Find an Education Path For Teaching in Indiana, IN
If you hope to be a teacher in Indiana, the specific steps that must be taken to reach that goal will depend on the level of education you have reached.
Choose Your Highest Level of Education
- I have graduated from High School or Earned a GED…
- Have some college or an Associate’s Degree
- Earned a Bachelor’s Degree…
- Earned a Master’s Degree…
The information below offers guidelines you can follow as you progress through the major educational steps required in order to become a certified teacher in Indiana.
If You Have a High School Diploma or a GED
The Indiana Department of Education is actively recruiting talented and diverse individuals for the state’s education profession. High school students who are interested in a career in education can enroll in an Education Professions program, which prepares students in grades 11 and 12 for employment in education and provides a foundation for college or university study that may lead to a variety of teaching careers. Involvement in the Future Educators Association (FEA), a national pre-collegiate program, encourages middle and high school students to explore careers in education. Students who plan to enroll in a Bachelor’s degree program must have earned a high school diploma or a GED certificate. Following graduation, students are required to take certain steps on the path toward becoming a teacher.
- Learn about accredited schools that offer Bachelor’s degrees focusing on education, child development, specific academic content areas or student populations.
- Aspiring teachers can enroll at a community college and earn an Associate degree. Some two-year colleges offer programs that lead to certification in the field of Early Childhood Education.
- Decide what grade level and subject area you are interested in teaching.
- Contact colleges that fit your needs, and request information to help you make a decision about what school to attend and what degree program to pursue.
If You Have Completed Some College or Earned an Associate’s Degree
Indiana-approved community colleges and two-year post-secondary schools offer Associate degrees and educator certification, as well as courses of study required for students who want to transfer to four-year colleges. The education programs at these schools can provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to advance toward reaching your goal of becoming a teacher. Talk to advisors at your school and the four-year college you hope to attend to determine available options and decide what steps to take in order to move forward.
- Students who complete their community college degree or certificate programs may decide to pursue an education-related Bachelor’s degree and should discuss available options with their advisors. If you decide not to get a degree at a two-year college, the classes you take may provide necessary prerequisites for courses in a four-year program. Community college credits that are transferable to public and independent four-year colleges will give you a head start in a Bachelor’s degree program that can lead to initial licensure in Indiana.
- Investigate various state-approved Bachelor’s degree programs to find out which ones will accept transfer credits from two-year college you have been attending. Contact the four-year colleges you are considering, to find out more about their transfer requirements and to request more information about their programs.
- Indiana’s two-year and community colleges offer education-related courses and majors that lead to Associate degrees, such as the Associate of Science in Elementary Education or in Early Childhood Education. Students aspiring to earn degrees beyond an associate degree and to pursue teaching careers that require a Bachelor’s degree, have the opportunity to start at a community college and then seamlessly transfer to an Indiana University. The State of Indiana has been working to make information on transfer opportunities readily available to students. An Associate degree that includes general studies and education-related classes may qualify you to enter a four-year college as a Junior.
- Some aspiring teachers, who have earned Associate degrees or credentials in Early Childhood Education, choose to seek employment directly after graduating from a two-year or community college. An Early Childhood Education certificate may qualify you to begin working with infants, toddlers, and pre-school children. You can begin working as a teaching assistant, a para-educator, or a teacher in early child education programs, such childcare centers, preschools or Head Start classrooms.
If You Have a Bachelor’s Degree
Indiana’s Department of Education encourages individuals with bachelor’s degrees in education and those with degrees in other disciplines to consider becoming teachers in Indiana. The state needs good teachers and is actively seeking them. To qualify for an initial practitioner license, you must have a bachelor’s degree or higher and successfully finish an accredited traditional or an approved online Teacher Preparation Program. If you want to become a licensed teacher in Indiana and you have already earned a Bachelor’s degree, the next steps toward being licensed to teach, depend on your undergraduate major and the type of program you completed.
