Rhode Island Alternative Teacher Certification

If you've already completed your education and are now just deciding that you want to become a teacher, you can still get licensed in Rhode Island. Let's look at the alternative path to licensure.

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Rhode Island offers alternative route licensure to those who have not completed a bachelor's degree with an education focus. If you'd like to work as one of the 15,988 teachers employed in Rhode Island, according to their Department of Education, we'll help with the steps.

Requirements for Teachers in Rhode Island

Average Salary for Teachers Rhode Island (2017)* $32,570 (Preschool)
$60,990 (Kindergarten)
$67,990 (Elementary School)
$65,540 (Middle School)
$67,620 (High School)
Required Degree Bachelor's Degree
Required Field Any
Testing Requirements Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) exam
Praxis Content Knowledge exam

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Complete Your Education

The purpose of an alternate route for licensure is that you may not have earned your bachelor's degree in an education-driven major. This does not completely hold you up, because you can then begin one of the alternate routes to licensure. First, check to see if your subject is considered a high-need subject for teachers. These are the most common subjects to allow for alternative licensure. These subjects tend to be the languages, ESL, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects. According to the standards for alternative certification programs, students must have an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.00. The other option is to complete at least 24 credit hours of graduate studies.

Step 2: Complete an Educator Preparation Program (EPP)

For the Alternative licensure path, you'll likely need to take part in an educator preparation program. These programs must mean some intensive criteria to ensure that prospective teachers have been trained properly. Along with requiring the bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA, these programs must also include a 5-week training session that provides classroom management and pedagogy knowledge and seminars and courses throughout the year. These programs must also provide a 1-year fellowship or teaching practicum that puts teachers into a classroom under a supervising mentor who can provide feedback and support.

Step 3: Complete Required Exams

After you have completed the alternative route, you've officially landed back on the same path as other initial teachers. That means that you will now need to take the Praxis exams that other teachers seeking certification must. The first one is typically the PLT, or Principles of Learning and Teaching, exam. This is available in three grade levels: PK-6, 5-9, and 7-12. All three are set up similarly with 70 multiple-choice questions and four constructed-responses. To pass, you must earn at least 160 on the PK-6, 160 on the 5-9, and 157 on the 7-12 exam.

After this, there could be any number of exams that you will need to take. Most likely, there will be at least one other content exam you will need to take in your teaching subject, but there could be more depending on the grade level and subject. For instance, often physical education teachers also get certified in Health.

Certification Resources for Rhode Island Teachers

The Praxis exams can be a complicated step in your licensure process, and you may find that a study guide will help. Here, we've given you access to Praxis guides for several areas.

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