Indiana Alternative Teacher Certification

Those who have already completed a bachelor’s degree but did not complete a teacher preparation program may be candidates for an alternative route to teacher certification in Indiana. 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 yet have a bachelor’s degree, see our guide to traditional certification in Indiana. If you do have a bachelor’s degree, alternative routes can be a convenient way to begin a career as a classroom teacher, allowing you to gain experience while completing standard teacher certification requirements. Continue reading below to learn more about how this process works in Indiana.

Requirements for Alternative Certification

Those seeking an alternative route to teacher certification in Indiana must hold at least a bachelor’s degree. Candidates must meet the same qualifications as traditional pathway educators to become fully licensed but may receive additional time to fulfill the requirements while teaching in a classroom setting. Individuals following this pathway usually complete a post-graduate certificate or a master’s degree in education as part of an alternative teacher preparation program.

Types of Alternative Teaching Licenses in Indiana

Indiana’s pathways to alternative teacher licensure are primarily designed for those who have a bachelor’s degree. However, there is an accelerated pathway for master’s degree holders, as well as a pathway for career and technical education subjects that might not require a bachelor’s degree. However, in all cases, educators will need to complete formal teacher training in order to become licensed.

Advanced Degree Pathway

If you hold a master’s degree or higher, Indiana offers an advanced degree pathway that leads to an instructional license at the secondary (grades 6-12) level. In addition to an advanced degree, you must earn one academic year of experience teaching in a middle school, high school, or college setting and complete the appropriate content exams for the subject for which you will be seeking endorsement. Like traditionally-prepared classroom teachers, you will also need to achieve CPR certification and complete suicide prevention training. After meeting this qualifications, you may apply for an instructional certificate.

Charter School Licensure Pathway

The Charter School Licensure pathway allows those who have a bachelor’s degree to teach in charter schools. To qualify for this certificate, you must have a bachelor’s degree with a major in the subject you wish to teach and an overall GPA of 3.0 or better, or hold a bachelor’s degree and pass the appropriate content-area exam for licensure in the subject you wish to teach. You must also complete CPR certification and suicide prevention training. Once issued, this certificate allows you to teach in Indiana charter schools, but not other types of public K-12 schools.

Transition to Teaching Program

Individuals with a bachelor’s degree may become certified to teach in Indiana via Transition to Teaching. Transition to Teaching programs are two-semester curriculums that prepare those with bachelor’s degrees in specific content areas to become licensed. Note that though it is considered an alternative route in Indiana and can lead to a temporary permit to teach once you are accepted to a program, Transition to Teaching is not always offered as a job-embedded or paid residency curriculum. Consult the program(s) you are considering for available options. You can see a list of approved Transition to Teaching programs through the Indiana Department of Education.

Career Specialist Permit

The Career Specialist permit is for those who meet one of the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree in the subject to be taught with a GPA of at least 3.0, a passing score on the CORE content exam, and 4,000 hours of work experience in the past five years related to the content area to be taught
  • A bachelor’s degree in the subject to be taught with a GPA of at least 3.0 and at least 5,000 hours of work experience in the past seven years related to the content area to be taught
  • A passing score on the CORE content licensure exam plus 5,000 hours of work experience in the past seven years in the content area to be taught

The Career Specialist permit, once issued, allows the holder to lead a classroom teaching in a specific subject while completing teacher training. Completion of a formal teacher training program is required in order to renew the permit.

Testing Requirements for Indiana Alternative Certification

Either before or during completion of a teacher preparation program, candidates for alternative teacher certification in Indiana must take and pass the appropriate Indiana CORE Academic Skills Assessment (CASA), which measures knowledge in the content areas to be taught. For more information on specific exams required by subject and grade level, consult the Indiana Department of Education teacher testing portal.

Transferring Teaching Licenses from Another State

Those who already hold a teaching license in another state and hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited school may apply for a Reciprocal Permit, which is valid for one year and is not renewable. Applicants can begin teaching immediately once the permit is issued but must complete any deficiencies in order to become certified in Indiana within that year. Requirements for an Initial Practitioner Indiana teaching license include posting passing scores on the required tests and making up any educational deficiencies. For more information, visit our guide to teaching license reciprocity or contact the Indiana Department of Education.

Schools with Alternative and Master’s Programs in Indiana

In order to qualify for licensure in Indiana, you must complete a teacher education program that has been approved by the state. The following school-based teacher preparation programs that typically lead to a certificate or master’s degree have been approved by the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE):

  • American College of Education (Alternative, Certificate, Master’s)
  • Anderson University (Alternative, Certificate)
  • Ball State University (Alternative, Master’s)
  • Bethel University (Alternative, Master’s)
  • Butler University* (Alternative, Certificate)
  • Calumet College of St. Joseph* (Alternative, Certificate)
  • Earlham College (Master’s)
  • Goshen College* (Alternative, Certificate)
  • Holy Cross College* (Alternative, Certificate)
  • Indiana State University* (Alternative, Certificate, Master’s)
  • Indiana University-Bloomington* (Alternative, Certificate, Master’s), East (Alternative, Certificate), Kokomo (Alternative, Certificate), Northwest (Alternative, Certificate, Master’s), South Bend* (Alternative, Certificate, Master’s), Southeast (Alternative, Certificate, Master’s)
  • Indiana Wesleyan University (Alternative, Certificate, Master’s)
  • Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis* (Alternative, Certificate)
  • Manchester College (Alternative, Certificate)
  • Marian University* (Alternative, Certificate, Master’s)
  • Oakland City University* (Alternative, Certificate, Master’s)
  • Purdue University-West Lafayette* (Alternative, Certificate, Master’s), Fort Wayne* (Alternative, Certificate), Northwest* (Alternative, Certificate)
  • Relay Graduate School of Education* (Alternative, Certificate, Master’s)
  • Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (Alternative, Certificate)
  • Taylor University* (Alternative, Certificate)
  • Trine University (Alternative, Certificate)
  • University of Evansville (Alternative, Certificate)
  • University of Indianapolis* (Alternative, Certificate, Master’s)
  • University of Notre Dame* (Master’s)
  • University of Saint Francis (Alternative, Certificate, Master’s)
  • Valparaiso University (Alternative, 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.

Additional Resources

1. Indiana Department of Education: https://www.in.gov/doe/