Alternative Teacher Certification in Delaware

Thinking of switching careers to become a public school teacher in Delaware? You can follow several paths to alternative certification, depending on your area of specialty and intended teaching focus.

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Thinking of becoming a teacher in Delaware, but worried you don't have the appropriate background? This small state, sometimes called The First State, offers several alternative ways to become a public school teacher. If you have a bachelor's degree in a relevant subject but need to acquire education training, or if you're looking to transition from another field into teaching, you can follow several routes to teaching certification.

Average Salary for Teachers in Delaware (2017)* $60,600 (Elementary School); $62,540 (Middle School); $63,640 (High School)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree required; master's degree often preferred
Required Documentation Official college or university transcripts in subject area
Testing Requirements Praxis II for the pertinent level and subject area(s); an approved state Performance Assessment, such as the PPAT or the edTPA

*Source: U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Routes to Becoming Certified

The Delaware Department of Education recognizes five ways to become a teacher through alternative means. Some relate to specific areas of critical need like math and science, or to targeted areas like special education. These five avenues are:

  • Alternative Routes to Certification (ARTC) Program, offered by the University of Delaware. In this program, you work as a teacher within your chosen subject area while completing requirements necessary to teach in Delaware primary and secondary schools.
  • Master's Plus Certification Program in Special Education, offered by the University of Delaware. This program offers a curriculum that leads to a master's in education for exceptional children and youths in elementary and secondary schools. You must be working as a paraeducator in a Delaware school to be eligible for this program.
  • Relay Delaware Program, part of the Relay/Graduate School of Education. Completion of this program provides a Master of Arts in teaching in high need areas like math, science and social studies
  • Teach for America, a federal program usually limited to new college graduates in appropriate subject areas. You must agree to work for a two-year period in a low income urban or rural public school, and the education courses are completed through the Relay Delaware Program.
  • Ninety-One Days in Lieu of Student Teaching is a path for people who've completed one year of substitute teaching in a private or public Delaware school. They can use this experience as an alternative to traditional student teaching. It doesn't apply to all subjects, and it's not a guaranteed path to certification.

Each program has its own set of guidelines and requirements. You'll want to research them in more detail to see which best fits your intended area of focus. Some require you to take graduate school courses before embarking on a teaching career, while others grant an emergency teaching certificate, allowing you to teach while you attain the education degree.

Please note, too, that all Delaware teachers must have a license and a certificate in order to teach in any Delaware school. The license relates to the time one has taught and their experience level, while the certificate relates to content.

In Delaware, a teacher may hold more than one certificate is areas of specialty. You apply for the license and certification by registering on the Delaware Educator Data System (DEEDS), administered by the Delaware Department of Education.

Education Requirements in Delaware

All alternative paths to teaching certification in Delaware require at least a bachelor's degree in a relevant subject area. In some subjects, a master's degree is preferred. The degree must come from a regionally accredited four year college or university, and you should have a minimum 3.0 GPA (sometimes exceptions are made in this requirement, depending on circumstances and need). For some programs, if you have a graduate degree, you should have a 3.5 GPA as a minimum.

Certification Requirements in Delaware

So, you have your degree in hand, you've chosen a subject area appropriate to elementary or high school teaching, and you know which alternative path you'd like to take.

To embark on your education career, you'll need to meet several more requirements for eventual certification. First, be prepared to send official transcripts from your college or university to the Delaware Department of Education (DDE). You will need to pass the Praxis II test in your relevant level and subject area and submit a passing score for an approved state Performance Assessment, such as the PPAT or the edTPA. Those scores are then also sent to the DDE. You will also need to undergo state and federal criminal background check before actually working with children.

Resources for Alternative Certification in Delaware

This process may sound daunting, but many resources can help you achieve your goal. These include the following information to aid you in preparation for the Praxis test.

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