Alternative Teaching Certification in Idaho


The Idaho State Department of Education recognizes the Computer-Based Alternative Route to Teacher Certification (ABCTE) for those who have a bachelor’s degree but have not completed a teacher preparation program and wish to become a certified Idaho teacher.

Interested in learning about the traditional approach? Contact schools offering teaching certification programs in Idaho.

Currently, ABCTE certification is only available to prospective Idaho teachers who wish to become certified in the following areas:

  • Elementary Education (K-6)
  • Special Education (K-12)
  • Reading Certificate
  • Biology (6-12)
  • English Language Arts (6-12)
  • Chemistry (6-12)
  • Mathematics (6-12)
  • General Science (6-12)
  • History (6-12)
  • Physics (6-12)

Alternative Certification Requirements

Education Requirements

For admission to the ABCTE program, you must first hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college/university. Once enrolled in ABCTE, you will complete your teacher preparation education completely online. At the end of your education, you will receive an ABCTE certificate and then work in the Idaho school system as you complete the experience and examination portions of the program.


In order to gain entrance to the ABCTE program, you must pass the ABCTE examinations pertaining to Professional Teaching Knowledge and to the subjects you wish to teach. After you are in the ABCTE program, you must pass the Praxis II examinations pertaining to your intended area of certification.


A mandatory mentoring period of two years is necessary in the ABCTE program. After completing the ABCTE education requirements and receiving the ABCTE certificate, you must obtain a job in an Idaho school system that partners with ABCTE and apply to the Idaho State Department of Education for an interim teaching certificate (valid for three years). During the time you are working for the school district, you will undergo the mentoring program. Your mentoring must last for at least two years, and your mentor must follow the Idaho State Department of Education’s Mentoring Checklist when monitoring your classroom performance. At the end of your mentoring period, you may apply for the standard five-year Idaho teaching certificate.

Criminal History Background Check

If you wish to enroll in the ABCTE program, you must undergo two criminal history background checks: one for ABCTE and one for the Idaho State Department of Education. The ABCTE check is conducted through Intelius, Inc. or the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Fingerprinting will be conducted at this time. You will begin this process at the time of enrollment by submitting a complete disclosure authorization form to ABCTE.

The Idaho State Department of Education also requires a separate criminal background check, even after you have been cleared by ABCTE. Before you may receive an interim teaching certificate, you must contact the State Department of Education at 208-332-6888 or 208-332-6883 and request a fingerprint card. The process of checking your criminal history through the Statewide Sex Offender Register, the FBI and the Idaho Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI) will be explained to you at this time. You must submit your completed fingerprint card with your application for an interim Idaho teaching certificate. The certificate will not be issued until the State Department of Education receives notification of clearance of your background check.

Contact Information

For more information on the ABCTE program, visit their website at or call 877-669-2228.