5 Unique Alternative Certification Programs

Alternative Teacher Certification

Looking to teach in a public school after studying or working in a field other than education? It’s never too late if you’re willing to learn. These five alternative teacher certifications will get you into a public school classroom and allow you to earn your professional certification while you are actually teaching. Whether you want to use your leadership experience to serve the next generation or impart your excitement about the science that fueled your graduate school research, these programs will instantly put you in touch with the kids you want to teach.

1. New York City Teaching Fellows
This New York alternative teacher certification program seeks highly qualified professionals without backgrounds in education to teach in New York City public schools. After a Spring Classroom Apprenticeship and full-time Pre-Service Training beginning in June, fellows will work full time as public school teachers while completing a subsidized Master’s in Education program, usually at the City University of New York. Fellows receive a Transitional B teaching certification, which qualifies them to work in any public school in New York City. After earning their Master’s of Education, fellows must apply for New York State teaching certification in order to continue teaching.

2. California Internship Teacher Preparation Programs
California’s alternative teacher certification program allows you to complete preparatory coursework during your first one-to-two years in a paid teaching position. In programs set up by colleges, universities, school districts and county offices of education, you will receive organized support while working toward the same credential you would receive from a traditional teacher preparation program in California. To qualify, you must hold a bachelor’s degree, meet a basic skills requirement, meet a subject matter competence and U.S. Constitution requirement, and obtain character and identification clearance.

3. Florida’s Alternative Certification Program
Florida’s alternative teacher certification program grants a temporary teaching certificate to newly hired teachers and provides training so that they may eventually qualify for a professional teaching certificate. The training program includes an initial period of “survival training” before the first year of teaching, peer support, distance learning components, assessment tests and more. Certification in Florida is based on the development of competency in the Florida Educator Accomplished Practices rather than completion of higher-education coursework. Many school districts run their own alternative certification programs, although all programs are based on the same basic model. Contact your school district for details.

4. Texas Teachers
This Texas alternative teacher certification provides one year of online training, with the option of completing some portions of the training in person. Professional certification is granted after completing the one-year training program and one year of paid teaching in Texaswith a probationary certification. Texas Teachers even offers 60 subject area specializations to choose from. Texas Teachers is a private company, and charges $295 for their one-year course, although a discounted student rate of $195 is available for those applying in their senior year of college.

5. The Georgia Teacher Alternative Preparation Program
One of Georgia’s alternative teacher certification programs is a two-year paid internship. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree with 25 hours of coursework in education or a subject related to their intended area of certification. Interns are observed every other week by a faculty member and attend an evening seminar on alternate weeks during the first year. Interns are observed a minimum of three times each term and attend a minimum of four seminars each semester during the second year. Interns who complete a Master of Arts in Teaching during the two year program are eligible for the T-5 Georgia teacher certification.

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