Pathways to Careers in Teaching, Teacher Education | Earlham College Skip to Content

Pathways to Careers In Teaching

The pathway to becoming a teacher varies for students depending on the age group they want to work with, the location they might want to teach in, whether or not they are teaching for a public or private school, and many other factors. Earlham provides all students interested in teaching with the guidance and opportunities they need to start them on their path to becoming an educator.

Elementary Education (K-6)

Earlham students interested in pursuing a career as an elementary school teacher will have the opportunity to combine coursework in education and childhood psychology with hands on experiences in local schools. The coursework enables students to build a strong pedagogical foundation, while their experiences in local schools give them the opportunity to put into practice what they are learning in the classroom. This combination of theoretical and experiential knowledge prepares students to enter Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) programs for elementary education as well as other alternative licensing programs.

Most elementary education M.A.T. programs are a year long and include a more extensive student teaching experience, as well as more specific coursework pertaining to the field of elementary education. These experiences allow students to pursue their teaching license following completion of the program.

Secondary Education (5-12)

Earlham students interested in pursuing a career as a secondary school teacher will take significant course work (at least 20 credit hours) in the subject area(s) they wish to teach, and will combine that coursework with hands-on experiences in local schools.  Students focus on their content area so that they can deepen and broaden their knowledge of and passion for the subject they will be teaching in the future. Students graduate from Earlham as budding experts in their field and are primed to enter M.A.T. programs for secondary education, as well as other alternative licensing programs.

Many Earlham graduates continue their path to becoming a secondary school teacher by attending the Earlham College M.A.T. program.  The Earlham M.A.T. program is an 11-month program that focuses on developing students’ pedagogical knowledge of teaching and their subject area, and provides them with an extensive student teaching experience.

Higher Education (College and University)

Earlham Students interested in teaching in higher education will focus on broadening and deepening their content knowledge, and will have the opportunity to take advantage of research opportunities that prepare them for future studies in graduate and Ph.D. programs post Earlham. Students will also have the opportunity to serve as tutors and teaching assistants (TA) for classes in their content area, allowing them to get hands-on experience teaching in their field.

The majority of Earlham graduates pursuing a career as a university professor will enter graduate and Ph.D. programs that enable them to teach undergraduate courses as a TA, while they continue taking courses and conducting research relevant to their area of study. Unlike careers in elementary and secondary education, there is not a licensure process for professors in higher education. Colleges and universities looking to hire professors will focus on an individual’s content knowledge and experience, research and scholarship experience, and their previous teaching experiences. Many universities therefore hire professors with Ph.D.’s, who have conducted and published meaningful research in their field, and who have had some experience teaching at the undergraduate level.

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