To find your state’s alternative certification advisor, we recommend searching online for your state’s government or education site. You can also use our interactive map; click on the state where you would like to teach for a link to your state’s department of education.
Alternative Pathways to Certification
Pursue certification in specific partner states through Purdue Global’s Classroom Pathways Bundle or other alternative certification routes.
Classroom Pathways Bundle
The Classroom Pathways Bundle is a unique enrollment package for students interested in teacher’s certification in specific states. It consists of two separate and distinct programs: Purdue Global’s Master of Arts in Teaching and the American Board’s Plus Program.
Students enrolled in the Classroom Pathways Bundle/American Board Plus Program will:
- Build a solid knowledge base of secondary teaching and learning principles and develop professional competencies required of beginning teachers by first completing the Master of Arts in Teaching.*
- Upon graduation, begin the American Board Plus Program and, once completed, have the opportunity to become a certified teacher in Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, or Wisconsin.†
- After successfully completing the Plus Program and passing the American Board examinations, have the opportunity to seek licensure in their home state. Check the American Board website for more information.
The American Board Plus Program does not include courses or student teaching. Rather, it is designed to help students prepare for and pass American Board examinations in fulfillment of state licensure requirements. As a Master of Arts in Teaching student, you'll also receive additional Professional Teaching Knowledge (PTK) resources, including workbooks and supplementary quiz banks. American Board program resources and examination costs are included in the price of tuition for Purdue Global's Classroom Pathways Bundle and may be covered by financial aid for those who qualify.
Prior to enrolling in the Classroom Pathways Bundle, prospective students must confirm via email to their Advisor that they acknowledge that the Master of Arts in Teaching does not lead to certification and understand the certification and eligibility requirements of the American Board. Students and their advisors must contact the American Board advisor to confirm costs, deadlines, additional fees, required approvals, residency, and continuing requirements for certification.
Important note on Tennessee: American Board offers a transitional license in only two county public school systems and one city public school system; it is not approved in the entire state. Licensing is available in the following school systems only: Putnam County Public Schools, Crockett County Public Schools, and Tullahoma City Public Schools.
Pursuing Other Alternative Certification Routes
It is important to examine alternative teacher certification paths based on your state's licensure requirements. You can visit our interactive map and click on the state where you are interested in becoming a teacher for links to your state's certification requirements. We've also summarized some steps to help you identify suitable state alternative certification programs and requirements for certification.
Licensing requirements for teaching grades 5 through 12 vary by state. In almost every state, you must enroll in a state-approved certification program that may include completing coursework, a supervised teaching internship or student teaching course, and/or passing a subject area and pedagogy exam. If you are interested in becoming a certified teacher and live in a state that is not covered by the Classroom Pathways Bundle, you must independently research and pursue certification in your state. On its own, the Master of Arts in Teaching will not lead to certification nor will it assist you in becoming a teacher in those states.
Note: Completion of Purdue Global’s Master of Arts in Teaching is not required in order to pursue a state alternative teacher certification program.
If you live in a state not covered by the Classroom Pathways Bundle, you may still pursue the Master of Arts in Teaching in order to:
- Boost your knowledge of the secondary education field and develop the professional competencies required of beginning teachers.
- Potentially benefit from a pay increase if your state pays more to teachers entering the field with a graduate degree.
Access our interative map to identify your state's teaching and certification requirements.Check Your State’s Teaching Requirements
Steps to Identifying Your State’s Alternative Certification Program Requirements
Contact your state’s alternative certification advisor.
Research a suitable alternative certification program.
Review the information from your state’s website or that you received from your state’s advisor. You should contact each state-approved program director and ask the director questions about admissions requirements, the length and cost of the program, course format (online or campus), time commitment, and location for onsite field experiences such as student teaching, paid internships, and practicums. Also, make sure you understand the course transfer and undergraduate transcript policies, and undergraduate GPA requirements.
Identify a suitable alternative certification program and enroll.
Once you fully understand your state’s requirements and have identified a program that meets your certification needs, you can proceed with the Master of Arts in Teaching enrollment process. If you need more information, you can reach one of our Admissions Advisors who can help.
*Purdue Global cannot recommend students who complete the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) for licensure. Licensing requirements for teaching grades 5-12 vary by state. Earning a master’s degree could provide you with the background and practical experience to meet nationally recognized standards; however, enrollment in the MAT is not required for pursuing a state alternative certification program. Purdue Global’s MAT is not accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) or the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), which may be a requirement for certification or licensure in some states. The program is not state approved for teacher certification or endorsements of any kind, and Purdue Global makes no representations or warranties as to whether the degree or any individual courses meet any specific state’s requirements for licensure or certification. Refer to Licensure and State Authorization for additional information on licensure and state authorizations.
†Prior to enrolling in the Classroom Pathways Bundle, students must confirm they are eligible for a state alternative certification program. Students must confirm costs, deadlines, additional fees, required approvals, residency, and continuing requirements with American Board (ABCTE.org). Important note on Tennessee: American Board offers a transitional license in only two county public school systems and one city public school system; it is not approved in the entire state. Licensing is available in the following school systems only: Putnam County Public Schools, Crockett County Public Schools, and Tullahoma City Public Schools.