Learn what to expect when applying to post-graduate teacher training programs.
Why You Should Get Additional Teacher Training
Lately, it has become more common for states to require post-graduate teacher training to get—or maintain—teacher certification. While some states still require only a bachelor’s degree, specific coursework in pedagogy, teaching exams and student teaching, the majority of states now require completion of a master’s degree either before or within a number of years of initial teacher licensure.
This move toward more highly educated teachers helps ensure the success of future generations. It also means that more potential teachers will enroll in post-graduate teacher training programs to complete their certification. To help you navigate the application process, we’ve put together an overview of what you’ll need to know to get started on your master’s degree today.
Benefits of Post-Graduate Teacher Training
Even if you live in a state that doesn’t require post-graduate teacher training, there are a number of benefits to enrolling in a graduate-level teaching program:
- You’ll earn more money
- You’ll develop a specialty
- You’ll breeze through it
- You’ll bring more to your classroom
The Grad School Application Process
Starting your post-graduate teacher training program takes more than just filling out an enrollment form. Here is what you’ll need to do to get accepted into most master’s degree programs.
Complete Your Bachelor’s Degree
Post-graduate teacher training is only available to “post-graduates,” or those who have already completed a bachelor’s degree. To prove this, you’ll need to send your undergraduate transcript to each master’s program you apply to. Some master’s degree programs only admit students with high GPAs, but others look at applicants more holistically.
Take the GRE
One of the most challenging application requirements for post-graduate teacher training is passing the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). You can take the test at one of hundreds of computer-based testing centers across the U.S. It takes about 2.5 to three hours to complete and covers analytical writing, as well as verbal and quantitative reasoning skills. Since this exam is so important to get into a post-graduate teacher training program, you may want to take a test preparation course to make sure you get the highest score possible.
Other Post-Graduate Requirements
Many post-graduate teacher-training programs require additional application materials that help schools get to know you as an applicant and decide whether they think you’ll succeed in their program. Be prepared to provide the following materials as part of your application process:
- A statement of purpose
- Letters of recommendation from your professors
- An undergraduate writing sample
Choosing the Best Post-Graduate Program
Once you complete your prerequisites and submit your application materials, it can take months to hear back from the programs you applied to. In the meantime, you can get prepared by researching campus life, learning the ins-and-outs of online education (if you plan to get your degree online), and finding student financial aid to help you pay for school.
If you are accepted into multiple post-graduate teacher training programs, you’ll have the opportunity to decide which program is best for you. While location, prestige, faculty and certification criteria are all important factors, make sure you choose a program that has the right specialties and an atmosphere that you feel comfortable in. If possible, visit campuses and interview current students and faculty to determine which school is best for you.