The Certification Network

Teaching Certification


Become a Teacher

Today's classrooms present teachers with more challenges and therefore demand a deeper understanding of successful classroom practices. Dedication and a desire to help children are important, but teachers also need a strong academic background and solid professional preparation.

Whether you are a high school student exploring the possibility of entering the teaching profession, a college student on his/her way to becoming a teacher or a professional looking to change careers, below you will find the necessary steps and websites that will guide you to become a teacher.

Chose a Pathway

There are traditional and non-traditional pathways to teacher Certification.

  1. Four- or five-year college degree programs in elementary education or secondary education which lead to certification upon graduation. These programs can vary greatly depending on individual university requirements. 

  2. Post-collegiate programs for people who hold a bachelor's degree and wish to enter the teaching field, generally for one year to obtain certification. 

  3. Alternative licensing and certification programs in states where there is a shortage of teachers in a particular field. These programs tend to be short-term and intensive in order to get professionals into the classroom quickly. (See below for more information about these programs.)

To explore educational institutions outside your state, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) publishes the Annual Guide to Accredited Institutions that describes the institutions it accredits. Copies are $15 each.

Teacher Certification Requirements

Contact the state Department of Education where you would most like to teach and ask for information on requirements for certification (they should be able to mail you an information packet).

Teacher Certification Application

Upon completion of your state's certification requirements, submit your application for certification to the state. Usually, you can complete and submit a form during the final semester of your program to your school, which will prompt a record review and the school will then forward your application to the state's department of education.


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