Alabama is 25th in the nation in terms of number of teachers employed. Aspiring teachers must meet specific requirements before they can work as certified teachers. Below is an overview of the state’s requirements and some of the educational paths one can take to work as a teacher in Alabama.
Alabama has three levels of teacher certification. One (class B) is for bachelor degree holders, one (class A) is for master degree holders and one (class AA) is for doctoral degree holders or those who have specialty degrees.
Alabama Teaching Degree Info
To work in the Alabama public school system as a kindergarten, elementary, middle or high school teacher, you must have at least a bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited college.
Alabama Bachelors of Education Programs
These are typically four-year programs that must meet Alabama’s coursework requirement, which is at least 32 semester hours of credits. The student must also have 19 semester hours of upper-level credits. Alabama has several universities offering education programs and a few of them are listed below.
Alabama A&M University offers several academic programs for potential teachers. The bachelor’s degree program is for early education and elementary school teachers. Students in this program must complete foundation courses prior to starting the actual two-semester teaching courses. A practicum course and internship is completed during the junior and senior years; however, the student must take the Praxis II test prior to the internship and must also pass exit exams in order to graduate.
Dual Education Certification Programs in Alabama
Students interested in obtaining dual certification in early childhood (P-K) and elementary (K-6) may find the ideal program at Jackson State University. JSU also offers several graduate degree programs as well as online degree programs for teaching. The University of Alabama offers bachelor and master degree programs in elementary education, secondary education, music education, special education and kinesiology as well as graduate programs in specialized areas such as educational psychology, nurse education and school counseling, among others.
Master’s of Education Degrees in Alabama
UNA has bachelor and master degree programs for special education K-12 and elementary K-6. Additionally, they offer certification programs for various areas of study including chemistry, music, mathematics, biology, physical education and almost any subject matter imaginable. University of South Alabama has a wide range of education programs in both the bachelor and master degree levels and various certification programs as well as continuing education programs for teachers in need of re-certification. The University of Mobile has programs for early childhood education, elementary education and secondary education.
Clinical Education Degrees in Alabama
UA also has special clinical education programs that assist students in completing field experience and internships that may be required by their programs. Online education programs are also offered at UA. Other Alabama universities that offer teaching programs include University of West Alabama, Huntingdon College and Oakwood University as well as many others. Many of these colleges also offer teaching programs through distance learning.
Alabama Certifications, Praxis, and Exit Exams
The exit exams must be in the area the student has chosen: early education or elementary school. In addition to the basic teacher’s program, Alabama A&M also offers baccalaureate programs for teachers that wish to specialize in a specific subject matter such as music, PE, science, math, etc. A&M also offers a master degree program for both early education and elementary school teachers. Master programs are for teachers who want to teach at the highest level and generally offer higher wages.
In addition to earning a teaching degree, Alabama teachers must pass the Alabama Educator Certification Testing Program and the Praxis II tests for their area of certification.