A teaching certificate, license or credential is required to be a teacher in the public school system, with requirements varying by state. In some cases, teacher certification may be earned in a one year program where the candidate has already earned a bachelor's degree. State and private colleges typically offer teacher education programs, with a few offering one year study options. There are also one year online programs available to those with master's degrees who wish to earn certification to teach at the community college level.
Certificate and Licensing Requirements
Each state has its own set of requirements to earn a teaching certificate. Before committing to a one year course of study for a teaching certificate or credential, check with your state licensing or credentialing agency to be sure that your school's program will fulfill state requirements.
State Colleges and Universities
Many state colleges and universities include a school of education. Check with your state college or university system for the availability of one year teaching certificate programs. The University of Pittsburgh offers an Elementary Education Certificate in a one year program. The University of Massachusetts at Lowell offers a one year teaching certificate program, Fast Track to Teaching. The University of Maryland School of Education also offers a one year teaching certificate program. These universities also offer teacher certification options that take more than one year to complete.
Private Teacher Colleges
Many private colleges and universities include an education department. Pepperdine University in Los Angeles offers a Master of Arts in Education program leading to a teaching credential for the state of California. Students have the choice of completing the program in one year. Columbia University Teachers College offers a thirteen month teacher credentialing program in elementary education, which includes two summers.
Online teaching certificate programs are available, often tailored to very specific types of teaching. Sacramento State University offers an online certificate program in Community College Faculty Preparation. Note that the program does not fulfill the requirements for teaching at the elementary or secondary level. The twelve academic unit program may be completed in one year. The North Carolina State University College of Education offers a certificate program in community college teaching. The program consists of fifteen academic credit hours that may be completed within a year.
Emergency Credential Programs
Some states extend temporary or emergency teaching licenses to teachers with no certificate, credential or license in the case of teacher shortages. These programs allow qualified individuals to begin teaching right away without standard certification. Emergency teaching credentials are available in the state of California at the request of a school district. Those seeking employment as a teacher on an emergency permit in California should contact the school district in which they wish to work. Those enrolled in a teaching credential program have the best chance of being granted an emergency credential.