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COVID-19 INFORMATION

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:

Occupational Teacher

To renew a practitioner occupational license, an educator must:

  • complete an approved occupational educator preparation program; and
  • submit proof of current industry certification, as required by teacher endorsement area.

To renew a professional occupational license, an educator must:

For step-by-step advancement transaction instructions, see the Licensure Guidance Documents section.

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 ( Additional information about acceptable experience for licensure advancement is available in the Licensure Forms – Other Forms section) ; 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; and
  • 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:

  • have three years of experience ( Additional information about acceptable experience for licensure advancement is available in the Licensure Forms – Other Forms section) ; and
  • have a recommendation from the director of schools or documentation of 30 professional development points (PDPs).

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.

Per Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 49-5-108(c), educators who hold an expired Tennessee license may reactivate without submitting qualifying scores on required assessments, if the teacher holds an active professional license in a state other than Tennessee. The professional license from another state must be a full, valid, continuously renewable license that is equivalent to Tennessee’s Professional license. Educators who meet these criteria will need to submit a Reactivate License transaction in TNCompass and upload a copy of their out-of-state license to the Attachments section on the Licensure tab of their TNCompass account.

Educator Licensure Rule (Chapter 0520-02-03) requires educators who do not currently hold a full, valid, and continuously renewable professional level license equivalent to Tennessee’s Professional license, to submit qualifying scores (no more than five years old) on state-required content and literacy assessments (excluding the ETS Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) and Pearson edTPA) for each endorsement the educator seeks to reactivate.

Tennessee Praxis requirements are listed here: https://www.ets.org/praxis/tn/requirements. Please note that Praxis Core assessments are only used for admission to educator preparation programs and are not required for licensure. For more information regarding sending official Praxis score reports, please visit https://www.ets.org/praxis/scores/send. Be certain to specify Tennessee's code (8190) and provide your full social security number when registering for assessments or requesting scores be sent.

Individuals seeking an endorsement in mathematics 6-10 must submit qualifying scores on the appropriate National Evaluation Series (NES) Mathematics​ assessment.​ Individuals seeking an endorsement in mathematics 6-8 or mathematics 6–12 may submit qualifying scores on either the appropriate Praxis Series Mathematics assessment or the appropriate NES Mathematics​ assessment. Information regarding the NES Mathematics assessments is available here: https://www.nestest.com/PageView.aspx?f=GEN_Tennessee.html.

Score reports must be sent directly from the assessment administrator and will not be accepted from an educator or an institution of higher education.

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 Application for Additional Endorsement Completed Out-of-State form in TNCompass and submit a transaction to add an endorsement. Review the District & School Endorsement Flexibility (pg. 35) section of the Educator Licensure and Operating Procedures for Districts guidance 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, 9th 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. The applicant must complete eight (8) semester hours in areas such as:

  • 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, 9th Floor, Nashville, TN 37243.

Pursuant to T.C.A. § 49-6-6006 and State Board Policy, anyone listed as the teacher of record for a course above Algebra I or Integrated Math I must carry a secondary mathematics endorsement. Any teacher interested in teaching Algebra I or Integrated Math I at any grade level who does not currently hold a secondary mathematics endorsement must meet the State Board-approved employment standard. This chiefly affects middle school teachers who are teaching Algebra I or Integrated Math I and special education teachers who are serving as the teacher of record. In October 2014, the State Board of Education approved on final reading two additional options for educators to meet the requirements for eligibility; these changes took place in the spring 2015. 

In order to teach Algebra I or Integrated Math I without a secondary mathematics endorsement, educators must pass the Middle School Mathematics Praxis (5169) or the NES Mathematics (Middle Grades and Early Secondary) (105) test  and must meet one of the following:

 

Attend a state-approved training - OR -
• Take and pass a supplemental test approved by the department. The department has approved the following supplemental tests.
1. College Board CLEP test: College Algebra (Passing Score 60),
2. College Board CLEP test: College Mathematics (Passing score 60), or
3. Algebra 1 Praxis (5162) (Passing score 157)

After completing the above employment standard criteria, educators are responsible for emailing Scott.Eddins@tn.gov to request an Algebra I/Integrated I Employment Standard verification letter. Upon receipt, it is recommended that educators upload a copy of the verification letter to TNCompass, provide a copy to their school/district office, and keep a copy for personal records.  Please note, completing the employment standard criteria provides eligibility to teach Algebra I/Integrated I without a secondary mathematics endorsement and is not a change in licensure.

In addition, previously the state board ruled that teachers with a level 5 TVAAS score in Algebra I (one-year, two-year, or three-year) in the 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14 school years do NOT need to take the training or pass the supplemental test. These educators must still pass the Middle School Mathematics Praxis (5169) to be eligible to teach Algebra I or Integrated Math I. The Tennessee Department of Education sent directors of schools a list of teachers whose TVAAS scores meet the employment standard in January 2015.

Look for more information to be communicated regarding upcoming training dates. Questions about the Employment Standard should be directed to Scott.Eddins@tn.gov, coordinator of mathematics content and resources.

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.