What are the Different Types of Alternative Teacher Certification Programs?

G. Wiesen
G. Wiesen
A teacher working.
A teacher working.

There are quite a few different types of alternative teacher certification programs, though in general most types fall into one of several major categories. These categories include issuing conditional teaching certification to someone with at least a four-year degree in the subject, issuing teaching certification to someone based on emergency need for teachers in a particular area, allowing someone to teach while they are still finishing a traditional teaching certification program, and allowing someone with special qualifications to teach. Most alternative teacher certification programs will require some form of college degree, though the exact nature of this requirement may vary.

Different states and countries will often have various labels to refer to different types of alternative teacher certification programs. These will often include phrases such as “conditional certification” or “temporary certification,” but the basic ideas behind such programs are often the same. In general, the best way for someone to distinguish between these various programs is for him or her to read the description and requirements of such programs for further details. One of the most prominent forms of alternative teacher certification programs are those that grant conditional certification to someone with a college degree in the subject area.

This type of conditional degree will usually require not only a college degree in a particular field, but also professional experience working in that field. In other words, someone looking to teach science at a high school would usually need to have a bachelor’s degree in a related scientific field and several years of experience working in a lab or similar professional environment. Other types of alternative teacher certification programs are often established as emergency programs in which a particular district may need teachers and so issues emergency licenses, though at regular times this sort of certification would not be issued.

These types of alternative teacher certification programs can include granting conditional licensure to someone who is still finishing his or her college degree to become a teacher. The person will typically need to continue working on the degree and complete it within a given period of time, but while he or she is doing this work he or she can also be teaching. Other programs will allow someone with special qualifications to teach, even though he or she may not meet the standard requirements for teaching licensure. This can include someone who has won a major form of recognition, such as a Nobel Prize, or someone who is a renowned professional working in a particular field.

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    • A teacher working.
      A teacher working.