Post # 1
I’ve been working in informal education for a while, but have always wanted to be a classroom teacher and now that my life is a little more settled I’ve decided now is the time to go back to school to get my teaching credential. I got my BS in Biology (class of 2013) and am looking to get a single subject teaching credential for Biology. To be honest I am a bit overwhelmed with all the options and programs and was hoping you would be so kind as to share some of your expereinces from your credetial program. How long was it? What did you like most/least? Thanks sooo much!!! (Also I’m in California and that is where I would like to teach as well).
Post # 2
Hi! I am just finishing up my single subject credential program this week! I’m also in California. In my experience, there are varying lengths of teaching credential programs. I ended up going to a private university near me, and the entire program was 10 months (6 months of classes, 4 months of student teaching). There is another CSU school near me, and I think that program is 2 years, which seems nuts to me but it’s also a lot cheaper. Some programs are combined credential and masters programs, so they can be more lengthy.
I really loved my program because it was only 2 nights a week of classtime, so it didn’t interfere with work. Student teaching, however, is unavoidable no matter what program you choose and it’s a full time, unpaid (unless you have an internship) gig.
I suggest doing research on the different programs in your area. There are so many different ways to get a credential nowadays. Another thing to look at is the amount of prerequisites a program requires. For examle, the university I got my bachelor’s from required a LOT of pre-req classes. At the university I got my credential from, they didn’t require any. In my case, I wanted a short program at a reputable university that didn’t have prerequisites. However, maybe you have more time on your hands, or are looking for a cheaper option. In which case, look at Cal State schools in your area.
Also, just as a heads up, you’re going to need to pass the CBEST and CSET! Do the CBEST first! Good luck. PM me if you have more questions or want to talk about specific programs/universities.
Post # 3
I started teaching in ’97 in Texas with an BA in English and Classics. I had to go back to graduate school for an MEd and then pass two ExCets (one professional/education and one in the language I teach). At the time, there were programs offered by the state for a quick certification if you taught certain subjects but since I teach a specialized language, I didn’t qualify. Anyway, it was gruelling for sure. I was teaching a full program–introductory to AP–and going to grad school 3-4 nights a week. Thank God I was in my twenties because I wouldn’t have the strength to do it now!
Best of luck to you! It is an awesome profession! 🙂
Post # 4
I did my teaching credential at Stanford’s STEP program. I know it comes with a hefty price tag, but in my opinion, the program was well worth it. Things I liked:
- It was just 1 full calendar year, June-June (Why pay for two years of grad school when I could get it done it one?)
- You got more than 9 months of student teaching experience: 4 weeks during the summer in a very mellow group student teaching situation, and a school-year long placement in one classroom. To me, the benefits of being able to build rapport with my students all year, and to gradually take over full responsibility of the classroom, rather being tossed in part way through the year or starting cold turkey, were clear and significant.
For pretty much the whole year, we had student teaching in the morning, and our classes in the afternoon. It was a busy year, but given that the goal was to teach teachers, everyone on both sides of the equation (professors and cooperating teachers) were all very understanding. At the end of the year, I had a credential, a MA in Ed, and a job–the connections to Bay Area and nation-wide schools were numerous and extremely helpful.
I know the price tag is steep, but because it’s a private school, there are options to help with the cost. The best one? Full loan forgiveness if you work in a Title 1 school for 4 years, and after the first two, half the loan is forgiven. Details here if you are interested: https://ed.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/faq_avery_jan_2009.pdf
Good luck with your decision! 🙂