Alabama Alternative Teacher Certification
If you already have a bachelor’s degree in an area outside teaching but did not complete an educator preparation program, there are alternative pathways to earn Alabama teacher certification that may be a good fit. Alternative teacher preparation programs, also known as non-traditional programs, are designed for those who have a bachelor’s degree outside of education and typically lead to the award of a certificate or master’s degree. If you don’t already have your bachelor’s degree, visit our guide to traditional certification in Alabama. If you do already have a bachelor’s degree, this page will help you find the right pathway to earn your teaching credential, which is required in order to teach in Alabama public schools as well as in many private schools in the state.
Requirements for Alternative Certification
The minimum requirement to qualify for alternative teacher certification in Alabama is a bachelor’s degree. Candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in a subject other than education can typically earn certification by attending an educator preparation program or by completing a master’s degree in education. A master’s degree in a teachable subject that includes an approved certification program can also meet certification requirements.
Types of Alternative Teaching Licenses in Alabama
The non-traditional paths to teacher certification in Alabama offer flexible alternatives based on candidates’ educational background and professional experience. The Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) provides further detail on these options, which are outlined below.
Provisional Certificate in a Teaching Field
The Provisional Certificate in a Teaching Field pathway to licensure is available to those who have a bachelor’s degree but have not completed professional educator preparation courses and have never held a teaching certificate. Candidates must be unconditionally admitted to an approved teacher preparation program to qualify and have a GPA of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale plus meet qualifying scores on the appropriate Praxis exam(s) for the endorsement(s) that will be sought. Those with higher GPAs may have the Praxis score requirements waived.
Applicants must also receive an employment offer from an Alabama school district to qualify for this pathway, as the school district must apply for the certificate on the candidate’s behalf. Candidates then complete an approved educator preparation program and complete a mentoring program while teaching full time. You can view approved programs through the State Department of Education.
Successful completion leads to a Professional Educator Certificate. Candidates can earn up to three endorsement areas.
An emergency certificate may be requested by the employing school superintendent if there are no qualified teachers to fill a vacant position. The emergency certificate candidate must have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. If issued, the emergency certificate is valid for up to two years but does not lead to professional certification in Alabama.
Testing Requirements for Alabama Alternative Certification
All candidates for Alabama teacher certification must take the same series of exams. Candidates typically take the Alabama Educator Certification Testing Program: Basic Skills Assessment first, which measures competency in reading, writing, and mathematics. Candidates must also take the subject and grade-level specific Praxis II exam(s) appropriate to the endorsement areas sought. You can view the required Praxis II exam(s) through the Educational Testing Service (ETS).
Transferring Teaching Licenses from Another State
For teachers who hold current and active educator certification in other states and want to teach in Alabama, reciprocity with Alabama is based on an evaluation of the candidate’s previous education and experience. For more information, contact the Alabama State Department of Education. You can also find out more about transferring teacher certification to Alabama on our guide to reciprocity.
Schools with Alternative and Master’s Programs in Alabama
In order to become a teacher in Alabama, you must complete a certification program that has been approved by the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE). The following Alabama schools offer ALSDE-approved certification programs that typically lead to a certificate or master’s degree for prospective teachers:
- Alabama A&M University (Master’s)
- Alabama State University (Alternative, Master’s)
- Auburn University (Alternative, Master’s)
- Auburn University at Montgomery* (Alternative, Certificate, Master’s)
- Jacksonville State University (Alternative, Master’s)
- Faulkner University (Alternative, Master’s)
- Samford University (Alternative, Master’s)
- Stillman College (Certificate)
- Troy University (Alternative, Master’s)
- University of Alabama-Birmingham (Alternative, Master’s), Huntsville* (Alternative, Certificate, Master’s), Tuscaloosa (Alternative, Certificate, Master’s)
- University of Mobile (Alternative, Master’s)
- University of Montevallo* (Alternative, Certificate, Master’s)
- University of North Alabama (Alternative, Master’s)
- University of South Alabama (Alternative, Master’s)
- University of West Alabama* (Certificate, Master’s)
*Schools with an asterisk offer programs that can include paid classroom placements, subject to qualifications and experience. The student may be responsible for securing their own placement. Contact program(s) of interest for further information.
- Alabama Approved Educator Preparation Institutions: List of programs approved by the ALSDE for the preparation of teachers.
- Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE): The Educator Certification Unit of the ALSDE oversees the licensure process for all K-12 public school teachers and administrative staff in Alabama.
- Teacher Certification Reciprocity Guide: Our state-by-state guide to certification reciprocity.
1. Alabama State Department of Education: https://www.alabamaachieves.org/