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Educator and Teaching Certification in Delaware

Anyone who wants to become a teacher in Delaware must follow specific steps that are prescribed according to each applicant’s experience and education. Which path a teacher takes to be licensed or credentialed by the Delaware Department of Education depends upon the chosen grade level and subject matter.

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General requirements for all prospective teachers in Delaware include the following:

    • Register on-line through the Delaware Educator Data System (DEEDS).
    • Apply for licensure and certification through the Delaware Educator Data System.
    • Pass the Praxis I Pre-Professional Skills Test or provide passing scores for acceptable alternatives.
    • Send official transcripts and test scores to the Delaware Department of Education.

If you are an aspiring teacher seeking a Delaware educator license or certificate for the first time, you must start by enrolling in an educator preparation program. The Delaware Department of Education requires educator preparation programs to meet specific criteria. Each program:

    • Must be an initial educator or certificate-yielding program;
    • Must be offered by a regionally accredited four-year college or university;
    • Must be accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education or the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification; and
    • Must be in a subject area or grade level in which the State of Delaware offers a teaching certificate.
    • This non-renewable Initial License is valid for three years, unless it is revoked.

Elementary Teacher

    • The Delaware Department of Education will issue an Initial License to a new applicant who submits evidence of:
    • Receiving a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited 4-year college or university; and
    • Completing a student teaching program;

or

    • One year of teaching experience consisting of a minimum of 91 days of long-term teaching experience at one assigned school;

or

    • Enrolling in a course of study that has been designated as an Alternative Routes to Licensure and Certification program; and

    • Providing proof of a passing score on the PRAXIS I or another state-approved general knowledge exam that tests essential skills in reading, writing and mathematics.

In addition to the Initial License, applicants who plan to teach grades K to 6 must apply for a Standard Certificate. This is a credential certifying and verifying that a teacher has the appropriate knowledge, skill and education to teach their chosen subject, area or category of students. Additional requirements must be met if supplementary criteria are required by a specific regulation in the area for which a Standard Certificate is sought.

Once the Initial License has been granted, new license holders are required to participate in Department of Education prescribed and offered professional development activities, including mentoring.


Middle Level Teacher Certification

The Delaware Department of Education will issue an Initial License to a new applicant who:

    • Receives a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited 4-year college or university; and
    • Completes a student teaching program;
      or
    • Completes one year of teaching experience consisting of a minimum of 91 days of long-term teaching at one assigned school;
      or
    • Enrolls in a program designated as one of Delaware’s Alternative Routes to Licensure and Certification; and
    • Provides proof of a passing score on the PRAXIS I or another state-approved general knowledge exam that tests essential skills in reading, writing and mathematics.

To become a Middle Level School educator in Delaware, prospective sixth, seventh and eighth grade teachers who have already been granted an initial license must also obtain the Standard Certificate for a Middle Level Teacher. The Middle School certification designates a specific academic field, such as Language Arts, Social Studies, Mathematics and Science.

In lieu of the Standard Certificate for a Middle Level Teacher, the Secondary School Teacher Certification can also be used for teaching the same subject in grades 6, 7 and 8.
Secondary School Teacher Certification

The Delaware Department of Education will issue an Initial License to a new applicant who submits evidence of:

    • Receiving a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited 4-year college or university; and
    • Completing a student teaching program;
      or
    • One year of teaching experience including a minimum of 91 days of long-term teaching experience at an assigned school; or
    • Enrolling in a program designated as one of the Alternative Routes to Licensure and Certification; and
    • Passing the PRAXIS I or another state-approved general knowledge exam that tests essential skills in reading, writing and mathematics.
    • After a prospective Secondary School teacher has received an Initial License from the State of Delaware, the next step is to acquire the Standard Certificate necessary to become a single subject High School Teacher. This certification is required to teach grades 9 to 12.

Secondary school teachers can also use their Standard Certificate in lieu of the Standard Middle Level certificate to teach the same subject to grades 6 through 8.
Multiple Certificates

Middle Level and Secondary teachers may apply for and hold certificates in more than one subject area. Educators who want two or more Standard Certificates must meet the qualifications for each additional single subject certificate.

Teachers from Out-of-state

Delaware may issue a Standard License to teachers who hold a current and valid teaching license or certificate from another state. Out-of-state educators who are fully licensed are not required to take the Praxis I test.
Alternative Routes to Teacher Licensure and Certification Program
The Delaware Department of Education can issue an Initial License to a qualified candidate who participates in and successfully completes an Alternative Routes to Teacher Licensure and Certification program. The conditional license is valid for no more than three years.

To receive this Initial License from the state of Delaware the candidate must also complete successfully a minimum of one of the following education requirements:

    • Hold a Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university in a coherent major, or its equivalent; and Complete a minimum of 30 credit hours in the chosen instructional field;
      or
    • Hold a Bachelor's Degree from a regionally accredited college or university in any content area and be enrolled in the Teach For America program; and
    • Complete all pre-service requirements for the Teach For America program.