Louisiana Alternative Teacher Certification

Louisiana offers several alternative routes to teacher certification. The available pathways to licensure are based on the candidate’s education and the subjects a candidate wishes to teach. 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 certification in Louisiana. If you do have your bachelor’s degree, read more below about alternative routes to licensure in Louisiana.

Requirements for Alternative Certification

The minimum requirement to pursue alternative teacher certification in Louisiana is a bachelor’s degree. Candidates who have a bachelor’s degree can pursue an alternative teacher certification program leading to either a post-baccalaureate certificate or a master’s degree in education. Master’s degrees in academic subjects can also qualify candidates to teach in Louisiana.

Types of Alternative Teaching Licenses in Louisiana

The alternative routes to teacher certification in Louisiana are designed to bring qualified teachers who are interested in changing careers to classrooms. The pathways available allow for flexibility based on the candidate’s and educational attainment. These different pathways are outlined below.

Practitioner Teacher Alternate Certification Program

Candidates with a bachelor’s degree and a GPA of at least 2.20 can pursue the Practitioner Teacher Alternate Certification Program. Candidates for this pathway must take the Praxis exams for the subject(s) and grade level(s) they wish to teach and apply to an approved teacher preparation program. Candidates who are accepted are issued a Practitioner License 1 (PL1) which allows them to teach full time while completing the preparation program. Upon successful completion of the program, candidates are eligible for a Level 1 Professional License.

Master’s Degree Alternate Certification Program

The Master’s Degree Alternate Certification Program allows candidates to teach full-time while completing a master’s degree and teacher preparation. Candidates must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 and pass the appropriate Praxis exams. Next, candidates must apply to an approved master’s degree program provider. Upon acceptance to a program, candidates may apply for the Practitioner License 3 (PL3) and teach while completing the master’s degree. At the end of this comprehensive program, candidates will gain a master’s degree as well as a Level 3 Professional License.

Certification-Only Program

For those candidates who wish to pursue only certification and not additional educational attainment, a less intensive path is available. The Certification-Only Program involves coursework and classroom experience, but results only in teacher certification, not a master’s degree or certificate. Candidates must have at least a 2.20 GPA, pass the Praxis exams, and apply to an approved program provider. Candidates are then eligible for a Practitioner License 2 (PL2) that allows them to teach while attending teacher preparation training (at least 405 contact hours). After successfully completing the program, candidates are eligible for a Professional License.

Career & Technical Trade & Industrial Education (CTTIE) Certification

The Career & Technical Trade & Industrial Education (CTTIE) Certification pathway allows candidates to apply for a CTTIE-1 annual certificate to teach career and technical education subjects while completing the requirements for a professional CTTIE-2 certificate. The minimum requirements for this pathway are an offer of employment from a school district; at least a high school diploma; industry certification in the subject to be taught, if available; plus at least four years of full-time work experience. For more information on this pathway, consult the Louisiana Department of Education.

Testing Requirements for Louisiana Alternative Certification

Candidates for Louisiana Alternative Teacher Certification must pass the same exams as traditional-pathway educators, the Praxis basic skills test and Praxis content-area exams. These exams are typically taken prior to applying to an alternative teacher preparation program. For further details on these exams, visit the Louisiana Department of Education.

Transferring Teaching Licenses from Another State

For experienced teachers who hold active out-of-state teacher certification and have at least three years of experience, Louisiana offers limited reciprocity. Applicants should apply for an Out-of-State Teaching Certificate, which is valid for three years. During that time, teachers must complete the additional requirements to obtain the standard Louisiana teacher certification. For more details see our guide to interstate reciprocity or contact the Louisiana Department of Education.

Schools with Alternative and Master’s Programs in Louisiana

Because a program that has not been approved by the state is unlikely to lead to licensure, it’s important to ensure that the programs you are considering meet state requirements. The school-based certification programs below have been approved by the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) for the preparation of teachers.

  • Centenary College (Master’s)
  • Grambling State University* (Master’s)
  • Louisiana Christian University* (Alternative, Master’s)
  • Louisiana State University-Alexandria* (Alternative, Certificate), Baton Rouge* (Alternative, Master’s)
  • Louisiana Tech University* (Alternative, Master’s)
  • Loyola University of New Orleans* (Alternative, Certificate, Master’s)
  • McNeese State University (Alternative, Certificate, Master’s)
  • Nicholls State University (Certificate, Master’s)
  • Northwestern State University* (Alternative, Certificate, Master’s)
  • Relay Graduate School of Education (Master’s)
  • Southeastern Louisiana University* (Alternative, Certificate, Master’s)
  • Southern University A&M College (Master’s)
  • Southern University at New Orleans (Alternative, Certificate, Master’s)
  • Tulane University* (Alternative, Certificate)
  • University of Holy Cross (Alternative, Certificate)
  • University of Louisiana-Lafayette* (Alternative, Master’s), Monroe* (Certificate, Master’s)
  • University of New Orleans* (Master’s)
  • Xavier University of Louisiana (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. Louisiana Department of Education: http://www.teachlouisiana.net/