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June 23, 2011

New teacher certification program to fast-track teachers to leadership positions

Professional teachers have a new, alternative path toward Educational Leadership certification with an initiative spearheaded by the University of Louisiana at Monroe's Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling.

Alternate Path 3 is a program designed for those seeking to add Educational Leadership certification, and is an alternative to the traditional university Master's degree program.

ULM will be the only university-based provider in the state to offer this type of certification, according to College of Education and Human Development officials.

The program is designed to fill leadership positions in rural and surrounding districts where the need for administrators is growing due to the abundance of retirees in the field.

Superintendents and school administrators are working to identify candidates who have demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities to become educational leaders.

This system also allows for school administrators to fill open positions with teachers already on their staff.

ULM Endowed Professor of Education Administration, Dr. George Rice, is hoping the residency program will put teachers on the fast track.

Rice believes the advantage of earning college credit will bring in teachers from across the state.

"Think of it as student-teaching at the administrative level," he said. "With the program's statewide appeal, we are hoping for around 15 participants for the first cohort."

Alternate Pathway 3 is formatted as eight modules that require two, three-week intensive summer sessions and two semesters of on-site residency experiences facilitated by experienced former superintendents, principals, and other administrators.

Teachers will spend 50 percent of their school day in residency as an administrator.

Participants must demonstrate strong knowledge of instruction through a rigorous screening process by an approved program provider, complete a competency-based educational leader practitioner/residency preparation program in the area of educational leadership, and have a passing score on the School Leaders Licensure Assessment in accordance with state requirements.

Although a definitive start date is not set, the ULM Educational Leadership staff are hoping to begin the first cohort in late July or early August.

For more information and a complete list of admissions requirements, contact Dr. Leonard Clark, head of Educational Leadership & Counseling at 318-342-1246 or

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