A Guide to Alternative Teacher Education Programs
Alternative teacher education programs have experienced a sudden and rapid rise across the United States over the past 20 years. These programs came about as a result of numerous requests for changes in teacher education programs. Another factor that influenced the rise in alternative teacher education programs was the demand for teachers due to teacher shortages in specific subject areas and certain parts of the nation. All programs are required to meet the state teacher education program standards and requirements.
Alternative programs typically target experienced professionals who are veterans in certain relevant subjects, and their goal is to speed up candidates’ access to classrooms by giving them opportunities for as much on-the-job training as they can handle. The normal qualification requirement for most candidates who are looking to enter into an alternative program is usually a four-year degree. Successful candidates who gained entry into a program will go through short, focused education training, with internship opportunities and mentorship from experienced teachers. Alternative programs are under strict supervision from universities and experts in education.
The main cause of controversy when it comes to alternative teacher education programs is the fact that their main focus is on meeting the demand for licensure/subject matter areas teachers in regions all over the U.S., instead of the production of quality teachers who are dedicated to them. Nevertheless, there has been a steady increase in the number of alternative teachers education programs.