The state should ensure that its alternate routes provide streamlined preparation that is relevant to the immediate needs of new teachers.
Michigan does not ensure that its alternate route candidates will receive streamlined preparation that meets the immediate needs of new teachers.
The state requires that alternate route programs provide candidates with an intensive training program of at least an equivalent of 12 college credit hours. Training must include coursework in child development or psychology, family and community relationships, diverse learners and instructional strategies.
Alternate route programs must provide new teachers with a form of field-based experience in the classroom, although the state has not outlined specific guidelines for this requirement. The state does require that the district support the new teacher with intensive observation and coaching.
Upon program completion, and three successful years of teaching, individuals may apply for a standard teaching certificate.
Michigan HB 5596 amending PA 451.1531i
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. Michigan 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.
Ensure that new teachers are supported in the first year of teaching.
Michigan should provide more detailed mentoring and field-experience guidelines to ensure that new teachers will receive the support they need to facilitate their success in the classroom. Effective induction 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.
Michigan recognized the factual accuracy of NCTQ's analysis but noted that new standards and program requirements are set to be approved in the near future.