NAAC defines “alternative route to certification or licensure” as follows: A preparation program that primarily serves candidates who become the teachers or other school leaders of record in classrooms/schools while participating in, or immediately after participation in, the route to certification. Institutions with alternative routes focus not only on preparation but also on recruitment, selection, support, and retention. In common usage, “alternative routes to certification or licensure” broadly describes any preparation program other than a traditional undergraduate degree-granting program leading to certification. Each state further defines “alternative routes to certification or licensure.”
The National Association for Alternative Certification (NAAC) advocates for objective evidence that alternative pathways result in effective teachers and success for all students. In collaboration with National, State and local education groups, NAAC and its members emphasize the importance of program evaluation to assess quality and the use of data to inform and refine strategies toward effective education program completer outcomes. The association’s platform further supports collection and use of triangulated data from students/parents, school administrators, and peers to provide indicators of alternatively certified teachers’ performance to foster high levels of learning in all types of schools and with all students.