Skip to Main Content

Licensed Educators

All Tennessee educators, including teachers and school services personnel, must visit TNCompass to take action on a current license. Current Non-Public School Educators may find licensure information here. Visit the Instructional Leader page for Instructional Leader License transaction information.

Educator licenses must be renewed on or before the date of expiration. Licenses that are no longer issued will be converted to new license types. The Licensure Renewal Application Checklist provides step-by-step instructions.

Teacher and School Services Personnel

To renew a practitioner license, an educator must:

  • complete an approved educator preparation program; and
  • submit passing scores on all required content and pedagogical assessments.

To renew a professional license, an educator must:

  • submit 60 professional development points (PDPs).
    • PDPs must be accrued during the validity period of the license. To learn more about activities that may be used for PDPs, visit the PDP resource page.

Occupational Teacher

To renew a practitioner occupational license, an educator must:

To renew a professional occupational license, an educator must:

The Licensure Advancement Application Checklist provides step-by-step instructions.

To advance from a practitioner license to professional license, teachers must:

  • complete an approved educator preparation program
  • submit passing scores on required content and literacy assessments;
  • have three years of experience; and
  • have a recommendation from the director of schools or documentation of 30 professional development points (PDPs).

To advance from a practitioner to professional occupational license, educators must:

  • have three (3) years of experience;
  • have a recommendation from the director of schools, or documentation of 30 professional development points (PDPs);
  • complete an approved educator preparation program;
  • have attended five (5) total days of new teacher training sponsored by the department’s college, career, and technical education division during the first year of teaching;
  • have observed three (3) experienced teachers within their endorsed teaching area, and one (1) experienced teacher outside their endorsed teaching area;
  • have an assigned mentor teacher during the first (3) years of teaching; and
  • have current valid industry certification required by teacher endorsement area.

To advance from a practitioner to professional license, school services personnel must:

Educators with an expired Tennessee license and/or a retired license will need to reactivate their license and/or meet criteria to convert to an active type. The educator must have a registered TNCompass account.

Educators with an inactive license that is no longer issued must ensure that the department has qualifying content assessments scores on file that are no more than five years old.

Reactivating Retired Endorsements on an Inactive License
Reactivation Procedures for Inactive Licenses

Educators with an active license type that is no longer issued (i.e., Apprentice) may convert to a practitioner license.

Criteria and instructions for converting a license

An educator who holds a valid Tennessee educator license may add additional endorsements or teaching areas to the license. Endorsements may be added by completing the required Praxis exam(s) for the new endorsement, and/or require the completion additional coursework, depending on which endorsements an educator holds and the endorsement the educator is seeking.

Educators completing a preparation program for an endorsement in a state other than Tennessee may upload the Verification of Out-of-State Additional Endorsement  form in TNCompass and submit a transaction to add an endorsement. Review the Endorsement Flexibility and Additional Endorsements document for more information.

There are endorsements which may only be obtained by meeting state minimum requirements. Some of these endorsements are only available as an additional endorsement to an existing teacher license; others require prerequisites such as certain degrees and experience.

Educator Licensure Policy 5.502k requires that educators complete a minimum of 12 semester hours in literature of the Bible from a regionally accredited institution of higher education (IHE) to be eligible for the Bible endorsement. Coursework in theology, doctrine, ethics, dogma, and other courses of a doctrinal nature cannot be used to fulfill this requirement.

For a course to be used to fulfill this endorsement, applicants must provide the following:

  • the course description for each course to be counted toward the minimum 12 semester hours in literature of the Bible, and
  • a statement of not more than 100 words that clearly supports why the course aligns with the Bible teacher endorsement requirement.

The application, course description, and supporting statements must be submitted in TNCompass. Official transcripts must be submitted by the institution of higher learning to Educator.Licensure@tn.gov through an approved clearinghouse, or mailed to 710 James Robertson Parkway, 12th Floor, Nashville, TN 37243. For more information, review the Academic Transcripts Operating Procedures.

An educator preparation provider (EPP) may request a Bible teacher endorsement on behalf of an educator by submitting the application via TNCompass if the EPP has an approved program for the endorsement. The EPP must upload the course description(s) from the official IHE course catalog for each course to be counted toward the minimum 12 semester hours in literature of the Bible at the time they submit the application.

