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Corps members new to teaching will have the opportunity to earn their teaching certification through a master's degree or graduate certificate track at Marian University, our university partner. Most corps members will be able to supplement the full cost of tuition through AmeriCorps. Traditionally trained corps members can pursue advanced licensure at Ball State University to support their ongoing learning and development.

Becoming Certified to Teach

Corps members who are not traditionally trained will be certified under a temporary Transition to Teaching permit. The following exams are required to obtain this permit:

  • CASA exam, which tests reading, writing, and math skills. It is possible to be exempt from the CASA based on SAT, ACT, GRE scores, or by having a master’s degree
  • Pearson exam, which aligns with your undergraduate major and with the content area that you'll be teaching. If your major and content are the same, you will only have to take one exam. Elementary and special education teachers do not have to take Pearson

Please do not register for any exams unless communicated by regional staff.

The Transition to Teaching permit certifies you to be in an Indiana classroom for three years and is renewable. After completing your two years in the classroom with your permit, you will be recommended for your Indiana teaching license. This will be a five-year teaching license and is renewable. This license can also be transferred to most other states via the reciprocal license process (which varies depending on the state you are transferring to).

You are able to submit your Transition to Teaching permit because you will be enrolled in a master of arts in teaching (MAT) or graduate certificate program. These programs, through Relay Graduate School of Education (elementary education) or Marian University (secondary education), are only offered to individuals who are not traditionally trained teachers (non-certified education majors). There is no out-of-pocket cost for these programs for those who have not received an AmeriCorps award previously. At the end of your second year, as long as you are in good academic standing, you will have earned your MAT degree or Graduate Certificate.

Graduate School 

Master's degree or graduate certificate, Marian University: Secondary education corps members who are not traditionally trained will enter a program track at Marian University for either a M.A. in teaching degree or Graduate Certificate (which requires fewer credits) during their two years in the corps. Upon earning either, they will be recommended for an Indiana teaching license.

Master's degree, Relay Graduate School of Education: Elementary education corps members who are not traditionally trained will enter Relay to pursue their M.A. in teaching degree.

Advanced licensure (master's degree options), Ball State University: Corps members who are already traditionally trained may pursue an advanced degree at Ball State University. 

Teach For America Training

Members begin transitioning to the Indy corps through induction, a one-week introduction in late spring with programming that covers Teach For America's core tenets, values, and theory of change; initiates diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training; informs on the Indy historical and education landscape; provides opportunities to connect with current corps members and alumni in various career sectors; and prepares corps members for institute.

Institute takes place in Houston for five weeks of training in early/mid-summer. During it, you'll gain integral development through co-teaching, collective learning, and self-reflective practices. Indy corps members join more than eight other TFA regions in this experience.

When they return to Indy after institute, corps members will participate in orientation, a three-day program that provides the opportunity for them to unpack their institute experience and prepare to apply their learning to their Indy experience. During this time, they'll also continue DEI training and be informed about expectations and logistics, as well as find out about their coach and coaching cohort for the year.

Teacher impact coaches (first-year) and leadership development coaches (second-year) at Teach For America Indy provide ongoing 1:1 and small group mentorship and coaching throughout corps members' two-year commitments.

In addition to Teach For America support, corps members will also receive professional development from their schools; teacher training through Relay Graduate School of Education or Marian University (if not traditionally trained) culminating in a master's degree or graduate certificate; diversity, equity, inclusion training, and vision-setting through all-corps professional development days; ongoing differentiated programming within cohorts; and optional alumni mentorship. We strive to provide an abundance of support and development for corps members to provide an excellent education for their students and to develop as systems change leaders.