Louisiana Alternative Teacher Certification

Instructor: Jessie Hemmons

Jessie has a master's degree in clinical psychology.

Learn about alternative pathways to becoming an educator in Louisiana schools. Examine the various alternative teacher certification programs and resources available for individuals interested in pursuing a teaching certificate in Louisiana.

Alternative Teaching Certification Options

Alternative teacher certification in Louisiana is designed for individuals who are interested in teaching, but lack a college degree in education. Professionals interested in transitioning into teaching in Louisiana must enroll in an alternative teacher certification program. There are three types of programs in Louisiana, including the Practitioner Teacher Program, the Certification-Only Program and the Master's Degree Program.

Certification Program Admission Requirements

To be admitted to an alternative teacher certification program, applicants must have at least a bachelor's degree with a 2.20-2.50 GPA, depending on the program. Additionally, candidates may be required to successfully complete the Praxis Pre-professional Basic Skills Tests in topics such as math, writing, and reading (Praxis I). Individuals interested in teaching a particular subject, like chemistry, may be required to take the content-specific Praxis exam (Praxis II) to be admitted into the alternative teacher certification program or they may need to have completed at least 31 hours of coursework in the specific subject.


To help applicants study for the Praxis exams, offers valuable and effective courses dedicated to helping individuals prepare. The courses provide individuals with a variety of learning options, such as video lessons, quizzes, and chapter exams. Here are just a few Praxis preparation courses and chapters offered by

Enrollment Requirements for All Certification Programs

In addition to the requirements listed below for each program, all professionals enrolled in one of these programs must maintain a 2.50 GPA. Additionally, candidates must complete the same amount of reading coursework required for students in an undergraduate education program and pass the state reading competency examination to successfully complete one of these programs.

Special Education Certification Options

Those interested in a special education alternative teaching certification should note that the Master's Degree Program is the only one that offers certification for all areas of special education. The Certification-Only Program does not certify mild/moderate special educators and the Practitioner Teacher Program only certifies mild/moderate special educators.

Practitioner Teacher Program

Once enrolled in a Practitioner Teacher Program through a university, college or private provider, individuals are issued a Practitioner License 1 to begin completing their coursework and teaching in the classroom. While in the program, candidates will need to complete 9-12 semester hours of coursework in teaching skills. Additionally, individuals must complete two 3-hour seminars on teaching methodologies. One seminar is taken during the fall semester and one during the spring semester. Then the candidate will complete 12 semester hours of a teaching internship. There may be 1-9 additional semester hours offered to individuals who display the need for additional instruction.

After successfully completing the program, graduates will be issued a Level 1 Professional License.

Certification-Only Program

The Certification-only program requires candidates to complete 80 contact hours of classroom readiness coursework before being issued the Practitioner License 2 and the opportunity to teach in Louisiana schools. Candidates must complete 12 semester hours of coursework related to learners and the learning environment, 6 semester hours of teaching methodologies, and 6 semester hours of either an internship or student teaching. Training coursework can be completed through both higher education programs and private providers.

Individuals are qualified to receive a professional teaching license after all of these requirements are met.

Master's Degree Program

Candidates in the Master's Degree Alternate Certification Program will be issued a Practitioner 3 license as they complete their coursework and begin teaching in the classroom. As part of the Master's Degree Program, individuals will complete 15 semester hours of graduate-level coursework related to student learning and the learning environment, 12-15 semester hours of teaching methodologies, and 6-9 semester hours of either student teaching or internship.

Once all of the requirements of the Master's Degree Program are met, graduates will be awarded a master's degree and a teaching certificate.

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