Online Teacher Certification
Due to vast improvements in technology over the past decade, online teacher certification has become a viable alternative to traditional classroom programs. Online programs are especially attractive to mid-career professionals who want to enter the teaching profession after spending time working in another field. When combined with classroom teaching experience, obtaining teacher certification online enables participants to train for a teaching career while balancing the demands of work and family.
Most states provide two paths for teacher certification. The first requires completion of an undergraduate or graduate degree that includes teacher training, or completion of a teacher preparation program in addition to an undergraduate degree. In this case, online degrees programs that are approved by the state may be applied towards a credential. The second path, which is provided for individuals with degrees but no teaching education or experience, is often referred to as alternative certification. This path usually requires completion of a state-run or private training program which may or may not be offered online.
The rules and requirements for teacher certification and the list of approved training programs are determined on a state-by-state basis. Here is a sampling of online options for teacher certification in various states:
Online Teacher Certification in Texas
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) requires completion of teacher training as part of an undergraduate degree or teacher preparation program, either traditional or online. It also offers an Alternative Certification Program (ACP) through public universities and private institutions that allows teaching candidates with degrees to begin teaching while completing certification requirements. Only ACPs that have been approved by the TEA can be applied towards certification in the state. Some of the state’s most popular ACPs are provided online.
Online Teacher Certification in Georgia
In Georgia, the requirements for teacher certification are established by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (PSC). Traditional certification involves completion of a state-approved educator preparation program, either classroom-based or online. Teaching candidates should check the PSC about the eligibility of specific programs. Instruction for Georgia alternative certification must be completed through the Georgia Teacher Academy for Preparation and Pedagogy (TAPP) program, which is administered by school districts throughout the state.
Online Teacher Certification in Florida
The Florida Department of Education accepts graduates of approved teacher training programs for certification; these programs may be either traditional or online. Florida’sAlternative Certification Program uses a state-based preparation program that includes online and face-to-face components. The program is administered through individual school districts.
Online Teacher Certification in New York
The New York State Education Department offers several teacher preparation pathways that are designed for different levels of education and professional experience. One of these pathways involves completing an approved online or traditional teacher preparation program as either a graduate or undergraduate. The alternative preparation pathway targets mature professionals who are coming to teaching for a second career. Colleges partner with local schools to provide alternative certification programs that include an accelerated introduction followed by paid employment that includes mentoring and additional coursework. Both pathways can be completed through approved online programs.
Online Teacher Certification in California
The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing requires teaching candidates to obtain a bachelors degree or higher and to complete an approved single or multiple subject teacher preparation program. The list of approved programs includes both traditional and online options. Alternative certification for both single and multiple subject certifications and for special education is also available in California. Teaching candidates should contact the Commission on Teacher Credentialing for more information about completing alternative certification requirements online.