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Teaching Programs in Delaware

Teaching in Delaware is a growth industry. Total enrollment is up, and state leaders continue to put more resources toward public education, pushing Delaware further above the national average spending per student. As that happens, more and better jobs are becoming available for both new and experienced school teachers.

Teachers in Delaware can look forward to competitive salaries, health benefits, and long-term mentor support. There are also multiple options for financial assistance and paths for student loan forgiveness for individuals who choose to teach those who will become the state’s future leaders, innovators, and even our next teachers.

How Can I Get a Teaching Degree in Delaware?

To become one of the state’s 9,400-plus public educators, individuals must have a bachelor’s degree, complete the Delaware Department of Education’s teaching certification program, and pass multiple assessment exams. Alternate routes are available for those who already have 30 or more credit hours in a specific subject such as mathematics, science, or business.

Traditional Pathway to Becoming a Teacher in Delaware

The first step in the traditional path to becoming a Delaware teacher is to get a bachelor’s degree in education. You’ll likely need to choose between elementary, middle school, and secondary education, as you’ll need a different range of skills for each.  You can also specialize further if you’re looking to teach in early childhood education (for children two to five), special education, English as a second language (ESL) education, or multi-grade subjects such as music or foreign language.

Once you have your bachelor’s, your next step will be registering with the Delaware Educator Data System (DEEDS)—a database that stores the professional information for every educator in the state. You can sign up online at the official State of Delaware website.

Next, you’ll need specific Delaware licensing to teach in the state. Licenses are available for traditional K-12 teachers as well as administrators, adult education teachers, paraeducators, etc.

New teachers or those with less than one year of experience must first apply for an Initial License and then pass the state’s Performance Assessment. You’ll also need to hold at least one certificate, which proves you have the knowledge or skill enabling you to teach effectively.

In the traditional path, this will very likely be a Standard Certificate, which you must apply for at the same time you apply for your Initial License. You can typically fill the requirements for that certificate by having a bachelor’s in education and enough credits in the subject or grade level you intend to teach.

There are specific regulations for every type of public educator, so be sure to review those for your desired career path before you move forward.

Becoming a Teacher Through Alternative Certification or as a Career Switcher

If you have a bachelor’s in something other than education and would like to switch over to a teaching path, Delaware currently has five options for alternative routes.  The most common choice for those who have education and work experience in a specific subject is the Alternative Routes to Certification (ARTC) program, which is designed to fill gaps in subject areas in which there is a shortage of teachers.

You’ll need to send your college transcripts as well as the results of any Performance Assessment exams to the Delaware Department of Education (DOE) for approval. Once you have approval, you may register with DEEDS and apply for teaching positions. DOE will send your Initial License and emergency teaching certificate after you notify them that you’ve been hired.

With this, you may begin teaching while you finish the requirements of your new degree, completing the necessary classes on the side. You’ll also need to pass the standard exams and assessments within a specific timeframe—typically by your second year of teaching. If you can do all that and receive two “satisfactory” evaluations of your teaching, you will be issued your Standard Certificate.

In addition to this route, there is a master’s program available for paraeducators who wish to become full special education teachers, a Teach for America program for those interested in teaching in low-income urban and rural public schools, and a Master of Arts in Teaching option. Substitute teachers can look into the Ninety-one Days in Lieu of Student Teaching route if they have one year of experience in specific subjects.

Career and Technical Education Teacher Certification in Delaware

A prospective Career and Technical Education (CTE) teacher needs a Delaware teaching license and at least one certificate in a specific subject. These individuals typically pursued a college educator preparation program (EPP) or worked in a particular trade or professional field for some years before looking to become teachers.

CTE certificates in Delaware are available in the subjects of agriscience, business education, family and consumer sciences, marketing education, and technology education. If you’re interested in this route, you’ll need to register with DEEDS. You may need to complete additional coursework while teaching to hold on to your teaching license. Depending on the situation, a CTE applicant may pursue this path through one of the alternative certification routes.

Teachers Moving to Delaware from a Different State

If you’ve been teaching elsewhere in the U.S. but are moving to Delaware, you must apply for an appropriate in-state license. However, if you have a year or more of experience already, you do not have to pass the Performance Assessment like you would if you were a new teacher.

Those who have four or more years of experience should apply for a Continuing License rather than an Initial License. If you have received National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification, apply for an Advanced License. As always, you must register with DEEDS.