The applicant must have a valid teaching license and hold a secondary endorsement (grades 7-12 or K-12) and complete a minimum of 10 semester hours of driver and traffic safety education including the following areas:

  • basic driver and traffic safety education,
  • advanced driver and traffic safety,
  • general safety, and
  • first aid and emergency medical services.

The applicant must hold a bachelor’s degree and be a licensed educator or have completed at least 18 semester hours in education, psychology, or sociology. The applicant must have a field experience of six semester hours or professional experience supervised by a licensed school food service supervisor for at least 120 clock hours including the following areas: procurement, quantity foods, design and layout, and sanitation and food safety. The applicant must also complete 12 semester hours of course work including each of the following:

  • personnel management;
  • nutrition;
  • accounting, cost analysis, or financial management food systems; and
  • Spreadsheet applications.

The applicant must hold a master’s degree with a graduate major in educational administration and supervision or a minimum of 20 graduate semester hours in administration, supervision, and related courses. The applicant must hold valid license endorsed in principal, supervisor of instruction, or administration/supervision. The applicant must have five years acceptable experience in teaching and/or administration. The following courses must be completed:

  • school organization and administration,
  • supervision,
  • curriculum development,
  • school finance,
  • school plant and transportation, and
  • school and community relations.

The applicant must hold a valid educator license, and have five years of teaching experience.  The applicant must also complete a minimum of eight semester hours of coursework in any the following areas:

  • counseling and guidance,
  • community and school relations,
  • special education,
  • social case work, or
  • state and federal laws relating to school attendance.

Occupational teacher endorsements can be obtained using work experience, industry certification, or postsecondary training through any of the four following pathways:

  • credentialed (certificate or diploma) postsecondary training in the endorsed area, associate degree, or industry certification may substitute for two (2) years of work experience. In addition, applicant must also have at least three (3) years of work experience in the endorsed area in the last eight (8) years for a total of five (5) years;
  • a combination of an associate degree related to the endorsed area and industry certification may be substituted for four (4) years of work experience. In addition, applicant must have at least one (1) year of work experience in the endorsed area in the last eight (8) years for a total of five (5) years;
  • a bachelor’s degree or higher in the endorsed area may be substituted for partial or full credit of work experience depending on the endorsement and related industry; or
  • five (5) years of full-time work experience accrued in the occupational area of endorsement within the last eight (8) years.

Educators may add a degree from a regionally accredited institution to their license. To add a degree to a license, an educator must:

  • complete a transaction in TNCompass; and
  • ensure that the department has official transcripts of all credits earned through an institution of higher education. The transcript must be submitted by the institution of higher learning to Educator.Licensure@tn.gov through an approved clearinghouse, or mailed to 710 James Robertson Parkway, 12th Floor, Nashville, TN 37243.

The department shares licensure reminders and updates with educators via email. Educators are advised to maintain current primary and secondary email addresses in TNCompass to ensure access to licensure related communications.

To change a name:

  1. Log into TNCompass.
  2. Select “My Educator Profile” in the Application Quick Links section.
  3. Select “Transactions” and select “Name Change” to start a new transaction.
  4. Read related information, complete the name change form, and add appropriate attachments.
  5. Review for accuracy, read submission confirmation and submit.
  6. Select “Personal Affirmation” in the Submission Notes section. Complete the Name Change Transaction – Personal Affirmation.
  7. Confirm accuracy of submission and submit. Confirm personal affirmation and click submit again.

The following forms of legal documentation will be accepted for name changes:

  • U.S. issued driver’s license;
  • U.S. issued passport;
  • U.S. issued social security card; or
  • U.S. issued official court documents (e.g., marriage license, divorce decree, other official court document).

If an educator would like to change a middle name to a maiden name, it must appear that way on the legal documentation.

To change an address:

  1. Log into TNCompass.
  2. Select “Edit Account Information”.
  3. Edit the appropriate information.
  4. Confirm accuracy and click “Save” in the upper right corner.

To add/edit an email address:

  1. Log into TNCompass.
  2. Select “Edit Account Information”.
  3. Edit the appropriate information.
  4. Confirm accuracy and click “Save” in the upper right corner.