Find an Education Path For Teaching in Louisiana, (LA)
If you decide that you want to be a teacher, there are certain steps to follow. The first step depends on where you are now on the path toward reaching your goal. Please choose the highest level of education that you have achieved and we will guide you through the steps to take as you advance towards a teaching career in Louisiana.
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…
If You Have a High School Diploma or a GED
Louisiana high school graduates and GED certificate holders who want to be teachers have options to choose from after graduation. Students who decide to go from high school to a community college can enroll in an academic program and eventually transfer to a four-year college with an Associate degree. They can select a two-year program in the Care & Development of Young Children and work toward a Technical Diploma or a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, which prepares and certifies individuals to be Childcare Teachers in a variety of settings.
- Learn about accredited schools that offer Associate degrees, Certificates or Bachelor’s degrees focusing on education, specific academic content areas or student populations.
- 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
Earning an Associate degree from a community college can be an important step toward a teaching career in Louisiana. Some degrees from two-year colleges are designed to offer a smooth transition when transferring to a four-year university. Two-year colleges also offer degrees, certificates and credentials that qualify graduates to work in childcare settings with infants, toddlers and preschoolers.
- Some associate degrees may qualify you to be admitted into a four-year university Bachelor’s degree program as a Junior. For example, an Associate of Science in Teaching (AST) is a transfer degree that prepares students to enter a Louisiana-accredited Bachelor of Science degree program in Elementary Education. This is one program that provides the opportunity for students to complete an undergraduate degree in conjunction with a state-mandated Teacher Preparation program, and become certified to teach elementary school students in Louisiana.
- Investigate various state-approved Bachelor’s degree programs to find out which ones will accept transfer credits from the college you attended. Contact the schools that interest you to request more information.
- Some aspiring teachers, who have earned Associate Degrees or Credentials in Early Childhood Education, choose to seek employment shortly after graduation. An Early Childhood Education certificate or Associate degree may qualify you to begin working with infants, toddlers and pre-school children as a teaching assistant, a para-educator, a Head Start teacher or a childcare worker.
If You Have a Bachelor’s Degree
Louisiana requires prospective teachers to earn a Bachelor’s degree and fulfill certain prerequisites before they are eligible to apply for a regular teaching certificate. If you want to teach in Louisiana and have earned your Bachelor’s degree, what you need to do next depends on your undergraduate major and the type of teacher you hope to become.
- If you have earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education in conjunction with an accredited Teacher Preparation Program, you have already fulfilled essential academic and teacher preparation requirements. Teacher Preparation Programs include coursework and classroom observations, fieldwork, and student teaching. Successful completion of all degree and teacher preparation requirements will qualify you to apply for a teaching certificate or license.
- Each state decides which tests they will use to assess prospective teachers. In Louisiana, teaching candidates must take and receive passing scores on all parts of the Praxis I Pre-Professional Skills Tests in reading, writing and mathematics. The state also requires passing scores on the Praxis II Subject Assessments, Principles of Learning and Teaching, and specific pedagogy exams. The Praxis II exams assess competency and knowledge for each subject area you plan to teach.
- 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 received your Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in the specific subject you wish to teach, you may have already satisfied certain recommended academic requirements for some teaching certificate 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.
- Once you have completed your Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, fulfilled all requirements of a Louisiana-Approved Teacher Education Program, satisfied student teaching hours and other experiential fieldwork, earned the necessary GPA, and passed the Praxis I and II exams, you will be qualified to apply for Louisiana’s Level 1 Professional Certificate.
If You Have a Master’s Degree or are in a Master’s Degree program
Graduate programs approved by the state of Louisiana offer various Master’s degree programs in education. Some, including the Master’s Program in Curriculum and Instruction, allow you to obtain a graduate degree in education and complete teacher certification requirements at the same time. The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) is a good choice for students who wish to spend more time developing their expertise before they begin teaching. Students who are interested in preparing for admission into a doctoral program, or teachers who want a second Master’s degree to upgrade their certification, are advised to seek a Master of Education (M.Ed) degree. Consulting with your advisor and researching different available degree programs will help you determine the best route to take.
- Accredited universities with graduate programs in education offer a range of Master’s degrees that can lead you to a teaching license and a career as an educator. Master of Arts or Master of Science in Education, or Master of Education (M.Ed.) degrees may be offered concurrently with a Teacher Preparation program that is required for certification. You may also have the opportunity to focus on Elementary or Secondary Education, with an emphasis on the subject area you hope to teach.
- When you are ready to begin your teaching career, you must demonstrate that you have completed all requirements for certification or licensure. These steps 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 teaching certificate and begin searching for a job in the education field. Contact the Louisiana Department of Education to request an application.
- Some people who have earned a Master’s degree in Education decide to continue their education and pursue a doctoral degree. Earning an Educational Doctor of Philosophy degree (Ph.D.) or a Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) may increase your opportunities for a better job and a higher income. Gathering information about available doctorate degrees in your field or specialty will provide the information necessary to discover the best university and education program to meet your needs.