The state should ensure that its alternate routes provide streamlined preparation that is relevant to the immediate needs of new teachers.
California does not ensure that its alternate routes provide streamlined preparation that meets the immediate needs of new teachers.
The University Internship Credential route requirements vary, depending on the type of internship credential sought and the specific program requirements established by the college or university through which the internship will be completed. No specific guidelines are offered by the state.
District Intern Credential candidates must complete 120 clock hours in child development and teaching methods. Additional coursework is also required in the culture and methods of English Language learners. Elementary candidates must also complete additional instruction in these areas during their first semester of teaching.
Candidates in the University Internship Credential program are not provided a practice-teaching opportunity, nor is there a requirement that all candidates receive a mentor. The District Intern must be assisted and guided throughout the training program by either a person designated as a mentor teacher, a teacher selected through a competitive process or a person employed by the program to supervise student teachers.
The University Internship Credentials route offers one- and two-year programs. District Intern Credential candidates can complete their program and earn full certification in two years.
Establish coursework guidelines for all alternate route preparation programs.
Although program requirements are provided for the District Intern program, the state should articulate guidelines regarding the nature and amount of coursework required of all its alternate route candidates. Requirements should be manageable and contribute to the immediate needs of new teachers. Appropriate coursework should include grade-level or subject-level seminars, methodology in the content area, classroom management, assessment and scientifically based early reading instruction.
Ensure that new teachers are not burdened by excessive requirements.
While California is commended for limiting the length of its alternate route programs, the state should ensure that programs do not overburden the new teacher by requiring multiple courses to be taken simultaneously during the school year.
Extend mentoring to all alternate route teachers.
Although California requires District Intern teachers to work with a mentor, University Interns should also receive this support. In addition, the state should consider providing sufficient guidelines to ensure that the induction program is structured for new teacher success. Effective strategies include practice teaching prior to teaching in the classroom, intensive mentoring with full classroom support in the first few weeks or months of school, a reduced teaching load and release time to allow new teachers to observe experienced teachers during each school day.
California recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.