2017 Alternate Routes Policy
The state should allow a diversity of alternate route providers. This goal was reorganized in 2017.
Alternate Route Providers: North Dakota requires that alternate route candidates work with an institution of higher education to complete all coursework requirements. Further, Valley City State University is the only provider authorized to offer the Transition to Teaching program.
North Dakota Administrative Code 67.1-02-04-01 North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board, Types of License: http://www.nd.gov/espb/licensure/types.html North Dakota Department of Career and Technical Education, Transition to Teaching: http://www.nd.gov/cte/teacher-cert/transition-to-teaching.html
Encourage diversity of alternate route providers.
In addition to alternate routes housed in institutions of higher education, North Dakota should specifically authorize alternate route programs run by local school districts and nonprofits that do not need to work in conjunction with an institution of higher education. As the state only has one alternate route provider, it should encourage the formation of additional alternate routes. A robust diversity of providers has the potential to help all programs, both university- and non-university-based, to improve.
North Dakota recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.
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."