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Education Department

College to Career

Prepare yourself for a first teaching position that is right for you, and launch a career you can love for a lifetime.

Teaching is as gratifying as it is challenging. Your Marist education can prepare you for a career characterized by stimulation and professional growth, a career in which each year you strengthen your ability to make a difference in children's lives.

Marist alumni have an excellent track record, finding teaching positions they love even in this very competitive economic environment. Our teachers are helping diverse students achieve high academic standards in public and private schools, in general and special education, and in places near and far.

Graduates who find teaching positions well suited to their strengths and interests are those who are willing to look beyond their backyards. While there is no across-the-board shortage of teachers, rewarding positions are open in key locations and specializations. If you are flexible about teaching assignments and are willing to relocate, you are sure to find a teaching position you will love.

About College to Career

We are here to help

Marist faculty and staff are committed to helping you succeed. We have designed our curriculum very carefully, linking course work to field experiences in diverse settings that increase in complexity from freshman to senior year. We monitor your progress carefully and offer individualized support to insure that you become an excellent teacher. We are guided by Marist's mission and values statements, which express our beliefs about the power of education.

Please take advantage of all that the Education Department offers you.

The key is developing your strengths

All of the applicants for the teaching positions you are seeking will have commendable GPAs and enthusiastic letters of recommendation, very much like yours. How will your application stand out, so that it makes its way from the "in box" to the "interview box"?

If you take deliberate steps over your years at Marist to cultivate your strengths, you will be able to demonstrate to a school leadership team the distinctive contributions you can make to their faculty. You also will become a teacher-leader who can help to improve schooling to the benefit of students, their families, and their communities.

This is a marathon, not a sprint

The strategies we recommend -- nurturing your strengths, developing depth of knowledge and a range of experiences, building a professional network -- take time to bear fruit. To ensure success, you must begin now and make steady progress in developing your career. Those who wait until junior or senior year will be at a disadvantage when the time comes to conduct a job search.

Academic Standing

For each student, depending on training, experience level, and personal abilities, these strategies will be comprised of different activities. We have identified the ins and outs of these steps for each academic year.

Freshman

Nurture Your Strengths

Move outside your comfort zone to try a new activity; it may help you uncover overlooked strengths. Find a lead at the Activities Fair, held the first Friday of every fall semester and the second wednesday every spring semester. Two great choices for future teachers are Teachers of Tomorrow and the Marist Student Chapter of the Council for Exceptional Children.

Cultivate Depth of Knowledge

Follow the news on topics that you have a strong interest in, and that might become an area of specialization for you. The professional development sections of LDonline and the United Federation of Teachers have pages with links to well-respected newsletters that will be delivered each week to your email address, free of charge.

Your coursework will be more meaningful if you can relate it to experiences working with children. Look for work in summer camps and summer school programs. These programs regularly recruit Marist teacher candidates.

Build Your Network

Get as much field experience as you can. Campus Ministry's community service projects are a great way to do this. There are placements available in pre-schools, public elementary schools, Catholic K-8 schools, and in after-school programs. Campus Ministry volunteers commit two hours of service each week, and transportation is provided. Sign-ups happen in the first two weeks of each semester. Questions? Email campusministryvolunteers@marist.edu.

Buy a big box of thank you notes. Emails just can't convey appreciation in the personal way handwritten notes do. Writing them does not have to be a big undertaking; be sure to send a handwritten note of thanks after every field experience.

Develop Your Professional Image

Be vigilant about your online presence. Student teachers have been denied placements because principals found, on long-ago social media posts, photos of candidates that suggested something other than maturity and professionalism. It's best to keep your postings private and remove any potentially embarrassing content.

Showcase Your Technology Skills

Set up an electronic folder with all of your career-related materials. Evernote is a terrific choice.

Learn to use Zotero. This bibliographic tool for capturing, annotating, and organizing research sources will save you many hours and improve your research papers immensely. Georgia State University has a great guide to help you learn to use this free, and invaluable, tool.

Monitor Your Certification Status

Plan to take the New York State Teacher Certification exams according to the schedules recommended by the Education Department unless your advisor suggests something different.  Below are the guides:

NYSTCE Exams Guide for Childhood Education/Students with Disabilities pdf icon

NYSTCE Exams Guide for Adolescence Education pdf icon

NYSTCE Exam Guide for Five-Year BA-BS/MAT Adolescent Education pdf icon

Work With Your Advisor

Your advisor can help clarify your choice of major and consider taking a minor. If you would like to learn about other career choices that might suit you, you can take the one-credit career exploration course offered by Career Services. You can also attend the Majors Fair.

As early as possible, consult your advisor about studying abroad for a semester. Discuss the courses that complement your interests and declare your Pathway.

Seek your advisor's guidance if you are struggling in a class. He or she can help you find the support you need to succeed.

Sophomore

Nurture Your Strengths

Consider your Pathways course choices as you look for ways to nurture your strengths and to challenge yourself so you can develop new strengths. Participate in at least one Emerging Leaders program, and set your sights on a leadership or service role in a team or club you belong to.

Cultivate Depth of Knowledge

Continue to strengthen your understanding of the knowledge base in education by seeking opportunities to apply what you are learning to real teaching situations. Remember that volunteer work is as valuable as a paid position in terms of what you can learn. Continue to seek summer employment and volunteer positions that will deepen your understanding of how children develop and learn.

Build Your Network

Volunteer as an assistant for your town's recreational activities for children: coaching youth sports, running after-school clubs, teaching religious education classes, etc. You will gain useful experience and meet adults like yourself who are dedicated to helping children grow.

