Alternate -route teacher certification and teacher efficacy, satisfaction, and retention in urban districts: A comparison of university programs

Frank Joseph Melia, Fordham University


This study researched two models of alternate route to teacher certification at the same urban university. The research investigated if the kind of preparation and content of an alternate-route program influence teacher efficacy, satisfaction, and retention among elementary teachers, in an urban setting. A comparative study was designed in which data was compiled through a review of university records and a survey of all graduates in the programs from 2001–2006. The programs are differentiated by duration, selection processes, and program content prior to teaching responsibilities, and are distinguished as the gradual entry program and the accelerated entry program. Over 40% of graduates responded to the survey. Various statistics determined that the programs differ from each other in perceptions of program components as the Gradual Entry teachers had higher mean scores for field experience, coursework, and supervisory support, and the ease of adjustment to teaching. Both groups rated peer support similarly high and university mentoring similarly low. The Accelerated Entry teachers were significantly more likely to report difficulty in the adjustment process. The Gradual Entry teachers had higher means on measure of efficacy and satisfaction at the.05 and .01 levels of significance respectively. Both groups had high rates of retention at 95.5% for the Gradual Entry and 89.5% for the Accelerated Entry after an average of three years teaching. The Gradual Entry teachers were more likely to move from an urban school than the Accelerated Entry teachers. Further research is recommended about the influence of cohort size, salary, and field experience models on rates of efficacy, satisfaction, and retention. Recommendations for practice and policy include integrating coursework with field experience embedded into the k–12 school year, engaging school supervisors in selection and placement, strengthening seminars as study groups, training mentors, integrating seasoned peer teachers into program design, providing accountability training, and building bridges to leadership programs for aspiring alternate-route teachers.

Subject Area

School administration|Teacher education

Recommended Citation

Melia, Frank Joseph, "Alternate -route teacher certification and teacher efficacy, satisfaction, and retention in urban districts: A comparison of university programs" (2007). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3262845.