In This Episode of School of Talk
Today’s episode of School of Talk is all about alternative teacher certification programs, also known as ACPs.
You might be familiar with traditional teacher preparation programs. You know, the kind where you head into a university or college campus, study for four to six years, and walk away as a licensed teacher.
But, did you know that there are alternative routes to getting a teaching credential?
These programs were designed to license and certify teachers at an accelerated pace, and offer fewer barriers to entry compared to traditional educator preparation programs.
With the need for teachers in the US continuing to grow, Alternative Certification Programs might just offer a solution to help get aspiring teachers into classrooms.
The Teacher Shortage
The US is facing a teacher shortage. According to the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), the state of teacher preparation is showing a decline in applicants pursuing traditional educator preparation programs.
A few of the barriers that are preventing aspiring teachers from enrolling in teacher preparation programs across the nation include costs associated with further education, the inability to maintain employment, and the need to expand training specialties in specific areas.
As the need for more teachers continues to outpace the supply, universities, school districts, education service centers, community colleges, and private entities have begun to implement Alternative Certification Programs to help reduce the barriers to entry for aspiring teachers.
What are Alternative Certification Programs (ACPs)?
ACPs offer a nontraditional route to certification. They can be hosted by universities, school districts, education service centers, community colleges, or private entities.
The great thing about ACPs is that they are much more affordable, faster, and more flexible than traditional programs.
Comparing Alternative Certification Programs (ACPs) to Traditional Educator Preparation Programs
First, let’s look at how ACPs are reducing the time and cost of the classroom for aspiring educators.
Traditional certification pathways can take between 2 to 4 years to complete and typically cost around $30,000 USD.
In contrast, alternative teacher certification can be completed in just six to nine months and cost far less – with an average cost of $5,000 USD.
As ACPs ease some of the financial and time burdens for aspiring teachers, they continue to grow in popularity amongst career changers and new grads alike.
Another reason ACPs are growing in popularity is their flexible nature. Because ACPs are designed to be completed online and asynchronously, they allow candidates to work around their busy schedules.
This is a great option for those who need to maintain an income while furthering their education as candidates can work during the daytime hours and complete online coursework during evenings and weekends.
The flexibility of ACPs is an additional benefit that traditional educator preparation programs cannot compete with.
In addition, vacant positions in schools are creating opportunities for pre-service teachers. Gaining practical, hands-on experience is a likely requirement of both traditional educator preparation programs and ACPs.
But, through ACPs, many educators who are currently working as emergency hires or long-term substitutes can concurrently use their current role within their school to complete the in-class experience module of their program requirements.
By helping place teachers into the classrooms where they are needed most through paid placement opportunities, ACPs offer yet another opportunity for aspiring educators.
The world needs more great teachers and one of the simple answers to a complex, systematic problem, is to create more teachers.
ACPs allow individuals who are passionate about teaching and who have what it takes to be a great teacher to pursue their dreams by eliminating barriers such as time and cost without sacrificing the quality of instruction.
Considering Becoming a Teacher?
Teach Away’s nationally accredited state-approved Teacher Certification Program is certifying, developing, and placing amazing teachers just like you at the head of classrooms around the country.
How do we do it? Our program is 100% online so you can study on your schedule. And our program offers the flexibility to work while you earn your teaching license, so there’s no time away from an income.
We’re removing the barriers to becoming a teacher because we believe in teachers. We believe in you.
Become a U.S. licensed teacher in just 9 months with TCP