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.
Utah does not ensure that its alternate route candidates will receive streamlined preparation that meets the immediate needs of new teachers.
Participants in Utah's Alternative Routes to Licensure (ARL) complete coursework determined by a transcript review. Typically, candidates take a minimum of six teacher preparation (pedagogy) courses in addition to any required content courses. Elementary candidates take an additional four methods courses.
American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) candidates are required to take one course in methods of mathematics teaching.
The state requires all alternate route candidates to have mentoring.
Candidates are eligible for a standard certificate upon program completion, which is usually between 18 months and two years.
Utah Administrative Code R277-503-4
Ensure that new teachers are not burdened by excessive requirements.
While Utah is commended for developing an individual preparation plan for each candidate, the state should ensure that new teachers are not overburdened by requiring multiple courses to be taken simultaneously during the school year. Setting minimum guidelines, 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.
Strengthen the induction experience for new teachers.
Although Utah requires all new teachers to work with a mentor, there are insufficient guidelines indicating that the induction program is structured for new teacher success. 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.
Utah recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.