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Tennessee offers initial licenses in many areas for individuals interested in working as an educator in Tennessee schools. Review the Tennessee Educator License Types document to learn about each license type. Visit the Out-of-State Educator page for information on obtaining a Tennessee license if you have a license or completed an educator preparation program outside of Tennessee. Each licensure pathway requires a registered TNCompass account.

The practitioner license is valid for three years and may be renewed once. Tennessee offers a practitioner license in many endorsement areas, allowing individuals to serve as classroom teachers. At a minimum, candidates interested in the practitioner teacher license must:

  • be at least 18 years old;
  • hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited college or university;
  • be enrolled in or have completed an approved educator preparation program, and be recommended for licensure by the program provider;
  • meet all professional assessment requirements as specified by the State Board of Education (required assessment information can be found here);
  • meet requirements in at least one area of endorsement; 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. For more information, review the Academic Transcripts Operating Procedures.

The practitioner occupational license is valid for three years and may be renewed. Tennessee offers a practitioner occupational license in many endorsement areas. At a minimum, educators interested in the occupational practitioner license must:

  • be a high school graduate;
  • be enrolled in or have completed a state approve educator preparation program;
  • be recommended by a state-approved occupational educator preparation program;
  • meet endorsement experience requirements; and
  • meet industry certification requirements. A grace period of one (1) year for required industry certifications will be given to individuals applying for a new practitioner occupational license. This does not apply to health science or cosmetology teachers.

Educator preparation providers should receive verification from the department that an applicant meets stated criteria for licensure prior to recommending for licensure.

 

Educators who provide services to students other than instruction (i.e., speech-language pathologist, school audiologist, school psychologist, school counselor, school social worker, school food service supervisor, or educational interpreter) require specialized training that is significantly different from the training for classroom teachers. At a minimum, candidates interested in the school services personnel license must:

  • be at least 18 years old;
  • hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college/university (note that for these endorsements an advanced degree may be required);
  • ·successfully complete a state-approved educator preparation program and be recommended for licensure by the provider;
  • meet all professional assessment requirements as specified by the State Board of Education;
  • meet all requirements for the area of endorsement; 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. For more information, review the Academic Transcripts Operating Procedures.

The ILL-A is valid for three years and is not renewable. The ILL-A allows an educator to serve as an assistant principal while enrolled in an approved instructional leader preparation program. At a minimum, educators interested in the ILL-A must:

*Applications for educators completing a program in Tennessee are submitted through TNCompass by an educator preparation provider on behalf of the candidate. Once an application is submitted, educators will receive an email advising them to complete their personal affirmation statement in TNCompass. The application will not be processed until the personal affirmation is completed.

The ILL is valid for three years and is renewable. The ILL allows an educator to serve as an administrator (principal, assistant principal, or instructional supervisor). At a minimum, educators interested in the ILL must:

*Applications for educators completing a program in Tennessee are submitted through TNCompass by an educator preparation provider on behalf of the candidate. Once an application is submitted, educators will receive an email advising them to complete their personal affirmation statement in TNCompass. The application will not be processed until the personal affirmation is completed.

The JROTC license is valid for five years, and may be issued to active or retired military personnel who will serve as JROTC teachers. Candidates for the JROTC license must:

  • complete an application in TNCompass;
  • upload a copy of a valid JROTC training certificate that includes an expiration date;
  • 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. For more information, review the  Academic Transcripts Operating Procedures ; and
  • Verify that the applicant will be employed in a JROTC program in a Tennessee school system.