Licensure

Does earning either the B.A. in Education degree, or the M.A. in Deaf Education degree, at Gallaudet mean that you are now certified as a teacher in your field - or must you also pass the Praxis tests?

Receiving a diploma from Gallaudet is NOT the same thing as applying for a teaching license from D.C. However, receiving the diploma does indicate that you have fulfilled the first requirement for a D.C. teaching license (assuming yours is one of the Department of Education's DC-approved programs that lead to teaching licensure. An example of one that does NOT is the 42-hr. M.A. in Deaf Education. The regular M.A. in Deaf Education does qualify, as does the B.A. in Education.)

The second requirement is the submission of passing scores on the D.C. required Praxis I and Praxis II tests for your area of specialization. Even then, to receive a teaching license based on your program at Gallaudet, you must officially submit the application form, test scores and the $30 certification application fee to the Gallaudet Certification Officer (Paul Singletary) for approval and for the University Seal, and then the application form is forwarded to the Office of Academic Credentials at DC Public Schools (the DC certification Office).

The steps above are the appropriate procedure if you intend to apply a D.C. license, which the Gallaudet Department of Education recommends for all completers of programs that lead to certification, even if you do not intend to teach in DC.

Suppose I want to teach in another state, and not DC? Why should I get a DC license?

Program completers who plan to teach in another state or jurisdiction and not DC will probably be asked to submit proof that they completed a program that was approved by the agency in DC that awards teacher licenses. If you do not already have a DC teaching license, most states will require that you submit an Institutional Verification Form signed by Gallaudet's Certification Officer as evidence that your program was DC-approved.

The District of Columbia has signed interstate contracts (reciprocity agreements) with 44 states to make it easier for those who hold a DC teaching license to obtain at least a temporary (sometimes called "provisional") teacher license in those other states, and this temporary license gives that person a certain period of time to meet the additional requirements necessary for converting their provisional license to a standard license in that other state. The reason the reciprocity approach may be easier is that you already know that your program is approved by DC, and so all you need to do is pass the standardized tests. If you go to another state without a DC license, that state's requirements for a license in your field may include courses that you have not yet taken. Then it is up to the other state to determine whether or not they will issue you a provisional license and let you go ahead and get a teaching job, or whether they will insist that you first complete the courses that you lack before you can even be hired for a job there. The best way to find out which method is best for you is to ask the other state's teacher certification office directly (because this varies from state to state, and teacher licensure requirements can change in a state from year to year).

Another factor to consider is that other states may either have different cut-off scores for the Praxis tests that are used by DC, or they may require different Praxis II tests in the content area than DC uses, or they may not use the Praxis tests at all (usually because they have developed their own teacher licensure tests). If you are asking the other state's teacher certification office if first obtaining a DC license would make it easier to obtain a license in that state, also ask about the difference in standardized test score requirements.

Where can I find a list of teacher certification offices for the various states?

The University of Kentucky 's teacher education program maintains a web site with links to each state certification agency. You can access this site at the following web address: http://www.uky.edu/Education/TEP/usacert.html
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