What You Need to Know
Becoming Certified to Teach
- Testing Requirements
- Getting Your Teaching Licence
- Master's Degree Option
Las Vegas corps members receive a three-year, non-renewable temporary certificate. In order to qualify for the temporary certificate, all corps members are required to:
- Pass both the Praxis I and Praxis II exams that are required for their placement
- Provide copies of their degree-conferred transcript from an accredited college or university
- Pay fee to the Nevada Department of Education
After obtaining the temporary license, TFA teachers apply and enroll in a graduate-level teacher certification program at University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). UNLV partners with us to provide in-state tuition costs for our teachers to earn their teacher certification.
While tuition and costs estimates change yearly, currently costs are approximately $12,000 over two years. The teacher certification program is a requirement almost for all corps members to teach in Nevada (a few exceptions exist for teachers who already have an education degree). UNLV works to group corps members together for evening classes throughout the year.
Most corps members take out loans from UNLV Financial Aid to pay for these classes and use their AmeriCorps grant to pay off a substantial portion at the end of each school year.
Master's Degree Option
While it is optional, almost all corps members choose to complete a few additional classes beyond the teacher certification to earn their M.Ed. from UNLV. The program requires eight hours of student teaching, which is an additional $3,000 in tuition costs. It is possible for corps members to successfully earn a master’s of education at the end of their two-year commitment while some choose to complete it in 2.5-3 years.
What happens if I can’t pass the Praxis I and Praxis II exams?
These are state requirements for being fully-licensed teachers. Most CMs pass these tests in the spring before their arrival in Las Vegas to teach. Some pass it over the summer, but late-pass dates could delay licensing.
Do I have to enroll at UNLV?
Yes. Unless you have already completed a teacher credential program (are currently licensed), our state law requires teachers on the Alternative Route to Licensure to be continuously enrolled at a credential-granting institution. We work with UNLV to make that possible for our CMs.
What if I am already licensed in another state?
Check out the Nevada Department of Education website for more information on reciprocity. It is possible to be fully licensed in Nevada!
Are there scholarships for UNLV?
A few exist, but most of our teachers take out federally-insured loans and pay their tuition. Most also use an AmeriCorps stipend to pay off the majority of the loans after each year of teaching.
Will I be able to continue to teach in Las Vegas after I complete my TFA commitment?
Absolutely! Once you have completed your credential classes and any additional testing requirements, you will be able to apply for a Standard NV teaching license.
Will I be able to continue to teach in another state after I complete my TFA commitment?
This often depends on the teacher requirements in other states. Some offer reciprocity to Nevada while others may require something else (like student-teaching). Most teachers are able to transfer
Do I need to get a Master's degree?
No. A few CMs choose to just complete their teacher certification, but they vast majority choose to earn their Master's degree.
Are all Master's programs the same at UNLV?
While they share similarities, there are different tracks for teachers in Early Childhood and Special Education.
If I am getting a Master's, does it matter which degree I get at UNLV or which classes I take?
Yes. UNLV will send you the information to apply for specific programs and enroll in specific classes to earn your degree.
Placement School Locations
Subjects And Grade Levels
- English Language Arts
- Special Education
- Early Childhood
Corps members have the freedom to live anywhere in the Las Vegas Valley. Many choose to live near their school sites in North Las Vegas, east Las Vegas, or downtown Las Vegas, while other choose to commute from Henderson and Summerlin.
In Vegas, there is always something new or interesting to do. From a variety of shows, to art and nature exhibits, new restaurants and live music, you will never be bored. Nonetheless, if you need an escape from city life, the great outdoors of Lake Mead, Red Rock Canyon, or Mount Charleston are just a short drive away.
Get to Know Our Community Partners
Communities in Schools
Communities In Schools is the largest, most effective dropout prevention organization. The organization is dedicated to keeping kids is school and help them succeed through providing comprehensive wraparound services.
Our partnership is centered on recognition that students--particularly the low-income students that Teach for America corps members teach--often face significant and diverse challenges both inside and outside of school.
Through our partnership, TFA corps members work alongside Communities in School site coordinators to identify and support students with the necessary resources so that they can focus on learning and achieving.
Our partnership has grown dramatically--from one overlapping school to more than 20--in only a few years. The results have been remarkable.
The Las Vegas Sands Corp
The Las Vegas Sands Corp. has been one of our largest corporate partners and most generous supporters for over five years.
In the past year, Las Vegas Sands has made an even deeper investment to Las Vegas schools, developing the Sands Education Council (SEC). The SEC partnership formed in October 2015 and includes TFA - Las Vegas Valley, Nevada Succeeds, the Public Education Foundation, and Las Vegas Sands. The SEC will focus on bringing awareness and continued attention to challenges faced by the Southern Nevada school system, while helping to promote solutions for identified issues.
One of the main initiatives of the SEC is to advocate for bringing more teachers to Southern Nevada. The SEC also advocates for more development opportunities to enhance skills, ultimately creating stronger teachers. The SEC aims to establish Nevada as a leader education by driving quality talent to Las Vegas, advocating for stronger support structures for teacher development, and identifying pathways to leadership within our education system.