Alternative Routes to Certification

Sustainable Strategies for Funding Teacher Residencies: Lessons From California

This report shares examples from California of partners working together to bring local resources to their residencies to improve sustainability. The report sets the California context and briefly describes how securing funding for residencies can help to address teacher shortages, while increasing the diversity of the teaching workforce. The report also provides concrete strategies that programs can use to move toward long-term sustainable funding, with examples of how specific programs in California have successfully implemented select strategies.

Teach NOLA

Teach NOLA is an alternative preparation program in which teacher candidates receive rigorous coaching while completing preservice training and additional certification coursework during their first year in service.

Oklahoma State Department of Education, Non-Traditional Route to Special Education Teacher Certification

The Oklahoma State Board of Education offers individuals who already hold a four-year degree a 150-hour alternative certificate program, known as "Boot Camp", to obtain a provisional certificate to teach in the area of mild to moderate or severe to profound disabilities. The program includes 120 hours of pedagogy training and culminates in 30 hours of field experience.

Utah State University, Alternative Teacher Preparation Licensure

For individuals already employed in an approved special education setting, the Utah Special Education and Rehabilitation Department offers three alternative teacher preparation programs. The programs include courses required for licensure to work with students with mild or moderate and severe disabilities and with preschool children with disabilities in districts across the state.

Ohio Intensive Pedagogical Training Institute

Ohio's Intensive Pedagogical Training Institute (IPTI) creates an alternative route for certification for educators in Ohio by offering pedagogical content online modules for an Ohio Alternative Resident Educator License, providing instruction in topics related to student development and learning, formative and summative assessment processes, curriculum development, and classroom management.

Boston Teacher Residency

Boston Teacher Residency is an AmeriCorps-supported program that combines a yearlong classroom apprenticeship with targeted master’s level coursework. The program includes co-teaching with collaborating teachers and experienced teacher educators, earning an MA Initial Teacher Licensure, and receiving a living stipend and health benefits.

Teach for America

Teach For America recruits and trains college graduates to become teachers in high-needs schools in over 50 regions across the country.

The New Teacher Project (TNTP) Teaching Fellows

The New Teacher Project (TNTP) Teaching Fellows is a national alternative certification program focused on recruiting recent college graduates and career changers and providing them with rigorous inservice training and coaching supports.

American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence

The American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence offers online, self-paced teacher certification programs aimed at full-time working professionals. Online programs leading to certification are available for 15 states.

University of Delaware Masters Plus Certification Program

The University of Delaware's alternative certification program supports candidates to earn a teaching degree and certification while being concurrently employed in public schools as full-time paraeducators and later as teachers serving students with disabilities.


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