What are Endorsements and Certifications?
Endorsements and certifications are qualifications that educators can earn to add to their teaching license. Both add to your credentials by increasing your areas of specialized knowledge which will enhance your skill set. Endorsements and certifications are offered for various specialties so that you can choose what you are interested in teaching.
Some popular choices are:
- Gifted and Talented
- Multilanguage Learners
- Teacher Leader
- Special Education
- Curriculum Development
Do some research before deciding which program and endorsement or certification is best for you. If you already work for a school district, reach out to your administration or district office personnel as they may have advice or know about some financial assistance.
Why You Should Highly Consider Endorsements and Certifications
When you add an endorsement or certification to your teaching credentials, you are adding to your resume. This makes you a much more marketable candidate for employers. It shows that you want to expand your knowledge as well as have the commitment to continue to learn as an educator. As education professionals, we should always desire to grow ourselves and be lifelong learners.
Not only does this demonstrate to our students that it is essential to learn, but it also demonstrates to employers that we are willing to continue to expand our horizons and reach our goals. In addition to this, you also have a more specialized skill set and can add value to the school and teach in different arenas or help other teachers.
When you earn an endorsement or certification, you can increase your pay depending on how many credit hours you earn. Instead of taking random courses to earn your pay raise focus on a concentrated area. This will help you to not only earn your certification or endorsement, but it will also increase your paycheck. It’s a no-brainer! You are helping yourself in more ways than one.
Typically, earning an endorsement or certification is much less time-consuming than a post-graduate program such as masters, doctorate, or education specialist. While those have their place if you want to move into administration or superintendency, an endorsement or certification is usually only between three to five courses. This is much more manageable for someone already working and trying to complete coursework. Again, it is always best to check before you commit so that you know how long it will take you to earn your credential.
Another benefit of earning an endorsement or certification is that the cost is cheaper. A lot of colleges and universities partner with local school districts, and some school districts will even help pay for you to take classes. Once again, do your homework on this before assuming it will be free or at a discount. You don’t want a surprise bill heading your way! Sometimes it is cheaper because the number of classes you take is much fewer than what is required for an additional degree.
As you can see there are numerous benefits to earning an endorsement or certification. When you begin to think about doing this you should start with considering areas of interest to you.
Talk to Colleagues
Coworkers sometimes see strengths in you and your teaching style that you may not have thought about.
Then you should check to see what type of classes you want to take—online or in-person? That is so important because you want to be successful and not everyone is an online learner or in-person learner. If the answer is in-person, you will want to make sure your local college or university provides the classes you need to earn the endorsement or certification you want. There are online endorsement programs for teachers and online certificate programs.
The final step is checking to see if in addition to coursework, if there is a test that you must also take and pass before you can add the credential to your teaching certificate/license. If so, that is something else you will need to know before deciding what is best for you. You can do it — Good luck!
Interested in pursuing an endorsement or certification? Explore our available programs and get started today!