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LSUS teaching certification creates an avenue to transition into the classroom

LSUS alternate certification fastracks a transition into classroom.
LSUS alternate certification fastracks a transition into classroom.

Enroll this summer. Teach in August. For professionals with a bachelor’s degree who are interested in switching to a career in education, the TeachLSUS Alternate Certification provides a path into the classroom almost instantaneously.

TeachLSUS hosted an informational meeting on May 30 in the LSUS University Center for community members interested in a career transition. The meeting featured past and current members of the alternate certification program and what they’ve experienced in local classrooms.

“This alternate certification opens the teaching profession to people who don’t have an undergraduate degree in education,” said Jacqueline Langford, TeachLSUS director. “You don’t have to go to school all over again and get another degree, this certification provides a shortened path to the classroom.”

Applicants to the TeachLSUS program must have already passed a Praxis II Content test in the area they wish to teach. “The reason our teacher candidates can get into the classroom so quickly is because they’ve passed the Praxis, which demonstrates to the state that they know the content that they’ll be teaching,” Langford explains. “Our program focuses on the methodology of teaching and supporting our teacher candidates once they are in the classroom. Schools provide mentor teachers and curriculum to assist teacher candidates in their transition.”

The program can be completed in 18-24 months with teacher candidates earning full salary and benefits for the majority of the program. Teacher candidates are in their classrooms during the day and in their program classes at night, typically two nights per week.

“There is a learning curve, but we’ve found that candidates in our program are highly sought after in the local school districts,” Langford said. “The program has produced award-winning teachers, including a current member of the program who won New Teacher of the Year. Some of our past program graduates went on to win other top awards, including statewide Teacher of the Year.”

The need for teachers has never been greater at the national, state, and local levels.

More than 1,100 teaching vacancies existed across the state according to a 2022 Louisiana Department of Education report. A review of teaching positions this spring in Caddo, Bossier, and DeSoto parishes revealed around 80 vacancies. With enrollment in traditional teacher preparation programs continuing to decline across the state (more than a 10 percent drop from 2016-21), potential educators are being sought through a number of nontraditional paths.

Visit the LSUS website to learn more about the TeachLSUS program.

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