You don’t want to wait to achieve your dream of becoming a math teacher. If you are eager to get to the other side of the classroom, your choice of college matters. By selecting a school that offers one of the fastest degree programs in math education, you could begin your career as a teacher while your peers who chose other colleges are still students.
Accelerated Math Education Degree Options for Undergraduates
A bachelor’s degree doesn’t have to be a “four-year” degree at the right college. A number of schools offer undergraduate math education programs that ambitious students can finish early. These schools allow for a shorter time to degree completion by giving students options such as accelerated course schedules and the ability to earn college credit for knowledge gained outside of school.
For example, Granite State College in New Hampshire is home to a Bachelor of Arts degree program in Math Studies that includes teacher certification options and can be completed in a much shorter timeframe. Aspiring math teachers at Granite State College can choose from certification options in elementary school education, special education, mathematics education for grades five through eight and mathematics education for grades seven through 12. Granite State College reduces the time it takes to earn your teaching degree by counting all kinds of prior learning toward your degree. The college has a generous transfer credit program that allows students to transfer up to 90 college credits from another school, so it works well for students who previously started college but haven’t completed their degree. You can also get prior learning credit for any military training, professional training, work experience and passing scores on standardized exams. Students who have the full amount of prior learning credit to apply toward their degree could graduate in as little as one year.
Online learning is an excellent option for prospective math teachers who want to complete their degrees faster, because they tend to offer more flexibility and credit options. Western Governors University offers online Bachelor of Science in Mathematics Education programs in the middle grades as well as secondary school. Like Granite State College, Western Governors University offers competency-based education options that allow students to earn credit for what they already know. The school also allows for an accelerated learning schedule for students who want it. Tuition is charged by the term, rather than by the class or credit, so students who commit fully to their studies can complete as many classes per six-month term as they want to attempt. You could complete the secondary school program to become a high school teacher in as little as 18 months or the middle grades program in just 12 months.
Some colleges, like Montclair State University, offer combined five-year programs that award both a bachelor’s degree in math and a Master of Arts in Teaching degree.
Graduate-Level Paths to a Math Teacher Career
If you already have a bachelor’s degree in another field but have realized that teaching is your calling, you might consider an alternate route teaching certification program. These graduate degree programs that award a master’s degree typically take two years to complete, but that isn’t always the case. Loyola University in Maryland, for example, offers a full-time one-year Master of Arts in Teaching program that prepares graduate students to earn their initial teaching certification. Students of the program complete 38 credits of graduate-level study throughout the summer, fall and spring semesters. While an accelerated program like this comes with an intense workload, it also means that you could be fully prepared for your dream career in a single year.
Another school that offers a full-time one-year Master of Arts in Teaching degree program is Seattle Pacific University in Washington State. This program is offered online, though students still have to complete a full year of in-person, on-site student teaching experience under the supervision of a licensed educator before they can graduate from the program and attain their teaching license. Courses for this program begin in the summer, followed by the start of the student-teaching internship which begins in the fall and goes until school ends the following summer.
Even if you’re not a career-changer, you might pursue an accelerated master’s degree to earn a pay bump. Teachers with a master’s degree earn up to 28 percent more than those without one, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.