Associate Degree Programs to Be a Teacher's Aide

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) programs in education sometimes emphasize a particular area, like early childhood education. In these 2-year programs, students learn the theoretical, practical and administrative aspects of teaching children.

Essential Information

Teacher's aides provide administrative support in classrooms, helping teachers grade papers and maintain student records. They also spend a large portion of their time working with students, often those with special needs. Many school districts require that teacher's aides have at least two years of college or an associate's degree. Many federal programs have this requirement as well. Prospective students should hold a high school diploma in order to apply for the AAS program.

AAS programs in education are degrees designed for students interested in becoming teacher's aides. As teacher's aides often work with special education students or children learning English as a second language, some AAS program coursework emphasizes the skills needed to work with these populations. Most AAS programs allow students to work in classrooms under the supervision of a licensed teacher.


Associate's Degree in Education

Education AAS programs prepare graduates to be teacher's aides with instruction in teaching methods, educational theory, child development and psychology. Most programs include at least one class in literature, math, science and history to prepare graduates to teach these subjects to young students. Classes in the following subjects are usually required:

  • Pedagogy
  • Special education theory
  • Educational assessment methods
  • Behavior management
  • Developmental psychology

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a 6% job growth for teacher assistants between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also noted that job prospects should be especially good for teacher's aides in urban areas. Additionally, 2 in 5 teacher assistants worked part-time as of 2014. The BLS reported that teacher assistants earned an average of $26,550 annually in 2015.

Continuing Education Information

Many people who earn an AAS in Education and work as teacher's aides go on to become certified teachers. The requirements for certification vary by state, but typically include earning a bachelor's degree and passing a written exam. Secondary school teachers need to pass a content test in their subject of expertise, in addition to an exam on general teaching methods. Most states allow people who earned a bachelor's degree in a field other than education to complete alternative certification programs.

Prospective teacher's aides can undertake two years of study with an associate's degree program in order to gain qualifications. Skills in pedagogy, specialist education theory and behavior management are taught to prepare students for a career in the classroom.


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