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What is An Alternative Certification Programme For Teachers?

By   /  May 25, 2022  /  Comments Off on What is An Alternative Certification Programme For Teachers?

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Teaching is perhaps one of the most meaningful and crucial professions. Teachers are the backbone of society as they prepare the next generation to become leaders and pursue careers in fields as diverse as medicine, engineering, law, finance, and education. 

Becoming a teacher gives one a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. Teachers know that they can make a difference in the lives of your students and society. 

Despite the importance of this profession, there has been a massive shortage of teachers in the US. To address the problem, nearly all states enable aspiring educators to pursue the teaching profession through alternative certification programs.

What Is The Alternative Certification Program?

The number of students attending public schools has grown over the past few decades in the US. Enrolment in colleges and universities is only expected to increase. However, fewer students are choosing to major in education. The alternative certification program addresses the critical shortage of teachers.

The alternative certification program for teachers was introduced several decades ago. It aims to increase the number of teachers in the education sector to overcome the nationwide shortage in this noble field.

It is an accelerated path to transitioning to the classroom. It aims at those individuals who have not completed a traditional teaching program or a bachelor’s degree in education which typically takes up to 4 years to complete.

The alternative certification program typically involves completing a certain amount of coursework and student teaching hours. You also need to pass any necessary exams to earn the certification. Some states have specific alternative certification programs, while others allow individuals to choose from various options. 

The National Center For Education Information (NCEI) states that around 250,000 individuals have chosen the alternative certification program since the 1980s to pursue their careers as a teacher. 

This intense non-traditional training program has influenced the teaching field considerably. The alternative route allows people from different educational and cultural backgrounds to enter the teaching field. They can do so without going through the traditional path of obtaining an education degree. 

Who Is The Alternative Certification Program For?

The alternative teaching certification is a fast track program that provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the classroom. If someone is a graduate or about to graduate with a degree in some other subject, they might discover their passion for teaching and want to direct their goals toward the profession. 

This alternative certification for teachers can help them get their dream job faster and for less money without obtaining a master’s degree in education.

Likewise, a career professional working in a corporate world or some other profession might want to switch career paths later. If their passion for teaching urges them to pursue the field, the alternative teaching program allows them to become a certified teacher despite not having a degree in education. 

Alternative Certification Program Eligibility 

Aspiring educators must fulfill specific criteria to gain acceptance into an alternative certification program. The minimum requirement in almost all states is a bachelor’s degree in any subject other than education from an accredited college or university. A strict background check along with interviews and competency tests is also an essential step for enrolment.

Some states have specific requirements for alternative certification programs. It is essential to check with the state’s education department to learn more about the program. 

After completing the certification program, candidates will have to pass a state-approved certification exam. They will also have to obtain licensure to officially launch their career as a teacher and start applying for jobs across the country.

What Is The Duration Of An Alternative Certification Program?

The duration of the alternative certification programs can vary depending upon the state. However, the most significant advantage over traditional programs is that students get certified much quicker than the typical four-year bachelor of education degree.

Those enrolling in an online program can finish the course at their own pace. But, if they are willing to put in the time and effort, the certificate can end in less than a year. 

Are There Any Disadvantages Of The Alternative Certification Program? 

While the alternative certification program can be an excellent way to enter the teaching field in less than a year. It is only for individuals who have previously earned a bachelor’s degree. 

Someone who has freshly graduated from high school and aspires to be a teacher must go through the traditional route of earning an education degree. 


The alternative certification program is a viable way for individuals passionate about teaching to enter the profession at a fraction of the time and cost it takes compared to an undergraduate degree in the subject.

Those who complete the program will be well-prepared to work as teachers. They will positively impact their students’ lives by preparing them for a bright, prosperous future.

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