How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification
Everyone does not follow the same path to becoming a teacher. Maybe you decided out halfway through your bachelor’s degree that you wanted to be a teacher, and there is no training program available. You know you want to become a teacher; you just don’t have a pathway to making your dream a reality. What do you do now?
An alternative-route program provides the opportunity for people to become teachers without graduating from a teacher preparation program. It allows them to pursue and attain their dream of becoming educators. If you want to take the alternative route to teaching in America, keep reading.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in Alabama
Potential educators with a 4-year degree who pass the Alabama basic skill test are qualified for the Alternative Baccalaureate-Level License route to licensure.
Candidates must first receive an employment offer from an Alabama school district. They must then finish a sanctioned educator prep program before teaching full-time under an educator-mentoring program.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in Alaska
Alaska does not issue emergency teaching licenses, nor does it allow anyone to work as an educator who is not properly certified.
A type M limited teaching license may be issued to candidates with expertise in a native Alaskan language or a technical area, and Alaska participates in the Troops to Educators program, which enables service members to transition into the classroom.
Alaska is one of the only states that doesn’t have alternative educator certification programs!
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in Arizona
Arizonans with a 4-year degree can teach with a temporary license known as a Teaching Intern License. Candidates must have a 4-year degree and pass an assessment in the subject they want to teach in or hold a master’s degree in the subject. Educators must then finish a Department of Education sanctioned educator prep program while teaching with their temporary license to achieve regular certification.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in Arkansas
Arkansas has an alternative route called the Arkansas Professional Pathway to Educator Licensure. APPEL allows people to teach in the classroom while finishing the requirements to obtain full certification. APPEL participants must have a 4-year degree, have passed the appropriate state assessments, be mentored by a professional educator, and participate in online instruction while a part of the program.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in California
The most populous state in America has a severe educator shortage that the government is trying to address. California uses what it refers to as internship programs as its alternative route to certification. These intern programs are the path to a preliminary teaching credential. After 120 hours of intern prep, candidates are then allowed to finish the rest of the coursework needed for certification during their first year or two in a paid teaching position.
These intern programs are available through colleges, universities, county offices of education, and online options. To qualify, candidates need to have a 4-year degree and satisfy foundational skills requirements.
Upon finishing the intern program, the educator receives the exact same teaching credential as would be earned through the traditional route.
Sometimes previous experience can be substituted for differing components of the internship program. Teaching at a private school is a possibility without the educator having the proper state certifications. Those with at least 3 years of experience teaching at a private school may be able to forgo the student teaching component of the internship program, and candidates with six or more years of private school experience may apply for certification outright, skipping the educator prep program entirely.
Potential educators may also be able to have certain internship program requirements waived if they have prior instructional experience through the Peace Corps.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in Colorado
Colorado has alternative educator certification for candidates who have a 4-year degree, pass a criminal background check, and can prove competency in the subject area they want to teach in. Candidates must then gain employment in a classroom teaching position and an agreement with a state-sanctioned designated agency that has a sanctioned alternative educator prep program.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in Connecticut
Those with 4-year degrees in selected subject areas who have passed the required state assessments are qualified to apply to Connecticut’s Alternate Route to Teacher Certification. The other requirements are not far from programs in other states, including a 4-year degree, a 3.0 GPA, and Praxis core and subject area exams.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in Delaware
Delaware has a lot of state-sanctioned routes to licensure. Every route is for a group of people with varying backgrounds, and school district needs are People with a 4-year degree in these subjects can teach provided they enroll in an Alternative Route to Certification Program to finish licensure requirements while they are employed as teachers.
The Delaware Transition to Teaching Partnership is for candidates with a 4-year degree in critical needs areas. Candidates agree to teach in a critical high school for 4 years and participate in a three-week seminar before starting their first teaching position. 4 more courses are taken at the University of Delaware en route to educator certification.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in Florida
Anyone in the Sunshine State with a 4-year degree is qualified for the state’s Alternative Teacher Certification Program. Florida’s program prepares future educators through on-the-job training and an online curriculum. One must obtain a temporary teaching license and secure employment with a school district before being qualified for the program.
Most state colleges in Florida also offer Educator Prep Institutes (EPIs), an accelerated educator certification program for those with 4-year degrees for a fraction of the time and cost of a 4-year education.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in Georgia
Georgia has been suffering from an educator shortage for years. With educators often becoming harder to find in Georgia than an Atlanta Thrashers fan, the Peach State has embraced alternative teaching certification as a way to alleviate the shortage.
