The Impact of Alternative Teacher Certification Programs on Teacher Shortages in Florida, Idaho, New Hampshire Pennsylvania, and Utah

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This research details three national alternative route programs: Teach for America, Troops to Teachers, American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence, and five state-endorsed alternative certification programs. The number of teachers who completed an alternative route was compared to the number of traditionally certified teachers in the five states from 2000-2005. A list of shortage-area subjects was matched to the numbers and types of certificates obtained by alternatively certified teachers. Results demonstrate that alternative certification programs are an effective method of recruiting teachers in hard-to-fill subject areas, particularly those content areas with the most critical shortages – special education, math, science, and foreign language. Nontraditional teacher certification programs provide a fast-track route into the classroom for individuals seeking a career in education and reduce teacher shortages by recruiting a significant number of teachers into the profession in subject shortage areas.


Keywords: Alternative Teacher Certification, Teacher Shortages, Teacher Recruitment
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: , Impact of Alternative Teacher Certification Programs on Teacher Shortages, The


Dr. Melanie Shaw

Faculty Mentor, School of Education, Northcentral University
Belleville, Illinois, USA

Melanie Shaw obtained an undergraduate degree in Liberal Studies and Music from Excelsior College in Albany, New York and a master’s degree in School Counseling from the University of West Alabama. She also obtained a second master’s degree in Educational Administration from Grand Canyon University. In August, 2006, Melanie completed a Ph.D. in Education with a specialization in Curriculum and Teaching from Northcentral University. She has a varied educational background and has worked in diverse pedagogical environments ranging from early childhood, multiage, general music, intermediate, middle school, special education, pull-out resource, and specialist classrooms in the states and overseas in Germany. She is also an alternatively certified teacher.

Ref: L08P0036