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Another Route to the Classroom: Alternative Certification

Background

Alternative certification allows college graduates who didn’t major in education to get into the classroom and start teaching quickly.

Aspiring teachers who want to follow this route into the classroom must meet certain academic requirements and must also take coursework in pedagogy and related subjects. They can do that by completing the Ohio Department of Education’s online course, by completing a new summer institute for aspiring teachers that the department is developing, or by completing six semester hours of professional education coursework at a college of education.

Teachers who take this alternative route also have to spend 15 hours in a school setting of some sort. And they have to pass the same exams that traditional teacher candidates do. After that, the state essentially treats alternative-route teachers the same as those with education degrees.

Today, there are about 600 people who took the expedited route to the classroom. That’s less than 1 percent of all Ohio teachers. in the 2010-11 school year, the Columbus school district appeared to be the biggest employer of new alternative-route teachers. About half of alternative-route teachers are teaching special education.

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