The InnovatED Blog

Alternative Teaching Certification Brings Innovation to Schools

Posted by Becky Carlton on Mar 14, 2018 12:11:41 PM

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As the shortage of talent continues to hit schools hard, both for leadership and teachers, it may be time for schools to begin thinking about how Michigan’s approved alternative routes to certification can help to overcome this obstacle.

Alternative teacher certification is an excellent opportunity for schools to fill critical teacher shortages. While traditional teacher prep programs in Universities and colleges provide a strong foundation for classroom success, some schools might find it impossible to fill certain roles. And what can be even more frustrating is that there may be an incredible staff person in your building who simply doesn’t have the financial or time capability to pursue traditional teacher certification.

The Professional Innovators in Teaching alternative certification and endorsement program supports passionate educators within your school to obtain proper credentials, immediately allowing you to fill high-need positions and prioritizing real-time instruction without taking teachers out of the classroom. Host charter schools can identify and promote an individual within your building who has talent within your team or apply to be matched with a quality candidate aligned to your mission. We recommend providing scholarships covering the cost of tuition in addition to a competitive teaching salary for all candidates. In return, charter schools add a dedicated teacher to their team who is learning and sharing best practices, innovative strategies, and new knowledge from leading education professionals.


  • Charter schools must provide a candidate-assigned mentor, who has achieved a highly-effective rating as part of Michigan’s educator evaluation system; demonstrated experience as a mentor and evidence of success in the role is preferred and a novice in the position must be supported by an experienced mentor for the first year.
  • Charter school culture and climate must provide evidence of significant student achievement in classrooms of at-risk students and possess a willingness and commitment of learning aspects of leadership and effective feedback and dialogue.
    • Each host school must submit a Letter of Commitment to the values and principles of the program.
  • Charter schools must have a strong culture of engagement connected to their mission and vision.
  • Host schools must create individualized development plans for each candidate, aligned to data collected from observation and coaching as part of a comprehensive educator evaluation system.
  • It is recommended that charter schools provide scholarships to cover the cost of tuition in addition to a competitive teaching salary.
  • Host schools must run background check on each candidate placed within the district

This non-traditional route to staffing in your school can lead to greater capacity with engaged employees who want to teach! We believe this collaborative approach will significantly impact retention, commitment and the feeling of professionalism within the field of teaching. 


Topics: Teaching and Learning, Teacher Certification, teachers

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