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.
Missouri does not ensure that its alternate route candidates will receive streamlined preparation that meets the immediate needs of new teachers.
Candidates in the Innovative and Alternative Professional Education Program must complete an unspecified amount of preservice coursework in the areas of adolescent development, psychology of learning and teaching methodology in the content area. Eight additional semester hours of professional education coursework are also required. Program guidelines indicate that candidates "usually complete about 30 semester hours of coursework."
Temporary Authorization Certificate candidates must complete nine semester hours of coursework in their area of assignment. Overall, coursework is limited to 24 credit hours in the areas of psychology of the exceptional child, behavioral management techniques, measurement and evaluation, teaching methods/instructional strategies, methods of teaching reading and developmental psychology.
Innovative and Alternative Professional Education Program candidates are assigned a mentor who teaches the same subject and approximately the same grade level for the full length of the program.
Temporary Authorization Certificate candidates also receive a mentor, but no details are provided.
American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) candidates do not have coursework requirements and receive mentoring.
Innovative and Alternative Professional Education Program candidates can receive full certification after two years. Temporary Authorization Certificate candidates may qualify for an initial license after teaching for a minimum of two years.
The state does not outline any requirements for candidates working under the Doctoral Route to Certification.
5 CSR 80-805.030 http://dese.mo.gov/divteachqual/teachcert/certclass.html
Establish coursework guidelines for alternate route preparation programs.
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. Appropriate coursework should include grade-level or subject-level seminars, methodology in the content area, classroom management, assessment and scientifically based early reading instruction.
Ensure that new teachers are supported in the first year of teaching.
Missouri should provide more detailed induction guidelines to ensure that new teachers will receive the support they need to facilitate their success in the classroom. 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.
Missouri asserted that all alternate routes approved by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education have guidelines and coursework requirements. Further, the state explained that all beginning teachers are required to have a mentor regardless of the route he or she has taken to earn a teacher certificate.
NCTQ encourages Missouri to make its coursework guidelines more specific to ensure that programs meet the state's intents and purposes for alternative certification. The state can add specificity while still leaving programs with flexibility in their program design.