All teaching candidates in Georgia must hold at least a 4-year degree. To become fully certified, potential educators must pass the same required exams as educators with an education degree and finish an alternative educator prep program. These programs can take 18 months to two years and result in a post-graduate license or a master’s degree.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in Hawai’i
Hawaiians who already have a 4-year degree are qualified to enroll in several post-graduate programs such as a Post-Baccalaureate License or a Master’s degree in education.
The most take route enables candidates with a 4-year degree to apply to a sanctioned Alternative Education Prep Program. Candidates must then gain admission to the program and take the Praxis I and II content area exam, and once all program requirements are met, candidates are qualified for initial educator licensure in Hawaii.
As a sanctioned EPP, Teach Away’s Teacher Certification Program provides potential educators with a part-time core curriculum and a clinical placement in Hawai’i. The program is inexpensive but does not compromise quality and moves past certification into job placement as this program is an exclusive recruitment partner of the HDOE. Download 2019-2020 AAQEP Report.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in Idaho
Idaho has an alternative route to teaching for people with a 4-year degree who can demonstrate competency in a subject area through higher education or experience. This license is to be requested by the hiring school district, and once received, educators can teach full-time while finishing an accelerated educator prep program.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in Illinois
Illinois has alternative educator certification for those who already have a 4-year degree. These are two-year programs where candidates teach under the support and mentorship of an experienced educator while finishing the necessary coursework.
Those looking to teach career and technical education-related subjects can obtain a CTE teaching license with 20-hours of coursework and verification of 8,000-hours of comparable work experience in the last 10 years.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in Indiana
Indiana has a transition to teaching program for those with 4-year degrees. These two-semester programs allow potential educators with degrees in specific subjects to become licensed to teach through their choice of a sanctioned program.
Transition to teaching programs to lead to licensure at the middle or high school level. For elementary school certification, the candidate must follow the traditional pathway or obtain a master’s in early childhood education.
The state will also provide emergency teaching permits when schools cannot fill vacancies with licensed educators. These are temporary, and the individual must demonstrate that they are moving forward with the coursework necessary for full certification.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in Iowa
Iowa has nontraditional licensure in the form of a Teacher Intern Program. The program is open to those who hold at least a baccalaureate degree with at least a GPA of 2.5.
Potential educators must finish an introductory educator intern program at a college or university-sanctioned by the State Board of Education. Upon finishing the introductory program, people can apply for the educator intern license, which allows them to teach for one year. Educators then must finish an educator intern seminar and all course requirements of the educator intern program in that year to obtain an initial teaching license.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in Kansas
Kansas has several routes into the classroom, but a restricted teaching license is the primary alternative path to certification. To be qualified, candidates must have a degree in a major they wish to teach and have a 2.75 GPA.
They must enroll in an alternative route program at a sanctioned Kansas college or university and become employed at a Kansas school district. Candidates are then qualified to teach full-time with their restrictive license while finishing the alternative route program.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in Kentucky
Kentucky has several nontraditional pathways to educator certification. Most notably is acknowledging career experience in specific fields or subject areas, allowing candidates to use a portfolio assessment or extensive work experience to skip certain steps toward licensure.
The common alternative pathway is a university-based alternative route to certification. Candidates must enroll in a sanctioned program and receive a job offer from a school district, at which time they will be qualified for a temporary provisional teaching license. They then have three years to finish the program before receiving a professional certification.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in Louisiana
Louisianians with a 4-year degree who can pass the appropriate state assessments can become licensed to teach via the Practitioner Teacher Alternative Certification Program.
Applicants must enroll in a sanctioned educator prep program and are then issued a practitioner license, allowing them to teach full time while finishing the program. Completion of the pathway leads to a professional educator’s license.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in Maine
University grads who did not major in education have options for certification in Maine. However, all require a 4-year degree, Praxis I exam, and eventually the Praxis II exam associated with the intended classroom position.
Amongst the sanctioned alternative paths to certification is a 12-month in-person master’s program at the University of Maine. Candidates who like online delivery can enroll in the Special Ed Alternate Route to Certification program.
