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Alternative Routes to Licensure (ARL)

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I earn a teaching license through the ARL program before I find a teaching position?

2. Does my application require an official transcript sent directly from my university?

3. Is funding available from the state to pay for the required course work?

4. Will the ARL program help me find a teaching position?

5. How do I obtain a teaching position?

6. Can I earn a teaching license if I am hired by a private school?

7. How many classes do I need to take in order to get my license?

8. If I am an ARL candidate, can I teach courses outside my major field if I can show course work in those areas on my transcript?

9. If I want to teach Elementary or Special Education, but I do not have a degree in elementary education, can I qualify for the ARL program?

10. If I want to teach Elementary or Special Education, but I don’t have any math courses on my transcript because my ACT scores were high, and I was exempted from taking mathematics, what can I do to qualify?

11. I am currently working on my bachelor’s degree. Can I apply to ARL and take ARL courses while finishing my degree?

12. What are the areas of teacher shortage in Utah?

13. How many participants are working toward a license through the ARL program?

14. How many ARL applicants actually find a teaching job?

 


1. Can I earn a teaching license through the Alternative Routes program before I find a teaching position?

No. Candidates apply to the program and if found eligible, they must obtain employment before participating in the Alternative Routes program. Demonstrating teaching skills and dispositions for teaching is shown by receiving successful evaluations from the school principal is a primary requirement for licensure. Therefore, participants must first be employed in a licensed teaching position. Completing course work, taking applicable tests, and working with a trained mentor are additional licensure requirements.

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2. Does my application require an official transcript sent directly from my university?

Yes and No. The transcript needs to be original "University Transcripts" (no photocopies) but do not need to be officially sealed.  Some Universities choose to send electronic transcrips directly to us at our ARL office.  If so, please make sure that they are sent directly from the university to Transcripts [at] schools [dot] utah [dot] gov (transcripts) and put a note on your ARL application that transcripts are being electronically sent from the specific university.

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3. Is funding available from the state to pay for the required course work?

The Utah State Office of Education does not receive general funding to assist ARL participants earn a teaching license. Mathematics is one area where some funding options may be available through programs such as SMART or UMEP. The SMART Support and Mentoring in an Alternative Route to Teaching (SMART) is a program for qualified individuals in Secondary Mathematics and is coordinated through Utah State and University of Utah. Utah Mathematics Endorsement Project (UMEP) also offers reduced tuition course options for math teachers.

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4. Will the ARL program help me find a teaching position?

No, but we will provide a letter of "eligibility" to take to HR Directors if you are eligible.  Eligible candidates who have completed the background check receive a letter of "eligibility" from Alternative Routes to Licensure. The letter of "eligibility" is addressed to human resource directors and states what the candidate is eligible to teach and that the candidate will participate in the Alternative Routes program to earn a license. This letter is intended to be given to human resource directors as the candidate searches for a licensed teaching position.

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5. How do I obtain a teaching position?

All eligible participants should register at teachers-teachers.com. Most school districts have a website which lists employment opportunities. Candidates should also check the district’s website or contact the district’s human resource office to determine each district’s procedure for applying and interviewing for teaching positions. Many districts require the candidate to be interviewed and screened by a district administrator prior to interviewing with school principals. Candidates seeking employment in charter schools or accredited private or parochial schools may contact principals, headmasters, or school directors directly. Recruiting in most districts and private schools occurs from April through early spring through early summer for the next school year.

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6. Can I earn a teaching license if I am hired by a private school?

Yes, if the private school has been accredited by the state or a state-approved accrediting organization. Exceptions: Assignments in non-accredited schools, Special Education in private and online school settings, and Residential Treatment Centers do not qualify for ARL. ARL does not license pre-school teachers, however, because these positions do not require a license in Utah.

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7. How many classes do I need to take in order to get my license?

