WASHINGTON, DC (August 23, 2005) — Approximately 59 percent of candidates for the Passport to Teaching certification might not have pursued teaching if the program were not available, according to a recent survey conducted by the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence.
The survey—compiled in August 2005 from the responses of 65 candidates for certification—highlights the importance of individualized preparation for career changers who want to teach.
Such self-directed preparation allows professionals to continue working while preparing for teacher certification. Ninety percent of survey respondents agreed that Passport to Teaching allows them to prepare on their own time and at their own pace.
Ninety one percent of respondents would recommend the program to other individuals interested in becoming teachers.
According to a new report by the National Center for Education Information, 40 percent of teachers will leave the classroom within the next five years. As a result, America’s schools are increasingly searching for talented professionals who want to change careers and teach.
“Our certification program is often the only viable solution for highly talented professionals to pursue their teaching goals,” said American Board Vice President Dave Saba. “These individuals often hold advanced degrees, enjoy successful careers, and are making the switch out of dedication to improving their schools and communities.”
In fact, an overwhelming percentage of survey respondents said they are entering the teaching profession with altruistic motives. The top two reasons candidates chose teaching were “sharing knowledge/improving education” and “working with children.”
Considered a premier certification option that sets rigorous standards for teacher knowledge, Passport to Teaching requires that certification candidates hold bachelor’s degrees, demonstrate high levels of knowledge on subject area and professional teaching knowledge examinations and pass a federal background check.
“For me, there was no better way to become a teacher. The flexibility and independence offered by this process fit my needs and prepared me for my next step in life,” said Passport alumnus Jason Langin, a teacher in Haverford, Penn.
“My experience with the American Board was flawless,” said Passport alumna Kathleen Hefner, a teacher in Nampa, Idaho. “The staff was extremely supportive and genuinely interested in my successful completion of the program. By obtaining this certification, I can finally empower students to reach for the stars and pursue their dreams.”
The American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (www.abcte.org) was created in 2001 to address the need for a highly qualified teacher in every American classroom. The American Board offers the rigorous, five-step Passport to TeachingSM certification process for knowledgeable and passionate individuals entering the teaching field. Passport to Teaching offers individualized learning plans for teaching candidates to complement the knowledge and skills they have obtained through previous work experience.
The American Board is also developing a Master TeacherSM certification to recognize current teachers who significantly advance student achievement. Master Teacher should be available in 2006.
The American Board is recognized as an approved provider of teacher certification in the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.