Part Time Teaching Licenses: New Hampshire

2011 Expanding the Pool of Teachers Policy

Goal

The state should offer a license with minimal requirements that allows content experts to teach part time.

Does not meet
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Part Time Teaching Licenses: New Hampshire results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/state/NH-Part-Time-Teaching-Licenses-7

Analysis of New Hampshire's policies

New Hampshire does not offer a license with minimal requirements that would allow content experts to teach part time.

Recommendations for New Hampshire

Offer a license that allows content experts to serve as part-time instructors.
New Hampshire should permit individuals with deep subject-area knowledge to teach a limited number of courses without fulfilling a complete set of certification requirements. The state should verify content knowledge through a rigorous test and conduct background checks as appropriate, while waiving all other licensure requirements. Such a license would increase districts' flexibility to staff certain subjects, including many STEM areas, that are frequently hard to staff or may not have high enough enrollment to necessitate a full-time position.

State response to our analysis

New Hampshire stated that background checks are required for all educators. The state also asserted that any content expert may pursue alternative certification. "Additionally, schools are allowed to place professionals in a given field in a position for one year. The professional could choose to pursue licensure after the first year."

Last word

A part-time instructor certificate would fill the gap between placing unlicensed professionals in short-term positions and standard certification for all teachers, whether through a traditional or an alternate route. This license would allow content experts who may not be interested in teaching full time and thus are unlikely to be willing to complete a preparation program, even through an alternate route, to teach. 

How we graded

Part-time licenses can help alleviate severe shortages, especially in STEM subjects.  

Some of the subject areas in which states face the greatest teacher shortages are also areas that require the deepest subject-matter expertise.  Staffing shortages are further exacerbated because schools or districts may not have high enough enrollments to necessitate full-time positions.  Part-time licenses can be a creative mechanism to get content experts to teach a limited number of courses.  Of course, a fully licensed teacher is best, but when that isn't an option, a part-time license allows students to benefit from content experts—individuals who are not interested in a full-time teaching position and are thus unlikely to pursue traditional or alternative certification.  States should limit licensure requirements to those that verify subject-matter knowledge and address public safety, such as background checks.

Research rationale

The origin of this goal is the effort to find creative solutions to the STEM crisis. While teaching waivers are not typically used this way, teaching waivers could be used to allow competent professionals from outside of education to be hired as part-time instructors to teach courses such as Advanced Placement chemistry or calculus as long as the instructor demonstrates content knowledge on a rigorous test. See NCTQ, "Tackling the STEM Crisis" at: http://www.nctq.org/p/docs/nctq_nmsi_stem_initiative.pdf

For the importance of teachers' general academic ability, see R. Ferguson, "Paying for Public Education: New Evidence on How and Why Money Matters," Harvard Journal on Legislation 28 (1991), 465-498.

For more on math and science content knowledge, see D. Monk and J.R. King, "Subject Area Preparation of Secondary Mathematics and Science Teachers and Student Achievement," Economics of Education Review 12, no. 2 (1994), 125-145; R. Murnane, "Understanding the Sources of Teaching Competence: Choices, Skills, and the Limits of Training," Teachers College Record 84, no. 3 (1983)