Alternative Education License – Online

Boost Your Skills in Reaching Vulnerable and Disengaged Learners

The 100% online Alternative Education license program is for Wisconsin teachers who wish to teach in alternative education programs in grades 6-12.  Those who complete this program will earn an Alternative Education add-on license, granted under Wisconsin DPI code 1952.   Learn from a passionate faculty who have committed their careers to understanding at-risk youth.

  • Take two summer courses, one starting in May and the other in July
  • 100% online
  • Earn 6 graduate-level credits
    • EDU 636 – Understanding Traditional & Non-Traditional Learners
    • EDU 638 – Effective School Research, What Works

The license program is for those not intending to complete a master’s degree using their active Wisconsin initial teaching license.  Participants must complete a small portfolio that includes three rubric scoring sheets from the two courses – four from competency-based education (CBE) projects and two from a paper covering Wisconsin teaching standards in alternative education.

Please visit the Master of Arts in Education At Risk and Alternative Education if you would prefer to earn your graduate degree.  As EDU 636 and EDU 638 are also part of the master’s program, credits earned in the license program will go toward your master’s degree if you choose this path in the future.

Earn Your License in Alternative Education – 100% Online

Alternative Education License Curriculum

This graduate-level program leads to an Alternative Education add-on license granted under Wisconsin DPI code 1952.

Academic Bulletin


Alternative Education License students will take these graduate-level courses (6 credits):

EDU 636 Understanding Alternative and Non-Traditional Learners 3 credits

This course is designed to assist both mainstream and alternative school educators to more effectively understand, assess, reach, and teach the increasing population of discouraged, difficult, and alternative learners. A major emphasis in the course is the discovery of how cultural, family, and societal issues can and do influence youth both outside and inside the school environment, and what alterations and adaptations educators may need to make to remain effective with the affected student.

EDU 638 Effective Schools’ Research: What Works 3 credits

This course examines how philosophy, classroom strategies, and known research may be combined into a team approach including students, parents, and other professionals to better meet the intellectual, personal, social needs of diverse populations of alternative learners at the classroom, building, and district levels. Special emphasis will be given to the effective schools body of research.

Reflective paper based on program learning outcomes and InTASC Teaching Standards.

Learning Outcomes

After completion of this program, candidates will:

  1. Design instruction effectively using a variety of instructional strategies and adapting instruction to encourage the development of critical thinking, problem solving and performance skills of all students. The candidate continually assesses for student learning and reflects on the instruction to improve future teaching and learning experiences.
  2. Identify educational questions or problems, review the literature, plan a research strategy, collect and analyze data, take action based on results and share their findings.
  3. Demonstrate how he/she has engaged in collaboration with parents, family members, professional colleagues, and community members to promote effective teaching and student learning.

Alternative Education Licensure Only (AELO – #952)

The mission of the Alternative Education Licensure Only (AELO) Program is to acknowledge the uniqueness in each child by providing candidates with the knowledge necessary to differentiate instruction and address the mismatch between the needs of children and the instruction and school services provided. The AELO Program believes the family, the community and the larger society is best served when each child’s potential within the parameters of the school system is naturally and affirmatively developed.

Professional Standards

International Society for Technology in Education 
ISTE Standards for Teachers 
ISTE-T Standards

InTASC Model Core Teaching Standards 
InTasc Standards 

Wisconsin Teacher Standards 
WI Teacher Standards

100% of our Alternative Education Licensure graduates are already employed in area schools and are seeking this additional license to work more effectively with students at risk.

Admission with full standing

To be admitted in full standing to the AELO program, applicants must have the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree in education or related area from a regionally or nationally accredited program;
  • A teaching license or evidence of eligibility to hold such a license; and A minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of at least 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) or a minimum GPA of 3.30 in the last 60 credits of their undergraduate program.

This is an add-on license to an initial teaching license in the State of WI. For out of state applicants, consult with the department of public instruction in your state.