Alternative Accreditation for Teachers
Jodi C. Marshall
Alternative certification allows individuals who have undergraduate degrees in fields other than education to obtain a teaching certificate through participation in training and/or on-the-job learning experiences. These programs are usually shorter in length and more intense than traditional programs. They provide many different routes to certification, and are characterized by the fact that they offer individuals opportunities to teach without graduating from a traditional teacher-preparation program, fulfilling student teaching obligations, or passing certification exams. Many districts and states around the country are using alternative certification as a means of coping with growing teacher shortages, concerns about quality and quantity of teachers, increased student enrollment, mandates for smaller class size, and the lack of diverse teachers. Alternative certification programs and the number of people choosing to pursue these avenues are growing. In 2002, forty-five states had alternate routes ...