Tips for Evaluating Teacher Education Programs
As you begin researching teacher education programs, create a spreadsheet to compare and contrast the data fields that are important to you, and to keep track of contact information. You may want to consider some of the following questions when evaluating programs of interest to you.
- Ask for a reference or two from the program director. Ask recent graduates if they are satisfied with the education they received and whether their courses have actually met the needs of their current jobs.
- Examine the job placement record. What percentage of graduates get jobs after they receive their degrees? Does the school offer placement assistance or career counseling? Is the career counseling specialized for your field?.
If You Are Researching Degree Programs
- What kinds of courses are offered in the program? Are they more practical or theoretical in scope? If you are interested in going directly into teaching after getting your master's degree, you should stick to a practical curriculum. If, on the other hand, you are interested in pursuing a PhD, then look for a more theoretically based curriculum.
- What do the faculty members specialize in? Ask the program director for details on what the faculty is researching, what courses they teach, and even about possible internships or assistantships. This will give you an indication of what the focus of your studies will be. If your interests are similar to theirs, you have a good match.
If You are Interested in Teaching in a Public School System
- Find out if the courses lead to or satisfy state or provincial certification, and if they satisfy the requirements in any other state or province where you are considering certification.