Online Alternative Teacher Certification in Alabama
Teachers acquire their alternative certification through non-traditional options. Generally, their undergraduate or graduate degrees are not in the field of education, and an approved educator preparation program must be completed.
Online Options That Lead to Alternative Teacher Certification in Alabama
The Alabama State Department of Education has three options available for 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. Before applying for any of these certifications, the interested candidate must be enrolled in certain education-based programs at an approved institution. Online or blended programs may be found. The general requirements for these certifications are shown in the table below.
|Education Required||Bachelor's degree|
|Exam Requirements||Dependent on program and renewal period|
|Certification Renewal Period||Annual toward professional (3 renewals toward the 4th, maximum)|
|Requirements for Renewal||Full-time teaching; progress in coursework; submission of required documents|
|Average Salary (2019)||$53,195 (teachers in AL)*|
|Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026)||8% (preschool, primary, special ed, and secondary teachers nationally)**|
Sources: *Salary.com; **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
University of West Alabama Online
The University of West Alabama Online is accredited to offer bachelor's, master's and specialist education degrees by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The educator certification programs are also Alabama State Department of Education approved. This approval means that programs are in line with the given standards of the Alabama State Department of Education and as such will count towards an interested candidate obtaining their alternative certificate. This school currently offers 12 blended master's degree programs toward alternative educator certification that interested candidates can use to satisfy the requirements.
Programs are available in history, general science, English language arts, special education: collaborative teaching, biology, elementary education, early childhood education, social science, mathematics, and physical education. For example, the M.Ed Early Childhood Education/P-3 program provides candidates with a teaching certification at a master's level in Alabama as well as a Master of Education degree upon completion.
Interested candidates must have a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA from an accredited institution or a master's degree from an accredited institution with a minimum 3.00 GPA. Candidates will also be expected to provide transcripts as evidence of these educational achievements.
All of the listed programs are blended but the majority of the coursework is online. Candidates must also complete at least four seminars as well as the training courses relevant to the program being pursued. All the seminars and training sessions are available online. The programs require a field experience in the classroom relevant to the field of study and end with an internship in the final semester. The internship is held on the university's campus.
Other Online Education Programs
The Alabama State Department of Education website also has a list of approved schools that offer provisional courses geared towards the PCTF certification. A number of these schools have online options for a variety of courses. Examples of the schools that offer these online courses are Athens State University, Judson College and Jacksonville State University.