Traditional and alternative teacher certification programs: A national comparison

Deborah L Cohen, University of Texas at El Paso


In this study, the relationship between traditional and alternative certification programs and public school teachers' preparedness to teach, experiences during the first year of teaching, and job satisfaction were investigated. The quality of academic preparation programs for beginning teachers was chronicled historically. Through a historical analysis of traditional and alternative teacher certification programs, the researcher explored the complexities of recruitment, preparation, and teacher job satisfaction. For this study, this researcher utilized the National Center for Education Statistics' 1999–2000 Schools and Staffing Survey released in November 2003, and focused only on the public school strata. Within each selected sample school and teacher level, teachers were selected systematically with equal probability, ensuring that selected teachers were chosen from each level across schools (n = 6322 traditionally certified teachers and n = 2011 alternatively certified teachers). Data analysis revealed that preservice training in the preparation and coursework of pedagogical skills and knowledge are needed by both traditionally and alternatively certified teachers to achieve positive first year teaching experiences. Overwhelmingly, regardless of teacher preparation program, study respondents consistently ranked first year experiences low indicating a lack of consistent support and communication. The results of this study further suggested that an active partnership in education between first year teachers, administrators, and mentor teachers are essential components of job satisfaction. ^

Subject Area

Education, Administration

Recommended Citation

Cohen, Deborah L, "Traditional and alternative teacher certification programs: A national comparison" (2005). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3151888.