You’ve decided on a career path as an educator. You're ready for the next step. But what is a teaching certificate vs a teaching license?
Teaching certificate vs. teaching license
There are many directions you can go in this rewarding career of teaching, and many decisions are still ahead of you. Most importantly, what type of teaching appeals to you most? When you’re considering your options, it’s always best to verify what your state requires. In many states, the terms certification and licensure mean the same thing.
What is a teaching certificate?
A teaching certificate is an agreement with your state that you have fulfilled all standards and requirements to be a certified teacher in that state. Michigan, for example, uses the term teaching certificate or teaching certification the way that other states use license or licensure. In other words, if you want to be certified to teach by the Michigan Department of Education, you need to earn a teaching certificate. Concordia University Ann Arbor offers a Teacher Certification Program. This program is ideal for working adults who wish to achieve their dream of becoming certified teacher in Michigan. This program does qualify for financial aid.
What is a teaching license?
Depending on your state, a teaching license can mean the exact same thing as a teaching certificate. For example, Wisconsin uses the term teaching license to refer to the “completion of an approved educator preparation program and meeting all applicable Wisconsin statutory and testing requirements,” according to the Department of Public Instruction.
Concordia University Wisconsin offers a post-bachelor’s teaching licensure program if you don’t already have a Wisconsin teaching license. You need a bachelor’s degree to earn your teaching license in Wisconsin. If you’re looking for an accelerated bachelor’s in elementary education, Concordia offers that program as well in an online format.
The benefits of a teaching certificate/teaching license
While it’s definitely possible to teach in some capacities without a certificate or license, meeting your state’s requirements for teaching has its benefits. First of all, understanding what your state requires is a part of professionalism. With your certificate/license, you’re demonstrating that you’ve met the requirements to teach in your state. Next, you’ll be able to be a lead your classroom with confidence knowing that you’re certified/licensed to teach in your state. Finally, in some schools and districts, the pay is better for teachers who have their state’s endorsement as certified/licensed educators.
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This blog was originally published on 09/21/2020. It has been updated to reflect current information.
— Maddie Schueller is the Content Marketing Lead for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. In her free time, she enjoys listening to podcasts, anything music-related, and hanging out with her husband and daughter.
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