Louisiana: Teacher Credentialing in Louisiana

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To become a teacher in Louisiana, individuals must meet some specific goals of the Louisiana Department of Education. This department of education mandates what must be completed by the student to qualify as a teacher. However, the process has multiple steps. The student must first obtain the necessary education then perform teacher preparation work-study. Finally, they must sit for state mandated and administered testing. Although this process is listed in detail below, do note that the process may change from time to time as requirements change.

Get Your Education

The first step to becoming a teacher in Louisiana is to obtain your education requirements. You must enroll in a school accredited by the state (a college or university). The college or university must meet the state's requirement for providing educational degrees. The very bare minimum you need is a bachelor's degree in education. Students will also need to have the necessary training in a specialization (if they choose). There are no specific undergraduate credit hour requirements in the state of Louisiana.

Get Your Preparation

After successfully completing your bachelor's degree or higher, the next step is to enroll in a teacher preparation program. This program may be administered by a local school district but is usually done through the university or college's educational department. The goal of this program is ensure that the student has the necessary education and training to perform on the job properly. This includes learning how to research, develop, and later implement a curriculum and lessons plans in a classroom environment.

The second portion of this requirement is to obtain the necessary student teaching needs. Each student must spend at least a semester working within the actual classroom. They will be required to observe teachers teaching as well as student teach during the process. This internship teaches the student what teaching and interacting with students is like.

Getting Your Testing

Only after you have all of your education and preparation requirements completed will you be able to sit for the state mandated testing. The Louisiana Department of Education mandates that all potential teachers sit for the Basic Skills Test. This test is the Pre Professional Skills Test or PPST. Then, most teachers will also need to sit for a specific specialty area test called the Praxis II. Successful completion of the tests is necessary to move forward with certification.

Alternative Certification

In the state of Louisiana, you are able to obtain an alternative certification if you are a graduate of an accredited college or university and have a bachelor's degree, though it is not in education. However, you will need to complete teacher preparation as well as pass these tests in order to become a certified teacher within the state.

Once all requirements are met, individuals can then apply to be a teacher. To do this, simply obtain an application from the Louisiana Department of Education and complete it. Send all required documentation (including drug screening and background checks). Teachers are required to maintain their certification.

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