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An Overview of ARC

Connecticut's Alternate Route to Certification Program ARC, as it is commonly known, prepares talented, well-educated adults to become certified as teachers in Connecticut public schools. ARC was created in 1986 by the Connecticut state legislature to encourage mid-career adults with strong subject area backgrounds to become teachers. Today ARC also focuses on helping Connecticut address teacher shortages in specific subject areas.

ARC is authorized by the Connecticut State Department of Education to prepare individuals to become certified as teachers in Connecticut. The program is not credit-bearing and is offered under the auspices of the Office of Higher Education.

Over its 23-year history, ARC has prepared more than 4,400 teachers. The average ARC student is 40 years-old. Each applicant must already have earned a bachelor’s degree; however, on average, more than 65 percent of ARC students have earned master’s or doctoral degrees. ARC teachers bring a wide variety of work experience and life experience to classrooms across the state. Admission to the ARC Program is highly competitive. On average, the admission rate is 30-50 percent depending on the number of applicants in a subject area.

ARC graduates are teaching in schools across Connecticut, and many have been honored for their teaching. Connecticut’s 2007 Teacher of the Year is an ARC graduate, class of 2001. Since 2007, at least 35 others have been named building and/or district teacher of the year and have been selected for the Presidential Award in Mathematics and Science, fellowships and other honors. Still others have become district and school administrators and consultants.

The ARC Program is very demanding because it is so time-condensed. ARC runs two different program cycles each year. ARC I is a nine and one half week summer program that is full-time, five days a week, eight hours a day from June to August. ARC II is a weekend program that runs from October through May. Weekend classes meet on average three out of every four weekends each month, with classes held on Friday night and all day Saturday. Faculty members are exemplary public school teachers and scholars from Connecticut public schools, colleges and universities.

The subjects and grade levels offered vary from ARC I to ARC II. Consult the table on page 3 of the catalog for a list of areas offered in each program cycle. Also, note that ARC reserves the right not to offer preparation in a subject area if sufficient numbers of qualified applicants are not available. If a subject area cannot be offered, the application fee for those who applied for that subject will be refunded.

Mission Statement

The mission of Connecticut's Alternate Route to Certification Program is to provide a time-condensed pathway to teaching credentials for adults who have a strong desire to become teachers and who possess strong academic and content backgrounds as well as a wide array of life and professional experiences. ARC is designed to support adult learning styles.

Dispositions for Teaching

Teacher preparation programs are required to identify the dispositions for teaching that will be the foundation for all aspects of their programs. According to the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, dispositions for teaching are those values, commitments, and professional ethics that influence behaviors toward students, families, colleagues and communities and affect student learning, motivation, and development as well as the educators own professional growth. A teacher preparation program should reflect these dispositions. Thus, during the admission process, ARC looks for applicants who most strongly reflect its six dispositions for teaching, which are:

  1. Effective teachers have a passion for teaching that makes them committed to being the best teachers possible.
  2. Effective teachers believe that all children can learn and thus a quality education should be accessible to all children.
  3. Effective teachers possess a positive, caring attitude towards all children and recognize that children learn in many different ways.
  4. Effective teachers respect and appreciate diversity among their students, colleagues and the community at large.
  5. Effective teachers are committed to their own continued learning so that they can become even more effective teachers.
  6. Effective teachers believe that educators must be committed to and exhibit the highest levels of moral and ethical behavior.

Program Components

Once an applicant is accepted into ARC, he/she will be expected to complete the following four major components of the program:

Component 1: Pre-Program Activities

  1. Orientation – A mandatory orientation session is required of all students and is usually held one month prior to the start of the program. At the orientation session, students are given assignments that must be completed prior to beginning the program.
  2. Pre-Program Observation – Each student must spend two days in a school observing teachers in the subject and at the grade level which the student is planning to teach. Each student must complete a reflective journal based on this observation. One observation must be at the high school level, and another at the middle school level.
  3. Pre-Program Reading and Writing - Students are required to complete a series of readings that focus on the philosophy of education, and a written assignment in response to the readings.

Component 2: Program Activities

  1. Core Sessions - Large-group workshops/presentations are used to provide the foundations of education and to cover topics that all teachers of all subjects must understand. These presentations focus on areas of teacher preparation that are mandated by state statute or the regulations of the State Department of Education. Educational experts present/facilitate these sessions.
  2. Methods Classes - The methods classes are subject-specific and have a strong focus on planning instruction, instructional methodology, classroom management and assessing student learning.

Component 3: Clinical Experiences

  1. Pre-Program Observation - See Pre-Program Activities above.
  2. Micro-Teaching - Each student must present mini-lessons in the methods class to practice skills and timing. Some of these exercises are videotaped. Peer and instructor feedback provide guidance for the presenting student. 
  3. Student Teaching – Each student in the ARC Program must complete a combined field experience and student teaching requirement that will take five weeks per the final placement arrangements. The student works with a cooperating teacher in a school district and is observed and evaluated by that teacher and a supervisor from the ARC Program. The time frame for student teaching can be found on pages 3 and 16. Effective July 1, 2010, please note that school districts now require that all student teachers be fingerprinted before student teaching can begin. The ARC student will be responsible for paying for the fingerprinting and background checks, and background checks must be completed within 30 days prior to the student teaching experience. Also note that ARC cannot guarantee that a student teaching placement will be close to the ARC student’s town of residence.

Component 4: Initial Teaching Position

Students who successfully complete the ARC Program are eligible to receive a Temporary 90-Day Certificate from the State Department of Education once they have secured a teaching position in a public school. The 90-day certificate provides the opportunity for ARC graduates to be employed in a district while receiving additional support to help them make the transition to teaching. The district is required by state regulations to provide a special plan of supervision for the ARC-prepared teacher.  ARC also provides a coach to help the teacher make the transition and who plays no role in the evaluation of the teacher. 

Program Schedule & Offerings

The table below provides information about when and where the ARC Program is offered and which subjects are taught in each session.

Applicants should note that attendance is carefully monitored during the ARC Program because ARC is so time-condensed. Students can be excused only due to extraordinary circumstances such as serious illness or family emergency. Applicants to the ARC I Summer Program also should note that the Program begins in early June, and students must be prepared to begin the Program on the first day. Applicants to the ARC II Weekend Program should note that five weeks of full-time student teaching and field experience (Monday through Friday) are required of each ARC student.

All applicants should carefully review the Program calendar in this catalog to assure their availability for the entire Program, including the required orientation program.

It is strongly recommended that ARC I applicants not be employed during the duration of the summer program due to the intensity of the requirements and student teaching. ARC reserves the right to not offer a subject area if there are not sufficient qualified candidates to fill a class.

 

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