Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Mel Finkenberg


There is an increase in the popularity of alternative certification programs; however, some administrators are still reluctant to hire these graduates to teach within their schools. With the shortage of certified teachers in Mississippi, some school districts have no choice but to hire alternatively certified teachers. The purpose of this quantitative study was to determine if students taught by teachers trained in alternative teaching programs had significantly different changes in language arts scores on the Mississippi Curriculum Test 2 nd edition, as compared to fellow students who were taught by teachers trained in traditional teaching programs. Scores from the 2008--2009 Mississippi Curriculum Test 2nd edition were used for base line data. Scores from the 2009--2010 Mississippi Curriculum Test 2 nd edition were used to determine what degree of growth had taken place. The results were analyzed by using the educational software Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) to conduct independent t tests. Data are presented using descriptive statistics. Results of the t tests confirmed that students taught by both types of teachers had some degree of success. Seventh grade students who were taught by traditional route teachers showed the greatest amount of growth difference. With the continuing debate over teaching certification programs, studies such as this can help create social change by providing statistical evidence of the effectiveness shown by teachers certified through both programs. School officials can use these results to help in making hiring decisions of potential teacher candidates. The end result is to provide students with the best possible teacher regardless of certification type.