Program Prerequisites:

A valid driver license and five years of satisfactory driving experience or within state-recognized standards and administrative rules is required to enroll in the Program.


  • Course Description
  • Program Goals
  • Course Goals
  • Independant Laboratory Activity Goals

Courses will be taken within the following sequence to obtain ADTSEA sponsored certification/credentialing and involve nine (9) semester hours of classroom and laboratory instruction in driver education content and delivery methodology. The courses are designed on the basis of one semester hour is equivalent to 15 classroom hours, 30 laboratory hours of student involvement or a combination of the two. 

An introduction to the task of the driver within the highway transportation system (HTS) with emphasis on risk perception and management and decision-making skills will be offered as an initial course. This course is followed in sequence by learning activities that will prepare the prospective driver educator to conduct classroom and laboratory instruction, organize for learning to occur, maintain a learning environment and develop learning modules to conduct both types of instruction. These courses also include activities that will assist the driver educator in conducting driver performance enhancement activities. The courses may be subdivided into classroom and laboratory instruction phases to support and meet state agency standards and administrative rules.

The primary goal of this program is to provide quality driver education teacher preparation for either public or commercial (private) schools. States that currently have teacher preparation programs may adopt this system and participate. States or agencies that lack quality driver education teacher preparation can use this system to initiate a driver education teacher preparation program. The program also recognizes competence in achieving certain standards set by the American Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association and is endorsed by the Coalition for Road and Traffic Safety.

The three courses offered in this program were developed as the core of content and instructional methodology that every driver education teacher must know and/or perform. The classroom goal of these courses is to prepare driver education instructional staff that is capable of developing and assessing new driver performances to include:

Recognizing the general nature of the drivers’ task within the HTS and the consequences of system failures.

Applying risk management skills to the task of driving as a driver or passenger.

Applying the principles of perception to risk management when operating a motor vehicle.

Applying the techniques for managing risk when operating a motor vehicle over pre-selected on and off-street activities.

Recognizing physical, social and psychological influences that can affect motor vehicle operator performance.

Demonstrating concepts and generalizations which enable one to make objective decisions regarding the:

    use of alcoholic beverages and drugs.

    use of occupant restraints and protective devices.

    consequences of speed selection.

    consequences of fatigue, drowsy driving and road rage.

    environmental factors that influence the decision-making process.

    use of visual skills to obtain appropriate information to make reduced-risk decisions in low, moderate and high risk driving environments.

    management of time, space and visibility when operating a motor vehicle.

    interaction with other roadway users in a positive manner.

    demonstration of balanced vehicle movement.

    additional skills practice with parents/guardians/mentors.

    identification of laws, rules and regulations that govern the smooth movement of traffic.

    use of current methodologies for providing classroom instruction in driver education including organization, classroom management and technologies.

    use of current methodologies for providing in-car instruction in driver education including route development, giving directions, positive evaluation feedback and evaluating driver performance.

  • Identifying and supporting rules and regulations governing a state’s graduated driver licensing program that includes a strong educational component.

The laboratory goal of these courses is to prepare driver education instructional staff that is capable of developing and assessing new driver performances through:

  • A preliminary personal driving performance audit.
  • Arranged observation of in-car teaching techniques.
  • Arranged in-car techniques using off and on-street components.
  • Arranged observation of driver education classroom teaching techniques.
  • Arranged commentary driving laboratory training.
  • Arranged classroom-teaching experiences.
  • Arranged in-car practice teaching experiences.
  • Scheduled final personal driving assessment.



Although textbooks will be used and recommended throughout this coursework, prospective teachers are encouraged to update materials and use the most recent editions of textbooks available. Reference materials are encouraged for maintaining a personal or professional library. Please contact the ADTSEA web site for updated information to supplement the course outlines. Textbooks used in the program are:

Additional reference materials are used to supplement instruction. For a complete list, contact the ADTSEA national office.

Course Outlines:

Course outlines are designed to provide the backbone of the instructional materials presented. The course outlines are provided to establish the basis for curriculum and lesson plan development. The transparencies may be used to introduce topical concepts and ideas. All lesson outlines will need to be developed by the local agency to meet state and local requirements. When relevant, additional support materials will be made available and recommended for use within a topical area.

