Certification Only Programs

Acquiring a teaching certification is the first step on your journey as an educator. Relay provides a pragmatic and efficient alternative route to certification/ licensure that will strengthen your skills and confidence in the classroom

Relay offers one-year* alternative certification programs (also called alternate route certification in some states) that prepare novice teachers, career changers, and others in need of teaching certification to enter the classroom with confidence. You’ll develop the skills needed to help children grow and earn your state teaching credential.

This practical program is grounded in the theories and mindsets of successful teachers. Starting in the summer, you’ll learn the fundamentals of creating a positive classroom culture and receive coaching from faculty who are experienced PK-12 teachers. Throughout the program, you’ll build your skills and receive support preparing for certification exams. You’ll complete the program prepared to pass certification/licensure exams and continue your professional development as a teacher.

The Relay Advantage

With Relay's alternative certification programs for new and uncertified teachers, you will:

  • Complete prerequisites for state certification/licensure
  • Earn credits towards a master's degree
  • Learn from expert classroom educators
  • Take convenient classes while working full-time
Teacher with students at a desk, helping them with their work.

The Four Elements of Effective Instruction

Our curriculum focuses entirely on educational theories and practices that improve student learning in the classroom. The Teaching Certification curriculum centers around four elements of instruction:

  1. Content: Building subject knowledge
  2. Classroom Culture: Cultivating a fun and productive learning environment
  3. Self & Other People: Developing personal connections with students and families
  4. Teaching cycle: Creating high-quality lessons
Infographic for Student Growth and Achievement.

Our curriculum is delivered in a hybrid format, and the majority of assignments consist of video submissions of your teaching in action and authentic classroom work samples (e.g., lesson plans).

Building Foundational Skills

In this program, you’ll learn the basics of how to build relationships with students, families and colleagues; you’ll apply proven strategies for establishing a positive and productive classroom culture; you’ll learn teaching strategies specific to the grade levels and subject areas that you teach (e.g., high school biology); and you’ll develop skills in lesson planning and assessment design. You will also develop foundational knowledge and skills in data-driven instruction so that you can measure and track students' academic performance and character growth. In states that require a teaching demonstration as part of your certification requirements, you will be especially well prepared to excel on that portion of the exam.

Earning Your Teaching Credentials

The Teaching Certification program provides the prerequisite coursework and credits for state certification. However, candidates must take and pass state tests in order to receive a teaching credential. In most states, you will need to pass certification/licensure exams by the time you complete the program. Some certification exams are required before starting the program or during the course of the program. All candidates are encouraged to familiarize themselves with certification requirements in their state and complete exams and other requirements as soon as possible. Learn more about your specific state certification/licensure requirements and timelines on your campus page.

The Teaching Certification program curriculum parallels the first year of the Relay Master of Arts in Teaching. In most states, candidates who successfully complete a one-year Teaching Certification program will become eligible to join the Master of Arts in Teaching program for a second year, earning state certification and a master’s degree in just two years.


Explore the locations throughout the US where we offer our programs.

Get Started!

Complete our interest form to learn more about this program and the application process.