Home How to Become a Teacher in Louisiana

How to Become a Teacher in Louisiana

The state of Louisiana needs passionate, caring, and highly skilled teachers. The state’s students are facing substantial challenges, but the school system is meeting them head-on. With your involvement in and enthusiasm for education and Louisiana’s students, you can help the state’s educational system continue to move forward.

How Can I Get a Teaching Degree in Louisiana?

There are two pathways to becoming a teacher in Louisiana—one for undergraduate students and one for those who have already graduated from a bachelor’s program.

Bachelor’s Degree Pathway

All teachers in Louisiana must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and certification. If you know you want to begin a teaching career after graduation, earning a bachelor’s degree in the field can help you achieve that goal.

One of the first decisions you have to make as an aspiring teacher is which grade level or subject you want to teach. The subject areas include, but are not limited to:

Children have different educational needs at each stage of life, so the techniques and material you learn will be relevant to your students’ unique needs.

While earning your bachelor’s degree in education, you will need to complete a competency curriculum and yearlong teaching residency to become a teacher.

The Louisiana Board of Regents creates the minimum standard for college acceptance in the state. There are different requirements for prospective teaching students with no post-high school education and for those with an associate’s degree.

Post-Baccalaureate Pathway

If you want to be a teacher in LA but do not have a bachelor’s in education, the post-baccalaureate pathway can help you achieve that goal. This method would usually end in an alternative certification, though some programs offer master’s degrees.

These programs expect that the majority of their enrollees will be working full-time, so classes tend to be offered in the evenings. However, be sure to research your school’s class times and expectations prior to enrolling to ensure you can balance all of your responsibilities. A part-time program will typically take around two years to complete, including the required one-year teacher residency.

Master’s Degree

Although a master’s degree is not required in order to teach in Louisiana, earning one can help increase your desirability and pay. Master’s degrees can also lead to leadership positions, such as principal or department head, if you focus on educational leadership rather than classroom teaching. The classroom teaching options offer more intensive training in your chosen field, whether it’s elementary education, special education, or an elective field.

Financial aid is available for students at all levels. Each school will have a financial aid office to assist you with funding questions, but there are also options for all potential teachers.

Outlook and Salary for Educators in Louisiana

According to CareerOneStop, the need for elementary, secondary, and special education teachers in Louisiana is increasing, with an anticipated 7% growth between 2016 and 2026.
The pay for teachers in Louisiana differs depending on the grade level and area of specialization, but it ranges from $32,290 to $57,490. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean salary for teachers of differing grade levels is:

Louisiana Mean Teaching Salaries (2018)
Elementary:$48,740 per year
Middle School:$49,960 per year
Secondary:$51,810 per year

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Teacher Training Programs in Louisiana

Louisiana’s Department of Education website provides a full list of approved educator preparation programs. The list is divided by region and includes both traditional colleges and certification-only programs. The state’s Board of Regents provides a similar list, which includes options for online teaching degrees.

Below, you can find information about one approved school from each region of Louisiana. All information below is from the individual schools’ websites.

Centenary College

  • Location: Shreveport
  • Degrees Offered:
    • Bachelor’s degrees:
      • A. or B.S. in elementary education, with grades 1-5 certification
      • A. in vocal music education, with grades K-12 certification
      • Minor in secondary education, with middle or high school focus certification in biology, business, chemistry, earth science (geology), English, French, and mathematics
    • Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) degrees:
      • Elementary
      • Secondary, with certification for grades 6-12 biology, business, chemistry, English, French, German, Spanish, general science, mathematics, physics, and social studies
      • K-12 choral music
  • Tuition:
    • Undergraduate: $37,310 per year
    • A.T.: $900 per course

Note: all students who apply to Centenary are automatically in the running for three merit-based scholarships.

Centenary College offers small class sizes, allowing more direct contact with professors and peers. They offer two unique areas of concentration at the undergraduate level: Community and Social Justice and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Both of these concentrations are desirable for today’s teachers. In addition to the degrees above, Centenary has a program called Escadrille Louisiane. This program allows Louisianans with bachelor’s degrees, fluency in French, and love for the state’s heritage and culture learn to teach French.

Louisiana State University

  • Locations: Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Shreveport
  • Degrees Offered (may vary based on location):
    • Bachelor’s degrees
      • S. in elementary grades education with grades 1-5 certification
      • S. in curriculum and instruction: PK-3 teacher certification
    • Master’s degrees
      • A. in curriculum studies applied research, measurement, and evaluation; higher education administration; online programs for educational technology or higher education administration
      • Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) in elementary or secondary
      • Master’s of Education (M.Ed.) in early childhood education, elementary education, English education, gifted education, math education, literacy education, science education, special education, or an online program in educational leadership
      • Ed. in counseling
    • There are also a variety of certification options at the bachelor’s, master’s and post-graduate levels, plus a doctoral program
  • Tuition:
    • Undergraduate: $11,962 per year for residents; $28,639 per year for non-residents
    • Graduate: $12,541 per year for residents; $29,456 per year for non-residents

Financial aid and scholarship information can be found on their financial aid department’s website.

The university is considered one of the best research universities in the South. With three locations, it may be easier to find an LSU degree that fits your needs and lifestyle.

McNeese State University

  • Location: Lake Charles
  • Degrees Offered:
    • Bachelor’s degrees
      • S. in early childhood education, grades PK-3
      • S. in elementary education, grades 1-5
    • Master’s degrees
      • Ed. in academically gifted education (hybrid program)
      • Ed. in reading (hybrid program)
      • Ed. in secondary education (hybrid program)
      • A.T. in elementary education, grades 1-5 (evenings, hybrid, or fully online)
      • A.T. in secondary education, grades 6-12 (evenings, hybrid, or fully online)
      • S. in instructional technology (fully online)
    • A variety of degrees are offered in conjunction with other schools, such as music and educational leadership. McNeese State University also offers certificate programming.
  • Tuition:

Tuition is on a sliding scale; the more credit hours you take, the less each additional credit hour costs. Therefore, the overall price can vary greatly based on your own scheduling needs. For detailed information, see their tuition and fees page.

Scholarship information for McNeese can be found on their scholarship website.

McNeese State University is unique because it offers education degrees through its own Burton College of Education in partnership with 18 other programs. For example, if you want to be a music teacher, you can earn a Bachelor of Music degree that allows you to teach K-12. The program provides high interaction with professors, opportunities for internships, and student teaching.

Tulane University

  • Location: New Orleans
  • Undergraduate Options:
    • Certification in early childhood education, grades PK-3
    • Certification in secondary education, grades 6-12, in English, mathematics, social studies, science, or foreign language
    • A. in psychology and early childhood education
  • Tuition:
    • $57,050/year

Tulane has a vast scholarship program, and the university pays an average of 40% of the tuition costs for each student. Scholarship and aid information is available here.

Tulane presents education programs in a unique way. Instead of offering a bachelor’s or master’s in education, students pick a major that interests them and earn a teaching certification in early childhood education or secondary education. This method allows students to delve into topics while also learning about educational theory and methods. Tulane includes a public service requirement for graduation and encourages the students to explore New Orleans as part of their education.
These are just some of the schools that offer teacher training programs accepted by the Department of Education in LA. It is important to find the accredited institution that is right for you, so be sure to explore options beyond these if none meet your needs.

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