Alternative Teaching Certification in Delaware
The Delaware Department of Education offers alternative routes to teacher licensure and certification for applicants who do not fit the traditional mold. These routes are designed to allow you to teach and collect a salary while enrolled in educator preparation programs. If you meet the qualifications, you will be issued an Initial License and Emergency Certificate, valid for three years as long as you remain enrolled in an Alternative Routes for Teacher Licensure and Certification Program.
Interested in learning about the traditional approach? Contact schools offering teaching certification programs in Delaware.
Prior to enrollment in an Alternative Routes for Teacher Licensure and Certification Program, you must meet the following educational prerequisites:
- Meet one of the following degree requirements:
- Have a bachelor’s degree in any major from a regionally accredited institution with at least 30 hours of credit in the area in which you wish to teach
- Have a bachelor’s degree in any major from a regionally accredited institution and be enrolled in the Teach for America program
- Have a bachelor’s degree in any major from a regionally accredited institution and be enrolled in a teacher residency program
Once accepted into an Alternative Routes for Teacher Licensure and Certification Program, educational requirements include completing one of the following options:
- 120 clock hours of orientation prior to assignment as a teacher, including school organization, policies, classroom management and instructional strategies
- 200 hours of pre-service education if enrolled in Teach for America
- 120 hours of pre-service education if enrolled in a teacher residency program
You must also complete 200 hours of professional development during the first year of your teaching assignment with content including curriculum, student development and learning, and the classroom and the school.
All candidates for alternative licensure and certification in Delaware must pass the Praxis I Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST) in reading, writing and mathematics. Scores that you must receive are:
- Reading: 175
- Writing: 173
- Mathematics: 174
If you took any of the following tests and received the corresponding scores, you may be exempt from taking the Praxis I:
- Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)
- Before April 1995 – 480 Verbal and 520 Math
- After April 1995 – 560 Verbal and 540 Math
- GRE (Graduate Record Exam)
- 490 Verbal and 490 Quantitative
- GRE Revised General Test
- 152 Verbal and 145 Quantitative
- Core Battery Communication Skills Test
- Writing – 670
After acceptance into an alternative licensure/certification program, you must pass the appropriate Praxis II exam for your certification area(s) within one year from your date of hire as a teacher
No specific experience requirements are necessary for acceptance into an alternative licensure/certification program. Once enrolled, you must complete a one-year, full-time practicum, including 30 weeks of intensive mentoring from the time you begin taking over a classroom.
While enrolled in an Alternative Routes for Teacher Licensure and Certification Program you will be formally evaluated by a certified evaluator at least once during your first ten weeks in the classroom, and at least two more times within the next twenty weeks. Once you have completed the program, the evaluator will prepare a report with a recommendation as to whether you should be granted licensure. This report will be submitted to the Delaware Department of Education.
If you are recommended for licensure, you will receive an Initial License that will be valid for the balance of a three-year term (if you completed the program in less than three years) or a Continuing License, if the three-year term of your Initial License has expired. You will also receive the appropriate Standard Certificate(s).
Criminal History Background Check
Before being licensed to work with children in Delaware, you must have current state child abuse clearance. You must also submit your fingerprints for a criminal history and background check. Because it takes several weeks for such clearances to be completed, you should start the process early.
For Delaware Child Abuse Clearance, you must complete the Delaware Child Protection Registry Request Form. This should be available from your school district or alternative program. You must complete the request form and mail it to DSCYF, OCCL, Criminal History Unit, 1825 Faulkland Road, Wilmington, DE 19805. Alternatively, you may fax the form to (302) 633-5191.
You must visit the Delaware State Bureau of Identification, located at a county office of the Delaware State Police, to certify your Delaware criminal history. The three county offices are in Kent County (Dover), Sussex County (Georgetown) and New Castle County (Bear). Sussex County and New Castle County require you to make an appointment, but Kent County offers background checks on a walk-in basis. Bring your driver’s license, school ID card or state ID card and ask for a state and federal background check. The fee is currently $69, payable to Delaware State Police. For more information, call (302) 739-5871.
For more information on alternate routes to teacher licensure and certification in Delaware, contact the sponsor of one of the five approved alternate routes, listed here.