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Alternative Routes to Licensure

Frequently Asked Question

1. Can I earn a teaching license through the Alternative Routes program before I find a teaching position?

2. Does my application require an official transcript sent directly from my university?

3. Is funding available from the state to pay for the required course work?

4. Will the ARL program help me find a teaching position?

5. How do I obtain a teaching position?

6. Can I earn a teaching license if I am hired by a private school?

7. How many classes do I need to take in order to get my license?

8. If I am a secondary education candidate, can I teach courses outside my major field if I can show course work in those areas on my transcript?

9. If I want to teach elementary school, but I do not have a degree in elementary education, can I qualify for the ARL program?

10. If I want to teach elementary school, but I don’t have any math courses on my transcript because my ACT scores were high, and I was exempted from taking mathematics, what can I do to qualify?

11. I am currently working on my bachelor’s degree. Can I apply to Alternative Routes to Licensure and take ARL courses while finishing my degree?

12. What are the areas of teacher shortage in Utah?

13. How many participants are working toward a license through the ARL program?

14. How many ARL applicants actually find a teaching job?

 


1. Can I earn a teaching license through the Alternative Routes program before I find a teaching position?

No. Candidates apply to the program and if found eligible, they must obtain employment before participating in the Alternative Routes program. Demonstrating teaching competency by receiving successful evaluations from the school principal is a primary requirement for licensure. Therefore, participants must first be employed in a licensed teaching position. Completing course work, taking applicable tests, and working with a trained mentor are additional licensure requirements.

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2. Does my application require an official transcript sent directly from my university?

Yes and No. Alternative Routes to Licensure prefers that candidates do not have transcripts sent directly from universities. Transcripts should accompany applications with appropriate fees and be sent to ARL by the applicant. The transcript needs to be original "University Transcripts" (no photocopies) but do not need to be officially sealed.  Some Universities choose to send electronice transcrips directly to us at our ARL office.  If so, please make sure that they are sent directly from the university to Kelly Gilhespie and Robyn Roberts both and put a note on your ARL application that transcripts are being electronically sent from the specific university.

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3. Is funding available from the state to pay for the required course work?

The Utah State Office of Education does not receive general funding to assist ARL participants earn a teaching license. Mathematics is one area where some funding options may be available through programs such as SMART or UMEP. The SMART Support and Mentoring in an Alternative Route to Teaching (SMART) is a program for qualified individuals in Secondary Mathematics and is coordinated through Utah State and University of Utah. Utah Mathematics Endorsement Project (UMEP) also offers reduced tuition course options for math teachers.

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4. Will the ARL program help me find a teaching position?

No, but we will provide a letter of "eligibility" to take to HR Directors if you are eligible.  Eligible candidates who have completed the background check receive a letter of "eligibility" from Alternative Routes to Licensure. The letter of "eligibility" is addressed to human resource directors and states what the candidate is eligible to teach and that the candidate will participate in the Alternative Routes program to earn a license. This letter is intended to be given to human resource directors as the candidate searches for a licensed teaching position.

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5. How do I obtain a teaching position?

All eligible participants should register at teachers-teachers.com. Most school districts have a website which lists employment opportunities. Candidates should also check the district’s website or contact the district’s human resource office to determine each district’s procedure for applying and interviewing for teaching positions. Many districts require the candidate to be interviewed and screened by a district administrator prior to interviewing with school principals. Candidates seeking employment in charter schools or accredited private or parochial schools may contact principals, headmasters, or school directors directly. Recruiting in most districts and private schools occurs from April through early summer for the next school year.

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6. Can I earn a teaching license if I am hired by a private school?

Yes, if the private school has been accredited by the state or a state-approved accrediting organization. ARL does not license pre-school teachers, however, because these positions do not require a license in Utah.

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7. How many classes do I need to take in order to get my license?