Also, those with 4-year degrees in in-demand subjects may be qualified for a conditional teaching license, which enables one to teach in Maine while finishing education courses that will eventually lead to full certification.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in Maryland
Maryland’s alternative educator certification programs vary between regions within the state, but all aim to address the state’s staffing needs.
Candidates must have at least a 4-year degree, pass the required state assessments and pass a structured interview.
Candidates then participate in pre-employment training before beginning an internship under the supervision of an experienced educator while finishing any necessary coursework.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in Massachusetts
Massachusetts has potential educators with a 4-year degree the chance to start teaching right away with a preliminary teaching license, providing they pass the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL). This license is good for up to five years, during which time one must finish a sanctioned educator prep program to upgrade to a renewable initial teaching license.
Also, you can obtain educator certification by finishing an educator prep program before stepping into the classroom. Some of these programs can be finishd in as little as one year.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in Michigan
Candidates for Michigan’s alternative route to licensure must possess at least a 4-year degree, pass a criminal background check and pass a state assessment for educator certification.
Potential educators are then granted an interim teaching license, which is good for five years, during which time the educator must finish 12 credit hours of training in a variety of areas such as child development, child psychology, and instructional strategies. Educators can then upgrade their interim teaching license to a standard teaching license.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in Minnesota
Minnesota has several post-graduate educator prep programs for those who already have a 4-year degree in something other than education.
The state also has licensure via portfolio for those with a 4-year degree and extensive professional experience in a subject area.
Candidates will have their portfolio evaluated by the Department of Education and must pass the requisite skills exams and, if successful, may be issued a standard professional teaching license.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in Mississippi
Mississippi has alternate route programs for candidates with 4-year degrees in something other than education. The specific route that is right for you is dependant on the subject and age level you wish to teach, but all involve both a training program or coursework and a one-year teaching internship.
All participants must finish three core elements, no matter the program they take: testing, training programs or coursework, and a one-year teaching internship.
Upon completion of the internship, educators will be qualified for the five-year standard teaching license.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in Missouri
The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has an alternative certification route that allows an individual with a 4-year degree to obtain a provisional teaching license through a sanctioned program.
The state has upwards of 8 sanctioned programs which all vary in program length, format, and delivery. However, all must meet the state-set standards.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in Montana
Montana’s alternative licensure program wants candidates to possess a 4-year degree in an area for which Montana has an endorsement. Potential educators must also finish at least six semester hours of a professional educator prep program and then apply for a Class 5 Provisional Licence.
As part of applying for this provisional license, educators sign a plan of professional intent that affirms the educator’s commitment to finishing the requirements for full educator licensure within three years.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in Nebraska
Candidates for How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in Nebraska must have a 4-year degree and pass the same assessments as those who take the traditional path to certification.
Potential educators will be required to finish coursework from an educator prep program but will be able to teach in the meantime with either an Alternative Teaching Permit, a Transitional Teaching Permit, or a Provisional Teaching Permit, depending on how far along they are in the process.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in Nevada
Potential educators are qualified to enter Nevada’s Alternative Route to Licensure if they have a 4-year degree with a major/minor in the subject area they want to teach, in and passage of the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators assessment.
After meeting the requirements, educators can be issued a conditional license that will allow them to teach while finishing the Alternative Routes to Licensure program. After completion of the program, educators will be qualified for the state’s standard teaching license.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in New Hampshire
New Hampshire has several pathways to alternative licensure depending on the potential educator’s previous experience. The New Hampshire State Board of Education has a list of 5 alternatives, and all of them have requirements based on experience and district hiring needs.
For instance, a school district can employ an uncertified educator in a subject area experiencing extreme educator shortages. The superintendent of schools must create an Individualized Professional Development Plan that will lead to full licensure.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in New Jersey
Land of Sinatra, the Sopranos, and Springsteen. The Garden State has the Alternate Route Program for people who have not finished a formal educator prep program but want to obtain the necessary training to become a certified educator.
Candidates must apply for a license of eligibility and then accept employment at a New Jersey public school. They must then enter the provisional educator program, where they will receive mentorship and instruction in teaching on the way to obtaining a standard teaching license.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in New Mexico
There are several ways to alternative educator licensure in New Mexico, all involving an educator prep program.
The fast-track Alternative Licensure Program is an accelerated curriculum for those who already have a 4-year degree. Potential educators can apply for an intern license to teach while taking the program.
