Ohio 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. Individuals who have earned a bachelor’s degree in a subject other than education can pursue alternative teacher certification to become a teacher in the state of Ohio. If you don’t have a bachelor’s degree, visit our guide to traditional teacher certification in Ohio. Continue reading to learn more about these alternative options for becoming a teacher in Ohio.

Requirements for Alternative Certification

The minimum education requirement for alternative teacher certification is a bachelor’s degree. As with traditional-route educators, candidates for an Ohio teaching license following alternative pathways must complete a teacher preparation program and the state’s certification examinations for educators. Most teacher preparation programs can be completed in one year as a post-baccalaureate certificate, although there are also programs to earn master’s degree in education, or in a teachable content area that includes an approved certification program, that can qualify candidates for licensure.

Types of Alternative Teaching Licenses in Ohio

The state of Ohio is committed to increasing the pool of highly-qualified teacher candidates to teach in Ohio schools. There are four pathways for alternative licensure in the state, which are detailed below.

Interim License

The Interim License pathway is for prospective teachers who have bachelor’s degree and two years of teaching experience in a PreK-12 environment, such as under a substitute license or in a private school. Candidates who meet these requirements must also pass the Praxis content-area exam for the subject they wish to teach and enroll in an approved alternative certification program. Candidates must complete the certification program in order to advance the license. Note that the 2020-2021 school year is the final school year for which the Interim License will be issued.

Two-Year Provisional STEM License

Teachers who have a bachelor’s degree in a STEM subject may be eligible for this pathway if they also pass the appropriate Praxis content-area exam for that subject area and obtain a position with one of Ohio’s designated STEM schools. The provisional license must be requested by the employing school and not the candidate. While teaching under the certificate, candidates must complete an approved teacher preparation program in order to advance the license to a standard certificate.

Four-Year Early College High School License

For those who have a bachelor’s degree in a teachable subject and one full year of teaching experience (K-12, college/university, or adult), the Four-Year Early College High School pathway may be an option. In addition to holding a bachelor’s degree, candidates must pass the Praxis content-area exam for the subject to be taught and obtain an employment offer from an Ohio early college high school, which must request the teaching license on the candidate’s behalf. To advance the license to a standard certificate, educators must pass the Ohio Assessments for Educators and complete four full school years of teaching under the Early College High School license, in the same subject for which it was issued.

Alternative Career-Technical Workforce Development Resident Educator

Those who wish to teach career and technical education subjects may be eligible for the Alternative Career-Technical Workforce Development (CTWD) Resident Educator program. The minimum requirements for this type of alternative vocational license are a high school diploma and full-time work experience in the career field to be taught. The education and experience requirements may vary by subject, and if the subject is one that requires state licensure or certification, the candidate must hold the appropriate license or certificate. Those who qualify must apply to school districts and have the school district request a CTWD certificate on their behalf as well as forward their application materials to an approved alternative teacher preparation program. Candidates must be accepted by a teacher preparation program to proceed with the CTWD application. Candidates may receive a full professional career and technical education teaching license after completing a 24-semester hour teacher preparation program in the subject(s) to be taught.

Testing Requirements for Ohio Alternative Certification

Typically, candidates for professional educator teacher licensing in Ohio must pass the same exams as traditional-route teachers, the Ohio Assessments for Educators (OAE) Assessment of Professional Knowledge. However, career and technical education vocational licensure candidates are not required to take these exams if licensure qualifications are met through experience and/or previous education in the subject area(s) to be taught. Candidates must also pass the appropriate Praxis content-area exams for their subject endorsement(s). For more information, consult the Ohio Department of Education.

Transferring Teaching Licenses from Another State

For experienced teachers with out-of-state certification, Ohio reciprocity is possible provided applicants fulfill the standard certification requirements, which include verification of teaching experience and completion of comparable out-of-state licensure exams, as well as official transcripts from all institutions attended. For more information on reciprocity, see our interstate reciprocity guide or contact the Ohio Department of Education.

Schools with Alternative and Master’s Programs in Ohio

All prospective Ohio educators must graduate from an approved teacher preparation program. The following school-based programs typically lead to a certificate or master’s degree and have been approved by the Ohio Department of Higher Education:

  • Baldwin Wallace University (Certificate, Master’s)
  • Bluffton University* (Alternative)
  • Bowling Green State University* (Certificate, Master’s)
  • Capital University (Certificate)
  • Cleveland State University* (Certificate, Master’s)
  • Franciscan University of Steubenville (Certificate, Master’s)
  • Franklin University (Certificate)
  • John Carroll University (Master’s)
  • Kent State University (Master’s)
  • Lourdes University (Master’s)
  • Miami University (Master’s)
  • Mount St. Joseph University (Master’s)
  • Muskingum University (Master’s)
  • Notre Dame College (Certificate, Master’s)
  • Ohio Dominican University (Certificate)
  • Ohio State University* (Master’s)
  • Ohio University* (Master’s)
  • Otterbein University (Certificate, Master’s)
  • University of Akron (Master’s)
  • University of Cincinnati (Master’s)
  • University of Dayton (Certificate)
  • University of Findlay (Certificate)
  • University of Toledo (Master’s)
  • Ursuline College (Master’s)
  • Walsh University (Master’s)
  • Wittenberg University (Certificate)
  • Wright State University (Master’s)
  • Xavier University (Certificate, Master’s)
  • Youngstown State 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. Ohio State Department of Education: https://education.ohio.gov/