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Alternative Certification

Interested in Alternative (Provisional) Certification?

The Mobile County Public School System employs non-certified applicants in core critical need areas when there are no applicants who are certified available. The critical need areas are mathematics, science, and foreign languages. 

STATE GPA REQUIREMENT. To be considered for an alternative route certification, an applicant MUST have a Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education and have a minimum grade point average of 2.75 on a bachelor's degree and 3.0 on a master's degree.

ACADEMIC BACKGROUND NEEDED. Applicants interested in teaching mathematics, science or a foreign language should have an academic major in the teaching field, have 32 semester hours, including 19 semester hours of upper division credits in the teaching field, or passing scores on the Praxis II subject assessment in the teaching field. The Praxis II Exam is designed for college majors.  In other words, the persons with the best chance of passing the exam will have a high concentration (25-35 semester hours) of college courses in that subject.  Fifteen to twenty hours of upper level courses (i.e. 300 or 400) in the subject to teach is REQUIRED for hiring.

For those whose academic majors are related to math, such as Mechanical Engineering and some other engineering degrees the Praxis is required PRIOR to hiring.  For those whose academic majors are related to science, such as Biomedical Sciences, Botany or Chemical Engineering the Praxis is required PRIOR to hiring.

The alternative route to certification for those with a bachelor's degree would apply for a Provisional Certificate in a Teaching Field. It exists as a means for primarily Science and Math majors to gain certification to teach in public schools when there is a shortage of traditional certified teachers. The Provisional Certificate in a Teaching Field cannot be gained in advance.  The applicant must meet qualifications (GPA, passing Praxis II scores and AECTP Scores [see Required Tests below]) in order to be hired. There must be a vacancy and the applicant must be recommended by a principal for a teaching position. Once recommended by a principal and approved by Human Resources, we assist the applicant in applying for the Provisional Certificate in a Teaching Field (PCTF). 


FOR MATH: Persons interested in teaching Math should take the Mathematics: Content Knowledge Praxis II (Code 5161) prior to September 1 of the school year of employment. A Passing Score of 145 is required. Persons with backgrounds in Accounting and Bookkeeping are not recommended to take this Math Praxis. In order to be successful on the math Praxis you would need to have taken college courses such as Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Calculus I, II & II, Calculus Based Physics, Applied Differential Equations, Linear Algebra, Intro to Number Theory, Complex Variables, Discrete Math Structures and others.   

FOR SCIENCE: Persons interested in teaching Science should take:

Biology: Content Knowledge (Code 5235)  if you have a Biology related degree/major  (Passing Score of 143 is required)

Chemistry: Content Knowledge (Code 5245) if you have a Chemistry related degree/major (Passing Score of 150 is required)

General Science: Content Knowledge (Code 5435) if you have taken Biology courses, Chemistry courses, at least one Physics course and at least one Earth/Space course. (Passing Score of 147 is required)

FOR FOREIGN LANGUAGES: Persons interested in teaching a foreign language MUST have passed the appropriate Praxis II.  To teach Spanish, Praxis II Code 5195 must be passed (158 score).  To teach French, Praxis II Code  5174 must be passed (162 score).

Only one of the above tests needs to be taken and passed.  Passing scores must be submitted prior to September 1 of the school year of employment. All expenses for the exams are borne by the applicant.

PRAXIS II. To register for the Praxis II go to www.ets.org/praxis/al  The site will provide you with information on testing sites in Mobile and testing dates. Computer based tests beginning with a 5000 number are given during "testing windows" and can be taken at various times. The site also provides an outline of the sub-subject matter questions as well as sample questions.  You can purchase e-Study Guides from the Praxis site.  For those who prefer a paper copy, check with local college bookstores or go to http://www.amazon.com/.

ALABAMA BASIC SKILLS. The applicant seeking alternative route certification must also register and pass the Alabama Educator Certification Testing Program (AECTP) which includes the basic skills assessment of Reading, Writing, and Math, and the Praxis II subject assessment in the teaching field prior to September 1 of the school year of employment.  The basic skills assessment is offered in Mobile five to six times a year.  To register go to https://act.org/alabamaectp.   The LAST administration of this test will be July 8, 2017.  Thereafter the teacher applicant will be required to take the Educational Testing Service's PRAXIS CORE ACADEMIC SKILLS FOR EDUCATORS TEST which accesses prospective teachers' basic skills in reading, writing, and mathematics.

Depending on the time of year hired and the non-availability of certified teachers in certain academic areas there are certain measures that can lead to hiring on an Emergency Certificate valid one scholastic term and one time only. The time spent on an Emergency Certificate does NOT count toward tenure. The appropriate tests must be passed before rehiring for the next school term. MOBILE COUNTY GENERALLY REQUIRES THE SUBJECT MATTER PRAXIS EXAM TO BE PASSED FIRST.  This indicates mastery of the subject matter.

ALTERNATIVE CERTIFICATION COLLEGE COURSE WORK.  The alternative route of certification is a series of one year certificates over a three-year period of time. The teacher must meet the requirements at the end of each year in order to be rehired and to file for the next certificate. Four designated college courses from an Alabama College or University must be taken in the first two years of employment under the ABC. Two are required the first year and two the second year.  A list of Alabama Colleges and Universities is available in Human Resources as well on the Alabama Department of Education Website at www.alsde.edu go to Education Professionals (in the middle of the headings on the top), then Certification (over on the left of the page), then Provisional Certification (one of the tabs in the middle), then Provisional Certificate in a Teaching Field (on the left), then click on the tab Coursework. Course times and availability vary from college to college and also vary from year to year. Just like the certification cannot be gained in advance, the college courses cannot be taken in advance eitherA teacher must be in the Alternative Program in order to take the courses.  A grade of "C" or higher is required.  All tuition expenses must be borne by the teacher.  An individual may not be employed for more than three years while holding an alternative certificate.

PRINCIPALS OF LEARNING AND TEACHING (PLT) EXAM. Effective September 1, 2013 anyone issued the first ABC for 2013-14 or after, when applying for the third Alternative Baccalaureate Certificate, must have taken and passed the PLT Test that is appropriate to the grade span (i.e. grades 6-12) of the educator certificate in addition to meeting current testing requirements (i.e. subject matter Praxis II test and AECTP mentioned above) for the specific area in which certification is sought. The test code for 6-12 is 5624. All expenses for the exam must be borne by the teacher. (Source: SDE Superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice 8/15/12 Memo)

CLICK HERE to view more information and hear testimonies from Alternative Certified Teachers

The State Department of Education sets and regulates the certification requirements for teachers in the State of Alabama. Information on the certification requirements set forth herein is provided for your convenience only. Please visit the State Department of Education's website www.alsde.edu. Go to Education Professionals, then Certification for complete and updated information about the certification requirements.

State Resource Personnel

-Shavon Cummings, Coordinator of Teacher Certification - Contact Teacher Certification
Phone: (334) 242-9977

Alabama Educator Certification Testing Program (AECTP)
-Barbara Larson, Coordinator of Teacher Testing - apttp@alsde.edu
Phone: (334) 242-9935

Online Application -
Teach In Alabama is an online program which allows users to apply to every school system in Alabama with one electronic application.  Applicants should NOT complete the application until they have received passing scores on the appropriate Praxis II.


Mobile County Public Schools has earned and maintains system accreditation through AdvancED.