If you’ve ever found yourself asking what it would be like to take your teaching to the next level at a university, you know that making that move isn’t as easy as applying for a new job.
Instead, it often involves earning additional degrees and adapting to an entirely new teaching environment. It’s a lot to take in.
If you’re thinking about making a change, keep reading to learn what you’ll need to do before making your big move.
Understand the Change in Environment
There are a number of reasons why you might decide to go from high school teacher to college professor. Often, this job change comes with a pay increase. You might also enjoy the potential for additional benefits, like free college tuition for your children or the chance for tenure, depending on the university.
The type of content you’ll be teaching and how you’ll engage with your students will change as well. If you’re interested in the chance to take a deeper dive into the subjects you teach or to engage in more debate with your students, a college environment might be a perfect choice.
However, before you begin to take the next steps, it’s also important to understand the change in the environment that you’ll experience. While your students may only be a few years older than your former ones, they may have a very different approach to school. You can demand more from your students, and often college classes provide less hand-holding to students to help them pass their courses. Speaking to current college professors about the daily challenges that they face in the classroom can help you to better understand the environment that you’re going to be facing.
Choose a Professional Degree
Once you’ve decided that becoming a college professor is the right path for you, the next step is to make sure that you have the necessary education.
In order to become a high school teacher, you’ll have already earned your bachelor’s degree. You may have also taken advantage of programs designed for teachers that allow them to earn master’s degrees while they teach, earning a pay raise and fulfilling continuing education requirements.
But if you haven’t already, this will be your next step. Most community colleges or smaller universities allow professors to teach with a master’s degree. However, other colleges and universities will require you to have a doctorate degree as well.
Pick the Right Program
If you plan to continue teaching high school while you further your education before pursuing a career as a college professor, the next step is to find the right degree program. A traditional, full-time master’s degree program likely isn’t an option. This would require you to be in courses during the same hours that you’re in your own classroom.
Instead, an online master of arts in teaching program is a great way to continue teaching while earning the degree that you need to be a college professor.
Making the Move From High School Teacher to College Professor
If you’re looking to further your career, change your teaching environment or challenge yourself in new and exciting ways, moving from high school teacher to college professor may be just the answer. Before you take the leap, though, you’ll want to consider the change that you’ll be experiencing, choose the degree that you’ll pursue and pick the right teaching program.