Alternative Certification Programs

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Alternate certification programs were first established in the 1980s as a response to the projected teacher shortage. These programs are found in almost every state and in many colleges and universities (Stillwell, 2010). While alternative certification programs address the need to recruit highly qualified people to become teachers, these programs fail to address the inability to retain highly qualified teachers. These alternate certification programs also do not envision teaching as a long term career choice for highly qualified applicants (Hodges, Tippins, & Olivar, 2013). Ingersoll (2001) suggested that instead of creating more teachers, we should explore why teachers are leaving the profession. Much debate surrounds the use of alternative certification programs to gain teacher certification. The question still remains if the type of teacher certification program affects new teacher retention and effectiveness and also if…show more content…
With this in mind, Mississippi began aggressively utilizing alternative certification programs in 2003. The alternative certification programs are viewed as a viable avenue to bring talented individuals into teaching. Currently, about half of Mississippi teachers come from alternative certification programs. This is the first year the number of teachers certified through alternative certification programs outpaced the number of traditional certified teachers (Boggan & Jayroe, 2012). Mississippi has attempted to lessen the teacher shortage problem by offering a number of incentives designed to attract and retain qualified teachers. These include monetary incentives, such as scholarships and payment of tuition, and books for undergraduate education majors, fellowships for Masters of Education and Education Specialists degree students, and moving and housing assistance grants for licensed teachers (Boggan & Jayroe,

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