University of New Orleans: Shaping the next generation of teachers and educational leaders

Teachers and educators help shape the minds and lives of their students. While the job is both challenging as it is rewarding, a career in the field can help you make an impact on lives – both in the classroom and beyond.

But more than a fulfilling career, teachers are needed in just about every corner of the world, including in the US, Australia and the UK. For example, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects nearly 1.9 million job openings for teachers of preschool through postsecondary school between 2014 and 2024 in the US. Meanwhile, 2016 data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) notes that there are “massive teacher shortages at the primary and secondary levels”.

“In the next 14 years, countries must recruit 68.8 million teachers to provide every child with primary and secondary education: 24.4 million primary school teachers and 44.4 million secondary school teachers,” it said.

An education stronghold

Source: University of New Orleans

Students who are keen on building a successful career within the education sphere may want to consider getting an undergraduate or graduate degree in the field to help launch or to enhance their career prospects. The University of New Orleans (UNO) offers prospective students a unique study location within an international city, making it especially appealing for international students.

UNO offers strong programs in education, special education, education leadership as well as counselling education under their College of Education and Human Development for prospective students, all of which are nationally accredited. Beginning fall 2019, the programs are uniting under the new School of Education, which will offer new opportunities for study and advancement.

Some of their undergraduate programmes relating to education that might appeal to would-be teachers include Elementary Education, Elementary Education – Integrated/Merged Option and Secondary Education.

Alternatively, graduates who are keen to enhance their knowledge in a particular field can choose from several graduate programmes, including the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), a Graduate Alternate Certification Program intended to allow individuals who have completed a non-education bachelor’s degree to earn a master’s degree and an initial teaching certificate. Candidates fully admitted to the MAT degree program will be eligible to apply for a practitioner teacher license.

Individuals who already hold a teacher certification may want to explore the Master’s of Education in Curriculum and Instruction (M.Ed.), a student-centred, performance-based programmes designed to develop an advanced knowledge base for understanding the interaction of theory and practice in culturally diverse, metropolitan, educational settings. Graduate students will engage in field activities and reflective inquiry as they explore theoretical and practical content in their specific areas of interest. Areas of concentration include both general education and special education.

Source: University of New Orleans

Their Master of Education in Counseling (M.Ed.) prepares professional counsellors for a unique profession which emphasises prevention of emotional and mental disorders, early intervention when problems are identified, and empowerment of clients.

Graduates are usually employed as professional counselors in a variety of settings including community mental health agencies, substance abuse treatment programmes, schools, colleges, universities, rehabilitation agencies, mental and physiological health hospitals, residential treatment programs, employee assistance programs, social service agencies and pastoral settings.

Preparing tomorrow’s teachers

UNO is cementing its status as an established education powerhouse. For the next academic year, UNO will become a School of Education, further enhancing their profile within the education realm.

The best way to learn is through experience, and to help students put theory into practice, UNO is starting a new elementary school on their campus, a lab school that will afford students the chance to get hands-on training. Meanwhile, their educational technology is state-of-the-art, especially with their partners in area schools who provide hands-on experience for their students within classrooms in the city.

As a public research university in an urban environment, UNO prides itself for being affordable – the US News & World Report has ranked UNO among the national universities whose students graduate with the lightest debt loads. They’re also ranked #230-#301 in National Universities. To boot, nearly 77 percent of their students receive some form of financial assistance each year, totalling over US$41 million in financial aid and scholarships.

Source: University of New Orleans

Enrolling as a student in UNO doesn’t only mean that students will get to live and study in one of the great cities in the world – they’re also highly likely to score meaningful employment post-graduation. In fact, 90 percent of students here are employed within two years of graduation, according to Within the past year, UNO was also ranked tops in the state in lowest student debt and number one in Louisiana in highest early career salaries.

Regardless of the programme students choose to study, the experience of studying at UNO is unrivalled – international students will appreciate the cultural diversity of Louisiana’s largest city, while its vibrant music scene and French influence, seen in its architecture and cuisine, make the birthplace of jazz a cultural experience not to be missed.

So, if you want to prepare to be a teacher or educational leader, UNO has the learning and research opportunities available to get you to your goals professionally.

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