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Utah: Teacher Credentialing in Utah

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All states require that a teacher must hold at least a bachelor's degree in order to become certified, but some states also require additional coursework in specialty areas. Utah's undergraduate prerequisites for some of the more common specialty areas include the following:

  • Elementary education – a teaching major must include at least 30 semester hours or 45 quarter hours of credit from a combination of required and elective courses in any given subject field.
  • Secondary English/language arts – a teaching major must include at least 30 semester hours or 45 quarter hours of credit from a combination of required and elective courses in any given subject field.
  • Secondary mathematics – a teaching major must include at least 30 semester hours or 45 quarter hours of credit from a combination of required and elective courses in any given subject field.
  • Secondary history/social science – a teaching major must include at least 30 semester hours or 45 quarter hours of credit from a combination of required and elective courses in any given subject field.
  • Secondary science – a teaching major must include at least 30 semester hours or 45 quarter hours of credit from a combination of required and elective courses in any given subject field.

In addition, both the teaching major and minor must be based upon a subject field that is part of an approved teacher certification program. In the case of a teaching minor, there must be at least 16 semester or 24 quarter hours of credit from a combination of required courses and electives within any given field of study.

Prior to applying for certification, an applicant must complete a teacher education program that is accredited and approved by the state of Utah. Those students who have graduated with a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university but did not obtain their degree in education or those who have not yet obtained a teaching certificate can obtain an alternative teaching certificate once they fulfill certain requirements. Those who wish to earn a Utah teacher certification can do so through ABCTE certification, an officially recognized method for obtaining a Utah teacher certification.

Most teacher education programs include a combination of both curricula and fieldwork. The curricula usually includes education in the foundational knowledge and skills areas, and instruction in the art and science of teaching and instruction on preparing students for research, design, and how to incorporate the things they have learned into their field of study. The fieldwork may consist of any combination of observations within the field, student teaching or an internship.

While Utah's requirements may be stringent, they guarantee that teachers are highly qualified and well educated, both important factors in maintaining the integrity of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The additional course requirements also assure that students within the Utah public school system have the best education and are taught by the best teachers the state can employ. All of these mandates will assure the future leaders of Utah are able to secure jobs in their fields of study.

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