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Teacher Certification

Standard Teacher Credential | Initial Teacher Credential

Standard Teacher Credential

OSSE currently offers four pathways for individuals to qualify for issuance of a standard teaching credential. Standard teaching credentials are valid for four years from the date of issuance and are renewable. Standard credentials may be used for interstate reciprocity with other US states, territories and the Department of Defense Dependents Schools.

Option 1 - Completed an Approved Teacher Licensure Program | Option 2 - Holds or held a DC Initial Teacher credential | Option 3 - Holds a valid teaching license in another state | Option 4 - Currently employed as teacher within a DC LEA

Option 1 – Standard Teacher – Completed an Approved Teacher Licensure Program

Applicants must meet the following requirements to be eligible for a standard credential using this option:

  • Holds a completed bachelor’s degree;
  • Has completed an approved teacher licensure program in the corresponding subject area;
  • Has successfully passed the Praxis CORE, PPST or other accepted alternate basic skills exam;
  • Has successfully passed the Praxis II subject content exam in the area of the credential; and
  • Has successfully passed the Praxis II Principles of Learning & Teaching (PLT) exam for the grade level of the credential.

Required Documents to Apply

1. FBI personal criminal history report (PCHR) issued within the previous twelve months. For information on how to obtain your PCHR report and procedures for current DC Public Schools (DCPS) employees, please read these instructions.

Applicants that answer “Yes” to any of the questions in the “Applicant Background Information” section of their application must submit all related court and/or proceedings documents pertaining to the matter at the time your application is being submitted.  This is required even if you have been cleared for employment by your school agency. Failure to submit these documents may result in the rejection of your application.

2. Official transcripts from all institutions where a degree AND related teacher training program coursework have been completed. Applicants who completed degrees/studies at institutions outside of the United States must submit a proper foreign credential evaluation report regarding those studies.

3. Program completion verification form signed by the verifying certification officer of the institution where the teacher licensure program was completed.  If the program was completed at a DC-based institution, contact the program official at your institution to obtain the in-state program completer verification form.

4. All pages of official score reports verifying passing scores for the DC-required credentialing exams or comparable exams passed in another state.

5. Copy of valid license from another state. Required when submitting non-DC credentialing exams.

Note: When uploading required documents to your application, ensure that the scanned documents are not password-protected, locked or expire.

Option 2 – Standard Teacher – Holds or held a DC Initial Teacher credential and demonstrates effective teaching performance experience within a DC Local Education Agency

Applicants must meet the following requirements to be eligible for a standard credential based upon this option:

  • Holds or held a DC initial teaching credential;
  • Completed at least two years of effective or equivalent full-time teaching experience while holding the initial credential at an LEA in the District of Columbia within the five year period prior to the application, as demonstrated by the applicant’s summative evaluation rating from the employing LEA. The performance evaluation reviews must have been conducted by the same LEA and the evaluation system must have been accepted by OSSE; and
  • Has successfully passed the Praxis II Principles of Learning & Teaching exam for the grade level of the credential;

Required Documents to Apply

1. FBI personal criminal history report (PCHR) issued within the previous twelve months.  For information on how to obtain your PCHR report and procedures for current DC Public Schools (DCPS) employees, please read these instructions.

Applicants that answer “Yes” to any of the questions in the “Applicant Background Information” section of their application must submit all related court and/or proceedings documents pertaining to the matter at the time your application is being submitted.  This is required even if you have been cleared for employment by your school agency.  Failure to submit these documents may result in the rejection of your application.

2. Submit all pages of final (end-of-year) annual performance evaluation reports for each applicable school year. The performance evaluation reviews must have been conducted by the same LEA and must meet OSSE conditions for acceptance.

3. All pages of examinee score report verifying passing scores for the DC-required PLT exam.

Note: When uploading required documents to your application, ensure that the scanned documents are not password protected, locked or expire.

Option 3  – Standard Teacher – Holds a valid teaching license and demonstrates effective teaching performance experience in another state

Applicants must meet the following requirements to be eligible for a standard credential based upon this option:

  • Holds a completed bachelor’s degree;
  • Holds a valid full teaching credential from another reciprocal state;
  • Has successfully passed a comparable basic skills, Praxis CORE, PPST or other accepted alternate basic skills exam;
  • Has successfully passed a corresponding subject content exam in another state or have passed the DC-required Praxis II exam;
  • Has successfully passed a corresponding pedagogy exam in another state or have passed the DC-required Praxis II exam; and
  • Has completed at least two years of effective or equivalent full-time teaching experience in another state, as measured by a summative evaluation rating of two years of effective or equivalent teaching based upon the student growth component of an evaluation rating. The experience shall be completed within five years prior to an application for the credential, and the final year shall show a rating of effective or higher.    

