Indiana a Teacher Certification

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Standard Routes for Becoming a Certified Teacher in Indiana

Students whose goal it is to become a teacher must follow the state of Indiana guidelines and must make certain choices. Prospective teachers must:

  • Earn a bachelor’s degree. Some Indiana teacher certification programs lead to a Bachelor of Science degree in education.
  • Complete an approved program of teacher education.
  • Choose to focus on primary, secondary or special education.
  • Secondary school educators must also select a subject-area specialization, such as English, mathematics, science, the arts or a foreign language.
  • Take courses on the teaching of their focus subjects and/or grade level, child development and pedagogy.

Required Testing for Teacher Certification

  • All Indiana educators are required to pass the PRAXIS I Pre-Professional Skills Tests, which assess basic proficiency in reading, writing, and mathematics. The skills tested include the ability to understand, analyze and evaluate the written word, to solve mathematical problems with skills and knowledge acquired through secondary school, and to write effectively. 

  • Secondary teacher candidates must pass the PRAXIS II Subject Assessments/Specialty Area tests for the content areas that appear on their licenses. The PRAXIS II Specialty Area tests measure understanding of the content and methods applicable to the separate subject areas.
  • Before a teacher can be placed as a teacher in a classroom, the state of Indiana requires all teacher certification program candidates to provide the university with verification of a cleared background check.
  • Prospective teachers must complete required CPR/Heimlich Maneuver training and provide proof of a valid certification in the CPR-Heimlich Maneuver from either the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association
  • Once a teaching candidate has completed all of the requirements for certification, the next step after students complete teacher certification programs in Indiana, as well as all required tests, the next step is to apply for a license.
  • You must submit the appropriate application, including official transcripts and other supporting paperwork, along with licensing fees, to the Indiana Office of Educator Licensing and Development.

Highly Qualified Teacher Requirement

All Indiana teachers who seek to teach Core Academic Subjects must meet the standards set by the Highly Qualified Teacher guidelines that were established by the No Child Left Behind mandate.

The goal of the Highly Qualified Teacher program is to ensure that all kindergarten through twelfth (K-12) grade students in Indiana have equal access to Highly Qualified Teachers in their Core Academic Subjects.

  • Core Academic Subject Areas are:
  • English
  • Reading
  • Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science Social studies (Economics, Civics and Government, History, and Geography)
  • Fine Arts (Music and Visual Arts)
  • Foreign Languages

Having an Indiana teaching license does not automatically mean that a teacher has met the Highly Qualified Teacher requirements. To meet these requirements, any public school teacher who wants to be the primary instructor of one of the Core Academic Subjects must:

  • Earn a Bachelor’s degree.
  • Be fully licensed to teach the Core Academic Subject.
  • Demonstrate core content knowledge.
  • Elementary teachers must have a full elementary education license and must demonstrate their knowledge of core content by passing one of these exams:
  • Praxis II Elementary Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Exam.


  • National Teachers Exam (NTE) specialty area exam for Elementary Education.
  • Secondary teachers must be fully licensed for each Core Academic Subject they will be teaching and must demonstrate their knowledge of core content in one of the following way
  • Hold a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in their chosen Core Academic Subject.
  • Earn 24 credit hours in the Core Academic Subject you will teach.
  • Pass the appropriate Praxis II content area exams.
  • Earn National Board Certification (NBCT).

Secondary teachers must be rated as Highly Qualified in order to teach any Core Academic Subject.

Special Education teachers must be licensed for special education, have the appropriate grade coverage for their assignment and meet Highly Qualified Teacher requirements for each Core Academic Subject they will teach.

Teachers specializing in English Language Learner (ELL) instruction must be rated as Highly Qualified for each Core Academic Subject they plan to teach.

Indiana allows out-of-state teachers who have met the Highly Qualified Teacher requirements in another state to be counted as Highly Qualified in Indiana.

If a teacher from out of state has passed a rigorous state licensing exam equivalent to the PRAXIS II or the National Teacher Exam (NTE) for the Core Academic Subject or elementary content that is taught, and has both a bachelor’s degree and a valid teaching license, the school that has hired the teacher may count this teacher as Highly Qualified and therefore allowed to be the primary instructor in one of the Core Academic Subjects.

Transition to Teaching Option

The Transition to Teaching route toward licensure is based on the premise that the candidate already has obtained the content knowledge in their licensing area. Each accredited education institution is required to offer or be in collaboration with other institutions to offer a Transition to Teaching program.

The prospective teacher must also meet the following requirements:

o An Elementary teacher is required to complete 24 hours of Transition-to-Teacher preparation, including 6 hours for reading.

o An Elementary Education teacher must hold a bachelor’s degree with a grade point average of at least 3.0, both in the major subject and as an overall GPA.
o Have both a bachelor’s degree with a grade point average of at least 2.5, both in the major subject and as an overall GPA, plus five years of professional experience.

Secondary Education teachers are required to complete 18 hours of Transition-to-Teacher preparation, including 6 hours for reading.

o A Secondary Education teacher must have a bachelor’s degree with a grade point average of at least 3.0, both in the major content area and overall.


o Possess a graduate degree.


o Have both a bachelor’s degree with a grade point average of at least 2.5, both in the major content area and overall, plus five years of professional experience.

Troops to Teachers

Troops to Teachers is a national program that, in cooperation with Indiana’s Transitions-to-Teachers program, offers a path for people who have served in the military to become public school teachers as long as they meet the requirements to apply for and participate in the program. The Troops to Teachers program provides eligible military personnel with assistance meeting certification requirements, finding routes to state certification and following employment leads.

Military members who want to teach elementary school or to specialize in a secondary school academic area, must have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Troops to Teachers participants who want to teach vocational or technical education must have the equivalent of one year of college and six years of military experience in a vocational or technical field, or they must fulfill state requirements for teaching vocational or technical education. The National Troops to Teachers website provides additional information.

Praxis I and II exams may be required for admission to the Troops to teachers program.

Licensing for Out-of-State Teachers

  • In order to teach in an accredited school in Indiana you must hold a valid Indiana License and to submit an application, which includes materials listed on the “Out-of-State Graduates –
  • How to Apply?” page. (
    Upon completion of your evaluation, you will receive details of the results of your evaluation, which is valid for 3 years from the date on your evaluation letter.
  • If you hold a valid out-of-state license at the time of your application, you may be eligible for a one year Reciprocal Permit, which will allow you to legally teach for one year while you complete your deficiencies.
  • Out-of-State license holders who were previously licensed as Indiana Educator may be able to renew that expired license.

Approved Online and Distance Learning Programs for Out-of-State Applicants

The Indiana Office of Educator Licensing and Development will evaluate an applicant for initial licensure who completes an out-of-state online teacher education program under one of the following circumstances:

  • The online program is accredited.
  • The online program is accredited by a regional body, and the applicant holds a valid teaching license from the state in which the institution offering the online program has its primary location.
  • The online program is accredited by a state that is a member of the NASDTEC Interstate Educator Certification/Licensure Agreement and the applicant holds a valid teaching license from that state.
  • Applicants who complete online teacher education programs for initial licensure must have successfully completed a supervised classroom field experience (e.g. student teaching, internship, practicum, clinical experience, etc.) during which the applicant is responsible for direct student instruction.
  • Online coursework for renewal and adding new content areas to an existing license must be from an institution accredited by a state, regional accrediting body, or by The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

Computer-Based Certification

The American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) is a distance learning, computer-based program that prepares and certifies teachers.

In Indiana, ABCTE certification will allow you to teach only in private schools. Currently, the state of Indiana does not accept the ABCTE program for state public and charter school certification.