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Alternative Certification SPED Endorsment

PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2019 9:57 am
by hamiltonsar
Greetings everyone!
I've just accepted a position teaching special education in Alaska. However, I'm a little confused/concerned regarding my credentials being verified. I've been teaching for 13 years in Texas. I went through a rigorous 2 year state approved alt cert program. I took many courses (I have a transcript) and during the 2nd year I interned while on a probationary certificate. During the internship, I taught, took courses and was observed and mentored by a field supervisor. Everything I've been told and read states that a state approved alternative certification will be approved it it wasn't based solely on testing. Am I wrong in feeling confident that my credentials will be approved? I have a completed, signed and sealed state approved program verification form (with internship checked). I just want to feel at ease about this before I make the big move!! Does anyone have any experience with a similar situation?
Thank you!

Re: Alternative Certification SPED Endorsment

PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2019 3:07 pm
by Johncn

You sound like you completed an accredited, state certification program through a university, but with cooperation between the district you were working for, and the state. Alaska has something like that, too, where you work as a teacher, have a college degree already, but have to do an internship and observation cycle in order to earn your permanent credential. In Alaska, however, that is not available for Special Education. It all depends on how Alaska EED's Teacher Certification office views your experience. They are skeptical of some alternative cert programs in other states, particularly if they involve only limited coursework, and don't have a student teaching and observation / feedback component. If I were GUESSING, it sounds like you should be OK, assuming you completed all the components of an accredited program and had something that equates to "student teaching", along with the all important university "Institutional Recommendation".

You will find various resources on this topic, but I would caution you not to take anyone's opinion too seriously. Several of the highest Google searches I just looked at had what sure appeared to me to have incorrect information. The only real guidance you are likely to get is from Sondra Meredith's office in Juneau. Everyone's situation is going to be slightly different, with different coursework, state program and university relationship, so it's best to contact them by phone or email and ask. They have not been slammed with applications yet, so it is a great time of year to give them a ring:

Alaska Department of Education Teacher Certification Office
Telephone: (907) 465-2831
Fax: (907) 465-2441

Hope this helps, and maybe someone else around here has more recent experience. I would still check with EED, though, for confirmation regardless. It's too important to leave to chance. :D