Early Childhood Teacher Certification in Louisiana
The State of Early Childhood Education in Louisiana
Louisiana, most famously known for the city of New Orleans, has been working hard to improve its educational reputation. It jumped eight places in 2012 on Education Week’s “Quality Counts” report, moving from the 23rd state in the nation to the 15th. To continue this growth, the state has outlined three main components on the 2013 Louisiana Believes Annual Report, revolving around the idea of believing in the potential of children, teachers and parents for advancing education. The report also notes the importance of expanding early childhood education in the state. There are many opportunities for individuals pursuing a career in early childhood education in Louisiana.
- Early Childhood Education (ECE) Certificate or Diploma
- Associate’s in ECE or Child Development
- Bachelor’s completion program in ECE Leadership
Teacher Certification/Licensure Requirements in Louisiana
The Department of Education’s Louisiana Believes website includes extensive information about how to obtain certification/licensure. You will need to familiarize yourself with this site, as it contains many resources valuable to both aspiring teachers and current teachers.
Certification is available to teachers who have completed a teacher-preparation program with student teaching experience. It is also available to out-of-state applicants. Louisiana offers flexibility with three types of teaching preparation programs geared towards experienced professionals and recent college graduates. The three alternative routes are as follows:
- The Practitioner Teacher Program requires both coursework and full-time teaching.
- The Master’s Degree Program results in a master’s degree as well as teacher certification.
- The Certification-Only Program offers individuals flexibility in achieving certification through certain approved providers.
To apply for certification, create an account with TeachLouisiana.net. Please view the Certification FAQs or contact the Louisiana Department of Education, should you have any further questions about the certification/licensure process.
Louisiana’s ECE Programs
is the flagship institution of Louisiana and is one of only 30 universities in the nation that holds a land-grant, sea-grant and space-grant. The college of education offers a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education (pre-K through three) and elementary education (grades one through five). The school also offers a variety of master’s degrees in education.
is an ethnically diverse school that was ranked in the top 20 Most Popular National Universities by the U.S. News and World Report. It offers a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education (pre-K through three) and elementary education (grades one through five). It also offers a master’s degree in teaching with certifications in both early childhood education and elementary education.
is a private research university that offers a licensure program in early childhood education (pre-K through three) that is typically paired with a psychology degree or a degree in another field.
Searching for Teaching Jobs in Louisiana
There are several different avenues you can take to pursue a career in this dynamic field.
Public schools employ the vast majority of individuals seeking careers in early childhood education. The Louisiana Department of Education’s Talent Recruitment System helps pair job-seeking educators with districts or schools that have open positions. The system lets individuals contact specific school districts of interest. You can register and create an online profile here. Current vacant job listings can also be found.
Other employers to become familiar with are private schools, Head Start, and Montessori schools. Be sure to research the child care centers in your local area, as many of these centers are in constant search for highly-qualified teachers and assistant teachers. GreatSchools.org can help you find top-rated preschools and elementary schools in your community as well.
Organizations for Louisiana ECE Professionals
There are many professional organizations for teachers in the state of Louisiana that share similar visions.
The Louisiana Association of Educators (LAE) aims to improve both the profession and local public schools. It has dozens of local affiliates and advocates for both teachers and students. It provides union benefits and is affiliated with the National Education Association (NEA), the nation’s largest professional employee organization, with three million members in over 14,000 communities across the country.
The Louisiana Association for the Education of Young Children (LAEYC) increases public awareness of the importance of early childhood education and provides professional development for educators. The organization is committed to professional development and networking. It is an affiliate of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), an organization consisting of 80,000 members.
The Associated Professional Educators of Louisiana (APEL) strives to advance teachers as career professionals while also empowering students. Members can get professional liability insurance, as well as full legal services.
Louisiana’s Education Blogging World
Louisiana Stand for Children is a blog that encourages support for both teachers and students, while the Louisiana Educator blog features commentary on issues in Louisiana’s schools. Teachers also share insights and information through their personal blogs.
First Grade Schoolbox is maintained by a first-grade teacher who shares a variety of resources and ideas for the early elementary classroom.
First Grade Fresh is written by a first-grade teacher who aims to make the classroom a fun place for learning.
Kinder Gals features two experienced teachers who share an abundance of resources for early childhood education teachers.