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Online Teaching Certification Program Lets Teachers-in-Training Bypass Student Teaching All Together

Online Teaching Certification Program Lets Teachers-in-Training to Bypass Student Teaching Altogether

In Yuma, A.Z., teacher hopefuls are given the opportunity to bypass student teaching entirely and instead take an online internship program while teaching full-sized classes to earn certification.

The online certification seeks to remedy teacher shortages by providing a proclaimed “convenient” and “cost-effective” way for professionals with a bachelor’s degree to transition into the K-12 classroom.

The program, called the Rio Salado College Teacher-in-Residence (TIR) intern program pairs candidates with "a partnering Arizona school district, to work full-time and receive the same salary and benefits of fully-certified classroom teachers. The average beginning salary for teachers is nearly $32,000,” said Rio Salado College in a statement last March.

According to the statement, the Arizona Department of Education filled a staggering 938 positions with substitute teachers in the 2013-14 school year alone, highlighting a desperate need for teachers in the state.

TIR hopes to attract teachers by letting them reap the benefits of full-time employment without having to student or substitute teach.

There are several requirements for getting into the program which include passing a subject matter exam, having a Structured English Immersion course completed, a AZ Fingerprint Clearance Card and a job offer from a school, said

With this “fast-track” to certification, some are concerned in the community that teachers will not be as prepared to handle large classrooms.

And as this community in Arizona works to expedite the teacher training process to get more teachers, other communities are addressing shortages by tightening training to increase the quality.

Earlier this month, the New Jersey state Board of Education approved regulations that are requiring teacher hopefuls to complete an additional 175 hours as a student teacher before leading a classroom.

Read the full story.

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Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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