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ERIC Number: ED536506
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Feb
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
What the Research Says about Alternative Teacher Certification Programs. Information Capsule. Volume 1104
Blazer, Christie
Research Services, Miami-Dade County Public Schools
The shortage of qualified teachers across the U.S. has contributed to the popularity of alternative certification programs. These programs are designed to attract individuals into the teaching profession by allowing candidates to become certified without having to complete a traditional teacher education program. This Information Capsule reviewed research related to the following seven questions: (1) Have alternative certification programs increased the diversity of the teaching workforce? (2) How do the retention rates of teachers certified through alternative routes compare to those of traditionally prepared teachers? (3) Do the achievement levels of students assigned to teachers certified through alternative routes differ from the achievement levels of students assigned to traditionally trained teachers? (4) Do teachers who enter the classroom through alternative certification programs report more student attendance and behavioral problems than teachers who were traditionally trained? (5) Do alternative certification programs adequately prepare teachers for the classroom? (6) How do principals rate the teachers at their school who were certified through alternative programs? (7) What are the characteristics of effective alternative certification programs? Research indicates that most alternative certification programs provide a viable source of high-quality teachers and even increase the diversity of the teaching workforce. Many studies have found that alternatively certified teachers can produce student achievement gains comparable to teachers certified in traditional programs. In fact, evidence suggests that teachers' years of experience, rather than the manner in which they obtained their certification, is a more reliable indicator of their future ability to positively impact student achievement. Similarly, the school at which a teacher is placed has also been found to play a larger role in their effectiveness than the route through which certification is obtained. There is great variation in the quality of alternative certification programs and comparisons across programs are difficult. In addition, participants tend to experience the same program in dramatically different ways, depending upon their educational backgrounds, past experiences, knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs. In other words, many factors contribute to a teacher's effectiveness, including the school to which they are assigned, their years of teaching experience, and their content area knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs. The route through which certification is obtained is just one of these factors. Examples of noteworthy alternative certification programs operating across the U.S. are provided at the conclusion of this report.
Research Services, Miami-Dade County Public Schools. 1450 NE Second Avenue, Miami, FL 33132. Tel: 305-995-1000; Fax: 305-995-7521; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Research Services