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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 our local RI Summer Practicum, 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, recommendation from your building 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).

The region supports a yearly cohort of secondary corps members in special education roles. If you are interested in supporting this incredibly important and hard-to-fill placement, let us know. We are happy to help you pursue certification as a special education teacher. 

Providence and the greater Providence metropolitan area is home to a growing community of immigrant families from around the world. In fact, the students and families of Providence Public Schools speak 55 different languages and hail from 91 countries of origin. Many Teach For America Rhode Island corps members support our incredible community of multilingual learners, and support students as they learn English as a second language (ESL). If you are interested in supporting students in ESL and are placed in an ESL or dual language classroom, we will support you in applying for an emergency permit and help you map out a pathway to full ESL certification, if you would like to complete the pathway. This will likely include taking additional coursework during the summer after your first year through a local university. You do not need to complete the ESL pathway to fulfill your corps commitment, and we are happy to support you through a process that does not require you to take additional coursework if that is what you prefer. The same process is true for candidates who are interested in teaching middle school (grades 6-8).

Your certification classes with Rhode Island College meet weekly and cover educational topics including curriculum and assessment, teaching literacy across the curricula, education for all students, and integrating theory and methods.

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.

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 a variety of graduate school options available for obtaining a master’s degree in Rhode Island. We currently have a formal partnership with two institutes of higher education in which corps members can earn their Master’s. 

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 here.

Rhode Island College

Offers an individualized master's degree in education that can be tailored toward a corps member’s specific interests in the education sector. Many 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 here.

Pre-Service Training

Prior to our teachers’ first day in the classroom, TFA Rhode Island commits to providing Pre-Service training to develop their skills as leaders that advance students’ academic and personal growth. Teach For America’s Pre-Service program takes place over five phases, beginning with Launch in May and extending through the teachers’ first 90 days of teaching in the fall. The program aims to develop teachers as anti-racist teacher leaders, prepare teachers to provide students with a high-quality education, and equip teachers to pursue a lifetime commitment to advancing educational equity and excellence. 

Over the course of Pre-Service, corps members will engage in a combination of independent (asynchronous) and group-based (synchronous) learning experiences aligned to the four domains of learning. Asynchronous experiences will be a combination of modular learning (a self-contained portion of learning), discussion boards, debrief experiences, while the synchronous learning experiences will be grounded in collective application and practice. Corps members will do things like plan and rehearse lessons, participate in group discussions, watch videos and models of teaching, and learn new materials through collaborative adult learning experiences. Additionally, corps members will be teaching students in one of our local partner’s summer school programs during Practicum. 

In-Service Training

Throughout the year, teachers receive leadership development coaching from Teach For America’s regional staff, community leaders, and community partners and teachers participate in ongoing professional development opportunities.