|This research study sought to identify perceived barriers in online career and technical alternative certification and specialty area certification in the state of Alabama. The study was further conducted to determine why alternatively certified career and technical education teachers choose to leave the teaching profession entirely. Frequencies, means, and standard deviations were analyzed to determine if the preparation or lack thereof in alternative career and technical education certification programs affects one’s desire to stay or leave the teaching profession.
The descriptive study was conducted through a Qualtrics developed online survey. Approximately 467 emails were sent, and 112 participants responded. Only 99 of these responses were considered valid, yielding a 21% rate of response. Demographic results suggested that the typical alternatively certified career and technical education teacher in the state of Alabama were over 30 years of age, white, and hold a level 5 specialty area teaching certificate which is the equivalent to a Masters degree.
Time with family, retirement and insurance benefits, and fulfillment of further education were among the factors influencing online course work to achieve alternative or specialty area certification noted in the survey. Results indicated that more time to work on coursework and being able to enroll in courses more frequently were the most important variables in online career and technical alternative certification programs. Monetary issues was considered the number one barrier in pursuing online coursework to achieve alternative certification. Paperwork including business and industry certification were noted as the greatest contributor to career and technical teacher attrition.