Several New Mexico institutions offer master’s programs that lead to teaching licensure.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in New York
New York is home to the nation’s largest city and its largest school district. It has decided to address its educator shortage by approving alternative educator certification programs designed for candidates already possessing at least a 4-year degree (or an associate’s degree if looking to teach a career and technical education subject). These programs mirror traditional educator programs in content but are accelerated to get candidates into the classroom as soon as possible.
Alternative teaching licensure in New York state is supervised by the Office of Teaching Initiatives in Albany.
There are three main alternative teaching licenses in New York: the Transitional Licenses A, B, and C.
The Transitional A License is for potential educators looking to teach career and technical education subjects but does not yet meet the licensure requirements. A Transitional A License would allow an individual to teach while requirements for certification are being met. Prerequisites for the Transitional A License include two years of comparable work experience, an AA degree, and the passage of a criminal background check.
The Transitional B License is for those who already hold a 4-year degree in the subject they intend to teach. Potential educators must finish educator prep through a New York State registered alternative program and then teach in a classroom while fulfilling the other teaching certification requirements. Candidates have three years to finish these requirements before applying for their initial educator licensure.
Those with a master’s degree in the subject they want to teach can participate in the Transitional C program. Like the Transitional B License, candidates enroll in a New York State registered program to finish the requisite coursework. However, after finishing the Transitional C program, educators will be issued a professional license rather than an initial one.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in North Carolina
North Carolina’s alternative pathway to licensure is called Lateral Entry and is available to those with a 4-year degree who pass the North Carolina State Board of Education’s pathway to licensure exam.
After receiving employment and the lateral entry license, the educator has three years to finish an educator education program to obtain a standard professional educator’s license.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in North Dakota
North Dakota’s Transition to Teaching is a 1-year alternative educator prep program for educators with degrees in subjects experiencing educator shortages or transitioning into teaching from the military or the workforce with specific technical skills.
Educators enrolled in the Transition to Teaching program must be mentored for a year and must participate in online courses and seminars as a prerequisite for full certification.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in Ohio
At a bare minimum, the Buckeye state requires a 4-year degree for acceptance into an alternative educator certification program. Comparable to those who follow the traditional route to teaching by obtaining a Bachelor of Education, candidates for an Ohio teaching license must finish both an educator prep program as well as the state certification exam.
One educator prep program for those already with a 4-year degree is called the Intensive Pedagogical Training Institute (ITPI). ITPI is a series of online modules that one can do at their own pace that covers student development, student assessment, curriculum development, and classroom management.
Upon completion, participants will be issued an Alternative Resident Educator License Statement of Eligibility, which will allow them to seek employment as full-time educators. After several years of instructional experience and passing the state certification exam, this can be upgraded to a regular professional educator’s license.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in Oklahoma
Oklahoma’s Alternative Placement Program is a program for those with degrees outside of education to teach in Oklahoma schools. Candidates must possess at least a 4-year degree in a field of study that corresponds to a state licensure area to enter the program.
The state also has a sanctioned Troops to Educators program to assist transitioning service members and veterans in beginning new careers in the public, charter, and Bureau of Indian Affairs schools.
All potential educators must pass an accelerated professional education component and pass the Oklahoma Professional Teaching Exam to obtain a state teaching certification.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in Oregon
Oregon has several paths to educator certification for those with a 4-year degree in something other than education.
A limited license can be given to a candidate possessing a skill in a specialized area such as computer programming or a language. Candidates applying for a limited license must prove special expertise, have an associate’s degree at the minimum, and be sponsored by a school district.
Oregon also has a restricted transitional license for those looking to make a career transition to teaching. Candidates for this license must have a 4-year degree and be sponsored by a school district. While teaching with this license, educators must finish a sanctioned educator prep program.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania’s Teacher Intern Certification Program is an alternate pathway to educator certification. Candidates with a 4-year degree in the subject area they wish to teach and a GPA of 3.0 must pass the appropriate state assessments to be granted an intern license. This allows them to teach full-time while finishing the coursework associated with the intern program on the way to full certification.
In the direst of circumstances where an instructional position has been advertised, and a suitable candidate has been located, an emergency teaching permit can be issued by the Department of Education, at the school’s request, to someone with a 4-year degree without the proper teaching license. This emergency permit is good for one year.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in Rhode Island
Those with a 4-year degree in something other than education are qualified for Rhode Island’s Alternate Route Preliminary License. Qualified candidates must attend a sanctioned alternate educator program for up to one year before teaching. After completion of the program and passing the state assessments, educators will qualify for full certification.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in South Carolina
The South Carolina Department of Education recognizes a variety of alternative certification programs. This includes programs like Teach for America and Educators of Tomorrow and local programs like Teach Charleston.
