Alternative Certification: Coming Soon to a Classroom Near Yours

By Adel Al-Bataineh, Michael Lorber, Gary S. O’Malley and Douglas D. Hatch.

Published by Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Knowing something about Alternative Certification programs, and the people who graduate from them, is likely to be useful to you because those people are increasingly likely to be teaching in a classroom near yours. The first Alternative Certification program was started in New Jersey in 1983 and, according to Leo Klagholz (2000), the Provisional Teacher Program’s original architect; it was designed not to respond to a teacher shortage but as part of a broader effort to boost teacher quality in the Garden State. Since that time, teacher shortages and changing requirements, including passage of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001, stimulated interest in Alternative Certification programs and, by 2003, 43 states and the District of Columbia had state-run programs. The National Center for Education Information (NCEI) “estimates that more than 250,000 persons have been licensed through alternative routes to teacher certification programs since the mid-1980s, with most of the growth occurring in the last decade. Approximately 35,000 individuals are entering teaching through alternative teacher certification routes each year”, (para. 5). However, according to research conducted by Podgursky (2004), such programs account for a substantial share of teaching recruits in only a few states (e.g., New Jersey, Texas, and California). Mikulecky, Shkodriani and Wilner (2004) “found that close to one-third of all new teachers certified annually in the United States enter the field via alternative certification programs and that such programs were offered in 45 states and the District of Columbia”, (para. 3). The data compiled by Feistritzer (2005) shows that all 50 states and the District of Columbia offer some kind of Alternative Certification program.

Keywords: Alternative Certification, Teacher Preparation

Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp.13-28. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.639MB).

Dr. Adel Al-Bataineh

Associate Professor of Education, College of Education, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Illinos State University, Normal, Illinois, USA

Adel T. AL-Bataineh is an Associate Professor of Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Illinois State University. His research agenda focuses on the effectiveness of teacher preparation for both preservice and inservice teachers. Another area of research interest is international and comparative educational systems. Professor Al-Bataineh, can be reached at the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Illinois State University, Campus Box 5330; Normal, Illinois 61790.

Michael Lorber

Professor of Secondary Education, Curriculum and Instruction, Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois, USA

Gary S. O’Malley

Assistant Professor of Secondary Education, Curriculum and Instruction, Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois, USA

Douglas D. Hatch

Associate Professor of Middle School Education, Curriculum and Instruction, Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois, USA