Let’s face it. It’s very hard to get a teacher certification without putting your life on hold at some point in your training. Even with flexible online degree options and alternative certification programs, the fieldwork and student teaching requirements are very time consuming. It’s quite difficult to balance a full-time “day job” with all of these requirements.
So for many, the most desirable teacher training program isn’t one that’s more flexible than others… but one that’s faster. The sooner you can complete your teacher training and receive your certification, the sooner you can rejoin the workforce in a rewarding new career.
If you already hold a bachelor’s degree and want to become a teacher as quickly as possible, accelerated teacher certification may be right for you. Accelerated Teacher certification programs are designed so that teachers-in-training can earn their credential in a minimum amount of time. The pace can be pretty intense, but this kind of program can take months and even years off of your path to licensed teaching.
In this post, we’ll look at several accelerated teacher certification programs you may want to complete.
American Board Alternative Certification
The American Board accelerated teaching certification is a self-paced online training course. The licensure coursework takes an average of 7-10 months to complete. Upon completion of this program, you are potentially eligible to teach in Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, Florida, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, or Tennessee.
Beware though that this training time does not necessarily include the time it takes to meet state-specific testing and fieldwork requirements. In many cases, you’ll also need to prepare and take the Praxis exams and complete up to four months of in-state student teaching. Still, even with an extra four months or so added on, this is a very fast way to get licensed and eligible to teach in many different parts of the United States.
The University of Connecticut’s teacher Certification program for College Graduates
UConn’s TCPCG is a highly accelerated master’s degree program. While it’s not uncommon for a Master’s in Education to take 2-3 years, TCPCG takes just 11 months to complete—including all fieldwork and student teaching! Classes cannot be completed online and must be taken full-time. The end result is a Connecticut teaching credential that is easily transferable to many other states.
Licenses are restricted only to certain content areas, but this program does cover a lot of different concentrations. Program offerings including licenses in common certification areas such as English, Math, Science, and Special education. Certificates in specialty subjects are available through the program as well, with licensure options in Agricultural Education, French, and Physics, among others.
Edgewood College’s Accelerated Secondary Education Teacher’s License
Edgewood’s accelerated teacher certification program is similar to the one at the University of Connecticut. Like TCPCG, this accelerated option cannot be completed online. And much like Connecticut, Edgewood’s host state—Wisconsin—offers a well-respected state-level license that transfers easily to other parts of the U.S. Again, both general subject area certifications (English, Math, Science, etc…) and specialized ones, (Economics, Spanish, others) are potential options.
Western Governor’s University Teaching College
WGU does not advertise any of its 17 online teacher certification programs as “accelerated.” However, WGU’s teaching degrees and post-baccalaureate certification programs are completely self-paced. Because of this, it is possible and common to complete WGU’s programs very quickly, with potential for reaching licensure and even a Master’s in Education in less than two years and as little as just one year. It’s even conceivably possible to complete some of WGU’s post-baccalaureate programs in less than a year, although this is not the norm for WGU’s students.
The University of Southern California’s Master of Arts in Teaching
USC’s Rossier School of Education is a highly respected source of teacher training and teaching research, both in the U.S. and abroad. The teacher training program at this top California school is home to many highly accomplished professors, including the famous education theorist Stephen Krashen, whose findings on education are taught in many education departments worldwide.
While many USC programs are very difficult to enter, pay for, and complete, USC makes an effort to make its Master’s in Teaching inclusive, affordable, and flexible for applicants. Teachers who are accepted into this program may take all of their courses online or in-person at USC’s Los Angeles campus. USC and its benefactors extend scholarships to accepted Master’s candidates, and students in this program may complete the Master’s degree and gain teaching licensure in California and other states is as little as one year.