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Teacher certification means twice the career potential

School may be cool, but teaching is certifiably hot: The K-12 education sector will be one of the United States’ biggest sources of job opportunities through at least 2012, according to trend reports published by sources ranging from CareerBuilder.com to Money magazine.

The program leading to teacher certification in SMU’s School of Education and Human


Related Links:
 • Teacher Certification at SMU
 • U.S. Labor Dept.: Outlook for Teaching
 • National Education Association
 • Texas State Teachers Association

Development lets students add extra value to their degrees by using electives to prepare for state teacher examinations and teaching careers at the elementary and secondary levels.

Certification candidates take a total of 30 elective credit hours in education and meet with a teacher-education adviser each term to plan a course of study and discuss career options.

With careful planning, students can finish their certification courses within a regular four-year undergraduate career.

“We have a focused program that prepares students for successful teaching careers through both classroom and early field experiences,” says Katherine Hargrove, director of teacher education. “All of our courses are clearly tied to state standards.” SMU students have had a 100-percent pass rate on Texas’ teaching examinations for the past three years.

The program prepares students to teach in many states but is designed especially to meet Texas certification standards in these established grade ranges:

  • Early Childhood through Grade 4 (elementary)
  • Grades 4-8 (upper elementary/middle school)
  • Grades 8-12 (middle school/high school)

Candidates can prepare for certification in almost any subject taught in middle and high schools. In addition, SMU offers all-level certification preparation in music (vocal performance and conducting) and theater arts.

The need for teachers is especially great in the math, science and English as a second language (ESL) subject areas, and at the middle and high school grade levels, Hargrove says. “A math or science major who earns teacher certification could get a job tomorrow. Foreign language is also a high-need area in Texas schools.”

In addition to the undergraduate option, SMU offers a Master’s degree with certification and two master’s degrees for certified teachers – a Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree and a Master of Bilingual Education (M.B.E.) degree. Twelve-hour postbaccalaureate programs are available to prepare students for bilingual and ESL certification.

Students can apply for admission to the Teacher Education Program beginning in sophomore year. Interested undergraduates should see an adviser as early as possible.

For more information, visit the Teacher Certification Web site at smu.edu/teacher.

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