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Idaho Alternative Teacher Certification

For individuals who already hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher learning and who are interested in becoming licensed teachers, there are multiple routes to earning alternative teacher certification in Idaho.

Requirements for Alternative Certification

All candidates for alternative teacher certification in Idaho must hold a bachelor’s degree. In addition, candidates must complete teacher preparation, though in some cases candidates may complete this requirement while teaching in a classroom. Preparation for alternative route candidates also includes a reading instruction course requirement. Idaho teacher preparation programs for alternate route candidates can be completed in as little as one year. Some programs also allow candidates to earn a master’s degree in education, or in a core subject that includes an approved certification program.

Types of Alternative Teaching Licenses in Idaho

Idaho offers several pathways to alternative teaching licenses. These non-traditional routes are meant to attract experienced professionals who have bachelor’s degrees in subjects other than education to the classroom.

Alternative Authorization – Content Specialist

The Alternative Authorization – Content Specialist (AA-CS) route is for candidates who are uniquely qualified in an endorsement area but have not completed a teacher preparation program. To be eligible for this route, candidates must have a bachelor’s degree and be able to demonstrate high competency in a specific content area through employment experience and/or education, such as a master’s degree. Candidates must have an employment offer from a school district and pass the appropriate Praxis II content-area exam(s). Once authorized under this pathway, candidates may teach full-time while completing an accelerated program of study in teacher preparation. Note the AA-CS credential must be requested by the hiring school district. Those who complete the program successfully are eligible for a standard Idaho teaching certificate.

American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence

Idaho recognizes American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) certification as a route to teacher licensure. Candidates pursuing this pathway take online courses through the ABCTE and obtain a full-time teaching position. While teaching and continuing coursework, candidates complete a two year mentorship through the employing school district. Upon completion of all program requirements, candidates are eligible for a standard Idaho teaching certificate. Currently, ABCTE is the only online program accepted for alternative teacher certification in Idaho.

Teach for America

The Idaho State Board of Education accepts Teach for America candidates working towards the standard requirements for Idaho teacher licensure. Currently the Teach for America preparation program is administered jointly with Boise State University. Highly qualified candidates in critical need areas such as biology, math, and tech education are preferred. For more information about this program, contact Teach for America.

Professional-Technical Education Certification

Idaho offers several certifications for teachers of Professional-Technical or career and technical education (CTE) subjects. The minimum requirements for these pathways are typically a high school diploma plus experience and industry certification in a career or trade area. Interim or limited certificates are typically valid for three years and allow a candidate to teach while completing a teacher preparation program in an occupational area. For more information on Professional-Technical certificates and requirements by subject area, visit the Idaho Division of Professional-Technical Education.

Testing Requirements for Idaho Alternative Certification

In all cases, prospective educators in Idaho must pass the Praxis II content-area exam(s) for the subject(s) they wish to teach. Certain pathways may require additional testing, such as the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators. For more information, consult the appropriate agency for the pathway you are considering.

Transferring Teaching Licenses from Another State

Applicants who have an out-of-state teaching license may be eligible under reciprocity for an Interim Certificate, which is valid for three years. In order to renew the certification into an Initial Certificate, these teachers are required to pass an Idaho Comprehensive Literacy Course. For detailed information concerning Idaho teacher reciprocity, visit our reciprocity guide or contact the Idaho State Department of Education.

Additional Resources

Idaho State Department of Education Alternate Routes to Teaching
American Board for the Certification of Teacher Excellence-Idaho
Teach for America Idaho

Schools with Alternative Certification Programs in Idaho

Because the alternative certification process is complex, we have researched and provided specific school programs below for individuals who have a bachelor’s degree outside of education and want to become a teacher. We recommend you request information from one or more of these specific programs:

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References:
1. Idaho State Department of Education: http://sde.idaho.gov/cert-psc/cert/