Keep track of your growing network via an online address book.

Develop Your Professional Image

Begin to develop a professional wardrobe.

These slides illustrate appropriate dress for field experiences.

Showcase Your Technology Skills

Find personal productivity software that suits you and make it part of your everyday routine.

Todoist, for example, is an online to-do list that is easy and fun to use; it also has great classroom applications.

Monitor Your Progress Toward Certification

Plan to take the New York State Teacher Certification exams according to the schedules recommended by the Education Department unless your advisor suggests something different.  Below are the guides:

NYSTCE Exams Guide for Childhood Education/Students with Disabilities pdf icon

NYSTCE Exams Guide for Adolescence Education pdf icon

NYSTCE Exam Guide for Five-Year BA-BS/MAT Adolescent Education pdf icon

Bookmark your state's Department of Education website, and sign up for email alerts about changes in certification requirements.

If your state is not listed, you can reach the sites you need through this Certification Map.

Junior

Nurture Your Strengths

Develop new habits to support and advance your strengths. Track your progress with tech tools like Chains.

Because student teaching in the senior year limits your on campus availability, junior year is the time for major leadership positions in clubs. Seek a leadership position that matches your developing strengths.

Continue your participation in the Emerging Leaders Program.

Cultivate Depth of Knowledge

Consider doing an Independent Study as a way to pursue in depth a topic that interests you. You can begin with a one-credit IS, e.g., an action research project you can present at CURSCA. You can build on that project in future semesters with an eye toward presenting the results of your study at conferences sponsored by professional organizations, and eventually publishing your work in a peer-reviewed journal. IS is supervised by faculty members, and this is a great opportunity to establish a collaborative relationship with a mentor that will endure long after you graduate from Marist.

Build Your Network

Think about who you should ask to write your letters of reference, and then take the time to develop relationships that will lead to letters that capture your strengths. If you are applying for a teaching position, you will want to have letters from teachers and supervisors who have observed your skills in the classroom; if you are applying for graduate school, you will want letters from professors who can attest to your academic abilities. In both cases, your reference writers should know you well enough to talk about your character as well as your accomplishments. 

Demonstrate Professionalism

Join a professional organization that matches your interests. These organizations focus on strengthening the profession by helping their members learn about innovative practices, access classroom resources, and participate in a professional learning community.

Showcase Your Technology Skills

Use technology to develop your personal learning network (PLN). Not sure what a PLN is? You certainly have an informal PLN already: people and resources you rely on to help you develop your knowledge and skills. With a PLN, you selectively gather information through RSS feeds and use collaborative platforms such as Ning, Edmodo, and Twitter to share and develop that information. 

Monitor Your Progress

Commit to obtaining your New York State teacher certification, even if you never intend to teach in New York. It is the surest way to gaining an initial teaching certificate in any other state. The Marist Education Department's "Path toward Certification" page summarizes the many steps in this process.

Currently, 42 states are party to the Interstate Agreement, which makes it possible for someone who holds a teacher certificate in one state to earn a comparable certificate in another state. There are often additional requirements, such as testing or taking a state history course, but typically you can begin to teach on your New York certificate and then complete the additional requirements during your first year. 

Senior

Nurture Your Strengths

As you plan your lessons during student teaching, incorporate instructional activities that call on your strengths and give you a chance to develop and showcase them.

Think about how you can highlight these strengths in:

  • your resume
  • your cover letter
  • your references
  • an elevator pitch

Cultivate Depth of Knowledge

By this time, you probably have specialized knowledge on a topic you have been studying. Share it! Look for an opportunity to submit an op-ed article to your local paper when there is a news item related to your area of interest. Don't wait for the news to develop - get a head start with a draft today. 

Every teacher should have a firm understanding of and commitment to the New York State Code of Professional Ethics for Teachers.

Build Your Network

Consider teaching in Hawaii. There is a rich network of Marist alumni teaching in Hawaii who are very willing to lend you a hand. Check out the Marist Alumni Network in Career Services.

Demonstrate Professionalism

You won't be intimidated by the prospect of your first interview IF you get lots of practice beforehand. Marist's Center for Career Services offers a great way to practice for interviews: Perfect Interview Online, a computer-based interview coaching service, as well as the annual Mock Interview Day (watch the Events Calendar for dates).


Career Services is packed with helpful interview strategies. The Education faculty has also developed a description of the multi-stage interview process that is often used when hiring teachers, and has created a list of interview questions specifically for applicants for teaching positions.

Showcase Your Technology Skills

Get started on your LinkedIn profile. Apps like Linked-in and Facebook can provide companies with access to your personal data, often without your awareness. Review your permissions to limit what is shared.

Build a template for your future class website, using a free service such as Wix or Weebly.

Monitor Your Progress

The edTPA is a major undertaking that is completed during the student teaching experience. Your task will be easier if you have a clear understanding of the "scope and sequence" of the project. Listen to what successful candidates say about recent experiences (Resource #373 - Candidate to Candidate: Reflections on Taking edTPA ) and read the edTPA guide "Making Wise Choices" at the edTPA site (you must register first).

Commit to obtaining your New York State teacher certification, even if you never intend to teach in New York. It is the surest way to gaining an initial teaching certificate in any other state. The Marist Education Department's "Path toward Certification" page summarizes the many steps in this process.

Currently, 42 states are party to the Interstate Agreement, which makes it possible for someone who holds a teacher certificate in one state to earn a comparable certificate in another state. There are often additional requirements, such as testing or taking a state history course, but typically you can begin to teach on your New York certificate and then complete the additional requirements during your first year.