What is a Teaching College?

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If you are interested in a teaching career, then you might be looking into going to a teaching college. Simply put, this kind of college is one with a program to help prepare teachers. A long time ago, such schools used to be called normal schools. They had that name because they were schools where potential teachers would learn the norms involved in teaching.

Programs at Teaching Colleges

If you look up the term teaching colleges, you will be able to find lists of some of the most prominent and respected schools with teaching programs. These schools generally make such lists for the quality of their education departments.

Teaching colleges provide classes to help prepare people to teach at various levels. These may include elementary, middle and secondary school levels, as well as special education, adult education, vocational education, or English as a second language. While not all education departments will feature all of these options, many universities have education departments that feature at least a few different types of teaching degrees.

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What program you pursue at a teaching college will depend not only on what kind of population you hope to teach, but on your own level of education. Undergraduate programs offer students the chance to get their bachelor’s degree in education, but there are also post-bachelor programs that allow you to work towards teacher certification if you already have a college degree.

Becoming a Teacher

Certification is an important step for anyone who wants to become a teacher, so it’s important to choose a quality school that is fully accredited. Colleges with accredited programs have usually been assessed and accredited by organizations like the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education or the Teacher Education Accreditation Council. As you are exploring and deciding on schools, it’s also a good idea to find out what the requirements are to get into a teaching program. These requirements may vary according to what state you live in.

It may feel overwhelming to find a quality school, but organizations like the National Council on Teacher Quality provide databases to help you in your search. At their website, you can search by institution (if you already know a school name), zip code or state, or by standards. For instance, if you are interested in working with elementary aged students who are struggling readers, you can search for those criteria within their database and come up with a list of teaching colleges that are highly regarded for training teachers to work in that area. Schools are ranked numerically according to their rigor and effectiveness in a variety of areas.

Schools that prepare teachers also sometimes offer classes in developing curriculum, educational psychology, counseling, education policy, and school administration. These classes provide preparation for a wider range of educational jobs beyond teaching. While a quality teaching college will not provide every possible option, many have programs that are effective in training people for a variety of jobs in the educational world.