Teach Charleston is provided by the Charleston County School District and has the opportunity for people to obtain South Carolina educator certification in math, science, or English. The three-year program provides training and ongoing support to successful candidates while they teach in Charleston County classrooms.
The Greenville Alternative Teacher Education program enables the candidate to be employed and paid as an educator in Greenville while being supported by on-site mentors and coaches.
A 4-year degree is required for acceptance into most programs, as is the ability to pass a background check
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in South Dakota
An individual with a 4-year degree in the subject they plan to teach, and a job offer from a school in South Dakota are qualified to apply for that state’s alternative educator certification program.
Alternative certifications are available to potential educators in general, CTE, and special education. Successful candidates should be able to teach but must finish an online educator prep program through a sanctioned South Dakota program provider and receive their teaching mentor’s approval to qualify for full educator certification.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in Tennessee
Potential educators in Tennessee who already have a 4-year degree must finish an educator prep program before achieving licensure. Most of these will lead to a master’s degree in education.
Tennessee has recently phased out its transitional teaching license, meaning potential educators taking the alternative certification route will have to finish course work in full before entering the classroom rather than in conjunction with it.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in Texas
Potential educators looking to qualify for alternative certification in Texas will first need to hold a 4-year degree. These alternative teaching certification programs provide an accelerated route into teaching for qualified candidates and include professional development on how to become an effective educator and sometimes additional courses necessary for the subject area a candidate wishes to teach.
The certification needed and the route to get there will vary depending on the subject and grade levels you wish to teach.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in Utah
Utah’s alternative licensure program is available to candidates with a 4-year degree from an accredited college or university. Those seeking certification as secondary school educators must have majored in the subject they wish to teach.
Upon being hired by a school district, candidates will be provided with a professional growth plan and participate in a mentorship program with an experienced educator. After finishing all the professional growth plan requirements and teaching for at least a year, an educator will achieve a Utah educator license.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in Vermont
To receive an educator’s license in Vermont, one must finish a state-sanctioned educator prep program at a higher education institution and receive a recommendation for licensure from that school. Those already with a 4-year degree can apply for a graduate degree program.
Vermont’s alternate route to licensure for candidates who have not finished an educator prep program is done by peer review.
Each peer review candidate must submit a Praxis score and finish a portfolio highlighting their education/skills and have it reviewed by experienced educators, a process which culminates in an interview and ultimately educator certification.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in Virginia
Potential educators with a 4-year degree may be qualified for the Career Switcher Alternative Route to Licensure Program. After passing the appropriate state assessments on the subject area to be taught, candidates finish an educator prep program, which includes 1 year of coursework and one year of mentored in-classroom teaching.
In cases where a person without an undergraduate degree in education can find a district willing to hire them, the school district can apply for a provisional license on behalf of the educator. While teaching under a provisional license, the educator has three years to finish the coursework associated with educator certification to achieve a standard teaching license.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in Washington
Washington State has a route to certification for career changers with a 4-year degree not currently employed by a school district. Candidates must attend an intensive educator prep program followed by a year as a mentored educator within a school district while finishing the necessary coursework.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in West Virginia
West Virginia has several sanctioned alternative educator certification programs across general and special education to increase the number of educators entering the classroom and alleviate that state’s educator shortage.
Different school districts have sanctioned programs, and candidates must receive an offer of employment before starting.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in Wisconsin
Wisconsin has an alternate route pathway to teaching for those with a 4-year degree in a high-need subject area.
Potential educators must enroll in an educator prep program from a state-sanctioned alternative route program provider, during which they can become employed as a substitute.
After finishing the alternate route program, which can be done online, educators can apply for a Wisconsin Initial Educator’s License.
How to Get Alternative Teacher Certification in Wyoming
Wyoming’s Professional Teaching Standards Board requires all educators to have finished a sanctioned educator prep program. Alternative routes are for those who have instructional experience and are already licensed to teach in another state.
However, an exception authorization can be issued in an emergency situation when a school is having trouble filling a vacancy. It is good for one year and allows the applicant to teach while full licensure requirements are finished.