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Drexel University School of Education is conducting a deep-dive into the validity and effectiveness of American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence’s alternative teacher certification program.

The first study Drexel University conducted in 2016 was done to evaluate both the effectiveness and retention of American Board prepared teachers compared to teachers prepared by traditional college pathways.

The study revealed American Board-certified teachers perform better than or equivalent to traditional, college-prepared teachers across 95% of teacher qualities evaluated, according to principals who work with American Board teachers.

Since American Board’s typical graduate is a career-changer, they are able to provide a different perspective on post-school jobs. Drexel University’s study found “across 20% of the qualities evaluated, including having roots in the local community, an appreciation for the job opportunity, and both integrating real-world experiences in the classroom and applying prior obtained professional knowledge, American Board prepared teachers were reported as performing significantly better than their college counterparts.”

American Board’s mission is to prepare and certify teachers who will serve schools and students in their community. Drexel University’s study showed 97% of principals surveyed plan to offer their American Board teachers a second contract and retain their American Board teachers after the crucial three-year mark.

These results are especially noteworthy considering Drexel described the response rate of the survey “excellent” and said it “allows for greater generalization of results.”

The study concludes

American Board prepared teachers and teachers prepared through tradtional colleges of education are largely equivalent in terms of their performance across the vast majority (75%) of teacher qualities assessed in our survey. American Board prepared teachers offer more connection to real-world issues, practical applications, community connection, and job appreciation. Furthermore, teachers entering through this alternative pathway typically have made a conscious choice to leave a successful career in order to ‘give back’ and teach, which may lead to a higher degree of community connection and job appreciation.

Drexel University notes “to suggest that all alternative preparation programs are identical is incorrect and misleading. Any suggestions that alternative teacher preparation programs are identical or will produce the same results are incorrect, in the same way that all colleges of education are not identical nor produce identical teachers.”

Drexel University will continue its examination of American Board’s alternative teacher certification program in the coming months. American Board looks forward to receiving more insight into the effectiveness of its program and the performance of its teachers.

To read Drexel University’s full report, click here.

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