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What to Look for When Choosing a Teaching Program

Becoming a teacher is a noble calling; one that many people feel compelled to fill. It’s also one of the most significant careers a person can have. It is the teachers of this world who can have a considerable impact on the lives of children as they develop and grow into capable, intelligent adults who can contribute to society.

If you are thinking about applying to a teaching program, congratulations on your decision. Having said that, you might now be wondering what to look for when choosing a teaching program. With so many colleges offering teaching programs, choosing the right one for you might seem overwhelming.

What factors go into making an excellent teaching program? What qualifications does a program need to be recognized and respected as one of the best? Let’s do a deep dive into what it takes to find a good teaching program by answering these questions and more.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Good Teaching Program

You may have your sights set on specific colleges, maybe colleges in your state or certain colleges out of state. You might want to study in a particular part of the country because you’ve always wanted to live there. Or you might be open to any college anywhere, as long as it has a good program.

Regardless of your preferred location, if you are looking to get into a teaching program, you will want to be sure it is a top-notch program that will set you up for an outstanding teaching career. With that in mind, here are the main things to consider when choosing an excellent teaching program.


The teaching school you choose needs to be accredited. This means that it meets industry standards in instruction as set out by certain groups, such as the National Council of Accreditation for Teacher Education (NCATE). The program should be accredited on both a state and national level and it should be recognized by the Department of Education of the state in which you want to teach.


There are hundreds of teaching programs across the U.S. and not all of them are equal in terms of reputation. Ideally, you want to choose a school that has a well-known and well-respected program with high standards and the very best training. The professors should also carry a good reputation in the educational community. To find the programs with the best reputation, do your research. You can find reviews and ratings online that will help you make the decision easier.


You might want to be a high school teacher, or you might want to teach elementary school. You might prefer to teach math and science, or you might want to teach English or arts and humanities. Not every program will cover everything, so you need to seek out the best programs for the type of teaching you want to do.

Student Teaching

Part of your teacher education should include the practical experience provided by internships and student teaching placements. Be sure to look into these opportunities at the schools you are considering. The very best teaching programs will offer a wide range of opportunities to choose from, including placements at both public and private schools. It is also critical that you have good mentorship, support and resources during your placements.

Career Placement

The very best teaching programs will help you find a job when you graduate. When researching potential programs, make sure to take a look at their job placement rates and try to get an idea of where program alumni are working. This will give you an idea of your chances of finding a job when you graduate. A good school will also offer career counseling services, which makes it easier to find a job after graduation.

Online Classes

The option to take some or all courses online is appealing to many students these days. It can be particularly beneficial to have access to online learning for mature students or students who have other responsibilities, such as a job or family. If this is an essential factor for you, make sure to check whether the programs you are considering have an online option.

colleges known for teaching programs

Additional Questions

In addition to the above considerations, when choosing a teaching program, there are other questions you may want to ask. These include:

  • What makes a particular program unique or sets it apart from other programs?
  • How hands-on is the learning in the program?
  • Does the school offer graduate programs in teacher education?
  • Are there scholarships available for the students who enter the program?
  • Are there resources and support to prepare for state licensing exams?
  • How much does the program cost and what additional costs are there to consider?
  • Does the program offer an accelerated learning option to help you graduate sooner?
  • Are there opportunities to study abroad?

The Ultimate Decision

In the end, you will have a shortlist of schools you are considering. It is essential to visit each of these schools if at all possible. That way, you can see the campus, meet the professors and get a feel for the teaching program. This may tip the scales when you are uncertain about where to go.

Most importantly, don’t rush your decision. Take your time, consider each teaching program carefully and choose the one that is best for you. After all, this is a decision that will affect your entire career so you want to get it right.