All Professional Growth Plans are individualized, based upon an evaluation of each participant’s transcript and the requirements for each endorsement. A Professional Growth Plan is developed only after a candidate is hired and pays the requisite program and tracking fee. For example: Elementary Education participant’s take at least 6 General Pedagogy Classes, and 4 Methods courses , and the Praxis testing as part of the licensing process after they are hired. Early childhood participants [kindergarten only] take 6 General Pedagogy Courses, 4 methods courses, and at least 1 additional Kindergarten/Early Childhood course and the Praxis testing. All Secondary Education participant’s take at least 6 General Pedagogy Classes, 1 or 2 Methods courses , Praxis testing, and any additional Content Courses as needed, as part of the licensing process after they are hired. Special Education participants take at least 4 General Pedagogy Courses, 6 Special Education specific courses, and the Praxis testing as part of the licensing process after they are hired. A few subject areas have the option of either Coursework/Testing or a Competency Route (such as ABCTE for Sp. Ed.). Please do not enroll in ABCTE unless you have received an ARL plan with specific options for this because Utah doesn’t accept the ABCTE program otherwise.

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8. If I am a secondary education candidate, can I teach courses outside my major field if I can show course work in those areas on my transcript?

All teaching candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university at a minimum. Secondary teaching candidates must either hold a bachelor’s degree with a MAJOR directly related to the subject they are teaching OR have meet all the content coursework and testing requirements for the endorsement area PRIOR to being eligible for the ARL program. After an initial license has been earned through the ARL program, however, a participant may earn additional endorsements that can be attached to the secondary license.

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9. If I want to teach elementary school or Special Education, but I do not have a degree in elementary education or Special Education, can I qualify for the ARL program?

Possibly. Applicants with degree majors other than early childhood or elementary education or Special Education may qualify for Alternative Routes to Licensure, if their transcripts show a broad spectrum of liberal arts content courses. ARL will qualify candidates for early childhood or elementary education, or Special Education if the transcript shows a minimum of 27 content credit, dispersed among the following elementary education curriculum areas:

  • Up to Six (6) semester content credits in science (e.g. biology, chemistry, geology, physics, etc.)
  • Up to Nine (9) semester content credits in mathematics (e.g. Mathematics 1010 or higher.)
  • Up to Nine (9) semester content credits in reading/language arts (e.g. composition, literature, etc.)
  • Up to Nine (9) semester content credits in social studies (e.g. history, government, geography, etc.)
  • Up to Three (3) semester content credits in fine arts (music, art, drama, dance)
  • Up to Two (2) semester content credits in physical education and health (applicable to Elementary Ed.)

In documenting the 27 minimum credits, all categories must be represented. No category may be empty. No grades lower than “C” can be counted. (See Sample Eligibility Checklist and Eligibility Checklist on the Eligibility page).

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10. If I want to teach elementary school or Special Education, but I don’t have any math courses on my transcript because my ACT scores were high, and I was exempted from taking mathematics, what can I do to qualify?

Candidates applying to become eligible for an Elementary Education or Early Childhood, or Special Education ARL program,  who were exempted from university math courses because of high ACT scores may capture credit for math 1010 by providing ARL with a copy of their ACT, SAT or CLEP “College Algebra” test to show math competence. The scores must be 23+ ACT, 546+ SAT, or 50+ CLEP “College Algebra” in order to be count for 3 semester math credits. Your test results must either be listed on your official university transcripts or you can obtain a copy of your scores by contacting ACT, SAT, and CLEP “College Algebra”

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11. I am currently working on my bachelor’s degree. Can I apply to Alternative Routes to Licensure and take ARL courses while finishing my degree?

No. Candidates for Alternative Routes to Licensure must already have a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree or higher in order to apply to and participate in the program. Verification is determined by a transcript which shows the degree, degree major, and the date conferred.

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12. What are the areas of teacher shortage in Utah?

Currently, the areas of shortage in Utah are secondary mathematics and science and all areas of special education (K-12), Chinese, and Elementary Dual Immersion.

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13. How many participants are working toward a license through the ARL program?

In 2010-11: 745 Total ARL Participants had ARL plans.
In 2009-10: 954 Total ARL Participants had ARL plans.

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14. How many ARL applicants actually find a teaching job?

Below are statistics for the past few years:
In 2010-11: 709 ARL applicants, 180 found teaching positions, 25% were hired.
In 2009-10: 685 ARL applicants, 245 found teaching positions, 36% were hired. 
 

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