Alternatively certified, career-changing teachers in Connecticut: Their transition from prior career to classroom

Date of Completion

January 2003


Education, Teacher Training




This study examines the Alternate Route to Certification, career-changing teachers in Connecticut to understand their induction experiences and to determine what the school as an organization can do to help them make a successful transition from student teacher to classroom teacher. ^ This study probed for factors that impacted the induction experiences of the career changing teachers as well as the factors that differentiated their induction experiences from those of traditionally certified teachers. ^ The data collected reflected their challenges, concerns, and successes across instructional, social, personal, psychological, and operational areas and the help that they received to deal with these issues as they began their new careers. ^ Data were gathered from 22 alternatively certified, career-changing teachers in 14 public high schools and eight middle schools across Connecticut. Data were collected from principals, department heads, mentors, and colleagues to provide additional perspectives and insight into the induction experiences of the alternatively certified, career changing teachers. ^ Results of this study indicate that the alternatively certified, career changing, beginning teachers experienced similar challenges entering the profession, as do traditionally prepared teachers. Differences exist, however, in teaching styles and in expectations entering the profession. ^ The results also indicate that significant differences exist between and even within school districts across Connecticut in the support provided the beginning teachers. This support from schools and school districts was a determinant factor in some cases in the retention of the beginning, alternatively certified teachers. Recommendations for further exploration of the induction experiences of alternatively certified teachers include focusing on how the division of instructional leadership roles among principals, mentors, and informal networks within the school setting can be optimized to ensure a balanced, effective induction experience for all teachers, especially the alternatively certified teachers. ^