Obtaining Licensure and Certification


Stage 3 - Obtaining Licensure and Certification

Promising Practices

Promising Practice: Pre-Service Tutoring and Counseling

Educator preparation programs (EPPs) provide academic and career counseling to assist teacher candidates to navigate and successfully complete all certification requirements.

Research/Evidence Shows: Recommended Actions:

Supporting candidates while in pre-service and beyond will contribute to successful certification. This may include academic and career counseling and can help teacher candidates pass pre-service exams and meet other certification requirements, ultimately increasing the number of certified teachers of color.

  • Involve current students and recent graduates in identifying areas of need and how to address those needs.
  • Support program completers to successfully pass licensure exams even after they are no longer paying tuition.
  • Provide comprehensive supports including tutoring, academic support, and career planning and placement services.

National Education Association, NEA and Teacher Recruitment: An Overview

EducationWeek Teacher: Can These 11 States make Their Teaching Forces More Diverse by 2040?

ETS, Toward Increasing Teacher Diversity: Targeting Support and Intervention for Teacher Licensure Candidates

Clark Atlanta University, The relationship of academic and personality factors on the PRAXIS I pass rates at selected Historically Black Colleges and Universities in Georgia


Spotlight: TEACH Connecticut (CT)
Description The TEACH Connecticut campaign is led by the Connecticut State Department of Education and aims to provide tools and services that raise the image of the teaching profession, reduce the number of vacancies in certification shortage areas, and improve the quality and the diversity of new teacher supply.
Scope of Reach TEACH Connecticut
Timeframe 2018 - present
Budget / Sources of funds Funded by Microsoft in partnership with Teach.org and the Buck Foundation. The CT State Department of Education maintains a management position and supports the work of the TEACH team.
Actor(s) Implementing Collaboration between the CSDE and TEACH.org
Results The website aims to:
  • Promote the teaching profession by highlighting the work of current teachers
  • Explicitly showcase the need for a more diverse educator workforce
  • Provide information about multiple pathways to becoming a teacher

As of March 2019, TEACH Connecticut has partnered with 15 educator preparation programs and 66 school districts. Most partners have descriptive profiles on the site for users to gain a deeper understanding of pathways to certification and the variety of educational communities available for teachers to serve Connecticut's students.

Spotlight: University of Maryland - Eastern Shore (MD)
Description University of Maryland - Eastern Shore (UMES) emphasizes the importance of licensure exam preparation and helps students improve their academic and test-taking skills by providing computer-based diagnostic tests, practice tests, and more than thirty-five hours of instruction in each content area.
Scope of Reach UMES students pursuing teacher certification
Timeframe Began in early 2000s
Budget / Sources of funds Unknown
Actor(s) Implementing Partnership between UMES and Education Testing Service (ETS), publisher of Praxis exams
Results In a study to determine the impact of a PRAXIS I preparation program on PRAXIS I test scores among eighty-two teacher education candidates, 70% of whom were African American, students who participated in exam preparation programs scored higher on Praxis I post-test scores than pre-test scores.

Promising Practice: Create Alternate Pathways to Certification

Connecticut ARC programs accept candidates with bachelor's degrees in non-teaching fields and prepare them to be teachers. Most programs are accelerated and intensive and provide a direct pathway to teacher certification. Alternate routes to certification programs are often used as a way to increase the number of certified teachers entering shortage areas.

Research/Evidence Shows: Recommended Actions:
Alternate routes to certification can reduce the time and financial investment required to become a teacher for candidates already holding a bachelor's degree. ARC programs often attract career changers and other candidates who might not be able to attend more traditional EPPs and maintain a consistent work schedule. The CSDE prioritizes approval of new ARC programs that prepare candidates to teach in certification shortage areas and/or seek to enroll candidates of color.
  • Design and propose high quality alternate route to certification programs for approval by the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE).
  • Ensure candidates gain sufficient classroom experience before becoming certified.
  • Utilize data to determine workforce needs to support rationale for new ARCs.
  • Focus recruitment efforts on candidates of color with the promise of support throughout the duration of the program.

Educator Preparation Programs - Traditional and Alternate Route


Spotlight: Office of Higher Education Alternate Route to Certification Program (CT)
Description The Alternate Route to Certification (ARC) is a weekend program for adults wanting to enter the teaching profession. It offers subject-based methods classes and training in areas such as Common Core State Standards, classroom management, differentiated instruction, lesson and unit planning, assessment of student learning, special education and Section 504, English Language Learners, and integrating technology in the classroom. ARC students observe classrooms and work with TEAM-trained cooperating teachers and ARC evaluators during their student practicum experience. ARC does not provide certification training in elementary education, art, history/social studies or special education.
Scope of Reach TBD
  • 1988 - Present
  • Created as part of the Education Enhancement Act of 1986
Budget / Sources of funds Tuition and other costs average $6,000.
Actor(s) Implementing Created by the Connecticut legislature, ARC is conducted by the Office of Higher Education and is approved by the Connecticut State Board of Education.
Results ARC has prepared over 5,000 teachers since its inception. Most current ARC offerings seek to prepare graduates for jobs in critical teacher shortage areas as determined each year by the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE).

Spotlight: Relay/GSE (The Relay Connecticut Alternate Route to Certification Program/Graduate School of Education) (CT)

The Relay Connecticut Alternate Route to Certification (ARC) Program is an innovative and rigorous educator preparation program that offers a unique and powerful residency model for aspiring teachers to begin a long-term career in the classroom. It is a part-time, one-year alternate route certification program designed for non-certified school community members who are seeking certification in Connecticut. Candidates who successfully complete the program are eligible for a Connecticut Temporary 90 Day Certificate, and, upon successful completion of 90 days of teaching, will earn a Connecticut Initial Educator Certificate.

