Teacher Certification Made Easy
The worsening teacher shortage has been discussed ad nauseam, and with good reason. Namely, when schools don’t have access to the number of fully-trained teachers needed, students suffer. Thankfully, many states have taken or are taking steps to streamline the teacher certification process. Whether making smaller adjustments to reduce the certification burden, or introducing completely new paths to certification, American Board supports states and their efforts to put excellent teachers in classrooms. Allowing for easy teacher certification is the best way states can ensure they have the teachers they need.
When the COVID-19 pandemic began wreaking havoc on state education systems, some states became trailblazers. These states jumped into action–either at the state department of education or at the legislature–to cut red tape that prevents people from transitioning to a career in teaching.
This blog post highlights some of the biggest changes of the past year, organized by state. Of course, if your state makes the list and you’ve dreamed of a career that matters, consider becoming a teacher.
In particular, Florida’s recent change the teacher certification process impacts people who are uncertified but already teaching in a Florida classroom. Now, these temporary-certificate holding people can earn their professional certificate without taking duplicative certification exams.
Idaho and South Carolina
In 2020, Idaho and South Carolina both eliminated a redundant practice that required teachers to double up on their mentoring during their first year of teaching. Both states had required that alternatively trained teachers complete a clinical experience provided by their certification program, in addition to district mentor programs. The elimination of this old requirement allows people in both states to complete their certification programs faster.
Thanks to the dedication and tirelessness of some Indiana legislators, it is now easier to earn Indiana teacher certification. Specifically targeting career-changers, the new legislation allows American Board to certify teachers in Indiana, leveraging real-world experiences in lieu of student teaching time.
Although Mississippi’s change is on the smaller scale, it still allows more people to pursue alternative teacher certification, and that’s a good thing. Now, Mississippi is accepting ACT, SAT, and Praxis Core scores in lieu of state-mandated GPA requirements.
American Board began certifying teachers in North Dakota in 2019. Because of the excellent reputation our teacher graduates have already built in the state, American Board was approved for program expansion in 2021. Now, American Board offers the full package of certification subjects in the state, including special education.
Pennsylvania has made great strides in the field of alternative teacher certification. The state has expanded American Board’s alternative certification program to include elementary education certification and special education certification.
According to the West Virginia Department of Education, the state was short about 2,000 teachers at the beginning of the last school year. But similar to Indiana, the state’s legislature has made moves to ensure that West Virginia’s teacher shortage no longer runs rampant.
American Board Changes
We’re working on our end to keep up with state changes. More importantly, we’re also working to lead the way when it comes to streamlining the teacher certification process. Founded in 2001, American Board has provided the most affordable path to easy teacher certification for 20 years.
In 2020, we opened our required pedagogy exam–the PTK–to be taken from home. We know some candidates had concerns about traveling to testing centers, and that many centers were operating at half capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, we’re offering the one exam required of all candidates in a home-testing format.
Recognizing the incredible value that our Military Veterans bring to the classroom, we’ve reduced our cost for Veterans and their spouses. Moving forward, Veterans and Military spouses can earn their teacher certification with American Board for only $1,000. It’s our small way of saying ‘thank you’ and honoring your sacrifice. And it’s our privilege to assist you as you transition to your next career.
Lastly, to hear from some of the 12,000+ teachers who have used American Board’s affordable and easy teacher certification program, visit our YouTube page.