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Alternative Routes to Certification

“Alternative” in what ways? Instead of drawing primarily from the traditional pool of teacher preparation candidates which consists mainly of college students and recent graduates, alternative route programs cast a broader net, making efforts to attract older, non-traditional candidates who come to the program already well-versed in the content they want to teach. Because novice educators in these programs can begin teaching-and drawing a salary and benefits-so quickly, the programs are able to attract candidates whose financial obligations might rule out the slower traditional route to teaching. For similar reasons they can appeal to classroom paraprofessionals with degrees who, in addition to needing a salary, may want to teach in the school where they now work, something alternative programs are more likely to facilitate. ( Many areas offer programs for certification alternatives specifically for their district or county, so be sure to check your local education offerings.

Teaching as Second Career

If you have been in the work force and have recently decided that teaching is the job for you, then teaching may become your second career. If you already have a Bachelor’s degree, your road to teaching may be easier than you think. Check with your states’ requirements to see if they offer a conditional or temporary certificate for teaching. If they do, you may be able to get a job as a full-time teacher while you finish your teacher credentials.

Read more about Transitioning into an Education Career

Troops to Teachers

Troops to Teachers is a U.S. Department of Education and Department of Defense program that helps eligible military personnel begin a new career as teachers in public schools where their skills, knowledge and experience are most needed.

Click here for the Troops To Teachers Home Page

Click here to determine if you are eligible for Troops to Teachers

Teach for America

Teacher for America was started in 1990 by Wendy Kopp. Since its inception, Teach for America has grown 17,000 strong and served nearly 3 million students- the largest provider of teachers for low-income communities. The mission of Teach for America is not to fill the teacher shortage, but rather to “close the achievement gap that exists between children growing up in low-income areas and their peers in higher-income areas.”

Teach For America is geared toward professionals or individuals without a teaching or education background. The general requirements for those interested in applying is a bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 2.5 GPA and U.S. Citizenship. The program works with the region to obtain the steps necessary to become certified and ready to teach. The minimum commitment is 2 years. There is a five week intensive training program for accepted applicants.

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