Teaching Degrees in Louisiana

Those wishing to become teachers in Louisiana, should be aware of some key information before embarking on their career path, including:

  • The value of a master’s degree
  • Grant and scholarship programs
  • Louisiana teaching certification requirements

Also included here is a list of additional resources and a comprehensive directory of fully accredited teaching degrees in Louisiana.

Teaching Degrees in Louisiana

In order to become a teacher in Louisiana, one must first obtain a bachelor’s degree that includes an area of focus in addition to general education courses, 180 hours of field experience and a one- semester internship. Additional education options for certification options include:

  • Completion of a master’s degree
  • Completion of a practitioner teacher program
  • Completion of a certification-only program

There are currently eighteen colleges and universities in Louisiana that offer the traditional undergraduate teacher preparation degree. A total of 28 offer certification programs, bachelor’s, or master’s teaching degrees in Louisiana. Twenty three percent of Louisiana teachers hold master’s degrees. Teachers holding these degrees can expect to earn up to an average of $4810 more per year than teachers that hold an undergraduate degree with comparable experience.

Important note: Louisiana has implemented a performance-based pay scale to reward good teachers for their efforts. Teachers are now evaluated on effectiveness, demand and experience. This is much different than the seniority based pay scales that are utilized by the majority of educational institutions across the nation.

Teaching Scholarships and Grants in Louisiana

Students pursuing teaching degrees in Louisiana have a variety of state-based scholarship and grant options available. Scholarship sources include state government, colleges and universities, and professional teacher organizations. For example:

Alex Laney Endowment
This scholarship provides up to $750 annually to a student enrolled in a graduate level program at Louisiana Tech University’s College of Education.

Go Grant
This state-funded grant program awards grants ranging from $300 to $3,000 annually to students displaying financial need.

Helen Alene Melancon Excellence in Education Endowed Scholarship
This scholarship is available to full-time, freshman students of Nicholls who display strong academic achievements. Recipients must maintain a GPA of 2.8 and, providing all criteria continue to be met, may retain the scholarship for up to four years.

Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (LEAP)
This is a need-based grant, typically awarded in amounts ranging from $200 to $2,000 available to students who are academically qualified.

Lorraine M. Cooks Honorary Scholarship
This scholarship is offered by Nicholls State University. Requirements include holding a 3.2 GPA and being a senior education student with full-time student status.

TOPS Honors Award
This award provides coverage of tuition and qualifying fees, in addition to an $800 annual stipend. Requirements include a high school GPA of 3.00 and an ACT score of 27 or greater.

TOPS Opportunity Award
This scholarship is available for tuition and qualifying fees at Louisiana public colleges and universities. Requirements include a high school GPA of 2.50 or higher and an ACT score of 20.

TOPS Performance Award
This scholarship will provide coverage of tuition and certain qualifying fees, in addition to a $400 annual stipend. Some of the requirements include a high school GPA of 3.00 and a minimum ACT score of 23.

Louisiana Teacher Certification

Those who plan to teach in Louisiana are required to first obtain Lousiana Teaching Credentials. The state has three teaching certification types. These are:

  • Level 1 Professional Certificate – For teachers who have completed a state-approved teacher preparation program, passed all necessary exams and obtained recommendation by a private provider or university.
  • Level 2 Professional Certificate – For teachers who have passed the Louisiana Teacher Assistance and Assessment Program and have taught for three years in an approved setting and in their certification area.
  • Level 3 Professional Certificate – For teachers who have taught in their certification area for five years, passed the Louisiana Teacher Assistance and Assessment Program and obtained a master’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university.

Certification requirements include:

  • A bachelor’s or master’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Successful completion of the Louisiana Teacher Assistance and Assessment Program
  • Passing score on the Praxis II: Subject Tests exam
  • Passing score on the Praxis II PLT exam
  • Passing score on the Pre Professional Skills Test

Maintaining teaching certification in Louisiana requires teachers to complete 150 continuing learning units over a five year period. These units must be verified and district-approved in order for certification to be renewed. Although fingerprinting is not currently required in order to obtain teaching certification in Louisiana, many educational institutions do require it from applicants seeking employment.

Additional Resources about Teaching in Louisiana

The resources that follow provide additional helpful information for those interested in earning a teaching degree in Louisiana or teaching in Louisiana public schools.

Louisiana Believes – Louisiana Department of Education
Obtain comprehensive information about the Louisiana public school system and teaching in Louisiana.

Teach Louisiana
This is the Louisiana Department of Education’s site, which provides information on teaching certification, preparation and jobs.

Louisiana Scholarships and Grants
This serves as a resource for obtaining information on some of the federal or state grants and scholarships that are available.

National Center for Education Statistics – State Education Data Profiles
Obtain the statistical data surrounding education and teaching in Louisiana and other states.

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