Teacher Certification in Idaho, ID

In an ongoing attempt to improve its education system, Idaho has instituted a program called “Students Come First,” a comprehensive plan to educate more students at a higher level on limited resources. Students will benefit, and teachers will be rewarded for excellence and innovation. Idaho will no longer use seniority as the primary criterion for determining teacher layoffs. The state encourages people who want to teach to consider Idaho certification and licensing programs. Whether you follow a traditional route or an alternative path, Idaho is committed to educating and hiring high quality teachers to instruct students in over 700 public schools, including charter schools and online public schools

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Becoming a Teacher

All applicants for a teaching certificate in Idaho must have earned a bachelor’s degree. Applicants for initial Idaho teacher who have a bachelor’s degree and who have completed an Idaho-approved teacher education program are required to demonstrate competency in literacy and technology. Future teachers must successfully complete an assessment conducted by an Idaho approved teacher educations program measures skills and knowledge for teaching the best literacy practices for elementary or secondary students. In addition, all applicants must demonstrate proficiency in technology skills and practices relevant for enhancing classroom management and instruction by passing one of three tests that are give at in-state institutions of higher education.

Teacher Education Programs

In order to issue official teacher certifications, schools, colleges, the Idaho State Board of Education must accredit universities or other teacher training institutions. Approved teacher education programs combine curricula and fieldwork. Teacher education offers students coursework and skills to prepare them to create and effectively present learning activities in their chosen field of study. A curriculum for teachers includes courses that focus on knowledge, skills and pedagogy — the art and science of teaching. Fieldwork includes student teaching, internships and field observations.

Who and What to Teach

Elementary Level Teachers
To become an elementary school teacher, you must complete general education requirements at an accredited college or university. In addition you must fulfill professional education core requirements, including a set number of credit hours in philosophical, psychological and methodological basis and the professional subject matter of elementary education. This includes a certain number of credit hours in developmental reading as it applies to your content area.

You are required to complete a specific number of hours of elementary school student teaching or two years of satisfactory experience teaching grades K-8. To document this, submit an institutional recommendation from an accredited college or university or verification of two years of teaching experience in grades kindergarten through eight.

Each candidate also has to meet or exceed the state qualifying score on approved elementary content area and teaching assessments.

Secondary Level Teachers

The Idaho standard secondary certificate makes an individual eligible to teach in grades six through twelve. A Secondary Certificate may be issued to any person who has a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and who completes all professional education core requirements. These include a set minimum number of credit hours in the philosophical, psychological and methodological foundations of instructional technology and the professional subject matter of secondary education, including reading in the content area.

Also required are a prescribed number of credit hours of secondary student teaching or two years of satisfactory experience as a teacher in grades six through twelve.

Applicants must complete preparation in at least two fields of secondary teaching. Preparation of a prescribed number of credit hours in a single subject area may be accepted instead of the first or second teaching field requirements.

An applicant must provide an institutional recommendation from an accredited college or university or supply verification of two years of teaching experience in grades six through twelve.

In addition to documenting proficiency in all required areas, each candidate must take the Praxis II assessment and receive a qualifying score for an approved content area assessment corresponding with the subject to be specified on the teacher’s standard secondary certificate.

Routes to Certification

Initial Certificate or Credential in Idaho

An Initial Certificate or Credential was created for teachers who have at least bachelor’s degree and who have successfully completed an approved teacher preparation program in Idaho. Applicants are required to submit an application packet that includes the credential certification fee, a completed and signed application form and documentation proving that the applicant has cleared the fingerprinting and background investigation check.

An applicant must submit official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended and an official assessment score sheet or notarized photocopy showing successful passage of the Praxis II tests. An applicant who has less than two years of experience as a certified professional must include an Institutional Recommendation form for educators.

Upon completion and submission of the above-listed items along verification that all requirements for certification have been met, the applicant qualifies for an initial standard Idaho certificate/credential that is issued for five (5) years.

