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Frequently Asked Questions About Our Teacher Preparation and Certification Program

Are you interested in becoming a Louisiana-certified teacher? Read these frequently asked questions about post-baccalaureate teacher certification to learn how the Tulane School of Professional Advancement (SoPA) can help get you there.

Frequently Asked Questions—Post-baccalaureates

How Is Tulane’s Certification Program Different From Traditional Programs?

The Teacher Preparation and Certification Program (TPCP) at Tulane is a post-baccalaureate certification-only program. Prospective teachers holding at least a bachelor’s degree can demonstrate content area mastery through the Praxis content tests (regardless of undergraduate major), qualify for a Louisiana Practitioner’s license, obtain a teaching position, and/or take TPCP courses while they work.

TPCP courses are offered in the early evening so working adults can keep up with the program’s sequence of courses. Candidates must pass a series of licensing exams (Praxis tests) in addition to completing the required coursework. Post-baccalaureate practitioners, undergraduates, and others seeking to change careers collaborate in a dynamic, collegial environment.

What Are the Admissions Requirements?

Individuals must submit transcripts showing a minimum 2.75 cumulative GPA in an earned bachelor’s degree at a regionally accredited college or university.

An ACT composite score of 22 or above OR an SAT combined verbal and math score of 1100 or higher (new SAT) or an SAT score of 1030 or higher (pre-March 2016) may be used in lieu of Praxis I. If an individual holds a graduate degree, that transcript also provides an exemption for Praxis I (PPST). Prospective candidates also need to complete the Praxis II content exam(s) in the appropriate certification area.

Individuals should schedule an initial advising interview, at which these credentials will be reviewed and a program progression plan developed. Under certain conditions, post-baccalaureate candidates may enroll in the first courses before full program admission to allow completion of the Praxis and field experience requirements.

Up to nine hours of education course credit may be considered for transfer. The candidate must provide course descriptions (and syllabi when possible) to support requests for transfer credit, which is valid only for courses taken within the past 10 years. All requests for transfer credit must be approved by the program director. Candidates must submit the Request for Transfer of Credits form (available on our Forms page) along with a copy of the syllabus for each course to the program director.

Note that, prior to August 2022, BESE required the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (Core) tests in reading, writing, and mathematics or that students meet the requirements of one of the state board-approved options such as SAT or ACT.  BESE voted to remove this requirement on 8.23.2022 and, as such, The Praxis Core is no longer required by Tulane PreK-12 Education Programs.

If I Want to Get a Teaching Position, How Do I Qualify for the Practitioner’s License?

To qualify for the Louisiana Practitioner’s License Type 2 (PL2), candidates must have the following credentials:

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree or higher with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75.
  • Pass the Praxis I (PPST) exams (or be exempted due to ACT/SAT scores or possession of a graduate degree.
  • Pass the Praxis II content area test(s) required by Louisiana for the certification area.
  • Complete at least 80 hours of focused field experience.
  • Be admitted to an approved alternate certification program.

In addition to these state-mandated requirements, TPCP also requires two letters of reference and a verified background check. These prerequisites are verified by TPCP in a letter to the employer. The school/district then applies for the individual’s practitioner’s license, which is good for ONE YEAR and may be renewed for two additional years based on adequate progression toward program completion.

Candidates holding a PL2 license have only THREE years to complete the courses and tests in the licensure programs, so careful planning is essential.

How Many Courses/Credit Hours Are Required?

Candidates who wish to earn an Early Childhood Education (PK-3) license must pass the Praxis II Elementary Content test and take a series of eight TPCP courses/practica before completing the final clinical (a total of 33 hours). Candidates who wish to earn a Secondary (6-12) license must complete the Praxis II content area test(s) for their certification area, and complete a series of seven TPCP courses/practicums before completing the clinical placement (a total of 30 hours).

How Can I Complete the Field Experience If I Am Not Working as a Teacher?

We have agreements with many New Orleans public schools and through Tulane’s Center for Public Service. Post-baccalaureate candidates working full-time outside of the classroom must have enough flexibility in their schedules to meet the program requirements (approximately 180 to 200 hours in classroom settings before the clinical capstone). Some placements can be made in Saturday school programs or after-school programs, but others require availability during regular school hours (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

Is Financial Assistance Available?

