Expanding the Pool of Teachers Policy
The state should ensure that its alternate routes provide streamlined preparation that is relevant to the immediate needs of new teachers.
Indiana could do more to ensure that its alternate routes provide streamlined preparation that meets the immediate needs of new teachers.
Indiana's Transition to Teaching (T2T) program requires elementary candidates to complete 24 hours of coursework, six of which must be in reading. Secondary candidates must complete 18 hours of coursework.
Candidates are required to participate in field and classroom experiences, although the state has not provided additional guidelines for this requirement. New teachers may be assigned a mentor if the employing district has one in place.
Each approved institution sets the length of its program. Upon program completion, new teachers are granted a standard license.
There are no additional program requirements for the Advanced Degree License. Applicants teach under this license and pursue standard licensure just as any new teacher would.
515 IAC 1-6-6
Establish coursework guidelines for alternate route preparation programs.
Indiana is commended for requiring elementary candidates to take a course in the teaching of reading. However, there are no guidelines for other required coursework. 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.
Ensure that new teachers are supported in the first year of teaching.
Indiana should ensure that all teachers receive induction support, not just those in districts that have an established mentoring program. The state should establish guidelines to ensure that the mentoring 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.
Indiana contended that it has recently reviewed all T2T programs and shut down many of them, so it cannot be said that anything goes. The state asserted that all programs have to meet state-outlined standards now in order to remain in operation.