Early Childhood Teacher Certification in Nevada
Nevada’s State of Early Childhood Education
Nevada, known for the gambling capital Las Vegas, is in need of passionate teachers to support growth in education throughout the state. It ranked 50th in the nation in 2013, according to Education Week’s annual national rankings, earning an overall “C-” grade for education. It earned a “D” for K-through-12 achievement, but it hovered in the middle of the pack for the teaching profession category. The state earns less-than-stellar marks for its early childhood education program, as well.
Only 29.8 percent of three- and four-year-olds were enrolled in preschool in the year 2010 – the lowest rate in the country. However, the state is making efforts to improve its educational reputation, in part by supplying extra funding to the Nevada Early Childhood Education program to set up new preschools and further develop existing ones across the state. There are many opportunities available to aspiring teachers who want to make a difference in the state of Nevada.
Earning Teacher Certification in Nevada
The State of Nevada Department of Education 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.
Candidates may apply for an Early Childhood license (grades zero through two) or an Elementary license (K through eight). The state employs graduates of approved teacher preparation programs or individuals who meet the basic requirements. Nevada also has reciprocity and welcomes teachers from other states or countries who hold valid licenses. Nevada’s testing requirements may be viewed here. All applicants must be prepared to submit transcripts, teaching experience, test scores, fingerprints, and more. Applications must be mailed in, and the process takes about four weeks to complete.
Nevada’s ECE Degree Programs
There are around five early childhood education degree programs in Nevada. A few of the notable colleges are highlighted below.
is known as a strong teaching university and offers a bachelor’s degree in integrated elementary education as well as various master’s degree options. A doctorate in education is also available. Its partner school, the University of Nevada Las Vegas, is a metropolitan university offering similar degrees, as well as bachelor’s and master’s degrees in early childhood education.
is primarily a two-year college and is the largest school in Nevada. It is located in north Las Vegas and offers associate degrees in early childhood education and elementary education. These programs are designed for individuals who wish to become teaching aides or who plan to transfer into four-year programs.
is a two- or four-year university in Elko, Nevada. It offers a bachelor’s degree in elementary education as well as associate degrees in infant/toddler and early childhood education. A certificate of achievement in early childhood education is also available to qualify individuals to teach in child-care centers, preschools, or as private day-care providers.
The Teacher Job Hunt in Nevada
There are several 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. View the websites for the seventeen school districts you can apply to. Teachers-Teachers.com lists job opportunities within the state, as does NevadaTeacherJobs.net.
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 need of highly qualified teachers and assistant teachers. GreatSchools.org can help you find top-rated preschools and elementary schools in your community as well.
Nevada’s Teacher Organizations
There are many professional organizations for teachers in the state of Nevada that share similar visions.
The Nevada State Education Association (NSEA) aims to improve both the profession and local public schools. It serves more than 28,000 members in over two dozen local branches and has been operating for more than a century. 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 NSEA is also one of the fastest-growing associations in the NEA.
The Nevada Association for the Education of Young Children (NevAEYC) increases public awareness of the importance of early childhood education and provides professional development for educators. It has over 800 members throughout the state, as well as student groups that are all working on behalf of children and their families. There are three local chapters, and membership is open to anyone interested in further education. The organization is also an affiliate of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), an organization consisting of 80,000 members.
Nevada Early Childhood Education Bloggers
The education section of the Las Vegas Sun covers hot topics, issues, and events in Nevada schools, as does the Reno Gazette-Journal education section. Nevada teachers also share insights and information through their personal blogs.
Kindergarten is a Hoot is written by a kindergarten teacher living in Las Vegas who loves sharing tales and classroom ideas with other passionate early childhood teachers.
First Grade Factory is written by a former teacher and current assistant principal who shares resources and lesson plan ideas for all subject areas.
Team V’s Second Grade Fun is written by a second-grade teacher of seven years who enjoys documenting her creative classroom activities.