Adults nowadays are looking at career switches. Years ago, it was common to see adults going into career fields, working for 30 to 40 years in the same field, and then retiring. Now, it is common to see people trying out new careers and switching fields. One of the fields people are switching into is education.
A change like this has been made more accessible with the creation of alternative certification programs that those willing to continue their education can enroll in. Georgetown College offers an alternative certification program that I decided to enroll in several years ago; it was the best decision to date.
I decided to leave the state of Kentucky after graduating high school and got my bachelor’s in marine science in South Carolina, but I wanted to move back home. Unfortunately, there are not many opportunities for marine scientists in the landlocked state of Kentucky. I had a friend who was teaching at a parochial school in Louisville, Kentucky, and she encouraged me to look into the alternative certification program that Kentucky offers.
After a few Google searches, I realized that Georgetown College stood out from the rest. Not only did they offer programs online, but they took a personal interest in my success, offered a wide variety of programs, and communicated with me each step of the way.
After deciding which route to take and which program to enroll in, some applicants have already talked with someone at the school for some overall guidance. However, not everyone has made that jump. I am a major introvert, and I don’t make phone calls or email until I am as prepared as possible.
Once I made my decision, I started with an email. In my email, I made sure to ask any questions I had up to this point, made sure they knew the deadlines that were required by my district (for the alternative route to certification) and decisions I had finalized.
One of the best parts of my interactions with staff at Georgetown College was the promptness and personal attention. Whether it was an email or a phone call, I received quick responses and was never transferred all over the place. If the person I was talking to couldn’t answer my question, they would call or email me back once they found the answer.
They never left me waiting and constantly worked to ensure that my experience was a positive one. I never felt like I had to talk to a machine or that my questions were not significant. I instead felt like they were just as invested in my success as I was.
Personal connection is completely underrated; I never realized how important it was to feel like the people in charge of my future were just as invested as I am. Georgetown College took a vested interest in my education and made sure I was successful.
It was hard work on my part, don’t get me wrong, but I never felt alone. Between the staff members, the professors, and the counselors, I never felt like I couldn’t make it through Georgetown’s program. This was a complete 180 from what I experienced in my undergraduate degree at a different college where I was told I wouldn’t graduate because I was a woman pursuing a science degree.
The personal connection with my professors made me feel like I could teach and make a difference in a student’s life one day. That is special to Georgetown College; they care so much. Therefore, their students succeed.
Programs in Emerging Fields
After determining which certification offering is the best route, the next step is determining the program to study. Less known programs are those in special education. These programs include Learning Behavior Disorders, Moderate/Severe Disabilities, and so much more. Georgetown College can prepare any teacher for whatever certification they choose.
When I was deciding what program to enter, I had someone look at my transcripts and tell me which program would be best for me. I ended up working specifically on getting my middle grades science certification since I have a strong background in science.
After graduating, I added a math certification for the same reason of having a solid math background. Georgetown College not only helped me obtain my certificate in middle grades science, but they were extremely helpful in adding math to my certification when I made a choice to become dual-certified.
Offerings for Non-certified Teachers
The first step is understanding the different options to obtain a teaching certification. There are two options: initial certification and alternative route to certification. Both options are valuable but vary different depending on the applicant’s situation.
The initial route to certification is available to all potential students and is what someone would think of when they think of a typical college program. The program will allow students to get classes custom to their wants and needs, get a degree, and help them obtain their teaching certification in Kentucky.
A few years ago, the Department of Education in Kentucky made some big changes to the teacher expectations. One of those included getting rid of the requirement that teachers needed to get a master’s degree. Before this change, teachers were required to get a master’s degree within five years of starting their careers. While there were programs in place to help assist with the financial aspect, this made some people avoid a teaching career.
The alternative route to certification is what I completed a few years ago when Georgetown College adapted their program. This program is available to those with an undergraduate degree and want to now pursue education. When completing this program, students get both their teaching credentials, a master’s degree, and can work full-time as a teacher.
This is an excellent choice for adults furthering their education since they tend to have bills, families to support, and more. If going through the alternative certification program, students will still get a master’s degree since they have to have an undergraduate degree to get into that program initially.