Alternate Takes

June 16, 2005 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Alternative-certification routes are progressively changing the face of the teaching profession, suggests a data-heavy new survey report by an organizational advocate of the fast-track programs. New teachers, in particular, may be increasingly difficult to peg nowadays.

More than 120 alternative-prep programs in nearly 550 sites have sprouted up in 47 states and the District of Columbia, producing a growing number of nontraditional teacher-candidates, according to the National Center for Education Information, a research group with ties to the federally funded National Center for Alternative Certification. About 35,000 newly certified teachers who completed alternative programs are on the job this school year, the NCEI reports.

More on the Web

The National Center for Education Information provides a summary of its survey of alternative-route teachers.

In “Trading Places,” from the January 2005 issue of Teacher Magazine, author Gregory Michie examined one alt-cert participant’s transition from finance to teaching.

The National Center on Alternative Certification offers state-by-state information on alternative certification.

The Research Center offers an Issues A-Z overview on Alternative Teacher Certification.

“Making the Grade,” a multi-part 2000-2001 report from PBS’s Online Newshour, follows the progress of first-year New York City teachers trained in an alternative program.

The Project for the Next Generation of Teachers at Harvard University has conducted a number of research studies on alternative-certification programs, among other topics.

In general, alternative-route programs allow participants to earn their teaching certificates on an accelerated schedule. Participants are also often able to begin teaching—and, significantly, earn a salary—while working toward their certification.

The NCEI’s survey of individuals entering teaching through alternative routes shows that, true to their advertised appeal to career-changers, these programs are attracting older candidates into education careers. Seventy-two percent of the new teachers were 30 or older, while 47 percent were over 40 and 20 percent were 50 or over.

An article in the Jan./Feb. issue of Teacher Magazine looked at one alternative certification participant’s difficult—but ultimately rewarding—transition to teaching from a career in finance.

That teacher, Charlie Bright of Chicago, matches up pretty well with the NCEI’s statistics. Nearly half of those surveyed by NCEI were working in a non-education job before they enrolled in an alternative-route program. Roughly the same percentage said they would not have become a teacher if not for the availability of the certification program.

The NCEI’s survey also suggests that alternative-route programs may be bringing more minority candidates into teaching.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
School & District Management Webinar
Deepen the Reach and Impact of Your Leadership
This webinar offers new and veteran leaders a unique opportunity to listen and interact with four of the most influential educational thinkers in North America. With their expert insights, you will learn the key elements
Content provided by Solution Tree
Science K-12 Essentials Forum Teaching Science Today: Challenges and Solutions
Join this event which will tackle handling controversy in the classroom, and making science education relevant for all students.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Student Well-Being Webinar
Stronger Together: Integrating Social and Emotional Supports in an Equity-Based MTSS
Decades of research have shown that when schools implement evidence-based social and emotional supports and programming, academic achievement increases. The impact of these supports – particularly for students of color, students from low-income communities, English
Content provided by Illuminate Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: January 12, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education School Bus Driver Retires After 48 Years Behind Wheel
Charles City school bus driver Betty Flick sat behind the wheel for the final time last week, wrapping up a 48-year career for the district.
3 min read
Charles City school bus driver Betty Flick poses with one of her farewell signs. Flick has been driving for Charles City School District for 48 years.
Betty Flick quickly fell in love with the job and with the kids, which is what has had her stay in the district for this long.
Courtesy of Abby Koch/Globe Gazette
Education Briefly Stated: December 1, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: November 17, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read