Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award


Document Type



Organizational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

John McIntyre

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Simone Elias

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Melinda Carver


Alternative certification programs (ACPs) recently gained popularity due to their brevity and appeal to second-career candidates. However, research shows that alternatively certified teachers often need more pedagogical skills than traditionally certified teachers, leading to the possibility of experiencing challenges their first year as an educator. To address this problem, the role of ACPs in teacher preparation was investigated to identify ways to close the gaps and provide ongoing support to alternatively certified teachers. The purpose of this study was to explore the preparedness of teachers based on their experiences in their ACPs. The study was framed within Malcolm Knowles’s adult learning theory to answer the following research questions: In what ways, if any, did your alternative certification program prepare you as a new teacher? What could your ACP do, if anything, to better prepare you as a new teacher? This study was a qualitative collective instrumental case study with 13 alternatively certified teachers from urban areas in Texas. The study consisted of a series of interviews for teachers to share what they learned from their ACP. The results showed that ACPs should adopt a reflective approach to the delivery and offerings within their programs to better serve novice teachers within and beyond their programs. Key considerations to ponder include individualized support, continuous professional development, mentorship support, collaborative learning communities, and flexible program structures, which are all areas of development to ensure they are fostering a community of well-prepared and capable educators.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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