Find answers to the most commonly asked questions about becoming certified to teach in Indiana. If you have additional questions, please contact our Incoming Corps Director, Ricky Ritter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why Choose Indianapolis?
What You Need to Know
Becoming Certified to Teach
- What types of certification does Teach For America - Indianapolis offer?
- I have a bachelor's degree. Can I teach?
- What are the routes to become certified?
- Do I have to apply for a temporary certificate or can I apply initially for a professional license?
- Will you accept my transcripts without a degree conferral date?
- My overall GPA is below a 3.0. Can I still be certified?
- Would past legal troubles prevent me from becoming certified?
- What is the fee for certification?
- I'm interested in teaching but I've never taught before. Do I have to take any examinations to become certified?
- How long do I have to complete the examinations?
- Is there any help available to prepare for the exams?
While you are a corps member, you will be certified under your Transition to Teaching permit. This permit certifies you to be in an Indiana classroom for three years and is renewable. After completing your two years in the classroom with your Transition to Teaching permit, you will be recommended for your Indiana teaching license. This will be a five-year teaching license and is renewable. This license can also be transferred to most other states via the reciprocal license process (which varies depending on the state you are transferring to).
You are able to submit your Transition to Teaching permit because you will be enrolled in Marian University’s Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program. This program is only offered to individuals that are not traditionally trained teachers (non-certified education majors). There is no out of pocket cost for this program for those individuals that have not received an AmeriCorps award previously. At the end of your second year, as long as you are in good standing with Marian University, you will have earned your MAT degree.
Master's Degree Option
Traditionally trained/certified teachers will have the option of enrolling in Ball State University’s Master of Education program with a focus on elementary education, secondary education, or education psychology. This optional program is an online program that does come with some additional cost to the AmeriCorps education award.
Yes! A bachelor’s degree is all that is required to obtain certification through Teach For America – Indianapolis. While advanced degrees could be used to exempt you from certain examinations, they are not required to start teaching in Indiana. If you are a current college senior, your bachelor’s degree needs to be conferred by the end of June of your senior year to begin teaching with us.
If you are not traditionally trained (and already certified), you will only have one certification option: Getting your Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree from Marian University is the only way we are able to certify you to teach. Being enrolled in your graduate courses is how we are able to submit your Transition to Teaching permit which certifies you to be in the classroom.
If you are already certified (or will come to us with a teaching license – either from Indiana or from another state), you will be able to initially apply for your teaching license. If you are coming to us without a certification or license, you will have to teach on the Transition to Teaching permit that is a temporary certificate before applying for your teaching license (which will happen at the end of your second year).
We will likely need copies of your transcripts sent twice (sent to Marian University – our university partner). The first copy sent once you are accepted and the second once you have your degree conferred transcript (after you graduate). We will accept your transcripts without a degree conferral date, but will eventually need your degree conferred transcript to officially enroll you in our master’s program.
Unfortunately we are only able to certify individuals that have a GPA at or above a 3.0 at Teach For America – Indianapolis. This is not an area where we have flexibility as our Transition to Teaching permit requires a 3.0 GPA for approval.
Previous misdemeanor charges will likely not prevent you from being certified in Indiana. Alcohol related charges (like minor consumption) do not interfere with certification. If you have questions or concerns about other charges, please contact the Indianapolis regional team.
Submitting your Transition to Teaching permit is $40. CPR/AED certification cost $50-$100. Exams cost average $150-300. All of these items are required for your certification.
Everyone will have to take at least one exam and it is likely that you will have to take two or three exams. The CASA exam is required for all Indianapolis corps members. It is possible to be exempt from the CASA based on SAT, ACT, GRE scores, or by having a master’s degree. If you are not exempt, passing all three parts of the CASA (reading, writing, and math) is mandatory for you to officially become a corps member.
