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