2017 Alternate Routes Policy
The state should allow a diversity of alternate route providers. This goal was reorganized in 2017.
Alternate Route Providers: Idaho, with the exception of its Non-Traditional Routes to Certification route, which includes American Board for the Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) and Teach For America (TFA) programs, only authorizes colleges and universities to offer alternate route programs. Further, the state's specific alternate route requirements are articulated in terms of credit hours, effectively precluding providers that are not institutions of higher education from offering alternate route programs.
IDAPA 08.02.02.042: https://adminrules.idaho.gov/rules/current/08/0202.pdf
Further expand the diversity of alternate route providers.
Idaho should continue to consider policies that encourage additional providers beyond what the state currently offers, including alternate route programs offered by school districts and other nonprofit organizations. A robust diversity of providers has the potential to help all programs, both university- and non-university-based, to improve.
Further, Idaho should refrain from articulating specific preparation requirements in terms of credit hours, as this effectively precludes providers that are not institutions of higher education from offering alternate route programs.
Idaho recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.
Alternate routes should be structured to do more than just address shortages; they should provide an alternative pipeline for talented individuals to enter the profession. Many states have structured their alternate routes as a streamlined means to certify teachers in shortage subjects, grades, or geographic areas. A true alternate route creates a new pipeline of potential teachers by certifying those with valuable knowledge and skills who did not prepare to teach as undergraduates and are disinclined to fulfill the requirements of a new degree.
Some states claim that the limitations they place on the use of their alternate routes impose quality control. However, states control the criteria for who is admitted and who is licensed. With appropriate standards for admission and program accountability, quality can be safeguarded without casting alternate routes as routes of last resort or branding alternate route teachers "second-class citizens."