Alabama Alternative Teacher Certification Requirements

Alternative teacher certification offers a path to enter the teaching profession through non-traditional methods. Generally, this means the individual has a non-teaching degree or professional experience that still meet particular standards set by the Department of Education. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Alternative Teacher Certification Programs in Alabama

There are currently three main certification programs through which an individual can earn an alternative teacher certification. These are the Provisional Certificate in a Teaching Field (PCTF), Provisional Certificate in a Career and Technical Teaching Field (PCCT), and Professional Following a Provisional Certificate. It must be noted that in order to start the process of attaining the PCTF and PCCT certifications, candidates should contact the school at which they wish to seek employment regarding certificate eligibility.

Certification based on these provisional programs must be requested by an employing Alabama county/city superintendent or eligible non-public/private school administrator. The following table includes the general requirements.

Education/Experience Required 2.75 GPA (bachelor's degree) or 3.0 GPA (master's degree)
Background clearance
Three certification level steps of PCTF or PCCT (Professional Certificate)
Passed Praxis exam (Professional Certificate)
Exam Requirements Praxis Core and Subject Assessment Tests (1st level)
PLT exam (Career Technologies, Health Science and Technical Education) or edTPA for other programs (3rd level)
Praxis subject exam for the field of interest
Certification Renewal Period Annual toward professional
Requirements for Renewal Submission of required documents and forms
Average Salary (2019) $53,109 (teachers in AL)*
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026) 8% (teachers nationally)**

Sources: *Salary.com; **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Provisional Certificate in a Teaching Field (PCTF)

Entrance Requirements and First Level Certificate

This was previously known as the Alternative Baccalaureate-Level Certificate (ABC) Approach. This program is geared towards persons with a degree but who have not specialized in a particular field. Persons must have a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 2.75 or a master's degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 to qualify. In this program, there are three levels of certification. To receive the first level, persons must pass the Praxis Core and Subject Assessment Tests. Background clearance from the Alabama State Bureau of Investigation (ASBI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are also required.

Second and Third Certificates

The second certificate does not require further Praxis testing but persons must earn a certain number of credits as detailed on the Alabama State Department of Education website. The third certificate, however, requires a passing grade on the Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) exam for Career Technologies, Health Science and Technical Education programs or the Educative Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA) for other programs. The candidate will also need to earn a certain number of credits as detailed on the Alabama State Department of Education website.

The application for the next level of certification desired must be submitted before the current certificate expires.

Provisional Certificate in a Career and Technical Teaching Field (PCCT)

This was previously known as the Career and Technical Alternative Baccalaureate-Level Certificate (CT ABC) Approach. This program is geared towards candidates who have a degree in a particular field in which they wish to teach. The entrance requirements for this program are similar to those of the PCTF, which were addressed previously.

Professional Following a Provisional Certificate

This certificate can only be attained after the candidate has achieved all three levels of certification of the PCCT or PCTF programs. The candidate is also required to achieve a passing grade in the Praxis subject for the field of interest. The application for this certificate must be submitted before the third certificate expires.

Further details regarding the Praxis exams required for each program and certificate can be found on the ETS Praxis website.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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