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Rhode Island corps members will receive their certification through a partnership with Rhode Island College. Please see additional information below.

Becoming Certified to Teach

Alternative Route Preliminary Certificate

Teach For America Rhode Island is currently the only approved Alternative Certification Program in the state of Rhode Island. You can read more about program completers and the percent hired after program completion here and here. Additionally, you can read more about Teach For America Rhode Island’s program in our Performance Report, where we were approved by the Rhode Island Department of Education for 5 years with no conditions. You can read our full report here

Corps members who successfully complete the summer institute, pass their required PRAXIS and secure a teaching position will be granted an Alternate Route Preliminary Certificate (ARPC) by the Rhode Island Department of Education. This one-year certificate was created to allow outstanding individuals the opportunity to teach while participating in an alternate route certification program. Upon completion of year-round coursework during your first year of teaching, participation in regional programming, support from your principal, and additional testing and other program requirements, you will receive the full teacher certification in June of the following year.

Certification Coursework Through Rhode Island College

The partnership with Rhode Island College (RIC) was developed with input from 2010 and 2011 corps members and is taught by professors from RIC. During the year, corps members take four or five courses that lead to initial certification as either an elementary teacher for grades 1-6 or a secondary teacher for grades 7-12 in a specific content area (math or biology, for example).

Secondary corps members may also be certified in special education if they are hired into a special education role.

If you are assigned to a middle school or ESL placement you will apply for an emergency permit and have to take additional coursework during the summer after your first year through a local university.

Certification classes meet weekly and cover the following topics: curriculum and assessment, teaching literacy across the curricula, education for all students, and integrating theory and methods.

If you are assigned to a middle school or ESL placement you may have to take additional course work during the summer after your first year through a local university.

Rhode Island Department of Education

Once a year the Rhode Island Department of Education publishes an index on teacher preparation programs. For the latest, please see here.

Graduate School

There are three options available for obtaining a master’s degree in Rhode Island

Brown University

Offers a part-time, two-year program for corps members to obtain a master's degree in urban education policy (UEP). This program starts between year one and year two of teaching and many corps members choose to continue teaching for a third year as they finish the UEP program. The program admits a number of corps members each year and offers several benefits, including 25 percent discounted tuition, a reduced course load, and the potential for additional partial or full scholarships. Learn more.

Providence College

Offers a master's degree in urban teaching that begins in the summer prior to your second year of teaching and can be completed in one to two years. Learn more.

Rhode Island College

Offers an individualized master's degree in education that can be tailored toward a corps member’s specific interests. Several corps members pursue this option each year as all of their coursework from their certification classes is included in this degree. Thus, they are able to finish this degree by the end of their two year commitment. Learn more.

TFA Training

The summer before you begin teaching you will experience a variety of training experiences through Teach For America.


Toward the end June, you will come to Rhode Island for an orientation called induction. During induction, you will get to know your new home state! Over the course of five days you will begin to understand the complexities of the education system and the history of inequity in Rhode Island. Additionally you will begin self-identity development through affinity spaces and sharing your story of self. You will draw in closer community with corps members and staff. After completing induction, you and your fellow corps members will head right to institute.


Institute is a six week learning experience through Teach For America. Rhode Island corps members travel to Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for institute with corps members from other regions including Connecticut, Baltimore, and Delaware. All corps members must participate in institute in order to be prepared for teaching and to earn your alternative certificate through the Rhode Island Department of Education. While at institute, corps members learn teaching pedagogy, culturally responsive teaching, classroom management best practice, and engage in students teaching.


Following institute, corps members engage in a ten-day training to gear up for the first eight weeks of the school year. Unit planning, vision setting, and assessment creation are all topics of kickoff. Corps members will have the opportunity to learn, workshop, and engage to be a transformational leader for students from the first day. Kickoff training varies from corps member to corps member depending on hiring, but all corps member should expect to be in additional training through mid-August.


Here are the coaches for this region that will support you during the crops. We call them Managers of Teacher Leadership Development or (MTLD).

Elizabeth “Liz” Laguerre

Michael “Mike” Northup