Required Documents to Apply

1. FBI personal criminal history report (PCHR) issued within the previous twelve months. For information on how to obtain your PCHR report and procedures for current DC Public Schools (DCPS) employees, please read these instructions.
    
Applicants that answer “Yes” to any of the questions in the “Applicant Background Information” section of their application must submit all related court and/or proceedings documents pertaining to the matter at the time your application is being submitted.  This is required even if you have been cleared for employment by your school agency. Failure to submit these documents may result in the rejection of your application.

2. Official transcripts verifying a completed bachelor’s degree. Applicants who completed degrees/studies at institutions outside of the United States must submit a proper foreign credential evaluation report regarding those studies

3. A copy of valid full teaching credential(s) held in another state with authorizations in the appropriate subject(s).

4. Submit a completed Educator Performance Rating Evaluation Verification form (Form EPRE) that has been signed by the local education agency’s Office/Department of Human Resources verification specialist or the instructional superintendent of the school district where the experience was completed.

5. Submit all pages of the final (end-of-year) annual performance evaluation reports for each applicable school year to support the EPRE form. The performance evaluation reviews must have been conducted by the same LEA and must meet OSSE conditions for acceptance.

6. All pages of official score reports verifying passing scores for comparable exams passed in another state or the DC-required credentialing exams.

Note: When uploading required documents to your application, ensure that the scanned documents are not password protected, locked or expired.

Option 4 – Standard Teacher – Currently employed as teacher within a DC LEA that does not require a license, but demonstrates effective teaching performance experience

Applicants must meet the following requirements to be eligible for a standard credential based upon this option:

  • Holds a completed bachelor’s degree;
  • Has successfully passed the Praxis CORE, PPST or other accepted alternate basic skills exam;
  • Has successfully passed the Praxis II subject content exam in the area of the credential;
  • Has successfully passed the Praxis II Principles of Learning & Teaching exam for the grade level of the credential;
  • Completed at least two years of effective or equivalent full-time teaching experience at an LEA in the District of Columbia within the three years prior to the application, as demonstrated by the applicant’s summative evaluation rating from the employing LEA. The performance evaluation reviews must have been conducted by the same LEA and the evaluation system must have been accepted by OSSE; and
  • Is currently employed as a “teacher of record” with a DC LEA.

Required Documents to Apply

1. FBI personal criminal history report (PCHR) issued within the previous twelve months. For information on how to obtain your PCHR report and procedures for current DC Public Schools (DCPS) employees, please read these instructions.

Applicants that answer “Yes” to any of the questions in the “Applicant Background Information” section of their application must submit all related court and/or proceedings documents pertaining to the matter at the time your application is being submitted.  This is required even if you have been cleared for employment by your school agency.  Failure to submit these documents may result in the rejection of your application.

2. Official transcripts verifying a completed bachelor’s degree. Applicants who completed degrees/studies at institutions outside of the United States must submit a proper foreign credential evaluation report regarding those studies.

3. Submit all pages of the final (end-of-year) annual performance evaluation reports for each applicable school year. The performance evaluation reviews must have been conducted by the same LEA and must meet OSSE conditions for acceptance.

4. Employment verification form confirming that you are currently employed as a teacher at a DC local education agency.  If the employing school agency issues an official system generated record of employment, that document may be submitted in lieu of the OSSE verification form.

5. All pages of official score reports verifying passing scores for the DC required credentialing exams.

Note: When uploading required documents to your application, ensure that the scanned documents are not password protected, locked or expired.


Initial Teacher Credential

OSSE currently offers a one-time initial teaching credential to individuals who do not meet current requirements for a standard credential. Initial teaching credentials are valid for three years and are not renewable.

Option 1 – Currently enrolled in an approved teacher program | Option 2 – Holds a valid license from another state | Option 3 – DC Local Education Agency Request

Option 1 – Initial Teacher – Currently enrolled in an approved teacher program

Applicants must meet the following requirements to be eligible for an initial teacher credential using this option:

  • Holds a completed bachelor’s degree;
  • Has successfully passed the Praxis CORE, PPST or other accepted alternate basic skills exam;
  • Has successfully passed the Praxis II subject content exam in the area of the credential;
  • Be admitted into a OSSE approved teacher licensure program OR teacher licensure program approved in another state accepted by OSSE, in the area of the credential being sought; and
  • Be employed or contracted as a teacher by an LEA operating in the District of Columbia

Required Documents to Apply

1. FBI personal criminal history report (PCHR) issued within the previous twelve months. For information on how to obtain your PCHR report and procedures for current DC Public Schools (DCPS) employees, please read these instructions.

