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Prior to Teaching
Since most corps members haven't completed a traditional course of study in education before teaching, they're considered nontraditional teachers in most states. Each state has different specific requirements and rules around earning credentials, which are often referred to as alternative certificates or licenses.
In most states, you must pass a content-knowledge test and/or have completed specific college courses as part of a major or minor related to the subject you will teach. Some states also have additional requirements, such as GPA minimums. Teach For America regional staff members will work with you to make sure you meet initial requirements and have the required credentials before teaching. Using the map below, check out each region's page to learn more about specific certification requirements.
During Your Teaching Commitment
While you’re teaching, you typically must complete coursework toward the next level of certification or licensure. Depending on the region, you can complete coursework through a local college or university, another certification provider such as a school district, or a nonprofit.
In many of our regions, you also have the option of completing a master’s degree by the end of your corps experience.
The costs for certification programs, including tuition at local colleges, universities, or other providers, vary by region. Many corps members receive an AmeriCorps grants and use it to cover some, if not all, of these costs. (These grants are not guaranteed). Some states and districts provide additional financial assistance, but you should be prepared to cover any costs.