New Hampshire 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. These alternative pathways are similar in scope to the traditional route to teacher licensure in New Hampshire but allow flexibility for meeting the certification requirements based on candidates’ education and career experience. If you don’t already have a bachelor’s degree, check out our guide to traditional certification in New Hampshire. Continue reading to learn more about alternative certification options in the state.

Requirements for Alternative Certification

All candidates for New Hampshire teacher certification must hold at least a bachelor’s degree. Depending on the route to certification pursued, candidates may also need to pursue additional education and pass the state’s exams for educators. Again depending on the pathway, the additional education required may be an alternative teacher preparation program or a master’s degree in education, or a master’s degree in a core subject that includes an approved certification program.

Types of Alternative Teaching Licenses in New Hampshire

In an effort to attract qualified teachers to the classroom and fill teaching positions in critical need areas, New Hampshire has implemented several pathways to alternative teaching licenses. These programs are typically designed for candidates who have bachelor’s degrees in subjects other than education and lead to certification in different endorsement areas.

Alternative 3A

The Alternative 3A pathway is available for candidates who have a bachelor’s degree and have completed at least three months of full-time teaching in a private school that did not require state teacher certification. Candidates for this pathway must send a letter of intent to the New Hampshire Department of Education for a credential review. Candidates who qualify will be sent additional requirements, such as testing, to complete the licensure process based on an individualized analysis of their background. Candidates must also submit a portfolio and complete an interview with a board of examiners appointed by the Department of Education.

Alternative 3B

Candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree may pursue New Hampshire’s Alternative 3B Route to teacher certification by earning national certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). Candidates must provide official transcripts for all college coursework and a copy of current licensure/certification from the NBPTS with their application for licensure via this pathway.

Alternative 4

The Alternative 4 pathway is for those who wish to teach in one of New Hampshire’s critical shortage teaching areas in grades 9 to 12. Identified shortage areas change from year to year; a current list of shortages can be viewed through the New Hampshire Department of Education. Candidates qualified in one of these areas may follow Alternative 4 licensing procedures to be hired into a classroom position by the superintendent of the school with the shortage of qualified applicants. The hired candidate must then complete an Individualized Professional Development Plan (IPDP) and earn a recommendation for licensure from the district superintendent to receive full certification.

Alternative 5

To qualify for the Alternative 5 pathway to licensure, a candidate must hold a bachelor’s degree plus an additional 30 semester hours in the discipline for which he or she is seeking endorsement. The additional 30 semester hours may be a post-graduate certificate or master’s degree in the discipline. Similar to the Alternative 4 pathway, candidates must be hired into a teaching position and teach for one year under the mentorship of a certified educator, complete an Individualized Professional Development Plan (IPDP), and earn a recommendation for licensure from the district superintendent to qualify for full certification under this pathway.

Testing Requirements for New Hampshire Alternative Certification

The testing requirements for alternative teacher certification vary based upon the pathway followed to licensure and the hiring requirements of individual school districts. Exam requirements such as the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators and/or the Praxis II Subject Assessments may be identified as part of an individual’s Individualized Professional Development Plan (IPDP) for alternative licensure.

Transferring Teaching Licenses from Another State

New Hampshire teacher certification via reciprocity is known as the Alternative 2 pathway. New Hampshire typically accepts applications from those with a current and valid teaching certificate issued by any state if the candidate has completed a state-approved teacher preparation program and has completed three years of satisfactory teaching experience within the previous seven years. For more information, see our guide to interstate reciprocity or visit the New Hampshire Department of Education.

Schools with Alternative and Master’s Programs in New Hampshire

In order to ensure that you qualify for licensure, it’s important to complete a teacher preparation certification program that is approved by the state. The following list of school-based programs leading to a certificate or master’s degree includes schools that have been approved by the New Hampshire Department of Education (DOE).

  • Franklin Pierce University (Master’s)
  • Granite State College* (Alternative, Certificate)
  • New England College (Master’s)
  • NHTI, Concord’s Community College (Certificate)
  • Plymouth State University (Certificate, Master’s)
  • Rivier University (Master’s)
  • Southern New Hampshire University* (Master’s)
  • University of New Hampshire (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. New Hampshire Department of Education: https://nhdoepm.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/CHD/overview