Applicants that answer “Yes” to any of the questions in the “Applicant Background Information” section of their application must submit all related court and/or proceedings documents pertaining to the matter at the time your application is being submitted.  This is required even if you have been cleared for employment by your school agency. Failure to submit these documents may result in the rejection of your application.

2. Official transcripts verifying a completed bachelor’s degree. Applicants who completed degrees/studies at institutions outside of the United States must submit a proper foreign credential evaluation report regarding those studies.

3. Program admission verification form verifying your enrollment in an approved teacher licensure program signed by the certification officer at your institution;

4. All pages of official score reports verifying passing scores for the DC required credentialing exams.

Note: When uploading required documents to your application, ensure that the scanned documents are not password protected, locked or expired.

Option 2 – Intial Teacher – Holds a valid license from another state and demonstrates effective teaching performance experience

Applicants must meet the following requirements to be eligible for an initial teacher credential using this option:

  • Holds a completed bachelor’s degree;
  • Has successfully passed a comparable basic skills, Praxis CORE, PPST or other accepted alternate basic skills exam;
  • Has successfully passed a corresponding subject content exam in another state or have passed the DC-required Praxis II exam;
  • Has documentation satisfactory to OSSE to confirm that the applicant has completed at least two years of effective full-time teaching experience in another state as measured by a summative evaluation rating OR two years of effective or equivalent teaching as measured by the student growth component of an evaluation rating. The experience shall be completed within the previous five years, and the final year shall show a rating of effective or higher; and
  • Holds a valid teaching credential, in good standing, issued from another state accepted by OSSE.

Required Documents to Apply

1. FBI personal criminal history report (PCHR) issued within the previous twelve months. For information on how to obtain your PCHR report and procedures for current DC Public Schools (DCPS) employees, please read these instructions.

Applicants that answer “Yes” to any of the questions in the “Applicant Background Information” section of their application must submit all related court and/or proceedings documents pertaining to the matter at the time your application is being submitted. This is required even if you have been cleared for employment by your school agency. Failure to submit these documents may result in the rejection of your application.

2. Official transcripts verifying a completed bachelor’s degree.  Applicants who completed degrees/studies at institutions outside of the United States must submit a proper foreign credential evaluation report regarding those studies.

3. A copy of valid full teaching credential(s) held in another state with authorizations in the appropriate subject(s).

4. All pages of official score reports verifying passing scores for comparable exams passed in another state or the DC-required credentialing exams.

5. Submit a completed Educator Performance Rating Evaluation Verification form (Form EPRE) that has been signed by the local education agency’s Office/Department of Human Resources verification specialist or the instructional superintendent of the school district where the experience was completed.

6. Submit all pages of the final (end-of-year) annual performance evaluation reports for each applicable school year to support the EPRE form. The performance evaluation reviews must have been conducted by the same LEA and must meet OSSE conditions for acceptance.

Note: When uploading required documents to your application, ensure that the scanned documents are not password protected, locked or expire.

Option 3 – Initial Teacher – DC Local Education Agency Request

Applicants must meet the following requirements to be eligible for an initial teacher credential using this option:

  • Holds a completed bachelor’s degree;
  • Has successfully passed the Praxis CORE, PPST or other accepted alternate basic skills exam;
  • Has successfully passed the Praxis II subject content exam in the area of the credential;
  • Employed or contracted as a teacher by an LEA operating in the District of Columbia; and
  • Has a written request for issuance of an initial teaching credential addressed to OSSE from the employing LEA.

Required Documents to Apply

1. FBI personal criminal history report (PCHR) issued within the previous twelve months. For information on how to obtain your PCHR report and procedures for current DC Public Schools (DCPS) employees, please read these instructions.

Applicants that answer “Yes” to any of the questions in the “Applicant Background Information” section of their application must submit all related court and/or proceedings documents pertaining to the matter at the time your application is being submitted.  This is required even if you have been cleared for employment by your school agency.  Failure to submit these documents may result in the rejection of your application.

2. Official transcripts verifying a completed bachelor’s degree. Applicants who completed degrees/studies at institutions outside of the United States must submit a proper foreign credential evaluation report regarding those studies.

3. A DC LEA Request Form for an initial teaching credential signed by the hiring official of your employing LEA.

4. All pages of official score reports verifying passing scores for the DC required credentialing exams.

Note: When uploading required documents to your application, ensure that the scanned documents are not password protected, locked or expire.