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Alternative Teacher Licensure in Louisiana

Sep 25, 2019

Louisiana requires a bachelor's degree in education in order to teach. But, if you have a bachelor's degree that is not in education, there are three alternative pathways to obtain a teaching certification: a practitioner teacher program, a master's degree program, or a certification only program. Find out more about them.

Louisiana, the home of Mardi Gras and the birthplace of Jazz, requires its educators to have a bachelor's degree in education. If you want to teach in Louisiana, but do not have a bachelor's degree in education, fear not. There are other ways to become a teacher through an alternate method: a practitioner teacher program, a master's degree program, or a certification only program.

Info on Alternative Licensure for Louisiana Teachers

Average Salaries for Teachers in Louisiana (2018)* $48,740 (elementary); $49,960 (middle school); $51,810 (secondary school)
Required Degree Bachelor's
Degree Field Education
Testing Requirements Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators, Principles of Learning and Teaching, and Area of Focus exams

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Path One

The practitioner teacher program is a course of study that combines full-time teaching and intensive coursework in order to obtain certification. The candidate must possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited university and have maintained a 2.5 GPA in order to enroll in the program. Throughout the state, institutions of higher education, both public and private, have available programs that the candidate can enroll in. In addition, the prospective teacher must either pass the three Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators exams or have an SAT combined score of 1030 or ACT composite score of 22.

The candidate will also have to engage in field experiences within school settings that equate to a number of credit hours or direct contact hours. In the case of PreK - 3 settings, the experience must equate to 12 credit hours or 180 direct contact hours, while grades 1 - 12 equate to 9 credit hours or 135 direct contact hours.

Afterward, the candidate must obtain an internship and teach full time under supervision for the first year which will equate to 12 credit hours or 180 direct contact hours. The candidate will undergo an evaluation process and review by the program providers and get a prescriptive plan to implement for the 2nd year of teaching, if needed. The candidate has three (3) years to complete the required program and pass the additional Praxis tests needed:

  • Elementary School (Grades 1- 5) - Principles of Learning and Teaching, Grades K-6, Code 5622, 160 qualifying score, and
  • Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects, Code 5001
    • Reading and Language Arts, Code 5002, 157 qualifying score
    • Mathematics Subtest, Code 5003, 157 qualifying score
    • Social Studies Subtest, Code 5004, 155 qualifying score, and
    • Science Subtest, Code 5005, 155 qualifying score
  • Middle School (Grades 5-9) - Principles of Learning and Teaching, Grades 5-9, Code 5623, 160 Qualifying Score, and any one or combination of:
    • Algebra 1, Code 5162, 157 qualifying score
    • Middle School English Language Arts, Code 5047, 164 qualifying score
    • Middle School Mathematics, Code 5169, 165 qualifying score
    • Middle School Science, Code 5440, 150 qualifying score
    • Middle School Social Studies, Code 5089, 149 qualifying score
  • Secondary Education (Grades 6-12) - Principles of Learning and Teaching, Grades 7-12, Code 5624, 157 Qualifying Score, and any one, or combination of:
    • Algebra I, Code 5162, 157 qualifying score
    • Biology: Content Knowledge, Code 5235, 150 qualifying score
    • Chemistry: Content Knowledge, Code 5245, 151 qualifying score
    • English Language Arts: Content Knowledge, Code 5039, 168 qualifying score
    • General Science: Content Knowledge, Code 5435, 156 qualifying score
    • Mathematics: Content Knowledge, Code 5161, 160 qualifying score
    • Physics: Content Knowledge, Code 5265, 141 qualifying score
    • Social Studies: Content Knowledge, Code 5086, 160 qualifying score
    • Speech Communications: Content Knowledge, Code 5221, 146 qualifying score

Path Two

The master's degree program is a set of coursework resulting in a master's degree in education and a teaching certification. Much of the requirements to enroll in the program are the same as that for the practitioner program with the addition of passing content-specific Praxis exams or presenting a minimum of 30 semester hours within the content area if Louisiana does not currently have corresponding tests. Coursework will include topics such as: child and adolescent psychology, diverse learners, classroom management and organization, assessment, and instructional design and instructional strategies.

The internship requirement is substantially reduced such that the participant gets the equivalent of 6 - 9 credit hours and does not have to partake in pre-internship field experiences.

Path Three

The certification only program is for those who do not wish to obtain a master's degree or teach full time. The candidate still has to have a bachelor's degree with the GPA minimum, pass the core Praxis exams or have the requisite SAT or ACT scores, and pass the content-specific Praxis exams or have 30 hours in the content area.

Candidates will then participate in 80 hours of classroom readiness to get instruction on classroom management and focus on design and delivery. Guidance from professionals will provide support and opportunities to observe teachers within the classroom.

The program lasts for up to 3 years and includes 6 hours of student teaching or internship opportunities.

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