Dr. Jason Peel, Director of Human Resources and School Climate at Milford School District, says that the Alternate Route to Certification program (ARTC) offered in partnership with the Department of Education and institutes of higher learning like the University of Delaware and Delaware State University, are aimed to help address a current teacher shortage. The program offers options for those who may not have taken a traditional path to teaching become certified.
“The traditional route to becoming a teacher is to graduate from a college/university with a degree in teaching and apply for teacher certification. The applicant must be able to show that they have completed student teaching, passed the required exams, and earned a degree,” Dr. Peel said. “However, there also exists two non-traditional programs in Delaware, the Alternate Routes to Certification (ARTC) and the Relay Graduate School ARTC Residency program.”
The ARTC program requires a bachelor’s degree and interested parties must apply to Delaware State University, Wilmington University or the University of Delaware Relay Graduate School. They then must apply for a position at a teacher and qualify for a two-year emergency teaching license before completing coursework required to achieve a continuing teaching license and work as a first-year teacher. The Relay Graduate School ARTC Residency program requires a bachelor’s degree and those interested must apply for and be accepted to the Relay Graduate School. They must then apply for a Milford School District Residency posting and complete a year-long teacher residency experience and earn $35,000 during the first year.
“A person does not have to be fully certified. They can work under an emergency certification as long as they are enrolled in an ARTC program and actively taking courses,” Dr. Peel said. “If a person does not have a bachelor’s degree in education, then they can enroll in an ARTC program at one of the programs in the State of Delaware and become a fully certified teacher while simultaneously working as a teacher.”
Dr. Peel explained that science and special education teachers are in short supply currently. For those who are interested in teaching, Dr. Peel suggests starting as a substitute.
“I would suggest signing up to be a substitute teacher. As a substitute teacher you can earn some extra money, get to know the students and staff at each school, and get a good sense of what it is like to be a teacher,” Dr. Peel said. “To become a substitute, please call our district office at 302-422-1600 and inquire about becoming a substitute with Milford School District.”
Dr. Peel explained that there is a comprehensive hiring process that must be completed to work for the district. He noted that district employees are also state employees and that all staff must undergo a state and federal criminal background check, reference checks and completion of the Child Protection Registry.
Milford Live will highlight two teachers who entered the field through the ARTC program over the next two weeks. Mackenzie Reed and Ilianny Abad are both teachers in Milford School District who successfully completed the ARTC program and are now fulfilling their dream of teaching.
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