After taking care of the CASA requirement, you will have to take a Pearson exam that aligns with your undergraduate major and an exam that aligns with the content you will be teaching. If your major and content are the same, you will only have to take one exam. Elementary, pre-k/ECE, and special education teachers do not have to take an exam that aligns with their undergraduate major. Please do not register for or pay for exams until your exams have been communicated to you by the regional team.
The CASA exam must be passed by June 1st in order to enroll with our university partner and officially become a corps member. This is a hard deadline. The deadline for Pearson exams will be communicated on an individual basis. The sooner they are passed, the better, but there is more flexibility with Pearson exams. After being admitted and placed in Indianapolis, each corps member will have a one on one certification call to talk about your specific timeline and action items.
Yes! We have a large collection of practice tests, study guides, flash cards, and other resources that are made available to Indianapolis corps members once they are accepted.
Where You'll Teach
Subjects And Grade Levels
- Elementary/Middle School Generalist
- Secondary Math
- Secondary Science
- Secondary History
- Secondary English
- Foreign Language/ESL/Bilingual
- Broad Ripple
- Fountain Square
- Mass Ave.
A few miles north of downtown Indianapolis, Broad Ripple is one of the city's designated cultural districts and home to many of its young residents. Nearby Butler University ensures the neighborhood is well-stocked with affordable housing options and reasonably priced restaurants, bars, and shops. Known as a diverse and progressive community, Broad Ripple's energy and character attract families, artists, and many others
Southeast of downtown Indianapolis is one of 7 designated cultural districts, Fountain Square. The area is full of local restaurants, live music and a vibrant arts scene. A popular place for corps members and alumni to live. There are affordable rental options around the area that range from historic homes to newly built dwellings.
The Mass Ave area, right in the heart of downtown is a popular place for people of all ages to live and play. The streets are packed with restaurants, bars & shops. 2012 Indianapolis corps member, Ronak Shaw says,
“There are theatres, concert venues, comedy clubs, buskers and street performers, festivals, parades, and all the while you'll find it quiet at a night when you're trying to sleep and prepare for the next day. You'll also find a ton of history -- buildings with old faces and new purposes, and if you dig a little deeper there's a rich underbelly of Indianapolis waiting to be revealed.”
Teach For America - Indianapolis is just one of many efforts working towards providing every student in our city with access to a great education. We deeply believe that our success is contingent upon effective partnerships with students, families, organizations, and stakeholders in the neighborhoods of our schools. With increased clustering of corps members and alumni teachers and leaders in specific Center Township neighborhoods, we have a real opportunity to deepen our leaders’ understanding and commitment to the specific community around their school. Over two-thirds of our corps members and school-based alumni work in three relatively compact geographic areas of Indianapolis. We partner with organizations in these geographic areas that are deeply embedded in the fabric of neighborhoods. Additionally, we connect with many of the civic and nonprofit organizations that are doing great work with schools and communities across the city. Each of these partnerships strengthens our capacity to cultivate great leaders and high performing schools.
Public Allies Indianapolis
Public Allies Indianapolis is a program hosted by the Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center that trains AmeriCorps leaders to support community projects with local nonprofit organizations. The program pairs young leaders (“Allies”) with local nonprofits and provides them with rigorous training and skills in community-building projects. Teach For America – Indianapolis has partnered with Public Allies to provide training for corps members and alumni on asset based community development and collaboration.
La Plaza serves, empowers, and integrates the Latino community of Indianapolis and Central Indiana. La Plaza currently serves more than 7,000 Latinos annually by providing families with access to essential health, social services, and education programs. Miriam Acevedo Davis, La Plaza’s CEO, is a member of our regional advisory board.
Playworks Indiana partners with low-income schools to transform time spent during recess. They believe in creating a place where every kid belongs and can take their positive experience back to the classroom, back to learning, and back to their communities.
The Expectations Project
The Expectations Project partners with faith-based individuals, leaders, congregations, and organizations to develop location and national campaigns that help enact transformational change for low-income public schools.
The following neighborhood organizations are working in and alongside communities to strengthen neighborhoods by providing critical services and resources.