Alternative pathway to licensure

You’ve earned your bachelor’s degree, worked in the professional field, then felt the call to the classroom.

The State of Ohio has developed a way for you to obtain an alternative teaching license. Bluffton has been approved by the Ohio Department of Higher Education to provide coursework and experiences for this alternate pathway to the classroom.

Step 1

Complete the Alternative Resident Educator Institute, which consists of six courses (seven for the intervention specialist alternative license.) This is completed in classes on Bluffton’s campus and could be finished in one semester.

For approval of the alternative four-year resident educator license you must:

  1. Hold a bachelor's degree with at least a 2.5 GPA 
  2. Complete Ohio Department of Education Alternative Evaluation Request Application
  3. Submit passing scores on the required Ohio Assessment for Educators (OAE) content assessment(s)
  4. Be admitted to Bluffton University
  5. Complete the required Bluffton Alternative Resident Educator Institute coursework with at least a C in each class
  6. Have positive recommendations from the Academic Dean, Dean of Students, major department chair and the director of the educator preparation program
  7. Submit complete and clear background checks (not older than 365 days)

You may teach for four years with the alternative license.

Step 2

Additional courses through the Professional Development Institute, also available through Bluffton, must be taken within four years to earn a professional license. These courses can be completed in one year and are all available online or through video conferencing.

If you already hold an alternative license, you may begin your studies at Bluffton with the Professional Development Institute.

For approval of the five-year professional educator license you must:

  1. Hold an alternative four-year license (copy of the license must be on file with the EPP and the ODE)
  2. Successfully complete all components of the Ohio Resident Educator Program
  3. Have four years of successful teaching experience under the alternative resident educator license. (The candidate must upload a letter on district letterhead signed and dated by the employing superintendant or human resourses director during the application process. The letter must state the grade levels and subjects taught during each year of employment.)
  4. Submit passing score on the required Ohio Assessment for Educators (OAE) professional knowledge assessment
  5. Be admitted to Bluffton University
  6. Successfully complete all Bluffton online modules
  7. Successfully complete the required Bluffton Professional Development Institute coursework with at least a B in each class.

In Ohio, the alternative resident educator license is an accelerated pathway to classroom teaching. This pathway allows students, schools and communities to benefit from the candidates' content-related knowledge, life experience and successful career experience.  Ohio students can benefit from the rich knowledge base and successful career and life experiences of content experts in a variety of teaching fields.  As Ohio focuses on assuring a high-quality teacher in every classroom, it is important that a wide range of professionals are invited to bring their talents and expertise into our schools.
(ODE website)

More information about state requirements for the alternative resident educator license

If you are interested in information about the alternative license pathway at Bluffton University, please contact Dr. Gayle Trollinger, Director of Educator Preparation ( 

Course requirements

Alternative Resident Educator Institute

Professional Development Institute