Alternative Training Programs

Training Programs for Alternative Certification and Alternative Education

One aspect to alternatives is the availability of alternative certification, that is programs for becoming licensed to teach or administer without going through the traditional sequence. A valuable resource for examining this route is and then clicking on Alternative Certification. This continually updated website of 1,700 colleges and school districts contains valuable time-saving information including B.A, M.A and Ph.D. programs. One example is Teach for America. The website also includes a critical review and research on alternative certification.

This section below lists colleges and universities believed to have programs that prepare people to work in alternative schools/programs. The institutions need to be checked as programs and contacts may have changed since this last listing of several years ago. (Note: the list below has not been reviewed in the past 3 years.)

· Alverno College

· Arizona State University, Phoenix

· College of Santa Fe

· George Mason University

· Gonzaga University

· Harvard University

· Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania

· Marian University

· Naropa University

· Park University

· University of Minnesota

· University of West Florida

· Viterbo University

· Wayne State College

Alverno College

Teaching in Alternative Schools For the license-only option, students must submit transcripts of their previous work for review. Course requirements will be determined in relationship to the standards set forth by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

Those wishing a transfer evaluation, should send copies of graduate transcripts with a note requesting an evaluation for the Director of Instruction license to Alverno College Graduate Admissions, PO Box 343922, Milwaukee, WI 53234-3922. To request an information packet and application form e-mail Admissions. Questions? Contact Sarajane Kennedy, Graduate Admissions Office, at 414-382-6104, toll free at 800-933-3401, or e-mail:

Arizona State University, Phoenix

This master’s degree program blends education and business courses to prepare leaders for charter schools. Leadership for Educational Entrepreneurs (LEE) is an innovative, interdisciplinary Master’s program designed for working professionals in the charter school industry. The program is delivered via: online courses, summer institutes and through regional sites. Program participants, or protégés, take 12 courses focused on subjects like educational leadership, assessment, marketing, accountability, and facilities. They are paired with a mentor, participate in a 140-hour internship, dialogue with school administrators and businesspeople, and design an independent research project within the 18-month program. The program receives federal funding as a model for future training.

College of Santa Fe

Master of Arts in Education, Focus: At-Risk Youth (Santa Fe campus only): At-risk youth, academically able to succeed but at risk for school failure because of systems’ unresponsiveness to their needs, require special care. Many factors may affect a school-aged child’s ability to succeed. Societal, political and life situations such as homelessness, abuse and other family dysfunctions can put children at risk. Moreover, school systems frequently lack the flexibility to accommodate creative, cultural and linguistic diversity. This program prepares teachers to strengthen schools and community support systems with bilingual/multicultural training, counseling preparation, educational administration and leadership techniques.

1600 St. Michael’s Drive
Santa Fe, NM 87505
800-456-2673 | 505-473-6133

George Mason University

Graduate School of Education

Advanced Studies in Teaching and Learning (M.Ed.) with a concentration in alternative education.
Dr. Jane Razeghi, Coordinator, Special Education, George Mason University, (703) 993-2055, jrazeghi@

Assistant Director Dr. Rebecca Fox, 703.993.4123, ASTL Information, 703.993.3640,, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030, Robinson Hall A Room 451


Gonzaga University At-Risk Concentration Description

The Master of Arts in Teaching At-Risk Students The MAT: Teaching At-Risk Students meets the needs of today’s teachers who face multi-problematic issues in the classroom, as well as community professionals who work with at-risk youth. Family violence, child abuse, poverty, attention difficulties, emotional problems, learning disabilities, and cultural factors can greatly interfere with a young person’s academic and interpersonal performance.

Educators and community professionals often struggle with youth who have significant challenges, for which they have limited training and few resources. The Master of Arts in Teaching: Teaching At-Risk Students provides the tools teachers and professionals need to reach youth at risk.

The program follows a strength-based model, with a practical focus on developing strategies that make a difference in the lives of at-risk youth. Courses are flexibly adapted to meet the needs of professionals in educational and non-educational settings.

Contact: Alisha at (800) 322-2584 extension 6557.

