Types of Education Certificate Programs
Learn about different types of education career training.
There is always a need for passionate educators who want to positively influence their students' development.
Rather than going through years of a degree program to get a job in education, you can enroll in an education certificate program.
Some programs are designed for students who already have professional experience as a principal or other educational administrator.
You might be an established teacher who wants to make yourself more marketable by earning a certificate in a variety of disciplines, or a first-time teacher who needs basic training to become a teacher's assistant. Whatever your career goals may be, there is an education certificate to fulfill them.
Teacher Assistant Certificates
Traditionally, teacher assistants help teachers with instructional work and administrative duties. They may also assist with non-instructional duties such as lunchroom monitoring, computer lab assistance or aiding special needs students.
The requirements for a teacher assistant vary by school and program, however many only require teachers to have a high school diploma. A teacher assistant/aide certificate can give you the extra edge you need to get a job, as formal post secondary training is becoming more valued by employers.
Early Childhood Education Certificates
Early childhood education encompasses children from birth to eight years old. These are the most important years in a child's development, so teachers in this field must be dedicated to providing a positive, nurturing and mentally stimulating environment for their students.
Credential requirements for a preschool teacher vary by state, but some require teachers to only have an early childhood education certificate. Check with your state to find out what they require.
If your state requires a national Child Development Associate (CDA) certification, you should look for a program that prepares you to take the test.
If your school requires you to have an associates degree in early childhood education, you may be able to get an entry-level position as a teacher's assistant with your certificate while you pursue your degree.
Teacher Education Certificates
A teacher can earn a certificate to get a promotion or switch teaching positions. For example, a teacher who graduated with a general education degree can earn an English/language arts teacher education certificate. Or, make yourself more marketable by earning a teaching education certificate for multiple levels that prepares you to teach more than one education level such as early childhood and grade school.
You may choose not to work with children at all, in which case you should get an adult and continuing education and teaching certificate. This prepares you to work with adults in a variety of settings including in the workplace, a community college or community school program.
Getting a teaching English as a second or foreign language certificate allows you to work with non-traditional students in America or oversees. Immigrants of all ages who need to learn English in order to survive in the US are in need of English language instruction. If you have a love for traveling, this certificate could also prepare you to teach English to students abroad.
If you are still in school, keep in mind that often colleges will let students pursuing an education degree earn their specialized certificate at the same time.
Many states require current teachers to continue their education after a specific amount of years. A teacher education and professional development certificate helps you brush up on your teaching skills and introduces any new concepts or technologies that have been developed since you completed your degree.
Educational Leadership and Administration Certificates
Students who pursue an educational leadership and administration certificate must have earned their masters degree.
Some programs are designed for students who already have professional experience as a principal or other educational administrator. However, there are also certificate programs for teachers who wish advance to an administrative position with more leadership and responsibilities.
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