Alternative Teaching Certification in Connecticut


The Connecticut State Department of Education offers an Alternate Route to Teacher Certification (ARC) program to non-traditional applicants. This program was designed for adults who are changing careers, as well as for those who have worked as substitute teachers, paraprofessionals or independent school teachers.

Interested in learning about the traditional approach? Contact schools offering teaching certification programs in Connecticut.

The ARC program combines classes, workshops, and clinical experiences resulting in a Temporary 90-Day Certificate from the Connecticut SDE. During this time, you are expected to find employment in a Connecticut school district while receiving further training.


Education Requirements

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  • In order to be accepted into ARC, you must have at least a bachelor’s degree and have completed a major in a subject area in which you wish to become certified to teach.
  • You must have had a 3.0 grade point average in your undergraduate program or a 3.0 grade point average in 24 semester hours of graduate study.
  • You must meet specific coursework requirements according to the area in which you wish to become certified. Requirements for various certifications are listed here (scroll down to page 6 of the document).

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You must pass all sections of the Praxis I basic skills exam. This includes the following sections with the corresponding passing scores:
  • Praxis I: Reading (172)
  • Praxis I: Writing (171)
  • Praxis I: Mathematics (171)

If you have taken the following examinations and received the corresponding scores, you may be eligible for a Praxis I waiver:
  • Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT):
    • Before April 1, 1995: Total score of 1000 (math and verbal subtest scores must be at least 400 each)
    • After March 31, 1995: Total score of 1100
  • American College Testing (ACT):
    • Before October 1, 1989: Score of at least 20 on English subtest and 17 on Mathematics
    • After September 30, 1989: Score of at least 22 on English subtest and 19 on Mathematics
  • Prueba de Aptitud Academica (PAA):
    • Total score equivalent to at least a 1100 SAT score (math and verbal subtest scores must be at least 400 each)
  • Score of at least 510 on the English as a Second Language Test (ESLAT) or on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE):
    • Before October 1, 2002: Combined score of at least 1000 (quantitative reasoning score must be at least 500 and verbal reasoning score must be at least 450)
  • On or after October 1, 2002: Combined score of at least 1000 (quantitative reasoning score must be at least 500; verbal reasoning score must be at least 450; and analytic writing score must be at least 4.5)



You must have experience working with youth in order to be accepted into the ARC program. If you do not have relevant experience working with youth in an on-going, organized activity, you must submit a waiver request. In this request, which is part of the ARC online application form, you must describe why you are a good role model for youth and why you are committed to teaching.


Criminal History Background Check

All school employees in Connecticut must undergo a criminal history record check, including fingerprinting. This includes those who are placed into student teaching settings and clinical field experiences. This process is usually not started until you are hired by/are assigned a field placement at a Connecticut school district, or within the first 30 days of your employment. The school district that employs you will give you the necessary forms and direct you to the nearest fingerprinting location. A list of Connecticut fingerprinting services may be found here.

The State Police Bureau of Identification and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will check your fingerprints. The results of your criminal history background check will be reported directly to the school district that employs you. You must submit to additional criminal background checks every three years for as long as you work for a Connecticut school district.


Additional Information

You must submit three sealed letters of recommendation along with your online application for the ARC program, as well as a current resume, official sealed college transcripts, and any waiver requests. Mail the required documents to Alternate Route to Certification, Department of Higher Education, 61 Woodland Street, Hartford, CT  06105-2326. Once your application is evaluated, you may be asked to come to the ARC Program offices for an interview prior to acceptance into the program.


Contact Information

For more information about the ARC Program, contact (860)947-1300, visit, or email