One local university is streamlining the process of certifying teachers who don't have a background in education.
The goal is to help get more teachers in the classroom. This is a problem schools across the state have had in the last few years.
Oklahoma Christian's "Academy of Alternative Certification" offers the two classes every candidate needs to become alternatively certified in a shortened, online format.
Alternative certification is different than emergency certification, but requires candidates to be approved by the State Board of Education and then take a certain amount of college credit hours.
The two courses offered at Oklahoma Christian's academy are meant to work around busy schedules of candidates who may already have a job. "We have had students coming out of corporate positions because they really just want to support their community," said Director of Student Teaching Dr. Allison Cassady. "We've had stay at home moms seeking alternative certification and everything in between."
"We jumped in with some one hour online courses to help meet that needs for these people. Its going to be more flexible for them," said Chair of the School of Education Darin Martin.
The two classes are each $1,500 and take, in total, 14 weeks to complete.
Dr. Cassady said the need for this type of course was really shown through the amount of people in the state trying to get emergency certified and the teacher shortage.
The program started just after the new year and the amount of people enrolled doubled expectations.
"We anticipated our first cohort to be approximately 20, we were hoping to get 20, and we ended up and we ended up with 45, " said Dr. Cassady. "So that tells us there is a very very big need for this shortened format course where students can get the information and take it to the field and apply it immediately."
Those interested can learn more about the program by heading to Oklahoma Christian University's official website.