ERIC Number: ED439135
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Jan
Growing Better Teachers in the Garden State: New Jersey's "Alternate Route" to Teacher Certification.
In September 1984, the New Jersey Board of Education launched the Provisional Teacher Program, the first alternative teacher certification program in the United States. The program, or the "alternate route," came from a reform process initiated after a commission created by the legislature concluded that New Jersey's teacher preparation programs were producing poorly educated graduates. Alternative certification candidates develop teaching skills in essentially the same way as traditional candidates through teaching with the support of a mentor. Formal instruction in a core of applied teaching knowledge can take place during the novice teacher's first year of employment rather than in college. New Jersey eventually established parallel requirements for the alternative and traditional routes, but the alternative remains a true alternative; only 200 clock hours of formal instruction in teaching methods are required. The report suggests that the alternative certification program has markedly expanded the quality, diversity, and size of New Jersey's teacher candidate pool. By 1998-99, 457 school districts had used the program. Applicants had higher scores on teacher licensing tests than traditionally prepared teachers, and attrition rates for alternatively certified teachers were lower than those of their traditionally certified counterparts. The Provisional Teacher Program also became the dominant source of minority teachers for both urban and suburban schools. An appendix contains biographical sketches of New Jersey "alternate route" teachers selected as Dodge Fellows in 1990. (SLD)
Descriptors: Alternative Teacher Certification, Beginning Teachers, Elementary Secondary Education, Nontraditional Education, State Programs, Teacher Education, Teacher Interns
Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, 1627 K Street, N.W., Suite 600, Washington, DC. 20006 (single copy free). Tel: 202-223-5452; Tel: 888-823-7474 (Toll Free); Fax: 202-223-9226; Web site: http://www.edexcellence.net.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Location: New Jersey