Scope of Reach
  • Projected 2018-2019 enrollment: 80
  • In the 2018-2019 school year, Relay expects to serve more than 5,000 current and aspiring teachers across 18 campuses and 1,200 school leaders nationwide. In total, Relay students will impact an estimated 400,000 PK-12 students. Comparatively, Relay's launch year in 2011 served 400 teachers in New York and New Jersey.
  • 2011 - Present 
Budget / Sources of funds The cost of the one year Alternate Route to Certification program is $5,000 or less, depending on scholarship opportunities. 
Actor(s) Implementing
  • Dean of Relay CT: Rebecca Good
  • Relay has leadership across several states in addition to CT, including CA, CO, DC, DE, GA, IL, LA, NJ, NY, PA, TX, and TN
  • 70% of Relay's teaching residents identify as people of color.
  • Of those who completed a Relay teacher preparation program over the past six years, more than two-thirds are working as teachers and teacher leaders in PK-12 classrooms.

Spotlight:Teach for America (TFA) (CT)
Description Teach for America first opened its doors in 2006. Corps members are recruited from universities throughout the country to participate in a rigorous onboarding process that includes a formal induction process, a five-week learning institute, and ongoing support and mentorship through a two-year commitment in one of Connecticut's high-needs schools.
Scope of Reach

CT TFA corps members join a network of over 700 alumni who work toward educational equity in education, health, public policy, law, and other sectors.

  • 2006-present
Budget / Sources of funds

Tuition for 2018-19:

  • Certification only- $8,300
  • Master's Degree- $23,000
  • TFA corps members are also Americorps members and are eligible to receive an education award after successfully completing each year of teaching.
Actor(s) Implementing TFA is supported by the CT Commission on Community Service, a partnership of the Corporation for National and Community Services and the Department of Higher Education. TFA also partners with Quinnipiac University to offer corps members an application fee waiver and a 10% tuition discount.
Results Nationwide, 84% of alumni work in education or related fields. 34% of alumni serve as PreK-12 teachers.

Spotlight: Teacher Certification Program for College Graduates (TCPCG) (University of CT)

The Teacher Certification Program for College Graduates is a part of the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education. Programs operate out of three regional campuses: Avery Point, Downtown Hartford, and Waterbury. Candidates in the program earn Connecticut Teacher Certification and an MA in Curriculum and Instruction or Educational Psychology (Special Education students)

  • TCPCG is an 11-month accelerated program.
  • TCPCG is a full-time program; no part-time options are available.
  • New cohorts begin every summer at all three campuses.
  • The program involves four consecutive semesters of coursework: Summer Session I, Summer Session II, Fall Semester, & Spring Semester
Scope of Reach Graduates have found middle school and high school teaching positions in districts throughout Connecticut and New England as well as throughout the nation and abroad. With a bachelor degree related to core secondary academic disciplines, students can earn an MA in Curriculum and Instruction or Educational Psychology (Special Education) and be qualified to teach in a variety of certification areas.
Timeframe Applications to the TCPCG Program are accepted from Sept. 1-Dec. 1 of each year, for the program beginning the following summer.
Budget / Sources of funds Students are charged by residency status at graduate tuition and fee rates, which are capped at the full-time rate. The programs take place at regional campuses based on discipline. Students are charged at AY19 rates for Alternative Session 1 and AY20 rates for Alternative Session 2. Alternative Session 1 cost is $7,677 in state; Alternative Session 2 cost is $8,154.
Actor(s) Implementing University of Connecticut Neag School of Education
  • 2016 report shows the majority of incoming student teachers were Caucasian (89%) and female (82%).
  • The most common intended field of study among the student teachers was elementary education (33%), followed by English/language arts (12%) and biology (5%).

Spotlight: Charter Oak Early Childhood Certification Program (CT)
Description Charter Oak State College offers an alternate route to the Connecticut Birth through Five teaching certificate (112 endorsement). This teaching certificate qualifies professionals to work in a variety of settings such as public preschools, Birth to Three Early Intervention services, and public school kindergartens.
Scope of Reach

To be considered for the program, applicants must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Have completed a bachelor's degree in any subject area.
  • Have 15 credits in human growth and development (needed prior to certification approval).
  • Meet Connecticut's Assessment Requirements for Certification, specifically Endorsement #112
  • Sign up to take the PRAXIS 1 test with ETS.
  • Have attained a 3.0 cumulative GPA. Students with GPAs between 2.7 and 3.0 may petition in writing to the ARC Director for consideration of a waiver based on a history of exceptional professional experience.
  • Have verified full-time experience as an early childhood educator (with children ages birth through five) or as a home visitor providing educational services to families with children between the ages of birth to five.
  • College transcripts for undergraduate and graduate work sent directly to Charter Oak State College by all institutions in sealed envelopes. If transcripts are sent to you and are in sealed envelopes, you may submit the sealed envelopes to ARC.
  • Two professional references.
  • Cohorts begin each August 1 and January 2.
  • Applications are accepted throughout the year.
Budget / Sources of funds

Tuition for the next cohort of the program is $6995 with a $300 portfolio fee paid to Pearson.

Liberal payment plans are available.

Actor(s) Implementing Charter Oak State College
Results Since 2016, approximately 150 teachers have obtained the 112 certification.

Promising Practice: Financial Supports for Certification

Financial supports for certification may come in the form of grants to cover licensure exam fees and study guides for program completers.

Research/Evidence Shows: Recommended Actions:
The costs associated with licensure may impact students of color who are enrolled in a preparation program.
  • Provide sufficient financial support to candidates through the certification process.This may involve covering the cost of exams and study guides as well as providing candidates with additional stipends so they can afford to take time off work to prepare for licensure exams.

Office of Higher Education Financial Supports/Grant Programs

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