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Teacher Licensure and Credentialing in Utah

Before applying for a licensure, Utah requires all prospective teachers to have a Bachelor’s degree or higher. The state also has prerequisites that specify the number of undergraduate credit hours necessary for certification.

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Utah License Levels

Level 1 License

A Level 1 license is the Initial Utah professional educator license. It is issued to candidates who have met all state requirements, earned passing scores on appropriate Praxis II content tests, received recommendation from an accredited institution of higher education and completed an approved teacher preparation program.

  1. Applicants for an Elementary license must complete a Utah Board-approved program for the preparation of teachers in Early Childhood (grades K-3) or Elementary (grades K- 6) education.
  2. An applicant for the Level 1 Secondary license must have completed an approved teaching major consistent with subjects taught in Utah secondary schools. A Level 1 Secondary license with subject endorsement(s) is valid for teaching in middle school or high school (grades 6-12)

The Level 1 license is issued for three years.

Level 2 License

A Level 2 license is a Utah professional educator license issued after a teacher satisfies the following requirements:

  1. Completes all Level 1 requirements
  2. Fulfills all other state requirements relating to professional preparation and experience.
  3. Has three years of successful professional teaching experience within a five-year period.
  4. Completes requirements for Utah’s Entry Years Enhancements (EYE) for Quality Teaching as defined in the state’s September 2011Administrative Code. (see http://www.rules.utah.gov/publicat/code/r277/r277-522.htm#T3)
  5. Receives from the employing public school district or accredited private school, recommendation that the teacher should advance to a Level 2 license.

A level 2 license is valid for five years.

Level 3 License

The Level 3 license is a Utah professional educator license issued to teachers who hold a current Utah Level 2 license and have also received National Board Certification or earned a Doctorate in Education or in a field related to their content area.

A level 3 license is valid for seven years.

How to Become an Elementary Teacher

Teachers who have an elementary school teaching credential may be licensed to teach general academic subjects at the elementary school level. Students who want to become elementary school teachers often major in education and take a variety of courses in subjects prescribed for grades Kindergarten through six.

How to Become a Secondary Teacher

The secondary teaching license is required for teaching grades six through twelve. A secondary license requires the teacher to choose an area of concentration, and secondary certificates carry endorsements for the areas in which the holder is qualified. An endorsement is the specialty field or area listed on the teaching license that indicates any specific qualification the teacher has met. During their undergraduate studies, prospective secondary school teachers typically choose to focus on a specific subject, such as English, foreign language, mathematics, history or biology, which allows them to be certified to teach that subject in middle schools or high schools.

Aspiring secondary school teachers pursuing certification in Utah follow one of two educational paths:

  • They can major in the subject they plan to teach while also completing the required number of education courses.

    or

  • They can major in education and minor in a specific subject field approved for certification program.

No Child Left Behind and Highly Qualified Teachers

Since 2010, educators in Utah have been required to attain “Highly Qualified” teacher designation in order to receive a license to teach in the state. Utah’s current policy requires teachers to fulfill additional testing requirements in order to earn credentials necessary to teach No Child Left Behind subject courses in core academic areas.

Required Tests

In order to become a certified educator in Utah, teachers must satisfactorily complete Utah’s testing requirements. The state does not require a basic skills test for teaching certification. However, Utah requires educators to pass the Praxis II: Principles of Learning and Teaching test and the Praxis II subject area competence test before they can be certified.

Out-of-State Credential Reciprocity

Out-of-state applicants can receive comparable certification, as long as all Utah licensing requirements have been satisfied. If anything is lacking, a Conditional Level 1 license may be temporarily issued. Utah will accept teaching credentials from all states except Alaska, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Utah Department of Education Alternative Route to Licensure (ARL)

The Alternative Route to Licensure (ARL) option for teacher certification in Utah requires the following from applicants:

  • A bachelors degree or higher from an accredited higher education institution in a subject area of grade level related to the position being sought.
  • Skills, talents or abilities -- evaluated by the Utah employing school -- that show the applicant is acceptable for a licensed teaching position.
  • Approval for employment as stated by the employing school district in a letter of authorization.

If ARL requirements are incomplete after one year, teachers may renew the license and remain employed for an additional two years, for a maximum of three years.

Required Fingerprint Background Check

Utah Law requires that each individual applying for a Utah educator license must successfully complete a background check. To complete the background check, an applicant must submit fingerprints for review by the Utah Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.