The state should ensure that its alternate routes provide streamlined preparation that is relevant to the immediate needs of new teachers.
Delaware offers its alternate route candidates streamlined preparation that meets the immediate needs of new teachers.
Prior to taking responsibility for a classroom, all Alternative Route for Teacher Licensure and Certification (ARTC) candidates must complete a seminar/practicum of no fewer than 120 clock hours. This includes professional development and introduction of basic teaching skills through a supervised teaching experience. While teaching, an additional 200 hours of coursework in the areas of curriculum, student development and learning, and classroom management is also required. This coursework consists of five graduate-level courses completed through the University of Delaware.
Intensive induction is provided during the first 10 weeks of school. Mentoring is provided for at least 30 weeks and may continue for up to two years. Four cycles of mentoring are available, including Creating a Classroom Environment, Designing Instructional Experiences, Assessment for Student Learning and Professional Growth Planning. During the first two cycles, new teachers are provided with time to talk with colleagues, observe veteran teachers and reflect on their performance, in addition to meeting with their mentors. Cycles three and four involve a learning-team format and preparing a professional growth plan.
ARTC candidates have up to three years to earn certification, but ARTC courses are designed to be completed within 12-18 months.
The Teach For America (TFA) program requires candidates to complete a five-week intensive training program, which includes practice teaching, during the summer. Coursework is focused on leadership, instructional planning and delivery, classroom management, diversity, learning theory and literacy development. Throughout the two-year program, TFA corps members receive one-on-one coaching.
The Delaware Teaching Fellows complete a six-week intensive training institute that includes a practice-teaching assignment, sessions designed to delve into a curriculum focused on student standards, foundations of teaching, classroom management and other skills necessary to become an effective teacher in a high-need school.
Delaware stated that "each alternative route program is structured differently. While the clock hour requirements and other requirements hold constant under state code, the means by which candidates obtain them vary." The state also asserted that all new teachers participate in the state's new teacher-mentoring program/requirements.