Things to Think About:
Choosing a career in education is as varied and diverse as with any other profession. You will have to decide whether to teach, and what age level in which to specialize. Perhaps you would prefer to specialize in a field such as special education, or to become a counselor or an administrator. Your educational career path will depend upon your background, education, professional and personal interests.
With what age level you wish to work
Consider elementary school if you think you would enjoy teaching young children, ages 6-10. If you like working with pre-pubescent children, teaching middle school may interest you, because the subject matter is more specialized and teaching usually covers specific disciplines. As a high school teacher, you will work with young adolescents in the higher grades, which are completely subject-based.
Your desired content area or administrative focus
Often, the subjects and fields of experience that interest you the most are the areas that you might like to teach or work. Usually, your focus areas will involve professional and community experience along with formal courses. Your academic advisor can help you choose a path that fits your educational career goals and help you decide the most appropriate degree and course options.
Your current educational status
All teaching positions require a minimum of a bachelor's degree and proof that you are a highly qualified teacher (HQT) before you can be hired. New Hampshire offers five paths to teacher certification (called "alternatives"). More information about each individual pathway can be found on the New Hampshire Department of Education's Bureau of Credentialing website. The path you take will depend upon your current educational status.
Where you wish to take courses or pursue a degree
Your choices will depend upon your interests, career goals, academic record, location, and schedule. If you work or are raising a family, you will need to choose a college like Granite State College that offers flexible course formats and schedules (including night, weekend, intensive, and online classes) and enables you to study at your own pace. If you plan to study full-time, attending at a more traditional college campus may be the answer. Whatever college environment you choose, it is most important to select a college with a teacher preparation program approved by the New Hampshire Department of Education for Alternative 1 Certification.
How to finance your continuing education
There are many ways to meet educational expenses. Federal financial aid, including grants, scholarships, and loans; forgivable loans; tuition assistance; and, depending upon your current work environment, professional development funds may be available. Visit our Financial Aid section for more information about financing your education.