Friday, September 16, 2011

Choosing the Best Teacher Credential Program for Yourself

Private or Public?
- I chose a public program called CalState Teach. It's an online program associated with the California State University system. I mainly chose it over private universities like National (NU) or Brandman (BU) because I have nearly an unshakable distrust for businesses in general. I distrust for profit universities because the most reasonable way for them to make as much money as possible is to supply you with the same degree, certification, credential, etc while sustaining the lowest costs. That will definitely degrade the quality of the program.

Longer or Shorter?
- Another reason why I chose CalState Teach is because it was 2 years instead of 1 year like NU and BU were advertising. Sure... There is an appeal to obtaining the same credential faster, but prior to enrolling in my program, I had absolutely no experience in teaching. So, I wanted to take my time to become as prepared as possible. If you know that you are already sufficiently prepared to teach, then perhaps enrolling in a program that concludes faster would be better for you.

Expensive or Inexpensive?
- I chose CalState Teach because over the course of 2 years, I would have to pay roughly $14,000. Unfortunately, BU and NU are not so transparent in representing the costs of their programs as CalState Teach does (which reminds me of why I was so cautious about enrolling in either of their programs in the first place). The following numbers will be my best estimates. For BU, it costs $470 per undergraduate credit. The required units for a multiple subject credential from them, which is treated as an undergraduate program, is between 31 and 34 units. That is a range of about $14,000 to about $16,000. Unfortunately, I cannot find a link stating that the program is completed in 1 year. I recall getting that information from a BU rep. For NU, it costs $350 per quarter unit. Their program includes a Masters of Education. Both BU and NU include student teaching components. The requirement at NU is 72 quarter units. So, that is a minimum of about $25,000. Again, I cannot supply you with a link, but an NU rep told me that the program takes 1 year.

Paid or Unpaid?
- To be honest, if I had done the search for a credential program again, I would've chosen a credential program that offered paid student teaching, offer networking assistance in finding a job, or priority hiring after the program was over. My program, CalState Teach provides none of those. Such programs do exist. I'll just throw you some examples: Teach for America, Oakland Teaching Fellows, Bay Area Teacher Training Institute, and Aspire Public Schools.

Lastly, if some of my examples do not apply to you because you live in some other part of California or even another state, consider that similar types of examples might still be possible for you. You will just need to be determined enough in your research for your location.

Ok. That's all that I have to say for now. Please let me know whether you have any questions or anything to add.

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