Alternate Routes Policy
The state should allow a diversity of alternate route providers. This goal was reorganized in 2017.
Alternate Route Providers: Michigan does not limit the providers of alternate routes. The state is commended for the steps it has taken to allow for increased diversity of its alternate route providers. Recently, Michigan approved Teachers of Tomorrow as an alternate route; Teachers of Tomorrow is not credit-based and operates outside of an institution of higher education.
Michigan Revised School Code 380.1531i
Further expand the diversity of alternate route providers.
Michigan 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.
Michigan was helpful in providing the facts necessary for this analysis. The state also added that The Michigan Association of Public School Academies (MAPSA) has developed an alternate route program that is not credit-based and operates outside an institution of higher education. MAPSA has submitted an application for approval to offer this program, and the application is currently under review.
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."