Accelerated Teaching Degree Eligibility Criteria

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Key Infor­ma­tion:

  • Most pro­grams require a bach­e­lor’s degree in any field as a base­line qual­i­fi­ca­tion for accel­er­at­ed teach­ing degrees.
  • Some pro­grams set GPA require­ments, typ­i­cal­ly around 2.0 or high­er, to ensure aca­d­e­m­ic readi­ness for accel­er­at­ed coursework.
  • Your appli­ca­tion for a teach­ing degree may look bet­ter with spe­cial skills or cer­ti­fi­ca­tions and cre­den­tials.

If you like work­ing with chil­dren or enjoy deliv­er­ing infor­ma­tion, maybe you have thought about becom­ing a teacher. Per­haps you even worked as a sub­sti­tute teacher or had a dif­fer­ent job but enjoyed tutor­ing here and there. In that case, a teach­ing degree could help you teach full-time.

The prob­lem with tra­di­tion­al pro­grams is that they take a long time to com­plete. With the cur­rent short­age of teach­ers, the best moment to apply is as soon as pos­si­ble. An accel­er­at­ed teach­ing pro­gram allows you to get that cer­ti­fi­ca­tion in half the time, prepar­ing you for a new career. In this arti­cle, you will learn whether or not you are eli­gi­ble for such a degree.


What Is an Accelerated Teaching Degree Program?

As the name sug­gests, an accel­er­at­ed teach­ing degree pro­gram allows you to get your teacher’s degree in half the time of the stan­dard pro­gram. For the most part, the tra­di­tion­al cur­ricu­lum takes around 4–5 years to com­plete, but with the accel­er­at­ed one, you should be able to com­plete it in 2–3 years.

The degree is often used by those pur­su­ing teach­ing career advance­ment after work­ing as sub­sti­tute teach­ers. That said, it could also be an option for career peo­ple who decide to pur­sue the edu­ca­tion­al path. This type of course works on your exist­ing knowl­edge, giv­ing you the tools to deliv­er that information.

General Eligibility Criteria

In terms of eli­gi­bil­i­ty, the cri­te­ria will often depend on the teacher edu­ca­tion pro­grams you go for. Still, some gen­er­al fac­tors to take into con­sid­er­a­tion are:

1. Educational Qualifiers

An edu­ca­tion­al pro­gram does not teach you a trade but mere­ly tells you the right tech­niques to teach that trade. As a result, you’ll need pri­or knowl­edge of the sub­ject. For exam­ple, you’ll require a bachelor’s degree or proof of anoth­er pro­gram that demon­strates your skills.

2. Grade Point Average (GPA) Minimums

Your GPA is also impor­tant when get­ting a degree, although the min­i­mum will vary from pro­gram to pro­gram. Most pro­grams ask for min­i­mum GPA require­ments for teach­ers to be at 2.0. How­ev­er, the high­er the score is, the bet­ter the chances of approval.

3. Relevant Work Experience

For many pro­grams, the teach­ing degree eli­gi­bil­i­ty depends on your expe­ri­ence. This could prove help­ful if you have worked as a sub­sti­tute teacher before or vol­un­teered to help teach stu­dents. Even if you only taught one stu­dent at a time, it still puts you high­er than some­one who may not have that experience.

Specific Requirements

You should also keep in mind that each pro­gram has its spe­cif­ic require­ments, including:

1. Standardized Test Scores

Some accel­er­at­ed pro­grams for online teach­ing degrees require that you sub­mit stan­dard­ized test scores such as the Grad­u­ate Record Exam­i­na­tion. These show that you are pro­fi­cient in cer­tain sub­jects and will like­ly be able to keep up with the class. Make sure that you check their cri­te­ria first to see whether or not they ask for some­thing specific.

2. Background Checks

Some pro­grams might require edu­ca­tion­al back­ground checks and teach­ing clear­ance, depend­ing on the cir­cum­stances. After all, you will be in charge of numer­ous chil­dren, which means they must ensure you will be of no dan­ger to anyone.

3. Letter of Recommendations and Personal Statements

A let­ter of rec­om­men­da­tion is high­ly encour­aged to be added to your appli­ca­tion, as it shows that you have demon­strat­ed your skills in oth­er work envi­ron­ments. For instance, you may have taught in someone’s class before, and the results have been great. In that case, that class’s teacher or even the school direc­tor could give you a let­ter of recommendation.

4. Interview Process Details (If Applicable)

While it does not apply to every accel­er­at­ed teach­ing degree pro­gram, there may be ones where you’ll have to come to an inter­view. There, you will be asked things such as what your teach­ing phi­los­o­phy is, or which inter­per­son­al skills define you best.

Additional Qualifications to Enhance Candidacy

You could increase your chances of get­ting a bachelor’s degree in edu­ca­tion with some addi­tion­al abil­i­ties. The fol­low­ing are not usu­al­ly a “must-have,” but they could make your appli­ca­tion look much better.

1. Special Skills

Spe­cial skills could make you a great asset to a pro­gram. Per­haps you have joined spe­cial edu­ca­tion accel­er­at­ed pro­grams before, or you have offered bilin­gual teach­ing before. In that case, you might have a high­er chance of being accepted.

