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ABCTE Announces 1,000TH Candidate for Passport to Teaching Certification

Washington, DC (December 22, 2005) — American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) President David W. Saba today announced that the organization has enrolled its 1,000th candidate for the Passport to Teaching certification program.

“As America braces for a severe teacher shortage in the years to come, ABCTE stands ready to recruit and certify thousands of knowledgeable, motivated individuals to teach our children,” Saba said. “We welcome our 1,000th candidate and look forward growing interest in Passport to Teaching as we expand our outreach efforts even more.”

ABCTE commenced an aggressive recruitment, marketing and communications campaign to increase interest in the Passport to Teaching program in April 2005. The campaign included more than 20 information sessions across the United States. Since that time, enrollments in the program have increased by more than 300 percent.

ABCTE has partnered with many school districts to hold teacher recruitment fairs– at no cost to the district– to highlight the need for teachers in specific areas. More than 10 recruitment fairs are scheduled for January and February 2006.

“Alternative Certification programs will not be successful without a strong recruitment and advising component, and we provide that to our school district partners,” said Andrew Campanella, ABCTE’s director of teacher recruitment.

Passport to Teaching is an alternative route to teacher certification, officially recognized in several U.S. states. ABCTE is funded in part by grants through the U.S. Department of Education. The program is designed to attract talented professionals to change careers and become teachers. Individuals with bachelor’s degrees can earn the certification by demonstrating mastery on demanding examinations of subject area and professional teaching knowledge, and by passing a federal background check.

Certification is offered in the following subject areas: elementary education, general science, biology, mathematics, special education, and English language arts. ABCTE is currently developing certifications in physics, chemistry, history and reading, all of which will be available by next year.

Approximately one third of certification candidates hold advanced degrees, 44 percent are men, and the average age of certification candidates is 40.

“The program meets the needs of career changers because it allows individuals to prepare for the certification at their own pace and on their own time,” Saba said. “Once the candidates receive certification, ABCTE recommends strong new teacher mentoring programs to ensure their classroom success and retention.”

No additional college courses are required to earn the certification, and the enrollment fee is only $500 per candidate ($750 for special education).

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