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Teaching Certifications in Alabama, AL

There are several different teaching certifications in the state of Alabama as well as a few different approaches towards receiving one. Available Certifications range from Baccalaureate level to Career/Technical level certifications. Detailed below or the 3 state wide accepted methods towards receiving a teaching certification.

  

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Certification Requirement Approaches

Alabama Approved Program Approach
Individuals may meet the curriculum requirements for Alabama professional certification by completing a State-approved teacher education program with an Alabama institution of higher education in the area in which certification is desired. The institution’s certification officer can provide information regarding program requirements.

Reciprocal Agreements
Individuals who have graduated from out-of-state institutions and/or have been certified in other states may meet curriculum requirements for Alabama professional certification through one of the following options provided Alabama offers comparable certification:

a. Completion of a teacher education program at an out-of-state, regionally accredited, senior institution accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
b. Compliance with the requirements of the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification Interstate Contract (NASDTEC Interstate Contract)

Alternative Approaches
a. Recognition of state-approved programs may be extended to states which are not participants in the NASDTEC Interstate Contract. Verification of completion of such a program must be provided by the institution’s certification officer on a specified supplement to the Application for Alabama Certification.
b. Certificate and experience recognition may be available to individuals who hold valid professional certification in other states. The experience requirement is based on that of the NASDTEC Interstate Contract in effect on the date the application is received in the Teacher Education and Certification Office.
c. Certification based on foreign credentials requires that individuals submit an evaluation of their foreign credits from an approved evaluation agency. Additional information including a list of the approved evaluation agencies may be obtained from the Teacher Education and Certification Office.
d. Alternative approaches to certification are summarized in the Alternative Approaches to Alabama Certification brochure available upon request from the Teacher Education and Certification Office.

In all cases, individuals wishing to receive teacher certification must submit to state and federal fingerprinting as well as background checks. Any applicant who has had their teaching license revoked in any other state must have it reinstated before applying for certification in Alabama.

Baccalaureate Level Certification

A Baccalaureate Level Certification can be received for grades K-8, 6-8, 9-12. Additional requirements are necessary for a certification in Special Education. The requirements for each certification are relatively the same, the difference being the specific subject field you hold a degree in as well as the range of subjects available to be taught for each group.

Requirements for Baccalaureate Certification:

Initial Requirements
1. Hold an earned baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited senior institution;
2. Document experience or study in the field or related field for which certification is sought (see instructions below);
3. Submit a $20 application fee and, when required, a separate fingerprint fee, along with fingerprint cards and release
forms; and
4. Be assigned a mentor by the employing superintendent or headmaster

Verifying Experience
a. Verify at least 24 months of experience in the field or related fields for which certification is sought.
1. If the experience is with a school system, the applicant must request that the experience be submitted on Supplement EXP and sent directly to the employing superintendent or headmaster.
2. If the experience is not with a school system, the applicant must request that the experience be submitted on letterhead stationery from the employer and sent directly to the employing superintendent or headmaster. The letter must include the following information:
(1) full name and social security number
(2) inclusive dates of experience, indicating if it was full-time or part-time
(3) detailed description of the duties/responsibilities which were in the field or related fields for which the Alternative Baccalaureate-Level Certificate is sought.

OR

b. Verify at least 24 months of study (48 semester hours) in the field or related fields for which certification is sought. Request that an official transcript be sent directly to the superintendent or headmaster

Available Subjects for Baccalaureate Level Certification:

Grades K-8


Art

Dance

French

German

Japanese

Latin

Music (Vocal or Choral)

Russian

Spanish

Theatre

Grades 6-8 or 9-12


Agriscience Technology Education

Art

Biology

Business Education

Chemistry

Dance

Driver and Traffic Safety

ESL

English Language Arts

Family and Consumer Sciences

French

General Science

General Social Science

Geography

German

Health Education

History

Japanese

Latin

Marketing Education

Mathematics

Music (Instrumental or Choral)

Physical Education

Physics

Spanish

Theater

Technical Education

Technology Education

Special Education


Emotional Conflict

Gifted

Hearing Impaired

Mentally Retarded

Multiple Disabilities

Specific Learning Disabilities

Speech and Language Impaired

Visually Impaired

Professional Level Certification

Coursework Requirements
Twelve semester hours of applicable coursework with a grade of "C" or above must be completed by the expiration date of the third Alternative Baccalaureate-Level Certificate. Coursework shall include the following:
1. classroom management,
2. the evaluation of teaching and learning,
3. the inclusion of special needs students, and
4. methods of teaching at the grade level for which certification is sought, including the use of technology

Note: Coursework must be completed at state accredited institution or University.

Experience Requirements
Three consecutive years of full-time, satisfactory experience in the same school system or nonpublic school while holding an Alternative Baccalaureate-Level Certificate are required for professional certification. The individual must make application for the professional certificate no later than one year after the expiration date of the third Alternative Baccalaureate-Level Certificate.

Requirements if Baccalaureate Level Certification already held

a. Individuals who complete the Alternative Baccalaureate-Level Approach for Grades 6-8 or 9-12 will receive a bachelor's degree level Secondary Professional Certificate for Grades 6-12 except for art, dance, music (instrumental and vocal/choral), physical education, special education, theatre, and English as a Second Language. Individuals completing requirements for those teaching fields will receive a bachelor's degree level Elementary-Secondary Professional Certificate for Grades P-12.
b. Individuals who complete the Alternative Baccalaureate-Level Approach for Grades K-8 will receive a bachelor's degree level Elementary-Secondary Professional Certificate (Grades P-12).

