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Question for PsyGuy

PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:55 pm
by inmortus
You seem to know your stuff in regards to alternative routes to certification and I wanted to ask your opinion on a hypothetical case.

Someone, let's call him Robert, is a Spanish teacher. Robert did an online masters degree in teaching Spanish from a university in Puerto Rico, and this helped him land a job at an international school in southeast Asia (this was some years ago). However, Robert does not actually have an actual teaching license from the US (as his program did not lead to certification). Furthermore, although his program is locally valid in Puerto Rico as it is registered with CEPR (Puerto Rico's Council of Education), the University is not regionally accredited by any of the 7 American regional accreditation agencies. In practice, this means that some countries may choose not to recognize Robert's degree.

Any ideas on possible pathways for Robert to get a teaching license? Would completing a program like Teach Now or similar be the only choice? Can you think of ways around being able to use Robert's degree to at least shorten the time needed to obtain a license somewhere/somehow?

Unfortunately, given PR is part of the US, I imagine that it would not be possible to have the degree be evaluated to a US equivalent and then go through Hawaii or similar...

What possible pathways are there?

Re: Question for PsyGuy

PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:04 am
by GrumblesMcGee
PsyGuy is overall more knowledgeable in certification matters, so I'd give weight to his overall - of "Robert's" situation, but I'll reduce the variables a bit for you.

I'm assuming that Robert has a bachelor's degree from an accredited school (I mean, he got the iffy online master's). If that assumption is correct, the routes forward are much, much easier. There are plenty of programs (you named a few) that will get you some form of certification as long as you have a bachelor's. Bear in mind, however, that you're (perhaps inadvertently and interchangeably) throwing both "certification" and "license" out there. They're related, but not necessarily the same thing. There's even some debate over the overlap/relationship between the terms.

From my perspective, "licensure" is a pretty straightforward concept: some territorial governing body grants you a credential that says you're legally allowed to teach. Whether it's Missouri or Connecticut or Hawaii or Wisconsin, they're all equally irrelevant (and at the same time, strangely relevant) to teaching overseas. And given the myriad choices and policies, it gets complicated (which makes PsyGuy's knowledge helpful). So if you're looking for that LICENSE, be clear about that (and try not to throw around "...alternative routes to certification..." in the same question), as I'd argue that "certification" can mean different things that may (or may not) involve licensure.

If you're looking for "certification" that isn't directly related to a license, those options are out there, too. In this case, it's really up to you (or Robert) to weigh how recruiters will evaluate that iffy master's degree and what the certification accomplishes for Robert. If all he wants is some license that says you're legally allowed to teach in [insert jurisdiction], that's fine. If you're concerned that simply tacking on a license still leaves Robert's CV vulnerable to a recruiter going "but we don't recognize this CEPR degree, therefore he has no relevant training, just an empty license," then maybe a certification program effectively replaces/supplements the online master's.

Re: Question for PsyGuy

PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:43 am
by inmortus
Thanks GrumbiesMcGee. You are right in pointing out the fact that certification and license may not be the same thing. I had been reading up on Teach Now (which calls their program a "certificate" even though they actually mean that you can get a license I guess). Anyhow, Robert is looking for a license from an accredited body to avoid future employment issues.

Robert does have a bachelor's degree; however, please note that Robert is not a US citizen and his degree (Business Administration) has nothing to do with his teaching experience and would have to be validated in the US (should not be a problem, just stating it would have to). Regarding the "iffy" degree; the degree is perfectly valid under the eyes of PR's government education agencies, and it was a demanding 2 year program. Unfortunatley, as a non-US citizen, Robert was not fully aware of the whole regional accreditation thing in the US or how PR is considered a "separate" entity or not from the US for certain aspects depending on the country assessing qualifications. But that's not the case; having clarified a bit more on the context and need for a "license" I look forward to hearing any ideas/possibilities.

Thanks again

As a side note:
Teach Now seems an option, but their website is not too clear on how the practice teaching works, or for example alternatives if the person doing the program cannot perform these at their current school. It actually mentions that the program receives applications "from current and prospective teachers " but I'm not sure how that would work for a prospective teacher if they do not have access to a classroom. Not Robert's situation, but he does not count on his school allowing him to do this.

Re: Question for PsyGuy

PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:12 am
by GrumblesMcGee
Thanks for the additional info.

Others (e.g., PsyGuy) are better informed to delve into the details of Teach Now, etc.

Not to pick on you, but you're kind of mixing terminology again with the "...looking for a license from an accredited body..." language and arguably even the bit about Teach Now giving a license. "Accreditation" implies the evaluation (and approval) by some sort of educational (or other) institution. In education, it's generally referring to the schools (not the teachers) being approved. While in some countries the accrediting bodies are governmental, in the United States they're not.

So if you're looking for licensure, it's not coming from any "accredited body" in the common usage of those terms--at least not in the United States.

Having said all that, I'll leave it to others to suggest the best path forward for Robert to seek a license.

Re: Question for PsyGuy

PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:18 am
by inmortus
Thanks for the clarification on terminology.

I do wonderwhat alternatives are there other than Teach Now (and I don't really know how easy/difficult it would be given the school may not allow for this (how do "prospective teachers" do Teach Now?).

I read a bit about Teacher Ready, but it seems that non US citizens need Florida Residency and employment or otherwise they just receive a "certificate of completion". Would that certificate be considered as a valid "state approved teacher preparation program" that allows for the Hawaii license?

Any creative solutions that allow Robert to use his M.Ed. degree?

Thanks again.