For those who want to make a midcareer switch into teaching but don’t have a bachelor’s degree in education, there are alternative teaching certification programs offered by all 50 states and the District of Columbia. These programs have seen exponential growth in the past decade. About 62,000 teachers were certified through alternative routes in 2008 and 2009, which made up one third of all new teachers hired in the United States last year, says Emily Feistritzer, president of the National Center for Alternative Certification. She says there are 600 programs that implement these other paths for teacher certification across the country, and the majority require participants to pass the Praxis test to earn state certification. The programs cost on average between $5,000 and $6,000 and usually take two years to complete, Feistritzer says. One such program is the American Board for Certification of Teaching Excellence, which provides alternative teaching certificates accepted in nine states and was founded by a grant from the Department of Education. To complete the program, the participant must hold at least a bachelor’s degree and then pass a background check, as well as a professional teaching knowledge exam and a second exam in one of the program’s 10 different subject areas. The entire program, which generally takes eight to 10 months to complete, is offered through online workshops and videos, with the exams administered at local testing centers, says Mike Holden, an ABCTE spokesperson.