A multiple case study exploring the relationship between teachers’ alternative certification experience and their self-efficacy in their first year of teaching.


Teacher preparation is at the forefront of educational policy. All over the country, teachers continue to protest because of the feeling of being overworked and underpaid (Ravitch, 2020). The country’s lowest-performing schools tend to gain the most underprepared and alternatively certified teachers (Hussar et al., 2020). Teachers often experience a low sense of self-efficacy, and attrition rates continue to rise in the profession. Preparing teachers to teach in low-income urban environments through alternative certification warrants more extensive study. Overall, this study explored critical components of teacher preparation programs in an effort to understand how these components impact preservice teachers’ self-efficacy and their success during their first year of teaching. The following study describes the feelings and perceptions of four first-year teachers in a city in Texas who were certified through an approved alternative certification program. The purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to understand the feelings and perceptions of first-year teachers and to explore the impact of their alternative certification experience on their self-efficacy. Through an a priori theoretical framework, this study utilized Bandura’s four sources of self-efficacy to describe the stories of four first-year teachers. This study created a link between components of alternative certification programs to the perceived effectiveness of first-year teachers. Observations, open-ended sentence stems, and interviews enabled me to collect data from four first-year teachers. This Problem of Practice found that teachers who experienced clinical internship during their alternative certification teaching program relied heavily on their mastery experiences within their first year of teaching regarding their self-efficacy. This Problem of Practice also found that teachers emotional and psychological traits played a strong role in a teachers perceived self-efficacy when clinical internship was absent from the alternative certification experience. Overall, this study examined the components of different alternative certification programs in regards to first-year teachers self-efficacy. Programs that included prolonged, structured clinical internships paired with culturally relevant pedagogy more positively impacted the teacher’s self-efficacy than those that did not include this component.



Alternative certification. Teaching. Self-efficacy.