New York Alternative Certification Programs

(found programs from 27 schools)

The New York State Board of Regents first approved alternative teacher preparation (ATP) programs in 2004 as a means to address critical shortages of properly licensed and/or highly qualified teachers. According to a fact sheet on the New York State Education Department website, the board hoped to attract "highly competent people" with bachelor's degrees in fields other than education.

The initiative appears to have been successful. In 2008-2009 alone, over 2000 New York teachers received certification through an alternate route according to the National Center for Alternative Certification.

Now, the role of alternative certification programs in New York is expanding further. Last year, a Board of Regents vote made it possible for alternative certification program's to issue master's degrees, providing an attractive alternative to education school master's programs.

The New York State Department of Education has stringent requirements for entrance into an ATP. Candidates must participate in a 200-hour introductory component, which includes 40 field hours before becoming employed full-time. Once employed, teachers complete additional coursework and training as prescribed by the school district in partnership with a local educational organization.

One such program is Buffalo State College's Master of Science in physics education. It is designed for individuals that hold undergraduate degrees but have not completed teacher preparation coursework. Physics is a critical teacher shortage area in New York so program graduates are likely to have plentiful job options.

The NYC Teaching Fellows program is for aspiring teachers who are passionate about improving student achievement in the city's most under-served and challenging schools. The program has an impressive track record. Since its inception in 2000, NYC Teaching Fellows has provided the New York City public school system with over 16,000 new teachers. According to the program website, 11 percent of teachers in NYC public schools started their careers as NYC Teaching Fellows. Program participants are called "Fellows" and they begin their journey with a pre-service training program. Fellows then teach full-time while earning a master's degree in education at a partner university.

Schools in New York:

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