The Connecticut Office of Higher Education today announced the graduation of 91 new teachers from its 2019-2020 Alternative Route to Certification (ARC) program. The program provides teacher training in subject areas with a shortage of certified teachers, including Math, Science, Technology Education and World Languages. Since 2014, 92% of ARC students are employed after graduating from the program.
“Since it was created 33 years ago, the ARC program has been preparing teachers for jobs in hard-to-fill subject areas,” said Gov. Ned Lamont. “But the program is about much more than that. By providing a way for individuals with professional experience and training in these subject areas to bring that experience and training into the classroom, we are ensuring that Connecticut’s public school students are learning these subjects from some of the most highly qualified teachers in the nation. As a state, we can take pride in that. The graduates of 2019-20 will soon join those ranks. We welcome and congratulate them.”
A graduation ceremony had been scheduled to take place on Thursday, May 20, 2020 at the State Capitol but had to be canceled due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
“Though public health and social-distancing guidelines are preventing us from celebrating your accomplishment together this year, we want to congratulate ARC’s 2019-20 graduates on a job well done,” said Timothy Larson, Executive Director of the Office of Higher Education, he added, “In addition, this was the first year the Office of Higher Education offered a discount to Veterans and Military Families and we are proud that in its first year, eight percent of our graduates were military-connected. We look forward to continuing to build on this and encourage those who dedicated themselves to serving their country to bring that dedication and inspiration to Connecticut’s classrooms.”
The program runs from September through May and is held Saturdays on the campus of Goodwin College. Students take classes in subject-based methods, Common Core State Standards, classroom management, differentiated instruction, lesson and unit planning, assessment of student learning, special education and Section 504, English Language learners, and integrating technology in the classroom.
The program also includes observation of classrooms and working with team-trained cooperating teachers and ARC evaluators during their student practicum experience.
The Alternate Route to Certification (ARC) program was created as part of the Educational Enhancement Act of 1986 as one means of encouraging highly qualified adults to enter the teaching profession mid-career. It is run through the Connecticut Office of Higher Education and approved by the Connecticut State Board of Education. In 2001, a revision to state statues directed the ARC program to expand to provide a focus on subject shortage areas – these shortage areas are revised yearly.