The state should offer a license with minimal requirements that allows content experts to teach part time.
Ohio offers two teaching permits that allow content experts to teach part time: the 12-hour STEM permit and the 40-hour STEM permit. Candidates teaching under the 40-hour STEM permit must not exceed 40 hours of instruction a week. Candidates must have a bachelor's, a master's or a doctoral degree or significant experience in the intended teaching field. Applicants are not required to pass a subject test.
The state does include the provision that individuals under this license volunteer their time, or that a contract with their current employer be agreed to by the school board. A school or district cannot hire an individual under a STEM permit if it displaces an existing licensed teacher.
Ohio Administrative Code 3319.301
Require applicants to pass a subject-matter test.
Ohio is commended for offering a license that increases 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. Although this license is designed to enable individuals who have significant content knowledge to teach, Ohio should still require a subject-matter test. While the state does require a degree or significant experience, only a subject-matter test ensures that teachers on the 12- or 40-hour STEM permit know the specific content they will need to teach.
Allow other subject matter experts to teach under a similar certificate.
While Ohio is commended for offering a license that increases districts' flexibility to staff STEM courses, the state should consider extending such a license to content experts in other subjects that are frequently hard to staff or may not have high enough enrollment to necessitate a full-time position.
Ohio was helpful in providing NCTQ with the facts necessary for this analysis.