Information is available on our financial assistance page. Advisors in Tulane’s Office of Financial Aid can provide information on financial assistance. Full-time teachers and paraprofessionals, including classroom assistants and assistant teachers are eligible for a 20% discount off undergraduate tuition.

How Do I Get Started?

After obtaining copies of all your transcripts, make an initial advising appointment. To schedule an initial advising appointment, please contact Program Officer Claudine Davis.

Once you have been admitted in the program, your advisor will be assigned to you based on your intended pathway. Your advisor will evaluate any possible transfer coursework, verify your GPA, and develop a program completion plan. It is possible for post-baccalaureate students to enroll in the first courses (EDLA 2000/ EDUC 3250) while they complete any necessary Praxis tests. The process for admission to SoPA and additional program and licensing requirements will be explained at the initial advising appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions—Undergraduates

How Is Tulane’s Certification Program Different From Traditional Programs?

The Teacher Preparation and Certification Program (TPCP) at Tulane is a licensure program, not a degree program. Prospective teachers must already have a bachelor's degree or may be earning a Tulane degree in another content field. Those enrolled in the program while undergraduates take TPCP courses in literacy instruction, teaching methods, and psychology.

After their bachelor’s degree is finished, candidates earn full admission to the program, complete the yearlong teaching residency, and pass additional licensing exams to qualify for their Louisiana teaching licenses.

How Many Courses/Credit Hours Are Required?

For those who have not already earned a bachelor's degree, candidates who wish to earn an Early Childhood Education (PK-3) license typically select a Psychology/Early Childhood coordinate major in the School of Science and Engineering. Candidates in the Psychology/Early Childhood coordinate major must finish all courses, except for the final clinical, within the baccalaureate degree. ECE candidates take a series of nine TPCP courses (several with practicums) for a total of 27 hours included in the baccalaureate degree.

Candidates who wish to earn a Secondary (6-12) license complete a content area major as well as a series of seven TPCP courses, totaling 23 hours (including practicums). Candidates in some programs may finish coursework after earning the bachelor's degree, if necessary. After the bachelor’s degree and pre-clinical coursework are completed, candidates apply for full admission to the program and finish the last six hours during the yearlong teaching residency.

What Is the Post-baccalaureate Clinical Experience?

This final six-hour yearlong teaching residency is completed as a part-time enrollment through SoPA.

How Did This Program Begin?

Tulane University has a long history of educating teachers, going all the way back to the 1880s. Having begun the process of building the current program in 1999, Tulane’s TPCP earned national accreditation through the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) in April of 2011.

What PK-12 Classroom Experiences Do TPCP Students Complete?

In the very first set of courses (EDLA 2000/2890), a prospective teacher spends 40 hours in a classroom setting related to the licensing/grade level in which he or she is interested. This first field experience focuses primarily on observation. As students progress through the program, the level of responsibility in the PK-12 setting increases from focused observations to individual and small group tutoring and finally to whole class instruction.

By the time students are eligible for the final clinical (practitioner or student teaching residency), they will have spent nearly 200 hours in PK-12 classrooms. They will have been observed teaching a small group or whole class at least six times and will have completed a variety of instructional design/planning projects based on the Louisiana state curriculum standards and the national Common Core standards. This growth in professional knowledge and skill is documented in an electronic portfolio.

In What Types of Schools Are TPCP Students Placed?

We have agreements with a variety of New Orleans public schools through Tulane’s Center for Public Service. Several of our early field experience courses also help current Tulane undergraduates meet the service-learning requirement for graduation.

TPCP students experience the wide diversity of school settings and student populations present in an urban area, from selective charter schools to schools with disadvantaged populations. We place our students in a range of classroom settings and grade levels to develop their skills in matching instructional strategies to the needs of diverse student populations.

Can the Louisiana Teaching License Be Transferred to Other States?

While most who complete the program stay in Louisiana, about one-third of our program completers elect to return to their home states to teach. Every state has its own unique licensing requirements, particularly in mandated licensing exams for teachers. Louisiana has reciprocity agreements with over 30 states, so, in some cases, transferring a teaching license from Louisiana to another state may only mean taking one or more additional licensing tests. Some states accept the Louisiana license with no additional requirements. Candidates who are interested in teaching in other states should contact that state’s department of education for additional information.

If you are interested in the Teacher Preparation and Certification Program at the Tulane School of Professional Advancement, review our admissions process.