The state should ensure that its alternate routes provide streamlined preparation that is relevant to the immediate needs of new teachers.
The District of Columbia does not ensure that its alternate route provides streamlined preparation that meets the immediate needs of new teachers.
The District establishes specific requirements for alternate route programs through the Pathway II: State-Only Non-Degree Post-Baccalaureate Accreditation and Program Approval process.
The District requires that alternate route programs provide teachers with a minimum of 12 credit hours, or 180 contact hours, of preparation. The District also requires that the program last for a minimum of one year. However, no maximums are articulated nor are specific coursework requirements outlined.
The District does require that individuals participate in a preservice placement prior to taking on full responsibilities in the classroom. In addition, the District requires that alternate route programs provide extensive and frequent monitoring throughout the candidates' first year.
Ensure that new teachers are not burdened by excessive requirements.
Alternate route programs should not be permitted to overburden the new teacher by requiring multiple courses to be taken simultaneously during the school year. The District should also ensure that the program can be completed within two years. Setting minimum requirements, without established maximums, does not ensure that the new teacher will be able to complete the program in an appropriate amount of time without being overburdened by coursework.
Establish coursework guidelines for alternate route preparation programs.
Simply mandating coursework without specifying the purpose can inadvertently send the wrong message to program providers—that "anything goes" as long as credits are granted. However constructive, any course that is not fundamentally practical and immediately necessary should be eliminated as a requirement.
The District of Columbia recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.