  • Driver Task Analysis
  • Developing Vehicle Operational Skills
  • Developing Classroom Knowledge

I. "Driver Task Analysis" – is designed to be the prerequisite to the other courses and give the prospective instructor the content knowledge and skills necessary to teach driver education.

    Classroom Sessions and Recommended Time Frames 

  • The task of the driver in the HTS, 6 hours
  • Personal factors influencing operator performance, 5 hours
  • Motor vehicles laws, regulations and their application, 3 hours
  • Managing risk within the HTS, 6 hours
  • Sensory perception and performance of the driving task, 7 hours
  • Improving driver performance, 5 hours
  • Motor vehicle performance capabilities, maintenance, 5 hours
  • Legal and moral obligations relative to using the HTS, 2 hours
  • Trip planning, 1 hour
  • Class assessments, 2 hours
  • Instructor flexible activities, 6 hours
  •    Laboratory Sessions and Recommended Time Frames
  • Preliminary driver performance audit, 1 hour
  • Traffic survey, 2 hours
  • Off-street activities, limited space and time, 2 hours

II. "Developing Vehicle Operational Skills" – is designed to provide the prospective driver education teacher with the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully conduct on-street instruction, provide a safe learning environment while doing so and evaluate new driver performance.

    Classroom Sessions and Recommended Time Frames

  • Class introduction, scheduling and grading, 2 hours
  • Risk management principles in simple driving situations, 2 hours
  • Factors that influence learning and habit development, 4 hours
  • Standards for driver performance, 2 hours
  • Laboratory learning environments, 2 hours
  • Planning and preparing for instructional performances and outcomes, 2 hours
  • Planning vehicle operational experiences, 2 hours
  • Planning off-street laboratory experiences, 2 hours
  • Planning on-street laboratory experiences, 2 hours
  • Techniques for student performance assessment, 2 hours
  • Involving mentors in the learning process, 2 hours
  • Local curriculum and program needs, 4 hours
  • Course assessments, 3 hours

    Laboratory Sessions and Recommended Time Frames

  • Off-street driving techniques observation, 2 hours
  • On-street driving techniques observation, 4 hours
  • Off-street lesson plan development, 4 hours
  • On-street lesson plan development, 4 hours
  • Off-street lesson presentation, 2 hours
  • On-street route development, 5 hours
  • On-street lesson presentation, 2 hours
  • Local curriculum and program needs, 2-4 hours

III. "Developing Classroom Knowledge" – is designed to provide the prospective driver education teacher with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide quality classroom instruction, successfully manage the classroom and provide for appropriate student evaluation.

    Classroom Sessions and Recommended Time Frames

  • Course introduction, scheduling and grading, 2 hours
  • Risk management principles in complex situations, 2 hours
  • Influencing learning and habit development, 3 hours
  • Standards of driver performance, 2 hours
  • Classroom learning environments, 2 hours
  • Preparing NHTSA goals and instructional outcomes, 4 hours
  • Planning for classroom experiences, 2 hours
  • Planning for computer-assisted instruction, 2 hours
  • Instructor characteristics and techniques, 4 hours
  • Planning for simulation-based instruction, 2 hours
  • Assessment of student performances, 1 hour
  • Course assessments, 2 hours
  • Planning for local curriculum and program needs, 2 hours
  • Classroom lesson plan development, 6 hours
  • Classroom lesson presentation, 12 hours

    Laboratory Sessions Recommended Time Frames

  • Classroom lesson observations, 4 hours
  • Final personal driving audit, 1 hour


Course Providers:

Course providers require training and ADTSEA certification to offer coursework for the National Driver Education Teacher Preparation and Recognition Program. "Driver Task Analysis" is a prerequisite for either or both of the other courses. "Developing Vehicle Operational Skills" and "Developing Classroom Knowledge" may be offered concurrently or in a sequence as required by state and local standards or administrative procedures.

The ADTSA-sponsored process in cooperation with the Coalition for Road and Traffic Safety is designed to meet the immediate needs for training and preparing instructional staff in driver education and not designed to replace organizations or agencies already providing the necessary training. Any agency, college or university is welcome to join in an effort to recognize certified instructors and provide a means for preparing new ones.