Leadership Development Program

Explainer: How we determine the subjects you can teach

Wednesday, April 10th, 2024

During Teach For Australia’s Leadership Development Program, you’ll teach subjects in the classroom that are directly related to your previous studies and experience while undertaking your Master of Teaching.

But determining the subjects you’re eligible to teach isn’t as straightforward as it sounds.

“It’s easy to get caught out – for example, assuming you will be eligible to teach health if you’re a registered dietician,” advises TFA Admissions Specialist, Erie Martha Lane.

Transcript assessment

To be eligible to teach through our program, you must be able to enrol in at least two learning areas provided as part of the Master of Teaching (Secondary) (Leading Learning) – topics that are taught in secondary school.

TFA specialists will closely review your academic transcript to determine which learning areas you should be eligible to enrol in, as part of the application process.

They will be checking that you have a major of six units in one area – with two of these units at a third year or higher and no more than two at the first year. You also need to have a minor of four units in another area – with no more than two at the first year.

There are certain subjects where you can have a ‘double major’ with all 10 units in one discipline, such as accounting and ICT.

“We will look at the unit names, the result you achieved, and how much it was weighted toward your degree,” Erie said.

“Often, transcripts will have a major written on it – but we count units. So if your degree says that global studies is your major, but you took mostly politics units, then that’s great, your major will be in politics.

“But if you took a range of politics, economics, anthropology, and sociology units, you are probably not eligible.

“It’s a really in-depth and nuanced process – it isn’t automated or automatic.”

If you studied overseas

This in-depth process of assessing your academic transcript becomes more complicated if you studied overseas, because every country’s higher education system is different.

“This is why you can’t check your eligibility for our program really quickly – it’s incredibly bespoke,” Erie said.

“If you didn’t study English, mathematics or engineering in Australia, it’s probably going to take a little while to assess your transcript.”

Making the process smoother

While it is a complex and sometimes time-consuming process to determine the subjects you should be eligible to enrol in, there are common mistakes you can avoid to make the process as smooth as possible.

Here are Erie’s top tips to set yourself up for success:

  1. Ensure you read the eligibility guidelines closely before applying – and reach out for advice if you need it.
  2. Submit your application as early as possible, especially if you studied overseas or graduated more than 10 years ago.
  3. Make sure you provide your full academic transcript with your application to avoid delays.

Subject specialists

We understand this process is rigorous – but that’s how it should be.

TFA is committed to bringing high-calibre subject specialists into classrooms as part of our mission to break the cycle of educational inequity in communities facing disadvantage.

“At the end of the day, it’s about ensuring students get the best learning they deserve, from teachers who are specialists and experts in their field,” Erie said.

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