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Teaching and Educator Certificates in Connecticut

Connecticut offers several types and different levels of teacher certification. The state also has a few alternate paths you can follow to reach your desired goal. Most certifications have the same basic requirements, and each level of certification has additional requirements.

  

Basic Requirements

Connecticut educator preparation programs establish admission requirements that may go beyond state regulations. State regulations specify that all cansdidates admitted to an educator preparation program must meet minimum requirements.           

    • Complete a bachelor’s degree or higher degree and a state-approved planned program of general academic and professional education at a regionally accredited college or university.
    • All teachers in Connecticut are required to choose and fulfill requirements for a subject major in a particular subject field. Subject matter majors are required for credentials in elementary, secondary and all-level subjects education.
    • Teacher candidates are required to successfully complete professional course work in education that will lead to a degree and to certification.
    • Teacher candidates are required to fulfill professional fieldwork experiences in education.
    • All candidates applying for a Connecticut educator certificate must submit official transcripts verifying completion of the degree.
    • Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of B- in all undergraduate courses. Some programs may have higher standards, and some may waive the minimum GPA requirement.

Pass the Praxis I Pre-Professional Skills Tests, which measures basic reading, writing and math skills. The Praxis tests are designed to evaluate whether you have the academic skills necessary for a teaching career.

Initial Educator Certificate – Level 1

The first level of certification is the three-year initial educator certificate. This certificate is issued to applicants who meet all eligibility requirements.

    • Earn a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university.
    • Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of B- in all undergraduate courses.
    • Fulfill requirements for a subject matter major.
    • Successfully complete professional course work in education.
    • Participate in professional fieldwork experiences in education.
    • Submit official transcripts verifying completion of the degree.
    • Apply for a Connecticut educator certificate.
    • Pass the Praxis I Pre-Professional Skills Test.

           
Instead of a planned teacher preparation program, you may apply for certification if you have met all coursework and testing requirements and completed 20 school months of successful teaching or service under a valid certificate in the same public school or in an approved nonpublic school.

Provisional Educator Certificate – Level 2

The provisional educator certificate is valid for eight years. To qualify for the provisional educator certificate, an applicant must fulfill all preparation and eligibility requirements for the initial educator certificate, including tests, in the endorsement areas requested.

Earn a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university.
Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of B- in all undergraduate courses.

    • Fulfill requirements for a subject matter major.
    • Successfully complete professional course work in education.
    • Participate in professional fieldwork experiences in education.
    • Submit official transcripts verifying completion of the degree.
    • Apply for a Connecticut educator certificate.
    • Pass the Praxis I Pre-Professional Skills Test.           
    • Complete ten months of successful experience under the initial educator certificate in a Connecticut public school.

Successfully complete the Beginning Educator Support and Training (BEST) program.

Or

Complete 30 months of successful experience in a public school system or an approved nonpublic school.

 

Professional Educator Certificate – Level 3

The professional educator certificate is valid for five years. To qualify, an applicant must complete certain requirements.

    • Complete 30 school months of successful experience in a Connecticut public or approved nonpublic school under the provisional educator certificate.
    • Complete additional course requirements prescribed by the Connecticut certification regulations.
    • The professional educator certificate requires you to complete 9 continuing education units (CEUs) during the five-year period in which you work under your professional educator certificate.

 

A change in Connecticut educator statutes may have an impact on the ability of some teachers to advance from the provisional to the professional educator certification level. As of July 2016, 30 semester hours of graduate coursework will be required to advance teaching certificates to the professional level. Undergraduate coursework will no longer be accepted.

Certification Based on Subject Area Assessment Excellence Scores

Candidates for certification in specific academic shortage areas may be allowed to substitute attaining an excellence score on a State Board of Education approved subject area assessment, in lieu of a subject area major or required subject area coursework.

Eligibility Based On Teaching Experience

Educators who have completed two school years of full-time teaching in the grade level and subject appropriate to the certificate requested may waive the planned program requirement.

    • All coursework, degree, testing and experiential requirements must still be fulfilled.
    • To obtain Connecticut teacher certification based on teaching experience, educators must meet certain conditions.
    • Documentation of at least 20 school months of successful full-time teaching in one approved nonpublic school OR one out-of-state public school under a valid certificate.
    • Passage of Praxis I Pre-Professional Skills Tests and
    • Praxis II Subject-Knowledge Tests in fields where tests are required.
    • Complete all general academic coursework and professional education at regionally accredited colleges or universities.

           
Alternate Route to Teacher Certification in Connecticut

           
Alternate teacher certification programs were created to attract mid-career adults, substitutes, paraprofessionals, and independent school teachers into the teaching profession, especially in subjects that have a shortage of teachers. Admission is competitive and requires specific application criteria and a minimum of a bachelor's degree with an academic major in the subject you want to teach.

Alternative programs are available for attaining a certificate to teach Early Childhood Education, to become certified as Literacy Specialists in Reading and Language Arts and, for previously certified teacher, an alternate route leading to a certificate in Comprehensive Special Education.