The relationship between effective components in alternative certification programs and the recruitment, attainment, and retention of teachers
The problem addressed in this study is how the Western Piedmont Education Consortium (WPEC) districts can make the most of their alternative certification programs (ACP) in order to combat their growing teacher shortages. Little has been known about ACP effectiveness in the WPEC districts. The over-arching research question explored effective components in ACP delivery systems that promote the alternate route teachers' transition to the classroom and how they can increase the recruitment, attainment, and retention of teachers. This sequential explanatory triangulation mixed-methods study included 20 experts who completed sequential questionnaires in a 3-round Delphi technique to identify key components of ACP delivery systems. In the third round, a quantitative phase consisted of analyses using descriptive methods. Interquartile ranges determined consensus of effective components as grouped around four key concepts: (a) screening and selection; (b) monitoring, supervision, and support; (c) preparation and training; and (d) professional development and collaboration. Focus group interviews followed that were transcribed through framework analyses and clustered around the four main categories identified from the Delphi phase. Findings indicated that effective components in ACP delivery systems do promote the alternate route teacher's transition to the classroom and impact the recruitment, attainment, and retention of teachers. Results showed that specific screening criteria; induction, mentoring, and support systems; classroom-based knowledge and skills; and personal and professional growth attributes do enhance ACP efficacy. Social change implications included reinforcing effective components in an ACP and addressing the growing need for recruitment and retention of new and experienced teachers in the WPEC districts of South Carolina.
0530: Teacher education