Because each state has its own requirements for becoming a teacher, it’s crucial to understand interstate reciprocity—the set of agreements between states by which teaching licenses and certifications in one jurisdiction transfer to another. The Delaware Department of Education will consider any teacher from another state who holds a full, current license and certificates for reciprocity. Once it has all the necessary information, the department can tell you what training and testing, if any, you’ll need to continue teaching.

Average Salaries and Projected Job Growth for Delaware Teachers

Salaries for teachers from elementary school to college tend to be higher in Delaware compared to the U.S. overall. The average middle school teacher salary in Delaware, for example, is nearly $5,000 higher per year than the national median. Job growth numbers are also slightly better in the state for all grade levels. At the same time, the cost of living generally quite low in Delaware when compared to the rest of the East Coast, particularly when it comes to housing prices.

Career2018 Mean SalaryProjected Job Growth 2016-26
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education$63,0405%
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education$63,3806%
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education$65,0406%
Postsecondary Teaching$77,576*13%

*Averaged from all postsecondary salaries
Salary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics
Job growth data from careeronestop.org

Teacher Training Programs in Delaware

University of Delaware College of Education and Human Development (Newark)

The University of Delaware’s College of Education and Human Development (CEDH) offers majors in early childhood/special education and elementary teacher education. It’s also the home of the Alternative Routes to Certification (ARTC) Program, which allows individuals with non-education college degrees to qualify to teach subjects in which there is a critical need for teachers. For those looking to continue their education, CEDH’s School of Education graduate program ranks as one of the top 50 master’s programs for teachers, according to U.S. News & World Report. If you need something more flexible, the school has an online master’s program as well.

Tuition 2019-2020

Undergraduate Resident: $6,365 per semester

Undergraduate Non-resident: $17,080 per semester

Graduate Resident: $697 per credit hour

Graduate Non-resident: $1,898 per credit hour (with possible adjustments)

Wilmington University College of Education (New Castle)

Wilmington is a popular choice for prospective Delaware educators, with undergraduate programs available for elementary and middle school as well as for career and technical education in high school. The university’s College of Education boasts that 56% of Delaware elementary education teachers earned their degrees within its walls. It also offers a long list of graduate programs and three doctoral programs for those interested in education leadership. Additionally, Wilmington has online and experiential learning programs for undergraduates that can turn internships into college credits. There are even some education courses offering reduced tuition rates.

Tuition 2019-2020

Undergraduate: $311$381 per credit hour depending on location

Graduate: $488 per credit hour

Doctoral: $647 per credit hour

Delaware State University College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (Dover)

The College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (CHESS) at Delaware State University provides undergraduate programs in art education, early childhood education, elementary and middle school education, music education, and physical education. Prospective teachers will learn the ropes through the college’s Early Field Experiences program, which gets them into the classroom to observe teachers in action as early as their freshman year. The school also offers master’s programs in educational leadership as well as a Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)/Bilingual Education path. Plus, Delaware State has a general online undergraduate program with reduced rates for more credit hours taken at a time.

Tuition 2019-2020

Undergraduate Resident: $8,258 per year

Undergraduate Non-resident: $17,294 per year

Graduate Resident: $430 per credit hour

Graduate Non-resident: $948 per credit hour

Wesley College (Dover)

Wesley College’s Educational Studies and Teacher Licensure department has undergraduate programs for K-6 and special education, educational studies, and K-12 physical education. Aspiring elementary school teachers can get a stand-alone K-6 degree or a dual K-6/special education degree if they’re looking to stand out or broaden their options. Most students will complete a year-long internship at the end of the program. Wesley also offers a Master of Arts in Teaching and a Master of Education, plus several evening courses for those who work during the day.

Tuition 2018-2019

Undergraduate Resident: $26,406 per year

Graduate Resident: $600 per credit hour

Relay Graduate School of Education (Wilmington)

Relay is a graduate school specifically for teachers and principals with campuses across the U.S. The Wilmington campus offers a teaching residency program as well as a Master of Arts in Teaching degree. As of spring 2020, the school noted that Delaware has a high need for teachers in math, science, English language arts, elementary language immersion, and special education. The residency program offers mentorships as well as help finding a job within two years of graduating, and majors are available for all grade levels as well as special education. Those pursuing a Master of Arts in Teaching can take up to 40% of their classes online.

Tuition 2019-2020

Master of Arts in Teaching: $17,500 per year

Delaware Teacher Resources

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