What Are School Certification Programs?

A school certification program leads to graduates being certified or licensed to teach school. Institutions offer a variety of school certification programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels in teaching elementary, middle or high school.

School Certification Program Defined

Universities and colleges' Departments of Education generally offer school certification programs. They may be available at the undergraduate or graduate levels. Students may become certified to teach at the elementary, middle school or high school levels. Additionally, they may choose to become certified to teach a particular subject.

Elementary School Certification

Students interested in teaching elementary school are generally certified to teach grades 1-6. Typically, students combine a major or a bachelor's degree in education with professional educational studies courses. They take courses in education practice and theory. Students are required to complete so many hours of classroom teaching experience. Education courses may include child development, education psychology and teaching reading.

Middle School Certification

Middle school certification program generally certified students to teach grades 5-9. Students may earn a bachelor's in education or middle school education with teacher certification, depending on the school. Programs vary, but students may be required to specialize in one or two content areas. Program may only be available in specific content areas, such as social studies, English or math. A program may have core courses, which are general education courses, education courses and content area courses. Education courses may include curriculum for middle school, adolescent learning, teaching middle school math and instructional media.

Master of Arts in Teaching

Students need to have a bachelor's to enroll in a master's in teaching. Students may enroll in a school certification program to become licensed to teach high, middle or elementary school, as well as early childhood while working on a master's degree. At the middle and high school levels, students are required to become certified in one or two content areas. Programs may be composed of foundation educational courses, courses in teaching middle school or high school, content area courses and professional teaching experience courses.

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