The state should require alternate route programs to exceed the admission requirements of traditional preparation programs while also being flexible to the needs of nontraditional candidates.
Although several colleges and universities offer alternate routes to certification, there do not appear to be any state guidelines for program admission. Previously, the state offered an alternate route to licensure in special education that did have guidelines (ARLISE); however, the state no longer offers this alternate route.
Hawaii Teacher Standards Board Meeting Minutes November 2010 http://www.rrsc.k12.hi.us/tc/
Establish guidelines for alternate route programs.
Hawaii should develop guidelines that ensure that alternate route candidates are screened for academic ability and have the required subject-matter knowledge prior to admission to an alternate route program. The state should also ensure that programs are sufficiently flexible regarding the needs of nontraditional candidates.
Hawaii noted that it passed the following definition for alternative route to licensure in November 2010: Alternative Route means pathways to licensure that allow the establishment and operation of state approved teacher preparation programs in the State designed to recruit, prepare and license talented individuals who hold at least a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university and may have careers in fields other than education. Alternative route programs have the following characteristics, in addition to standard features such as demonstration of subject-matter mastery, and high-quality instruction in pedagogy and in addressing the needs of all students in the classroom including English language learners and students with disabilities: (a) Can be provided by various types of qualified providers, including both institutions of higher education and other providers operating independently from institutions of higher education; (b) are selective in accepting candidates, using a rigorous screening process. It is recommended that this process include passing tests, interviews, and demonstrated mastery of content in the field in which licensure is sought (e.g., Praxis II content tests or an academic major in the content field); (c) Provide intensive, supervised, school-based experiences with structured ongoing support such as effective mentoring and coaching; (d) significantly limit the amount of coursework required or have options to test out of courses or allow candidates to demonstrate equivalent experience; (e) hold high performance standards for completion; and (f) upon completion, recommend the same level of licensure that traditional preparation programs award upon completion.
NCTQ encourages Hawaii to establish policy that clearly articulates the definition outlined in the state's response. Formal policy at present is limited and appears to leave many decisions to the program provider. There is certainly room for programs to have flexibility in how certain requirements are met, and the state should make its minimum expectations clear. Rather than relying on informal understandings about policy expectations, formal policy would leave no doubt about how alternate route teachers are prepared.