Note: The same fingerprint and background check requirements as the Baccalaureate Certification apply.

Special Education

To receive a certification for special education, additional requirements may be met that are dependent upon the specific type of special education and the district. Contact the local school administration for detailed requirements for receiving a certification.

Career/Technical Level Certificates

Career/Technical Level Certificates can be acquired in either Healthcare and Science Technology or in Endorsed Technical Education. Requirements are as follows-

Healthcare and Science Technology


Certificates

Degree Equivalency

Validity Period (years)

Renewable Status

Career/Technical Level 2

Bachelors

3

No

Career/Technical Level 3

Masters

3

No

Career/Technical Level 4

Masters

5

Yes

Career/Technical Level 5

Sixth-year

5

Yes


1. The Level 2 certificate requires the applicant to provide:

a. Evidence of a valid license or certificate as a healthcare practitioner;
b. An official transcript verifying a minimum of an associate degree in the area of the valid license or certificate as a healthcare practitioner; and
c. Verification of 6,000 clock hours (three years) of work experience, within the six years immediately preceding the submission date of the application, as a wage earner in the area of the valid license or certificate as a healthcare practitioner.

2. The Level 3 certificate requires the applicant to provide:
a. Evidence of a valid license or certificate as a healthcare practitioner;
b. An official transcript verifying a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited senior institution in the area of the valid license or certificate as a healthcare practitioner; and
c. Verification of 2,000 clock hours (one year) of work experience, within the three years immediately preceding the submission date of the application, as a wage earner in the area of the valid license or certificate as a healthcare practitioner.

3. The Level 4 certificate requires that the applicant:
a. Be eligible to hold a Level 2 or 3 certificate endorsed in healthcare science and technology;
b. Has completed the appropriate Department-approved New Teacher Institute; and
c. Has earned credit, with a grade of C or above, in coursework to include content specified below at a regionally accredited senior institution which has a state-approved teacher education program in career/technical education:
(1) Special Needs in Career/Technical Education
(2) Course Development and Evaluation in Career/Technical Education
(3) Methods of Teaching Career/Technical Education
(4) Classroom/Laboratory Management and Student Leadership Development
(5) Learning Resources and Technology in Career/Technical Education

4. The Level 5 certificate requires that the applicant:
a. Be eligible to hold a Level 4 certificate endorsed in healthcare science and technology; and
b. Has earned a master's degree from a regionally accredited senior institution in an area of career/technical education or in the area of the valid license or certificate as a healthcare practitioner.

Endorsed Career/Technical Certification


Certificate

Degree Equivalency

Validity Period (years)

Renewable Status

Career/Technical Level 1

Bachelors

3

No

Career/Technical Level 2

Bachelors

5

No

Career/Technical Level 3

Masters

5

Yes

Career/Technical Level 4

Masters

5

Yes

Career/Technical Level 5

Sixth-year

5

Yes

1. The Level 1 certificate requires that the applicant:
a. Has completed a minimum of 14,000 clock hours (seven years) of work experience in the past ten years as a wage earner in the technical enterprise that is to be taught and graduated from high school or completed the equivalent of a high school diploma; or
b. Graduated from an approved post-secondary career/technical training program and has 6,000 clock hours (three years) of work experience, within the eight years immediately preceding the submission date of the application, in the technical enterprise that is to be taught.

2. The Level 2 certificate requires that the applicant:
a. Be eligible to hold a Level 1 certificate endorsed in technical education or hold a valid Day Trade Type II or Type III certificate endorsed in trade and industrial education/technical education;
b. Has earned credit, with a grade of C or above, in coursework to include content specified below at a regionally accredited senior institution which has a state-approved teacher education program in career/technical education:
(1) Special Needs in Career/Technical Education
(2) Course Development and Evaluation in Career/Technical Education
(3) Methods of Teaching Career/Technical Education
(4) Classroom/Laboratory Management and Student Leadership Development
(5) Learning Resources and Technology in Career/Technical Education
c. Has completed the appropriate Department-approved New Teacher Institute; and
d. Has passed a State Board of Education approved occupational proficiency examination in the technical education area that is to be taught.

3. The Level 3 certificate requires that the applicant:
a. Be eligible to hold a Level 2 certificate endorsed in technical education; and
b. Has earned at least 45 semester/70 quarter hours of credit with a grade of C or above in courses at a regionally accredited junior or senior institution:
(1) Required Courses-


Subject

Number of Courses

English

2

Speech

1

History

1

Principles of Career/Technical Education

1

Safety

1

Career/Technical Student Organizations

1

Computer Applications

1

Mathematics

1

Physical Science

1

Economics

1

(2) Elective Courses-
Electives from a state-approved teacher education program in career/technical education must be earned to complete the total 45 semester/70 quarter hours.
(3) Credit earned to meet the Level 2 certificate cannot be applied toward the Level 3 certificate.

4. The Level 4 certificate requires that the applicant:
a. Be eligible to hold a Level 3 certificate endorsed in technical education; and
b. Has completed an approved teacher education program in technical education at the bachelor's degree level from a regionally accredited senior institution.

5. The Level 5 certificate requires that the applicant:
a. Be eligible to hold a Level 4 certificate endorsed in technical education; and
b. Has completed an approved teacher education program in technical education at the master's degree level from a regionally accredited senior institution.

Note: State and federal fingerprint and background check requirement applies.

It is very important to communicate with local school authorities as requirements may vary between districts for all certifications and teaching positions.