Alternative Teacher Certification in Alabama

Instructor: Leah Salyer
There are two ways to get an alternative teaching certificate in the state of Alabama. Read on to learn more about the requirements to obtain an Interim Employment Certificate or a Provisional Certificate in a Teaching Field.

Interim Employment Certificate (IEC)

An Interim Employment Certificate (IEC), formerly known as a Special Alternative Certificate (SAC), is the avenue typically used by students enrolled in state-approved, post-baccalaureate education programs who wish to begin their work as a classroom teacher before graduation. If you want to pursue this route, consider speaking to a program advisor who can help you understand the certification process as well as what you would need to do in order to be hired.


This route to alternative teaching is only possible if you've received an employment offer from an Alabama school administrator who can place you in an appropriate classroom and provide you with an experienced mentor. You can hold an IEC for a maximum of three consecutive years.

Application requirements for most teaching fields are outlined below. Keep in mind that these may vary when applying for an IEC in special education, reading specialist, school counseling, library media, ESOL or instructional leadership.

First IEC *Meet minimum undergraduate GPA requirements
*Pass the Alabama Educator Certification Assessment Program (AECAP) tests
*Pass the Praxis II subject test in your teaching area
*Successfully complete ASBI and FBI background checks
Second IEC *Verify you've completed 3 courses in your state-approved educator preparation program
Third IEC *Verify you've completed 4 more courses in your state-approved educator preparation program

Provisional Certificate in a Teaching Field (PCTF)

Another way to get an Alabama alternative teacher certification is to obtain your Provisional Certificate in a Teaching Field (PCTF), which has replaced the Alternative Baccalaureate Level Certificate (ABC). Applicants who choose this route are bachelor's degree program graduates who are not enrolled in a traditional teaching program.


Like the IEC, this alternative teaching certificate is only available if you have a job offer and must be requested by an approved Alabama administrator at the school for which you've been hired to teach. This certificate may be held for three years but can only be submitted for one teaching field. If you wish to renew your certificate, you must renew in the same teaching field as the year(s) prior.

First PCTF*Meet minimum undergraduate GPA requirements
*Earn passing scores on the AECAP tests
*Successfully complete ASBI and FBI background checks
*Earn a passing score on the Praxis II subject test in your teaching area
*Provide proof of 19 upper division and 32 total credit hours in your teaching area (for certification in fields without a Praxis II exam)
Second PCTF *Submit verification of a year's worth of full-time teaching experience
*Verify completion of two required courses
Third PCTF *Submit verification of a year's worth of full-time teaching experience
*Verify completion of two additional required courses
*Earn passing scores on a Praxis II PLT exam for grades K-6 or 7-12

Additional Certification Resources

When pursuing an alternative teaching certificate, you may wish to check out these Praxis Exam Courses to prepare for a subject test or PLT exam in your teaching area. Each prep course includes short video lessons to help you review test content along with self-checking quizzes you can use to determine when you're ready for your exam.

Courses are also available to help you succeed in the classroom, supplement the instruction you receive in your teacher education program or help you pass the education coursework required to renew your PCTF. These include:

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