Program Director: Jerri Shepard E-mail 509-323-3471 or (800) 533-2554 x3471

Information:, Counselor Education, Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA 99258-0025, Tel 509-323-3501

Harvard University Risk & Prevention Program July 18, 2003

The Risk and Prevention Program (R&P) surveys both the causes and the prevention of psychological, academic, social, and health problems among children, particularly as they pertain to schooling and education. The program considers problems — found in both individuals and institutions — within the cultural contexts in which they occur, with an emphasis on developmental perspectives and issues of diversity. Students completing the program in Risk and Prevention can expect to pursue positions as specialists in prevention and lifelong enhancement programs in both traditional and nontraditional (e.g., comprehensive and full-service) schools, early-childhood and youth-services agencies, and other educational settings. Graduates work as service providers or program planners and evaluators in public and private agencies focusing on prevention and early intervention for children and youth placed at risk, or they go on to doctoral programs in education, human development, clinical or counseling psychology, public health, social policy, or related fields. A select number of students may wish to continue for a second year in the program to obtain a Certificate of Advanced Study., Harvard Graduate School of Education, Admissions, 111 Longfellow Hall Cambridge, MA 02138, Tel 617-495-3414

Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania

Master of Education in Alternative Education

The Alternative Education Studies program makes it possible for education professionals to engage in reflective practice while improving teaching and program development skills in an online, web based program. The program encourages exploration of methods, research, and epistemologies that focus on both the learner and systemic changes that will benefit all students. The Master of Education in Alternative Education is designed to support professionals in education and related fields. Students will develop skills, knowledge and competencies that will benefit them in their work in alternative and/or regular education settings.

Alternative Education Coordinator: Dr. Nathaniel S. Hosley, (v) 570-893-6247, (f) 570-893-6248

Lock Haven, PA 17745

Marian University

Students At-Risk Strand

The Students-At-Risk strand will prepare educators to more effectively meet the needs of at-risk students in the classroom. Graduate students will design and conduct an action research project that will aid them in reaching the at-risk student. Students will also be encouraged to become at-risk coordinators in their schools and continue their effort to meet the needs of at-risk students.

Anthony Dallmann-Jones, 920.923.7143
Marian University, 45 S. National Avenue, Fond du Lac, WI54935, Tel 1-800-262-7426

Naropa University 800-772-6951

A new focus pilot program has opened in the Contemplative Education department. Education Beyond the Classroom welcomes non-teachers to apply to the MA Contemplative Education program. The new focus option is open to those interested in directing their study beyond the program’s existing central emphasis on pedagogy and curriculum design. While new focus students are required to take all the existing courses in the MA Contemplative Education program, they can tailor selected course assignments to meet their individual interests. Education Beyond the Classroom students are required, as are all students in the program, to integrate contemplative personal experience, daily life applications, and relationship skills into their course work.

Park University 800-745-7275

Master of Education for At Risk

Online program dealing with issues that face at-risk students and teachers everyday, such as classroom management, characteristics of at-risk students, violent behavior, reading diagnosis and remediation, etc…

Betty Deck, 8700 NW River Park Drive, Parkville, MO 64152, 816-584-6335, Fax 816-741-4371, E-Mail:

University of Minnesota

College of Education and Human Development

Educational Policy and Administration

Administration of community and alternative education programs licensure

Director: Dr. Ann Werner,, 612-626-8547.

330 Wulling Hall, 86 Pleasant St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 554055-0221

University of West Florida

College of Professional Studies

Division of Teacher Education

Alternative Educator Training Program (Masters and Ph.D.)

The nation’s most comprehensive alternative education (dropout prevention) training initiatives

Ed.S with specialty in diversity/at-risk education

Master’s degree in alternative education

Contact Dr. John P. Kalashian, Program Coordinator, 850- 474-3158

University of West Florida, 11000 University Parkway, Pensacola, FL 32514

Viterbo University

Undergrad work on alternative education and Masters degree in education with emphasis on alternative education. All courses at present on alternative education are online using experienced alternative educators as instructors.

Contact Dr. Ray Morley,

Viterbo University

900 Viterbo Drive

La Crosse, WI 54601


Wayne State College

Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction, Alternative Education

Denise Mostek, School of Education and Counseling,(402) 375-7389

1111 Main St., Wayne, NE 68787