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Professional Learning Units

Option 1: Professional Learning Unit Activities and Coursework

Submit official training certificates and/or official transcripts verifying satisfactory completion of the equivalent of 120 clock hours or eight semester credit hours, or a combination of both completed within the previous four years of the date of the renewal application.

  • The equivalent of 120 clock hours means that an applicant has successfully completed 120 actual clock hours of learning activities within the applicable time period. One professional learning unit (PLU) equals one clock hour. One college semester credit equals 15 clock hours (for example: 3 college credits x 15 clock hours = 45 clock hours).
  • A minimum of 60 clock hours must be directly related to the area of the credential being renewed. The additional hours may align with any of the acceptable professional learning activity content areas.
  • For example, an applicant seeking to renew a Mathematics credential must submit at least 60 clock hours or four semester hours of mathematics-specific coursework or training. The remaining 60 hours may come from any combination of the nine content areas (as described below).

Note: When renewing two or more credentials at the same time, an applicant is required to demonstrate completion of the 120 clock hour requirement for one of the credential(s). For any additional credential(s) that the applicant is seeking to renew, they must demonstrate completion of an additional 45 clock hours in the specific content area of the other credential(s).

Acceptable Content for Professional Learning Activities

The content of professional learning activities completed for the purposes of renewing a DC educator credential must align with one or more of the following focus areas.

  1. Increases content knowledge and competence in the specific subject area of the credential
  2. Increases effective instruction and methodologies
  3. Increases school leadership strategies and skills
  4. Increases knowledge of curriculum and standards
  5. Improves school, community, and family engagement
  6. Increases knowledge of educational best practices and trends
  7. Increases knowledge of resources and services for schools
  8. Increases strategies and skills for meeting the needs of diverse learners
  9. Increases strategies and skills for effectively using educational technology

Required documents:

  • An Identity History Summary Check (IHSC) issued by the FBI or an approved FBI channeler agency.  Applicants currently employed with DC Public Schools (DCPS) should contact [email protected] to ensure that their central office has made his/her clearance information available to OSSE electronically.
  • If you completed professional learning activities by way of coursework taken at an accredited college or university, you must submit all pages of the official transcripts. If the institution is outside of the US, you must submit a foreign credential evaluation report issued by an approved foreign credential evaluation agency. Completed coursework must indicate a letter grade of “C” or better or indicate “Pass” to be accepted.
  • If you completed professional learning activities through or approved by your employing school, you must submit a summary transcript of all completed learning activities that has been signed by the school’s principal or professional development coordinator. The summary transcript must include the full name of the attendee, title of the training, the dates of the training, total number of clock hours of training completed, be printed on official school letterhead, bear the signature or stamp of school principal or professional development coordinator and their contact information.
  • If you completed professional learning activities by way of instructional workshop sessions delivered by a professional organization, you must submit official certificate(s) of completion issued by that organization to confirm your satisfactory completion. Certificates of completion must include the full name of the attendee, title of the training, the dates of the training, total number of clock hours of training completed, name of the training organization, be printed on official agency letterhead, and bear the signature or stamp of the verifying training official.
  • Learning activities delivered by national education organizations, related industry organizations, national professional development organizations, and state education agencies are accepted.  

Preparing to submit an application:

  1. Collect all required documents.
  1. Contact each institution or agency that is responsible for issuing official copies of required documents to request that the documents be sent to you by mail or email. If the issuing entity will only send official electronic documents directly to another agency, you may direct them to send the document to OSSE at [email protected]. Upon receipt, our office will attach the document to your application. To ensure timely receipt of any external documents, please notate in the comments box of your application that you have an additional document that is being submitted directly to OSSE from another agency.
  2. If you have physical, paper-based documents, scan all pages of the document as a complete PDF file (in the mailer). If a secured authenticated PDF document is issued, upload that document to the OSSE licensure system. Please know that the OSSE licensure system will not accept “Jpg,” “tiff” or “png” files. To avoid processing delays and potential rejection, be sure to attach complete, full-page images of the entire document as sent from the issuing entity.
  1. Scan all required documents as complete PDF files and upload them to your online application at the time of submission.
  2. Submit your application. A non-refundable application processing fee of $50 is required for each credential area being renewed. Note that incomplete applications received will be rejected and the processing fee(s) forfeited.

Note: Active credential holders with a credential that is not due to expire within the next five months or 150 days should not submit a renewal application at this time. It is too soon. Submitting an application too soon shall result in the rejection of your application and forfeiture of fee(s) paid. Instead, please wait until your credential is less than five months or 150 days from its expiration to submit your credential renewal application.

Professional Learning Units


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