Rhode Island: Teacher Credentialing in Rhode Island

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  • Associate of Arts: Early Childhood Education
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Rhode Island teachers earned an average of $53,473 in 2005 thus making it 39 in the nation for salaries. It has had no trouble obtaining support from citizens for its public education system. Perhaps it is richer than other states and has been able to obtain funding of the schools through higher property taxes. Whatever the reason is for its ability to generate money for the public school system, it is creating a more prosperous future for its citizens and future citizens through this support of the educational system.

For those who want to begin a career in education, Rhode Island is the perfect starting point. This tiny state has always received support that has allowed it to increase teachers' salaries and offer more sophisticated mentoring programs for their educators. Some of the questions in the air currently concern the future of higher education and better qualifications and what is likely to be the outcome for the rest of the 21st century.

There is an increasing demand for teachers and administrators in Rhode Island. Depending on how you look at it this trend can be oppressive or an opportunity. Career advancement now and in the future depends largely on the quality of higher education and the qualifications of the teachers it calls upon to teach. For experienced teachers and educators that are looking to create mobility within their careers and become the best in their fields, Rhode Island's public educational system is well on the way to providing compensation packages that will be hard to turn down. Of course, these career moves require a master's degree, PhD, or administrative credentials from an accredited college or university to match the particular position.

Once you submit your application for certification you need to remember it takes approximately four weeks for processing. In the event you fail to include something in the application packet, you will delay the response time, so make sure you include everything that is necessary the first time. Incomplete packets will not be processed, so you need to be very careful when submitting your application for certification.

Rhode Island follows the Federal No Child Left Behind Act which requires that all teachers of core academic subjects must fall into the category of "highly qualified" under the terms of the law. To meet this requirement a teacher must meet the following criteria:

  • Hold at least a bachelor's degree
  • Possess full certification in the state of Rhode Island
  • Must demonstrate competency in the core academic subjects using a major or by passing a highly detailed and rigorous content knowledge examination.

Even though you hold a Rhode Island teaching certificate, you may not necessarily meet the federal definition of a "highly qualified" teacher. This pertains mostly to educators who obtain certifications in Rhode Island through a reciprocity agreement. It may be necessary for these educators to meet the Rhode Island certification requirements in order to become a "highly qualified" teacher until the federal definition is defined in the No Child Left Behind Act.

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