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Connecticut Teacher Certification

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The Connecticut Department of Education, Division of Teaching and Learning is responsible for Connecticut teacher certification. Connecticut offers education certificates in the following areas (endorsements): teaching, administration, special services, adult education, and vocational education. This article will focus on the certification requirements to become an elementary or secondary school teacher in the State of Connecticut.

Connecticut has a three-tier certification system offering the following types of teaching certificates:

  • Initial Educator Certificate. This certificate is valid for three years. It may be renewed at the request of the employing school district if the requirements to move to a higher certificate have not been meet.
  • Provisional Educator Certificate. This certificate is valid for 8 years. It is not renewable.
  • Professional Educator Certificate. This is valid for five years and may be continued by fulfilling the continuing education requirements.

Connecticut certificates have endorsements that indicate areas of specialization. Endorsements are available for: early childhood education, elementary education, PreK-12 subjects, middle school subjects, 7-12 subjects, special education K-12, and teaching the handicapped (individuals who are partially sighted, blind, or hearing impaired).

The Process for Connecticut Teacher Certification

The process to obtain an Initial Educator Certificate is relatively straightforward. To obtain an Initial Educator Certificate, an individual may follow one of three routes:

  1. Eligibility based upon program preparation. To obtain certification following this route, an individual must:
    • Complete a state-approved teacher preparation program from a Connecticut college or university, or complete a state-approved teacher preparation program from an accredited out-of-state college or university that is in a state that participates in the NASDTEC Interstate Contract.
    • Pass the PRAXIS I Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST) or provide evidence from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) of meeting the waiver.
    • Pass the appropriate PRAXIS II Subject-Knowledge Tests for the endorsements sought.
  2. Eligibility based upon teaching experience. To obtain certification following this route, an individual must:
    • Document 20 or more months of successful, appropriate, full-time teaching experience in an approved non-public school or an out-of-state public school under a valid certificate.
    • Pass the PRAXIS I Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST) or provide evidence from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) of meeting the waiver.
    • Pass the appropriate PRAXIS II Subject-Knowledge Tests for the endorsements sought.
    • Successfully complete all general academic and professional education course requirements for the endorsement area or areas sought. Individuals who are qualifying using 20 months of out-of-state experience on a valid certificate would probably meet this requirement through the preparation that was necessary to become certified in the other state.
  3. Successfully complete one of the Alternate Route to Teacher Certification Programs (ARC I and ARC II). Such an individual will have to pass the PRAXIS I Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST) or provide evidence from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) of meeting the waiver. They will also have to pass the appropriate PRAXIS II Subject-Knowledge Tests for the endorsements sought.

It should be noted that teachers seeking endorsements to teach world languages (French, German, Spanish, etc.) will have to pass the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) tests.

To obtain a Provisional Educator Certificate, an individual must:

  • Fulfill all of the requirements and hold an Initial Educator Certificate, and meet one of the following requirements:
    • Successfully complete at least ten months of appropriate teaching experience under an Initial Educator Certificate and successfully complete the Beginning Educator Support and Training (BEST) program.
    • Successfully complete 30 months of appropriate teaching experience within the last ten years in a public school system, approved nonpublic school, or a nonpublic school approved by the appropriate governing body in another state.

To obtain a Professional Educator Certificate, an individual must:

  • Successfully complete at least 30 months of appropriate teaching experience in a Connecticut public school system or approved nonpublic school under a Provisional Educator Certificate.
  • Complete any additional course requirements for the endorsement sought.

All individuals who are employed by a local or regional board of education are required to submit to a state and national criminal background check within the first 30 days of their employment.

Certification for Teachers Certified in Other States

Connecticut does not have reciprocity with any other state but is a party to the NASDTEC Interstate Contract. Connecticut will accept completion of an approved teacher preparation program in a state that participates in the NASDTEC Interstate Contract as fulfillment of its education requirements. An individual with an out-of-state certificate and 20 months of successful, appropriate full-time teaching experience may be eligible for a Connecticut certificate. They still must meet the general academic and professional development coursework requirements. Individuals with a teacher preparation education from a NASDTEC state college or university should meet this requirement. They are also required to take the PRAXIS I (unless they can provide evidence of meeting the waiver) and PRAXIS II tests. An individual may teach under a one-year, nonrenewable, Interim Certificate while they fulfill the testing requirement.

Connecticut Certificate Renewal

Professional Educator Certificates may be continued by fulfilling the continuing education requirements during the five year validity period of the certificate. An individual is required to complete 90 hours of continuing education, which equates to nine continuing education units (CEUs), during this period. One semester hour of graduate credit is the equivalent of 1.5 CEUs. All endorsements will be continued by meeting this requirement. Some endorsements may require specific CEU content.

 

 


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