The National Center for Alternative Teacher
Certification Information

Click Here for Alternative Certification Articles by Delia Stafford and Vicky Dill

The National Center for Alternative Teacher Certification Information (NCATCI) is based at the not-for-profit Haberman Educational Foundation (501C3) that provides consultation to state departments of education, school districts, regional educational entities, state and federal legislators, and any partnership or group desiring to learn more about eliminating teacher shortages by envisioning entirely new paradigms of teacher education via alternative routes to teacher and administrative certification.

What is ACP? Alternative certification programs (ACP) provide a “grow your own” source of diverse, mature, and resilient teachers and leaders for the nation's neediest students. Most states now have alternative teacher certification regulations enacted into law; however, many states have not yet fully used these laws or implemented them to improve the quality of teachers available to bilingual, diverse, poor, urban, or rural students. The NCATCI provides a complete menu of expert services including:

  1. guidance in ACP rule-designing;
  2. collaborative design and development of ACP programs;
  3. candidate selection and staff interview training;
  4. start-up and implementation trouble-shooting;
  5. mentor selection and training;
  6. budget building, and
  7. outcomes evaluation.

ACP programs, properly developed and implemented, offer the following to school districts in desperate need of finding new and better teachers:

  1. More minority, diverse, and resilient teachers. ACP programs provide a demographically and culturally representative teaching force. ACP programs facilitate credentialling of individuals, including many multicultural, bilingual, and minority teachers, who may be unable to quit full-time jobs to go back to college, but who may be able to make a smooth transition from one fulltime job to a paid internship.
  2. A realistic display of teaching ability prior to certification. High quality ACP programs provide interns a thoroughly-mentored, hands-on learning experience in a realistic classroom setting. Teachers who have only ever done “student teaching” are often surprised by the lack of motivation, poverty, and learning challenges of the students in the classrooms they are ultimately hired to teach. They often become disillusioned and quit. On the other hand, ACP internships provide a model that supplies support for teachers, many of them mature and local citizens, who wish to teach in the most challenging of circumstances. These internships help schools avoid rapid teacher turnover and time consuming teacher de-selection when teachers fail while providing access to a new population of potential faculty.
  3. The power of research-based teacher selection. ACP programs provide an opportunity to select candidates from a broad cross section of the general population. Teachers of urban or poor youth should be chosen based on their beliefs about how to empower these children, not their transcripts or “seat-time.” ACP programs demonstrate the power of research-based teacher selection designed to increase academic achievement for diverse students. The model promotes as priority #1, finding good teachers for students in need.

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