Innovations in Education: Alternative Routes to Teacher Certification
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1Alternative teacher preparation programs like those described in this guide are aimed at candidates who enter the program with at least a bachelor's degree. Other types of preparation programs serve classroom paraprofessionals who do not yet have a bachelor's degree and would like to become a teacher.

2Luekens, M. T., Lyter, D. M. and Fox, E. E. (2004). Teacher attrition and mobility; Results from the teacher followup survey, 2000-01 (NCES 2004-301). U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.

3Esch, C. E. and Shields, P. M. (2002). Who is teaching California children? Santa Cruz, CA: The Center for Teaching and Learning; Shields, P. M., Esch, C. E., Humphrey, D. C., Wechsler, M. E., Chang-Ross, C. M., Gallagher, H. A., Guha, R., Tiffany-Morales, J. D., and Woodworth, K. R. (2003). The status of the teaching profession 2003. Santa Cruz, Calif.: The Center for Teaching and Learning.

4Teacher certification is a state responsibility. Each state authorizes routes in addition to establishing standards and criteria for certification. Background information and state-by-state listings can be found on the National Center for Alternative Certification Web site:

5The National Center for Education Information developed a classification for categorizing the alternative routes to teacher certification as program variations increased and as program reporting required more consistency. In 2004, the classifications ranged from Class A to Class K. Class A is the designation for programs designed to attract talented individuals with a bachelor's degree to a formal program of instruction and mentor-supervision with no requirement as to subject area need or shortage of teachers. Class K is the designation for avenues to certification that accommodate specific populations for teaching, such as Teach for America and Troops-to-Teachers. For a detailed description of the criteria for each class, see the National Center for Alternative Certification Web site:

6Reviews of research generally conclude that the most successful alternative programs tend to have high entrance standards; afford extensive mentoring and supervision; give extensive pedagogical training in instruction, management, curriculum, and working with diverse students; provide plenty of practice in lesson planning and teaching prior to a candidate taking on full responsibility as a teacher; maintain high exit standards, and develop strong partnerships (Allen, M. [2003]. Eight questions on teacher preparation: What does the research say? Denver: Education Commission of the States; Humphrey, D. C. and Bosetti, K. R. [2004]. What do alternative certification participants get? Implementation challenges. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Diego, Calif.; Wilson, S. M., Floden, R. E., and Ferrini-Mundy, J. [February, 2001]. Teacher preparation research: Current knowledge, gaps, and recommendations. Seattle: Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy, University of Washington; Zeichner, K. and Schulte, A. [2001]. What we know and don't know from peer-reviewed research about alternative teacher certification programs. Journal of Teacher Education, 52, (4), 266-282).

7National Center for Alternative Certification:

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Last Modified: 04/18/2008