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Alternate Certification

Alternate Certification

McNeese State University's alternative certification program seeks to identify exceptional professionals from the community who recognize the challenges and rewards of teaching and want to commit to making a difference in Southwest Louisiana. Our program was created to recruit outstanding candidates to pursue teacher certification and guide them along the path to leading their own classroom. McNeese State University's alternative certification program's goal is to bring outstanding professionals and recent graduates to schools where their skills and knowledge are needed most. Alternative certification candidates can pursue certification while teaching full time in one of the parishes in Southwest Louisiana. Hiring decisions are made by individual school systems.


The Burton College of Education offers three Alternate Teacher Preparation Program Paths to become a teacher and make a difference. Each alternate teaching preparation program leds to certification as a teacher for non-education graduates. Candidate's must have a minimum of a bachelor's degree for entry into the program. Louisiana's alternate teaching programs were developed to address the shortage of teachers. The three types of teaching preparation programs allow professionals and recent college graduates to pursue a career in teaching:

1. The Practitioner Teacher Program
  • The Practitioner Teacher Program is a streamlined certification path that combines intensive coursework and full-time teaching. The Practitioner Teacher Program is available for certification in the following areas:
    • Elementary Education (Grades 1-5)
    • Middle School Education (Grades 4-8)
      • Mathematics
      • Science
    • Secondary Education (Grades 6-12) in the following content areas:
      • Biology
      • Chemistry
      • English
      • French
      • General Science
      • Mathematics
      • Physics
      • Social Studies
      • Spanish


2. The Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Only Program (PBC)
  • The Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Only Program is for individuals not wishing to participate full-time or pursue a master's degree through one of the other alternate paths to certification. Post-Baccalaureate Certificates are available in the following areas:
    • Early Childhood Education (Grades PK-3)
    • Elementary Education (Grades 1-5)
    • Middle School (Grades 4-8) in the following content areas:
      • Mathematics
      • Science 
    • Multiple Levels (Grades K-12) in the following content areas:
      • Art
      • Health and Physical Education
      • Music- Instrumental
      • Music- Vocal
    • Secondary Education (Grades 6-12) in the following content areas:
      • Agriculture
      • Biology
      • Business
      • Chemistry
      • Chinese
      • English
      • Environmental Science
      • French
      • General Science
      • Mathematics
      • Social Studies
      • Spanish


3. Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Elementary or Master or Arts in Teaching (MAT) Secondary
  • The Master of Arts in Teaching Program is an intensive path that results in a master's degree as well as certification. The Master of Arts in Teaching Program is available for certification in the following areas:
    • Elementary Education (Grades 1-5)
    • Secondary Education (Grades 6-12) in the following content areas:
      • Agriculture
      • Biology
      • Business
      • Chemistry
      • Chinese
      • English
      • Environmental Science
      • French
      • Latin
      • Mathematics
      • Social Studies
      • Spanish

The  Requirements Chart for Alternate Certification Programs provides a comparison for the programs at a glance. For specific information on each program, please click on each of the headings above.

Looking for add-on certification information? Visit the TeachLouisiana Web site.

Interested in what's new at the LA Department of Education? Visit the LADOE Web site.