young students.
Before choosing a teacher education program, mull over the following questions:
- Are the programs you're considering accredited? Accredited schools have demonstrated that they abide by high standards. As a result, they carry more weight with them, so you should enjoy better job prospects after graduating.
- Besides being regionally or nationally accredited, are the programs you're considering recognized by your state's Department of Education? If you graduate from a program recognized by a state's Department of Education, you will be a more appealing candidate in the job market.
- Do programs you're considering have high post-graduation employment rates? Narrow your search to programs where graduates find jobs once they've completed the program.
- Are there a lot of alumni employed in the area you'd like to work in after graduating? This is important because having networking contacts will improve job opportunities and provide you with assistance as you begin your new career.
- Do the schools you're considering offer the education specialty that interests you?
- If you're planning on attending a university, does it offer teacher education graduate programs? This is important since earning a graduate degree can improve potential job opportunities and result in higher pay.
- During what school year can you begin to acquire student teaching experience? It's advisable to select a program permitting you to student teach early in a program, so you can decide whether teaching is for you. Students are usually placed in student teaching programs during their freshman or junior year, depending on the program.
- Do the programs you're considering work with local school districts. Students enrolled in programs that work closely with school districts will have an easier time finding student teaching opportunities, and it provides students a chance to showcase their teaching skills in front of administrators and teachers.
- Do professors work closely with students while they acquire student teaching experience? It's advisable to enroll in a program where professors, rather than graduate students, work closely with students.
- Are there scholarships offered to students at programs that interest you? There's no point in racking up large quantities of student loan debt if you qualify for scholarships.
- Do the programs you're considering provide study abroad opportunities? This is a very important program component for people interested in learning a foreign language or becoming immersed in a foreign culture.
- Does the school where you're completing your degree offer resources to assist students with Praxis II and Praxis 3 exam preparation? Potential teachers must pass these tests to become state certified. Because it's necessary to pass these tests before you can teach, it's important to select a program where you can receive test preparation assistance if necessary.
- Does your school adequately prepare students to find jobs after graduation? Career preparation services, such as interview and resume preparation assistance, can be invaluable as you leave school for the job market.