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Choose Your Teacher Training
Find a teacher preparation program that works with your unique background and interests.
Choose Your Teacher Training
Find a teacher preparation program that works with your unique background and interests.

To become a fully certified or licensed teacher in a public school, you need to graduate from an approved Educator Preparation Program. EPPs arm you with the skills and knowledge to teach in your chosen grade and subject.

Let’s break it down and find the right path for you.


The ABCs of Teacher Training

Let’s start from the beginning.
  • What’s the difference between attending a program and getting certified to teach?

    Completing a teacher preparation program (TPP) is only one of the steps to getting certified to teach. You’ll also need to earn a bachelor’s degree, pass teaching tests and apply for certification. Depending on your state, you may have additional steps.

    Also, remember that states have different TPP certification standards. If your state does not recognize your certification, you won’t be able to get your teaching license. Double-check that your program:

  • Choose between programs for undergrads, graduates and career changers.

    There are teacher preparation programs that cater to almost anyone’s life situation, but the most common are:

    • Undergraduate certification with a bachelor’s degree
      • "Traditional" certification or licensure (the terms vary by region, but they both mean you've been qualified to teach) programs usually refer to someone who graduated from college with a degree and coursework centered around education.
      • Many colleges and universities offer a teacher prep program that goes along with a degree in education or a teaching subject, like math, history or art. So you might major in English or biology, minor in education and earn your teaching certificate all at the same time. 
    • Post-graduate certification with a master’s degree
      • As part of the "traditional" certification or licensure route, you complete this program alongside earning your advanced degree in education or instruction.
    • Post-graduate, certificate only programs
      • Gives you teaching certification or licensure if you already have a bachelor's or master's degree.
      • In many states, this type of program can be completed in as little as one year.
    • Post-graduate, alternative certification
      • These programs are generally for people who have already earned a degree and who may be looking to switch careers without returning for a master's degree.
      • In some instances, if you already have a bachelor's degree or higher, you could even get a teaching job first and then go through a prep program at the same time.
  • What criteria should I use when looking for a teacher preparation program?

    Every program offers its own unique approach to teacher preparation, but you can still compare them. Key criteria that set programs apart include the following.

    • Hands-on experience: Get "pre-service" or classroom experience as a "student teacher" or enroll in a residency program.
    • Preparation for diverse populations: Take coursework on specifically addressing the needs of diverse populations, learn about relevant pedagogy and unconscious biases, and learn about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).
    • Mentoring and coaching: Most teacher prep programs will set you up with a teacher mentor or coach to help give you meaningful feedback.
    • Commitment to improvement: Look for a prep program that shows commitment to continuous improvement and collecting, sharing and using data and research to improve their preparation practices.

    Get in-depth info about programs on our national database.

Explore Programs

We partnered with teacher preparation providers to bring you tools to help you compare training options.
  • Programs

    Find your best fit educator prep programs.