Idaho Alternative Teacher Certification

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 have a bachelor’s degree, visit our guide to traditional route certification in Idaho. 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. These programs can be a great fit for those who are looking to switch careers into teaching. Read more below about the options for earning alternative teacher certification in the state.

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.

American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence

Idaho recognizes American Board for the 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. You can find out more about this option through the ABCTE website.

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 subject assessments 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 Idaho State Department of Education website.

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.

Schools with Alternative and Master’s Programs in Idaho

To qualify for teacher certification in Idaho, you must complete an education program approved by the Idaho State Department of Education (Idaho SDE). The school-based programs below culminate in the award of a certificate or master’s degree and have been approved by the Idaho SDE:

  • Boise State University (Master’s)
  • College of Southern Idaho* (Alternative)
  • Idaho State University* (Alternative, Master’s)
  • Lewis-Clark State College* (Alternative)
  • Northwest Nazarene University (Master’s)
  • University of Idaho (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. Idaho State Department of Education: https://sde.idaho.gov/cert-psc/cert/