In Wyoming, high school school districts are required to seek out certified, effective teachers to fill vacant positions. For those school districts that are unable to find these qualified individuals, another option is available.
Interested in learning about the traditional approach? Contact schools offering teaching certification programs in Wyoming.
Secondary school districts are able to hire candidates who have not received a teaching certificate, but do have a bachelor's degree in a teachable subject area. In order to be hired, a candidate must fill out an Exception Authorization form from the Wyoming Teaching Professionals Board (PTSB), allowing them to teach while they pursue certification.
A school district is then able to hire these candidates, as they also pursue teacher's certification through the Northern Plains Transition to Teaching (NPTT) program offered at Montana State University-Bozeman.
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The NPTT program offers an alternative route to licensure for those wishing to enter a career in teaching from non-teaching professions.
Candidates eligible to enter the NPTT program must hold a bachelor's degree in an endorsement area, and had maintained a 2.75 grade point average while in school. More information on teacher endorsement areas may be found here.
The NPTT program consists of 25 credit hours offered online that leads to certification in Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota. Each course is offered one at a time, allowing NPTT students to continue teaching at their school districts during enrollment.
Each course in the NPTT lasts for eight weeks, allowing candidates to finish their certification in two years. The NPTT gives students the teaching foundation necessary to become effective educators, building a candidate's portfolio and giving them the opportunity to gain experience as teachers.
Students completing alternative certification programs are required to pass PRAXIS II examinations for their content focuses. This differs from the traditional certification route, which only requires elementary school teachers and social studies composite teachers to pass the PRAXISS II examination.
For more information on specific content tests for teachers seeking certification through alternate routes, click here.
Certification candidates are also required to prove their knowledge of the U.S. and Wyoming Constitutions either through course work or through examination. More information on the examinations may be found at the Wyoming PTSB website.
Students in the NPTT program gain valuable experience that will help carry them throughout the rest of their teaching careers. In order to pass the program, students must participate in either student teaching or a paid internship.
The paid internship is a guided teaching experience where a student obtains a part-time teaching position centered on his or her endorsement area. According to the NPTT website this is the preferred method of gaining student teaching experience.
For students who are unable to obtain a paid internship, student teaching is also an option. Student teaching involves pairing a student with a real teacher who helps guide them through the education process. Unfortunately, the student teaching option rests on whether or not a school district has teachers willing to work with the student, and the NPTT cannot guarantee student teaching placement even if candidates are eligible.
Alternative certification candidates must provide fingerprinting cards to be submitted with their application packets. Fingerprint cards can be obtained at any Wyoming school district administration office, or by contacting the PTSB at 307-777-7291.
For those wishing to switch careers and begin teaching, Wyoming provides great alternative teaching certification options. More information on alternative teaching certification routes can be found on the PTSB website here.