All Professional Growth Plans are individualized, based upon an evaluation of each participant’s transcript and the requirements for each endorsement. A Professional Growth Plan is developed only after a candidate is hired and pays the requisite program and tracking fee. For example: Elementary Education participant’s take at least 6 General Pedagogy Classes, and 4 Methods courses , and the Praxis testing as part of the licensing process after they are hired. Early childhood participants [kindergarten only] take 6 General Pedagogy Courses, 4 methods courses, and at least 1 additional Kindergarten/Early Childhood course and the Praxis testing. All Secondary Education participant’s take at least 6 General Pedagogy Classes, 1 or 2 Methods courses , Praxis testing, and any additional Content Courses as needed, as part of the licensing process after they are hired. Special Education participants take at least 4 General Pedagogy Courses, 6 Special Education specific courses, and the Praxis testing as part of the licensing process after they are hired. A few subject areas have the option of either Coursework/Testing or a Competency Route (such as ABCTE).

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8. If I am an ARL candidate, can I teach courses outside my major field if I can show course work in those areas on my transcript?

All Elementary Education, Secondary Education, and Special Education teaching candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university at a minimum. Career and Technical Education (CTE) areas have certain areas where a person must either have a degree in the area or show verified work experience in the area. Candidates must complete all content endorsement requirements (except the Methods courses which can be taken after hire) prior to eligibility. There are a few exceptions to this policy noted on the ARL website. ABCTE tests cannot be used in lieu of endorsement courses to become eligible for the ARL program or to qualify to teach. After an initial license has been earned through the ARL program, however, a participant my earn additional endorsements that can be attached to an existing license.

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9. If I want to teach Elementary or Special Education, but I do not have a degree in elementary education or Special Education, can I qualify for the ARL program?

Possibly. Applicants with Bachelor's degrees or above can have degree majors in any area and can qualify for ARL in Elementary or Special Education, if their transcripts show a broad cross section of content coursework in elementary education curriculum areas such as English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Fine Arts, Physical Education, and Health. In documenting at least 27 minimum credits, all content categories must be represented. No category can be empty. No grades lover than "C" grade can be counted. (Refer to Elementary or Specialist Education Eligibility).

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10. If I want to teach Elementary or Special Education, but I don’t have any math courses on my transcript because my ACT scores were high, and I was exempted from taking mathematics, what can I do to qualify?

Candidates applying to become eligible for an Elementary Education or Early Childhood, or Special Education ARL program,  who were exempted from university math courses because of high ACT scores may capture credit for math 1010 by providing ARL with a copy of their ACT, SAT or CLEP “College Algebra” test to show math competence. The scores must be 23+ ACT, 546+ SAT, or 50+ CLEP “College Algebra” in order to be count for 3 semester math credits. Your test results must either be listed on your official university transcripts or you can obtain a copy of your scores by contacting ACT, SAT, and CLEP “College Algebra”

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11. I am currently working on my bachelor’s degree. Can I apply to ARL and take ARL courses while finishing my degree?

No and Yes. Candidates for ARL must already have a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited university to apply for Elementary Education, Secondary Education, or Special Education to and participate in the program. Verification is determined by a transcript which shows the degree, degree major, and the date conferred. CTE has certain areas where a person must either have a degree in the area or show verified work experience in the area.

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12. What are the areas of teacher shortage in Utah?

Currently, the areas of shortage in Utah are secondary mathematics and science and all areas of Special Education (K-12), Chinese, and Elementary Dual Immersion.

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13. How many participants are working toward a license through the ARL program?

Each year varies depending on the economy and demand for teachers. Some years ARL participants have reached up to over 1,000 participants.

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14. How many ARL applicants actually find a teaching job?

The number of ARL applicants who find teaching positions varies each year depending on factors such as teacher shortages in various areas, the economy, etc. Since ARL started in Utah in 2003, the percentage of ARL participants hired each year has varied from 25% (in 2010-2011) to 47% (in 2007). 
 

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