Q: Who can be certified at Connecticut College?
Currently enrollment in the certification program is limited to undergraduate students at Connecticut College, some graduates of Connecticut College, and employees or immediate family of Connecticut College employees.
Q: What do I have to do to apply?
Requirements to apply to the Connecticut College Education program are as follows:
- Take and satisfactorily complete EDU 223, both the course and field experience component
- Pass PRAXISCore (essential skills test for teachers) or be waived from it based on ACT or SAT scores
- Complete the Teacher Certification Application form
- Submit one Letter of Recommendation from a faculty member in your major who can speak to your content knowledge and academic disposition.
- Respond to the following essay prompt: 1) Name an important issue or concern you have about the state of the world. 2) Based on your answer to question #1, what do you think the purpose and role of U.S. public schooling should be in relation to that concern? 3) Based on your response to question #2, how would you as a teacher work in and/or beyond your classroom to ensure that schools fulfill their purpose and role in relation to that concern? And make certain your response keeps to the following guidelines:
- maximum of 500 words
- double spaced
- Times or Times New Roman 12 pt. type
- one-inch margins
Q: Why do I need to be fingerprinted? And when and how can I get it done?
Under Connecticut state law, all “pre-service” teachers must have a background check and be fingerprinted. This is a requirement to enroll in EDU courses after EDU 223. Without being fingerprinted, students cannot be placed in a P-12 public school.
The turnaround time for the fingerprinting process is 6 weeks, so it is imperative that the process occur in the spring for the fall semester or students will not be able to be enter fall placements.
To ease the process for Connecticut College students, the Education Department arranges for the fingerprinter from LEARN to visit Bolles House each year; this customarily occurs in late April or early May. Check with Donna Graham about the timing of the visit and how to arrange an appointment.
Students will need 2 forms of identification such as a student ID and driver’s license, and at least one photo ID. Payment of $45.00 must be provided as a money order or bank check (not a personal check or cash) payable to LEARN. Students who cannot afford the payment should inquire about financial help.
Students may also arrange to be fingerprinted through LEARN later in the spring, but this option is not preferable.
Q: If I want to be certified to teach, do I major in education?
No, no one majors in education. For secondary certification, you would major in the area you want to teach in, for instance Math. For elementary certification, you can major in any area. While elementary certification students often major in Human Development, many have majored in various other areas.
Q: Can I take classes at another institution during breaks or the summer and have them count towards certification in the State of Connecticut?
It depends. As a rule, all EDU courses need to be taken at Connecticut College. But any of the state's General Education requirements and some Human Development courses may be taken at other State of Connecticut-approved institutions, provided that students receive prior approval from the Connecticut College Education Department's Certification Officer.
Q: Do AP or IB credits count towards general certification requirements?
AP and IB credits that appear on your Connecticut College transcript will almost always meet the State of Connecticut requirements in those specific areas.
Q: Can I do a semester overseas and still be certified?
Connecticut College has a long tradition of recognizing the importance of international studies and study away. 55% of Connecticut College students study away or abroad through our innovative programs.
Prospective teacher certification students often ask "If I wish to study away for a semester, can I still be certified?" The answer is "yes!" With careful planning, many students who go on to become certified also do a semester away and still graduate within four years. The Education Department's Certification Officer can assist you in crafting a viable Pattern of Study.
Visit the global focus section to learn more about College-approved programs you may wish to consider and discuss with the Certification Officer.
Q: What is the 9th Semester option?
The 9th semester option is a way for students to complete student teaching in a "post-grad" 9th semester. Under this option, students complete all of their major and certification program requirements in four years and graduate on schedule with their classmates. They then return to Connecticut College for a 9th semester, during which they enroll in student teaching. This 9th semester typically takes place in the fall semester following a student's graduation, but can occur at any point within a two year period following graduation. The tuition rate for the 9th semester is substantially reduced. Upon completion of successful student teaching during the 9th semester, candidates are fully eligible for state certification.
Q: Will I get a teaching job?
In the overwhelming number of cases the answer to this question is yes. The Connecticut College Education department, along with the Office of Career and Professional Development, places nearly 100% of their students who want to pursue teaching positions after they graduate.
Q: If I'm certified in Connecticut can I teach in another state?
In the overwhelming number of cases the answer to this question is "yes." Connecticut has certification reciprocity with most other states (all but a handful) under the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NADSTEC) interstate agreement.
Q: What kind of salary will I make as a teacher?
Salaries for teachers vary from state to state (as does the cost of living). Salaries in Connecticut typically rank at or near the top of teacher pay in the nation. For example, Connecticut often ranks within the top 10 states in the nation for the average beginning teacher salary, which was $42,924 in Connecticut in 2013. That same year, Connecticut ranked 4th highest in the nation in overall average teacher salary at $69,766 (NCES). Most Connecticut teachers with experience now earn well into the $70,000 to $80,000 range.