Higher Education-Based Alternative Teacher Preparation Programs

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AACTE released a new analysis focusing on alternative
preparation programs run by institutions of higher education (IHE-based alternative programs). The study shows that IHE- based alternative teacher preparation programs are bringing more educators to the strained workforce than alternative programs run by organizations other than colleges and universities. The data reveals that university-based alternative teacher preparation programs more effectively address the educator shortage.

Earlier this year, AACTE collaborated with the Center for American Progress (CAP) to update and expand an analysis CAP had originally published on alternative teacher certification programs run by entities other than institutions of higher education. This newly released AACTE issue brief is a companion to that report — focusing on IHE-based alternative programs, with newly available data for the 2019-20 academic year. New data reveals:

  • Of the 747 alternative teacher preparation programs that reported enrollment during the 2019-20 academic year, 515 were operated by colleges and universities.
  • The new data show that IHE-based alternative programs produce more graduates than non-IHE programs given their enrollment, both overall and for candidates of color.
  • While enrollment in non-IHE alternative programs swelled by almost 150% from 2011 to 2020, the number of students completing these programs actually declined by 12%.
  • In contrast, the number of students enrolling in IHE-based alternative programs during the same period declined by a comparatively modest 8%, but the number of students completing these programs rose by 10%.

The report was authored by AACTE senior consultant Jacqueline King, Ph.D., who also co-authored the companion report with the Center for American Progress.