- If you have earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts with an Educator Licensing focus, including an accredited Teacher Preparation Program, you have already fulfilled essential academic and teacher preparation requirements. Student teaching is an important aspect of any Bachelor’s in Education program, and successful completion of all degree and teacher preparation requirements, including student teaching, will qualify you to apply for a teaching certificate or license.
- Indiana requires prospective teachers to pass mandatory exams before applying for a license to teach in the state. All individuals seeking an initial teaching license must pass a Praxis test in pedagogy. Also required are the Praxis II Subject Assessment tests for each content teaching area for which you hope to be licensed. Indiana no longer requires the Praxis I Basic Skills Test, but the evaluation of basic skills competency will occur within the educator preparation unit as a condition of admission into the Teacher Education Program.
- Receiving a Bachelor’s degree with a major in liberal studies can be an important step toward certification as an Elementary level teacher. Some certification programs recommend the Liberal Arts major, because it prepares educators to teach in the many different subject areas taught in Elementary school classrooms.
- If you earned a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree in a specific subject, you may have already satisfied many academic requirements recommended by credential programs. Majoring in a specific subject taught at the secondary school level prepares individuals to become endorsed or qualified to teach high school and middle school classes in that content area.
- Indiana Teacher Certification/Degree programs may lead to a few different Bachelor’s degrees, such as a Bachelor of Education, a Bachelor of Arts in Education or a Bachelor of Science in Education. Students choose to focus on primary, secondary, or special education, and secondary educators must also select their subject-area specialization. Secondary education teachers in Indiana are required to earn a bachelor’s degree in a content area — not in education — along with a minor in education. Elementary education majors may do this as well, or they may choose to earn a baccalaureate degree in education with a minor in a content area.
- Some of preparation programs for teachers are Post-Baccalaureate stand-alone programs, some are offered at the university where you received your Bachelor’s degree, and some are combined with Master’s in Education degree programs. Candidates who hold a non-teaching bachelor’s degree and wish to get a teaching license may be eligible for the Initial Licensure Alternate Route Program.
- Once you finish all of your academic coursework, pass your mandated teaching assessments, and work as a student teacher for the required number of hours in a classroom, you will be qualified to apply for an Initial teaching license. This would be a good time to sit down with your advisor and confirm that you have completed all of the requirements for licensing in Indiana.
If You Have a Master’s Degree or Are in a Master’s Degree Program
Graduate degrees in Education can either include Teacher Preparation programs or they can be for students who have already completed a teacher preparation program. Master of Arts and Master of Science degrees in education content areas are usually undertaken by individuals who have an undergraduate degree and who may have finished their Teacher Preparation courses, but who are furthering their academic education in their chosen field of study. This path can lead to increased job opportunities as well as higher salaries once individuals are employed as teachers in Indiana. Master’s of Elementary Education and Master of Arts in Teaching are two degrees offered by accredited Indiana graduate schools that, combined with an approved teacher preparation curriculum may lead to an Initial teaching license for elementary school educators. Master’s programs in secondary education prepare students for positions in middle schools and high schools. Following graduation and the issuance of an Initial teaching license, educators will be qualified to be professional classroom teachers for secondary school students.
- Accredited universities with graduate programs in education offer a range of Master’s degrees that can lead you to a teaching license. The criteria for admission into a College of Education graduate program include: a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university; transcripts for all coursework; a minimum grade point average; and a passing GRE score. Most graduate schools require students to satisfy both the admission requirements of the Graduate school and the prerequisites of the specific Education program. You can earn a Master’s degree with a focus on Elementary Education or Secondary Education.
- When you are ready to begin your teaching career, you must demonstrate that you have successfully completed all requirements for certification or licensure. These requirements include finishing required academic coursework, completing an approved Teacher Preparation Program, passing mandated tests, and fulfilling student teaching hours. The next step is to apply for your Initial Educator License and to begin searching for a job in the education field. Contact the Indiana Department of Education to request information and an application.
- Some people who have earned a Master’s degree in Education may decide to continue their education and pursue a doctorate degree. Indiana offers Doctoral Programs in University Departments or Colleges of Education. Talk to your graduate advisor and gather information to determine which will be the best school and program for you.