Delaware Alternative Teacher Certification

Prospective educators who have earned a bachelor’s degree but did not complete a teacher preparation program as part of the traditional route to licensure may be eligible for alternative teacher certification in Delaware. 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 a bachelor’s degree, see our guide to traditional certification in Delaware. Continue reading to learn more about whether an alternative teacher preparation pathway may be a fit for you.

Requirements for Alternative Certification

The minimum requirement to pursue alternative teacher certification in Delaware is typically a bachelor’s degree, depending on the pathway to licensure pursued. Most pathways require additional education through a teacher preparation program. Candidates may also be interested in earning a master’s degree in education, or in a core subject that includes an approved certification program, in order to qualify for certification.

Types of Alternative Teaching Licenses in Delaware

There are five alternative pathways to teacher licensure in Delaware. These pathways allow flexibility based on candidates’ previous education and experience. Note that some pathways only offer certification in select subjects.

Delaware Alternative Routes to Certification (ARTC)

The Alternative Routes to Certification program, which is overseen by the University of Delaware, leads to certification in critical needs areas where there is a shortage of teachers. Candidates must already hold a degree with a major in the subject to be taught, which must be an identified critical needs area. Candidates must have a GPA of at least 3.0 and pass the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators exam to be considered for admission to the program, which includes 200 hours of education and teacher preparation coursework. Candidates must be hired into a teaching position before enrolling in the program. Admitted candidates will be eligible to teach full-time while completing program requirements.

Masters Plus Certification Program

Unlike most other states, Delaware offers an alternative route to teaching special needs under the Master’s Plus Certification Program. Candidates must be employed as paraeducators in the Delaware school system and complete the Master’s Plus Certification program at the University of Delaware. The program takes two years to complete, and accepted candidates must commit to teaching in a special needs classroom in Delaware for two years after program completion.

Teach for America

Delaware recognizes Teach for America programs as a pathway to alternative licensure. To be eligible, candidates must meet Teach for America requirements. Those who complete the program, which allows candidates to teach full-time while completing coursework, earn a Master of Arts in Teaching through the Relay Graduate School of Education and are eligible for initial licensure in Delaware.

91 Days in Lieu of Student Teaching

Candidates who complete one year (at least 91 full days) of substitute teaching experience in the same position may substitute this experience for the ordinary teacher preparation program requirement. However, those who pursue this pathway should note that it is not guaranteed to lead to licensure; in addition, this pathway does not lead to certification in elementary grades, English language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, or special education. Candidates who demonstrate 91 days of substitute experience may then apply for an Emergency Certificate with an offer of employment from a Delaware public school. Once an Emergency Certificate is issued, candidates must complete 15 credits of professional development as part of a district-outlined professional development plan. Candidates may then apply for an initial educator’s certificate.

Testing Requirements for Delaware Alternative Certification

The testing requirements for prospective Delaware educators vary based upon the pathway to licensure followed. For detailed information on testing requirements, be sure to review the information provided by the Delaware Department of Education or the certification partner(s) for the plan you wish to follow.

Transferring Teaching Licenses from Another State

Delaware teacher certification through reciprocity is issued on a case-by-case basis after a credential review. Those with a current license from another state who have passed the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators and the Praxis II content assessment(s) for the endorsement area(s) held may qualify. For more details, visit our guide to teacher certification reciprocity or contact the Delaware Department of Education.

Schools with Alternative and Master’s Programs in Delaware

In order to ensure that you qualify for licensure, it’s important to verify that the certification program you select is approved by the state. The list below includes school-based programs leading to a certificate or master’s degree that have been approved by the Delaware Department of Education (DEEDS).

  • Delaware State University* (Alternative, Master’s)
  • Kutztown University (Master’s)
  • Relay Graduate School* (Alternative, Certificate, Master’s)
  • Saint Joseph’s University (Master’s)
  • University of Delaware* (Alternative, Certificate, Master’s)
  • Wilmington University (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.

Additional Resources

1. Delaware Department of Education: https://deeds.doe.k12.de.us/