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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, 9th 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 (e.g., speech-language pathologists, school counselors, etc.) require specialized training that is significantly different from the training for classroom teachers. The minimum requirements for candidates interested in various school services personnel licensure areas are listed below. All licensure transactions must be submitted in www.TNCompass.org.

  • Hold an advanced degree in school counseling from a regionally accredited college or university;
  • Have completed an educator preparation program in school counseling approved by a state other than Tennessee as evidenced by one (1) of the following:

–      a valid professional level license from a state other than Tennessee; or

–      a recommendation from the out-of-state educator preparation provider where the educator completed preparation

•   If applying based on completion of a program approved for licensure by a state other than Tennessee, submit a form completed by the out-of-state EPP where the educator completed a preparation program.

  • Meet one (1) of the following:

–   Complete an educator preparation program in school social work approved for licensure by a state other than Tennessee, and be recommended by the approved educator preparation provider; or

–   Hold a valid social worker license issued by the Tennessee Board of Social Workers or the licensing board of a state other than Tennessee; or

–   Hold a bachelor’s degree or higher in social work and hold a valid out-of-state professional-level educator license.

  • 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 education 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.
  • Meet one (1) of the following:

–   Complete a graduate level educator preparation program in school psychology approved for licensure by a state other than Tennessee;

•       If applying based on completion of a program approved for licensure by a state other than Tennessee, submit a form completed by the out-of-state EPP where the educator completed a preparation program.

–   Hold an advanced degree in school psychology and hold a valid out-of-state professional level educator license; or

–   Hold a valid certificate as a Nationally Certified School Psychologist issued by the National School Psychology Certification System.

  • Meet one (1) of the following:

–   Hold an advanced degree in speech-language pathology from a regionally accredited institution of higher education with a speech-language program approved by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech Language Pathology;

–   Hold a valid speech-language pathologist license issued by the Tennessee Board of Communication Disorders and Sciences or the licensing board of a state other than Tennessee; or

–   Hold an advanced degree in speech-language pathology and hold a valid out-of-state professional level educator license.

Meet one (1) of the following:

  • Hold an advanced degree in audiology from a state or regionally-accredited institution of higher education with a graduate level program approved by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology;
  • Hold a valid audiology license issued by the Tennessee Board of Communication Disorders and Sciences or the licensing board of a state other than Tennessee; or
  • Hold an advanced degree in audiology and hold a valid out-of-state professional level educator license.

§  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 education 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.

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university; and
  • Meet one of the following:

–      Hold a current, nationally recognized certification in educational interpreting which includes a written examination related to ethics and practice; or

–      Submit qualifying scores that are no more than five (5) years old on all required assessments as defined in the Professional Assessments for Tennessee Educators Policy

§  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 education 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.

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. Educators enrolled in a State Board-approved instructional leader preparation program may apply for the Instructional Leader License–Aspiring (ILL-A). Educators holding the ILL-A may only serve as an assistant principal and may not serve as a principal or instructional supervisor. Educators seeking the ILL-A must meet the following requirements:

·         Have at least three (3) years of qualifying experience as an educator as defined by the

·         Department (submit the Experience Verification form);

·         Be enrolled in a State Board-approved instructional leader preparation program;

·         Be recommended by the State Board-approved instructional leader preparation provider;

·         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. For more information, review the Academic Transcripts Operating Procedures.

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 principle, or instructional supervisor). Educators seeking the ILL must meet the following requirements:

·         Hold an advanced degree from a regionally accredited college or university;

·         (b) Have at least three (3) years of qualifying experience as an educator as defined by the department (Experience Verification form);

·         (c) Have completed a State Board-approved instructional leader preparation program;

·         (d) Be recommended by the State Board-approved instructional leader preparation provider; and

·         (e) Submit qualifying scores that are no more than five (5) years old on all required assessments as defined in the Professional Assessments for Tennessee Educators Policy.

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, 9th 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.