2. Certifications and Credentials

If your sub­sti­tute teacher career has got­ten you a cer­ti­fi­ca­tion like Teach­ing Eng­lish to Speak­ers of Oth­er Lan­guages (TESOL), then you should take advan­tage of it. These pro­grams prove that you have the skills nec­es­sary to thrive in this domain and could cer­tain­ly boost your application.

How to Apply for an Accelerated Teaching Degree

Apply­ing for accel­er­at­ed edu­ca­tion pro­grams is straight­for­ward, but we are here to make mat­ters eas­i­er for you. What’s impor­tant is to be thor­ough in your process while gath­er­ing all the data to prove you are the best candidate.

Here are the appli­ca­tion steps you should take as a candidate:

  1. Research the Pro­gram: Most pro­grams have dif­fer­ent teach­ing cre­den­tial require­ments and time­lines. Check the ones that appeal to you, see what they request and what they offer, and choose the course that suits your needs.
  2. Gath­er the Appli­ca­tion Doc­u­ments: From your resume to copies of your bachelor’s degree, let­ters of rec­om­men­da­tion, and GPA, you should check the list and put every doc­u­ment in order.
  3. Craft­ing Per­son­al State­ment: Per­son­al state­ments high­light your qual­i­ties and show you can be the best can­di­date for the pro­gram. Before sub­mit­ting it, make sure to proof­read and review it carefully.

Once you go through these steps, all that is left for you to do is to sub­mit the appli­ca­tion. Ensure you do so by the dead­line and watch your email for the response.

Tips to Write a Compelling Personal Statement

Your per­son­al state­ment can make the dif­fer­ence between accep­tance and rejec­tion, as it shows your poten­tial as a teacher. Below are some tips to craft the per­fect essay:

1. Be Honest

Lying on your per­son­al state­ment to make your­self look bet­ter could eas­i­ly back­fire on you. Just be authen­tic, high­light­ing your pas­sion for the trade, along with your expe­ri­ence and aspirations.

2. Show You Are a Good Fit

These pro­grams aim to breed good teach­ers, so you must prove that you are a good fit there. Talk about why you are inter­est­ed in their pro­grams and make them under­stand why they align with your val­ues and interests.

3. Offer Examples

Recruiters love exam­ples, so make sure you offer plen­ty of them. If you have skills, expe­ri­ences, or qual­i­ties you pre­vi­ous­ly used in your sub­sti­tute class­es, insert them in your per­son­al statement.

4. Tailor to the Program

If you have back­up pro­grams that you are opt­ing for, you should not send the same per­son­al state­ment to all of them. Instead, craft one for each pro­gram, show­ing them why you believe you fit their criteria.

5. Be Clear and to the Point

Your per­son­al state­ment does have to be com­pelling, but there’s no rea­son to make it end­less to sound smart. Sim­i­lar­ly, jar­gon and unnec­es­sary details should be avoid­ed. You need to remem­ber that they prob­a­bly have hun­dreds of these to read every day, so they don’t want to be stuck read­ing yours all day.

Tips to Obtaining Strong Letters of Recommendation

If you need let­ters of rec­om­men­da­tion to get you into the pro­gram, make sure to choose the indi­vid­u­als well. While hav­ing at least one let­ter from a fel­low pro­fes­sor or some­one with a high­er pow­er is rec­om­mend­ed, you could also ask your friends for help.

Choose some­one who knows you well, as they can best speak of your abil­i­ties, poten­tial, and char­ac­ter. Remem­ber to inform them about where you are apply­ing because they need to tai­lor the let­ter for that program.

Financial Considerations

When opt­ing for fast-track teacher cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, you should also con­sid­er the finan­cial part. You need to under­stand the cost of tuition while look­ing for ways to pay for it.

Understanding Tuition Costs

Accel­er­at­ed pro­grams are often less expen­sive than tra­di­tion­al ones for var­i­ous rea­sons. The main one is that the num­ber of class­es has been cut in half, and the cur­ricu­lum is more con­densed. Since the accel­er­at­ed cours­es take half the time of a tra­di­tion­al pro­gram to obtain your degree, tuition is also lower.

While the aver­age pro­gram is between $20,000 and $25,000, an accel­er­at­ed pro­gram could let you get away with half that mon­ey. Prices depend on what is offered (e.g., a bilin­gual teach­ing cer­ti­fi­ca­tion could cost more), but the usu­al one costs a lit­tle over $10,000.

Exploring Educational Financial Aid

While accel­er­at­ed pro­grams are often cheap­er com­pared to the tra­di­tion­al types, it doesn’t mean they do not bring finan­cial strain. That said, just like with the nor­mal-paced pro­grams, you could have your tuition cov­ered using finan­cial aid. Many com­mu­ni­ties offer schol­ar­ships for teach­ing degrees, some pro­vid­ed by the host uni­ver­si­ties. Grants and loans could also cov­er your edu­ca­tion, allow­ing you to obtain your cer­ti­fi­ca­tion so you can get a job faster.

The Bottom Line

Whether you are a career per­son look­ing for a change or a sub­sti­tute teacher want­i­ng to get their own class, an accel­er­at­ed teach­ing degree could get you start­ed. It is the per­fect option for peo­ple who wish to become teach­ers with­out spend­ing anoth­er 4 years training.