Idaho Interim Certificate

Out of State

The State Department of Education may issue a three-year interim certificate to those applicants who hold a valid certificate or license from another state that participates in the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Interstate Agreement. The interim certificate is nonrenewable except under extenuating circumstances.

All Idaho teachers working on interim certificates, alternate routes or coming from out of the state, completion of a state-approved Idaho Comprehensive Literacy Course is a one-time requirement for full certification.

Out-of-state applicants will be reviewed by the hiring district for technology deficiencies and may be required to enroll in technology courses to better their technology skills.

Foreign Institutions

An educator who has graduated from a foreign institution listed as an accredited degree-granting Institution of Postsecondary Education and who has a valid/current teaching certificate/license from the country or province in which the foreign institution is located, may be issued a non-renewable, three-year interim certificate. The applicant must also complete additional Idaho state requirements.

Alternative Routes

There are a number of non-traditional routes you can take toward qualifying for a teaching certification. No matter what route you choose, all applicants for an Idaho Teaching Certificate must first hold a bachelor’s degree.

Interim Certificate/Credential for Computer-Based Candidates

The state of Idaho officially recognizes the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) certification as a route to earning your Idaho teacher certification. The ABCTE is a computer-based program that provides a non-traditional path to enter the teaching profession or to add additional certificates to an already existing Idaho teaching credential. This program is more affordable for some candidates who can study at their own pace and on their own time, using a variety of resources. Certification is offered in a variety of subject areas and ABCTE can provide a customized study plan for each candidate.

When the ABCTE process has been completed, the candidate may apply for an Idaho credential/certificate issued by the State Department of Education. The successful applicant will then be issued a three-year Idaho interim credential/certificate, which will allow time for meeting the additional Idaho requirements necessary to qualify for a standard Idaho teaching certificate.

Applicants must also fulfill additional requirements and are asked to:

  • submit a notarized photocopy of your original American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) certificate.
  • complete the state-mentoring program for ABCTE candidates
  • meet the Idaho Comprehensive Literacy requirement
  • undergo an Idaho State Department of Education criminal history check, including fingerprinting, before you can work in a classroom.

If you have passed the ABCTE test, you are not required to take the Praxis test, however if you apply for additional certificates through traditional teacher education programs, you will be required to pass a Praxis II Test.

Interim certificate holders may apply for a standard five-year credential/certificate after meeting Idaho’s statutory requirements. The applicant is then eligible to work in an Idaho school under a mentor teacher in the certificated or endorsed subject area or grade level specified on the interim certificate. Mentoring should start during the three-year interim certificate in order qualify for the five-year Idaho certificate.

More information about computer-based alternative route toward becoming an Idaho educator can be found at:

Post-Baccalaureate Alternate Route

The State Board of Education authorizes the State Department of Education to issue certificates and endorsements to individuals meeting the specific requirements.

Candidates must possess a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college, university or other accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or Council of Higher Education Accreditation.

Candidates must meet the entrance requirements prescribed by the teacher preparation institution to be attended. This alternate route does not allow a candidate to teach while completing the program.

Candidates must provide evidence of at least three assessments to verify content competency, including:

  • successful completion of a required rubric-driven portfolio to demonstrate the candidate’s competency of the Idaho- approved beginning teacher standards;
  • successful completion of an approved student teaching internship program, with recommendations from supervisors and cooperating instructors;
  • meeting or exceeding the State Board of Education qualifying score(s) for required Praxis II assessment(s);
  • undergoing and clearing a criminal history check, including fingerprinting.

Candidates who successfully meet the requirements must submit a program recommendation signed by the teacher preparation supervisor to the State Department of Education to be considered for an initial Idaho certification.

  • http://www.sde.idaho.gov/site/teacher_certification/initial_cert_cred.htm
  • http://www.sde.idaho.gov/site/teacher_certification/cert_cred.htm
  • http://www.abcte.org/teach/idaho
  • http://www.sde.idaho.gov/site/teacher_certification/abcte_cert_cred.htm
  • http://www.abcte.org/how-we-help/teacher-certification
  • http://www.sde.idaho.gov/site/teacher_certification/alt_routes.htm