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Teacher Licensing and Certification in Vermont

Vermont’s 393 public schools educate approximately 99,000 students. Education Week reports that the 2008 - 2010 graduation rates for Vermont high school students ranked second in the nation. According to Vermont’s 2010-2011 “Teacher/Staff Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) and Salary Report,” the state employs 8,700 full-time equivalent (FTE) teachers.

  

Initial Educator License Application Instructions

The first step toward licensure is to submit an application for an Initial Vermont Educator License.

Once the Department of Education receives an application for Initial licensure, the following occurs:

  • A Licensing Specialist from the Vermont Office of Educator Licensing and Professional Standards reviews the application.
  • The applicant is sent a Determination Letter that specifies any missing materials or further steps necessary to complete the licensing process.
  • The applicant completes unmet requirements and resubmits application packet to the Office of Educator Licensing.
  • All unmet requirements must be completed within six months or the file is closed and the entire application must be resubmitted.
  • Once the Licensing Specialist approves the application, an Initial license will be mailed to the applicant.

Becoming a Licensed Educator in Vermont

There are two major routes to becoming a licensed educator in Vermont: the Traditional Route and the Alternative Route, also known as Peer Review. Applicants who do not meet the qualifications for either the Traditional or Alternative route are not eligible for licensure in Vermont.

Traditional Route

The traditional route requires the applicant to do the following:

  • Earn a Bachelor’s degree.
  • Complete a state-approved teacher preparation program at a college or university through a bachelor, post-baccalaureate or masters degree program.
  • All candidates who apply through the Traditional Route must also meet other licensing requirements, which may include testing, fingerprinting, etc.

and

  • Receive recommendations for licensure from the degree-granting institution at the time of the graduation.

or

  • Meet requirements under the rules of reciprocity.

Reciprocity

Vermont currently has educator reciprocity with all states except Minnesota and Iowa. Requirements necessary for Vermont’s Department of Education to consider reciprocity for an out-of-state teacher can be found in the Vermont Department of Education’s, “Initial Educator License Application Instructions 2011.” Reciprocity may help an experienced, licensed teacher qualify for a Vermont license, but it does not mean that a license in one state can be recognized as or be “traded in” for a license in Vermont.

Alternative Route to Licensure: Peer Review

Vermont’s Alternative Route to Licensure, also known as Peer Review, may be available to the following people:

  • Applicants who have a baccalaureate degree, but have not completed a traditional educator preparation program.
  • Prospective teachers who have endorsement competencies and skills acquired through coursework and life experience.
  • Peer Review candidates who have met all testing requirements.

Peer Review candidates can apply for a license only after the Vermont Office of Educator Licensing recommends the candidate for licensure and provides written confirmation of the recommendation.

Licensure Application Requirements

To qualify for Vermont educator licensure, all applicants must:

  • Complete and clear an Educational Criminal Record Check, including finger printing.
  • Have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited or state-approved institution.
  • Successfully complete a major in the liberal arts and sciences, or in the content area of the endorsement sought.
  • Submit evidence of at least 12 consecutive weeks of student teaching.
  • Receive authorization for one or more endorsements specifying the instructional grade levels and/or the endorsement content areas the license holder is qualified to teach.

A complete application packet for an Initial Teaching License must include all of these items:Application.

  • Current resume.
  • Official documentation on school letterhead, of educational employment.
  • Scores for required Praxis I (basic skills) and Praxis II (content) tests.
  • Official transcripts.
  • Fees for Review and Licensing.
  • Copy of the out-of-state teaching license, if applicable.
  • Documentation of endorsements.
  • Evidence of at least 12 consecutive weeks of student teaching.

Teaching Licenses: Levels and Types

Level I Professional Educator’s License

A Level I License is valid for three years and may be renewed by educators who have taught for three yeas in Vermont under the Level I license.

After three years of teaching in the licensee’s endorsement area, Level I license holders may seek a recommendation from their local or regional standards board for advancement to Level II. An educator who does not receive a recommendation to advance from Level I to Level II may renew the Level I license for three years and re-apply for a Level II license prior to the expiration of the renewed Level I license.

Level II Professional Educator’s License

When a Level I license holder completes all requirements for Level II licensure and receives recommendation for advancement, the Level II Professional Educator’s License will be issued. A Level II License is valid for seven years and may be renewed.

Provisional and Emergency Licenses

Provisional and Emergency Licenses are temporary licenses designed to assist districts that are unable to fill vacant positions with suitable licensed candidates.

Required Tests

Praxis I

All licensure candidates must receive passing scores on the Praxis I test. The Praxis I Academic Skills Assessment is designed to assess the level of knowledge and skills in reading, writing, and mathematics.

Praxis II

All candidates seeking an Initial license must achieve passing scores on the required Praxis II Subject Assessment(s). Praxis II tests focus primarily on content knowledge rather than pedagogy.

References

  • http://education.vermont.gov/new/html/maincert.html
  • http://education.vermont.gov/new/html/licensing/alternate.html
  • http://education.vermont.gov/new/html/licensing/forms/initial_license.html
  • http://education.vermont.gov/new/pdfdoc/licensing/forms/initial/educ_licensing_initial_packet.pdf