Teaching Programs in Rhode Island
Becoming a teacher in Rhode Island allows you to educate and support the next generation in meaningful ways. As of 2018, approximately 11,960 certified K-12 teachers worked in the state, but that number is expected to rise over the next few years as demand for teachers continues to grow. If you think you want to work as a teacher in Rhode Island but aren’t sure where to start, keep reading.
How Can I Get a Teaching Degree in Rhode Island?
The Rhode Island Department of Education provides several options for seeking teaching certification based on the applicant’s chosen professional path. The following section looks at the four most common routes for how to become a teacher in Rhode Island.
Traditional Pathway to Becoming a Teacher in Rhode Island
Teachers in training following a traditional pathway must complete one of the numerous teaching programs in Rhode Island taught at the bachelor’s level, take and receive passing scores on required exams, and seek licensure.
While earning a teaching degree in Rhode Island, students participate in an approved and supervised practicum that helps them build classroom skills prior to graduating. These typically last at least one semester. Testing requirements in the state differ based on the level and/or topic you hope to teach. The Rhode Island Department of Education provides a helpful table where you can find specific certification requirements based on your chosen area.
Becoming a Teacher Through Alternative Certification or as a Career Switcher
This pathway exists for individuals who hold degrees in topics outside education. Candidates must possess bachelor’s degrees, at minimum, and participate in approved alternative educator preparation programs to learn the skills needed to manage classrooms and teach students.
Alternative teacher certification allows a career changer to work for at least one year while completing additional training requirements. After that time, you must meet all state testing requirements and receive a recommendation for licensure. If approved, you qualify for full professional teaching certification.
Career and Technical Education Teacher Certification in Rhode Island
Designed for individuals who possess appropriate work experience in specific trades or technical areas, this pathway allows those with high school diplomas or higher to qualify for teaching certification. Aside from holding the proper education and professional experience, they must also pass the National Occupation Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI) exam that corresponds to their industry.
Career and technical education requirements vary based on the chosen area but typically follow Rhode Island’s industry standards. Someone who wants to teach air conditioning and refrigeration science, for instance, only needs a high school diploma or GED because this is standard to the industry. But in order to teach engineering, the aspiring teacher must hold at least a bachelor’s degree, as required in professional roles. Requirements around industry licensure and work experience also vary. The Rhode Island Department of Education provides a table to help interested candidates learn about the requirements of their chosen area.
Teachers Moving to Rhode Island from a Different State
This pathway supports certified/licensed teachers outside Rhode Island who have completed approved teacher education programs and met licensure requirements in their previous states. You should hold a valid, current, full teaching certificate for the grade range/content area you hope to teach in Rhode Island. In some cases, you may may need to sit for additional examinations to receive certification.
Rhode Island participates in the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) interstate agreement, meaning teachers moving from states also participating in the agreement may be able to seek certification without meeting additional requirements.
Average Salaries and Projected Job Growth for Rhode Island Teachers
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on national median pay for the positions listed below suggests that educators in Rhode Island earn substantially more than the national average. Rhode Island also enjoys a lower cost of living than other parts of the country. Living in Providence, Rhode Island, for instance, is approximately 35% cheaper than living in nearby Boston, Massachusetts.
|Career||2018 Median Salary||Projected Job Growth 2016-2026|
|Elementary School Teachers||$74,400||3%|
|Middle School Teachers||$75,250||3%|
|Secondary School Teachers||$73,460||3%|
|Postsecondary Teaching||$103,424||Varies based on subject|
Teacher Training Programs in Rhode Island
Brown University (Providence)
The Department of Education at Brown University offers both undergraduate and graduate programs designed to meet a variety of needs. In the bachelor’s degree program, Brown’s Open Curriculum allows students to individualize their studies in a variety of areas based on teaching interests. The graduate school includes a Master of Arts in Teaching alongside a master’s degree in urban education policy. At this time, all of Brown’s programs exist only at the Providence campus.
University of Rhode Island (Kingston)
The Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Education and Professional Studies offers degrees and certificates at every level and educates nearly 600 learners at any given time. Undergraduate studies focus on elementary education and secondary education, with teacher certification available in early childhood education, health/physical education, and music education. The Master of Arts in Education offers specializations in elementary, secondary, adult education, reading, and special education; other programs at this level include an online M.A. in TESOL/BDL and a campus-based M.A. with teacher certification. A Ph.D. in education also exists, with specializations in teaching, learning, and development in PreK-12 contexts; adult learning, professional development, and higher education; and education policy, analysis, and evaluation.
Undergraduate Resident: $525 per credit
Undergraduate Non-resident: $1,238 per credit
Graduate Resident: $763 per credit
Graduate Non-resident: $1,473 per credit
Johnson & Wales University (Providence)
The Providence campus of JWU provides several innovative education degrees not commonly found at other institutions. The Master of Arts in Teaching offers concentrations in business education/secondary special education and elementary education/elementary special education. An additional Master of Arts in Teaching exists in teacher education—culinary arts education. The M.Ed. in teaching and learning is available to existing teachers while the Ed.D. in educational leadership supports individuals who want to work in administrative positions. Each program is taught online but typically meets one to three times per week in the evenings to support working professionals. The school does not provide any bachelor’s programs in education at this time.
Graduate: $534 per credit hour
Doctorate: $5,562 per course
Rhode Island College (Providence)
The Educational Studies Department at RIC provides a B.A. in secondary education with available concentrations in special education; biology, chemistry, and physics; English, general science, history, mathematics, and social studies; or French, Portuguese, or Spanish. At the graduate level, an M.Ed. in advanced studies in teaching and learning exists alongside an M.Ed. in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL), an M.A.T. in secondary education with English and mathematics concentrations, and an M.A.T. in world languages education. A master’s in youth development also is available. All of RIC’s programs must be taken at the Providence campus at this time.
Undergraduate Resident: $10,260 per year
Undergraduate Northeast Neighbor: $14,677 per year
Undergraduate Non-resident: $24,753 per year
Graduate Resident: $462 per credit hour
Graduate Northeast Neighbor: $592 per credit hour
Graduate Non-resident: $898 per credit hour
Providence College (Providence)
Operating as a private Catholic university, Providence College provides two separate options for students who want to pursue an education degree. The Bachelor of Arts in Elementary/Special Education exists for those seeking to work in kindergarten and elementary classrooms. The secondary education degree offers specializations in biology, chemistry, English, history, mathematics, physics, French, Italian, and Spanish for individuals who want to teach middle or high school. At this time, both programs must be completed at the physical campus.