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Standard Teacher Credential

There are four ways to obtain a DC standard teaching credential. Standard teaching credentials are valid for four years and are renewable.

Option 1:

  • You have completed an approved teacher certification program in the proper subject area;
  • You meet criminal history background requirements;
  • You hold at least a completed bachelor’s degree; and
  • You have passing test scores for all exams required for the subject area.

Required documents to submit for Option 1:

  • If you completed an approved program at a DC program provider use this In-state Program Completer Form, OR
  • If you completed an approved program at an institution outside DC use this Out-of-State Program Completer Form.
    • Note: All program verification forms must be complete and be properly signed by the certification officer in the school or department of education at the institution where the program was completed.
  • An Identity History Summary Check (IHSC) issued by the FBI or an approved FBI channeler agency. If employed with DC Public Schools (DCPS), make sure their central office has made your clearance information available to OSSE electronically.
  • Official education transcripts from all institution(s) where you completed a degree and related studies.
    • Applicants with degrees and studies from institutions outside of the US must submit a foreign credential evaluation report issued by an approved evaluation agency.
    • Applicants seeking to demonstrate basic skills knowledge based upon a completed bachelor’s degree grade point average (GPA), must submit transcripts that clearly indicate a GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
  • Passing test scores for an approved basic skills reading, writing and mathematics exam. Note: Applicants seeking to demonstrate basic skills knowledge through a 3.0 or higher GPA need not submit evidence of passing test scores on an approved basic skills exam.
  • Passing scores for an approved subject content and pedagogy exam required for the teaching area of the credential or comparable exam(s) passed in another state where an active full teaching credential is held. For subject areas where a subject content exam has not been adopted, the applicant must hold a completed degree major in the subject area or have completed an approved educator licensure program in the area.
  • A copy of your active full teaching credential(s) held in another state (if applicable).

Option 2:

  • You hold/held a DC initial teacher credential;
  • You have achieved at least an effective or equivalent end-of-year performance rating for a minimum of two school years based upon an OSSE approved educator evaluation system administered by your employing DC LEA. Currently the DC Public Schools (DCPS) agency is the only DC LEA that administers an official educator evaluation system that is accepted by OSSE for credentialing purposes;
  • You meet criminal history background requirements; and
  • You have passing test scores for all exams required for the subject area.    

(If you completed an approved teacher certification program, use Standard Teacher - Option 1 to apply)

Required documents to submit for Option 2:

  • An Identity History Summary Check (IHSC) issued by the FBI or an approved FBI channeler agency. If employed with DC Public Schools (DCPS), make sure their central office has made your clearance information available to OSSE electronically.
  • All pages of your final end-of-year performance rating reports verifying that you achieved at least an effective or equivalent performance rating for two school years. Read performance rating report details. Currently the DC Public Schools (DCPS) agency is the only DC LEA that administers an official educator evaluation system that is accepted by OSSE for credentialing purposes.
  • Official education transcripts from all institution(s) where you completed a degree and related studies.
    • Applicants with degrees and studies from institutions outside of the US must submit a foreign credential evaluation report issued by an approved evaluation agency.
    • Applicants seeking to demonstrate basic skills knowledge based upon a completed bachelor’s degree GPA, must submit transcripts that clearly indicate a GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
  • Passing test scores for an approved basic skills reading, writing and mathematics exam. Note: Applicants seeking to demonstrate basic skills knowledge through a 3.0 or higher GPA need not submit evidence of passing test scores on an approved basic skills exam.
  • Passing scores for an approved subject content and pedagogy exam required for the teaching area of the credential or comparable exam(s) passed in another state where an active full teaching credential is held. For subject areas where a subject content exam has not been adopted, the applicant must hold a completed degree major in the subject area or have completed an approved educator licensure program in the area.

Option 3:

  • You hold an active full teacher credential that is in good standing in another state;
  • You have achieved at least an effective or equivalent end-of-year performance rating for a minimum of two school years based upon a department of education approved educator evaluation system administered by the employing education agency in the state where the credential is held;
  • You meet criminal history background requirements; and
  • You have test scores for comparable exams passed in another state or for the DC-required exams.

(If you completed an approved teacher certification program, use Standard Teacher - Option 1 to apply)

Required documents to submit for Option 3:

  • A copy of your active full teaching credential(s) held in another state.
  • All pages of your final end-of-year performance rating reports verifying that you achieved at least an effective or equivalent performance rating for two school years. Read conditions for approved performance rating reports.
  • An Identity History Summary Check (IHSC) issued by the FBI or an approved FBI channeler agency. If employed with DC Public Schools (DCPS), make sure their central office has made your clearance information available to OSSE electronically.
  • Official education transcripts from all institution(s) where you completed a degree and related studies.
    • Applicants with degrees and studies from institutions outside of the US must submit a foreign credential evaluation report issued by an approved evaluation agency.
    • Applicants seeking to demonstrate basic skills knowledge based upon a completed bachelor’s degree GPA, must submit transcripts that clearly indicate a GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
  • Passing test scores for an approved basic skills reading, writing and mathematics exam. Note: Applicants seeking to demonstrate basic skills knowledge through a 3.0 or higher GPA need not submit evidence of passing test scores on an approved basic skills exam.
  • Passing scores for an approved subject content and pedagogy exam required for the teaching area of the credential or comparable exam(s) passed in another state where an active full teaching credential is held. For subject areas where a subject content exam has not been adopted, the applicant must hold a completed degree major in the subject area or have completed an approved educator licensure program in the area.

Option 4:

  • You are currently or previously hired as a regular teacher at a DC LEA that does not require a state license to practice;
  • You have achieved at least an effective or equivalent end-of-year performance rating for a minimum of two school years within the previous three years based upon an OSSE approved educator evaluation system administered by your employing DC LEA. Currently the DC Public Schools (DCPS) agency is the only DC LEA that administers an official educator evaluation system that is accepted by OSSE for credentialing purposes;
  • You meet criminal history background requirements; and
  • You have passing test scores for all exams required for the subject area.

(If you completed an approved teacher certification program, use Standard Teacher - Option 1 to apply)

Required documents to submit for Option 4:

  • All pages of your final end-of-year performance rating reports verifying that you achieved at least an effective or equivalent performance rating for two school years. Read performance rating report details. Currently the DC Public Schools (DCPS) agency is the only DC LEA that administers an official educator evaluation system that is accepted by OSSE for credentialing purposes.
  • An Identity History Summary Check (IHSC) issued by the FBI or an approved FBI channeler agency. If employed with DC Public Schools (DCPS) make sure their central office has made your clearance information available to OSSE electronically.
  • Official education transcripts from all institution(s) where you completed a degree and related studies.
    • Applicants with degrees and studies from institutions outside of the US must submit a foreign credential evaluation report issued by an approved evaluation agency.
    • Applicants seeking to demonstrate basic skills knowledge based upon a completed bachelor’s degree GPA must submit transcripts that clearly indicate a GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
  • Passing test scores for an approved basic skills reading, writing and mathematics exam. Note: Applicants seeking to demonstrate basic skills knowledge through a 3.0 or higher GPA need not submit evidence of passing test scores on an approved basic skills exam.
  • Passing scores for an approved subject content and pedagogy exam required for the teaching area of the credential or comparable exam(s) passed in another state where an active full teaching credential is held. For subject areas where a subject content exam has not been adopted, the applicant must hold a completed degree major in the subject area or have completed an approved educator licensure program in the area.

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