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Out-of-State Educators

The department is excited about your interest in becoming a licensed Tennessee educator! Review the Tennessee Educator License Types  document to learn about the licenses offered. There are three pathways by which an out-of-state educator may obtain Tennessee educator license. Each pathway requires a registered TNCompass account. The Out-of-State Applicant Checklist provides step-by-step instructions.

The practitioner license is an initial license, valid for three years. To be issued a practitioner license using a valid out of state license, an applicant must:

  • be at least 18 years old;
  • hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university;
  • provide proof of a full, valid and continuously renewable license comparable to the Tennessee professional license; 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.
Qualifying scores on required content assessments must be submitted prior to renewal or advancement of the practitioner license.

The practitioner license is an initial license, valid for three years. To be issued a practitioner license using a recommendation from an out-of-state educator preparation provider (EPP), the applicant must:

  • be at least 18 years old;
  • hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university;
  • submit a recommendation from the out-of-state EPP where the educator completed or is in enrolled in a preparation program (all out-of-state providers must meet conditions stipulated in State Board Rule 0520-02-04);
  • submit qualifying scores on all required assessments (required assessment information can be found here); 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 license is an initial license, valid for three years. Educators currently enrolled in an educator preparation program that has a formal partnership agreement on file with the office of educator licensure and preparation may be issued a license through this pathway. To be issued a job-embedded license through the out-of-state partnership pathway, the applicant must:

  • be at least 18 years old;
  • hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university;
  • ensure that the program they are enrolled in has a formal partnership agreement with the Tennessee school district in which he/she will be teaching on file with the department;
  • verify content knowledge by submitting qualifying scores on all required content assessments or proof of an undergraduate major in the content are where the educator is seeking endorsement. Passing scores on the required pedagogical assessment must be submitted prior to renewing or advancing the practitioner license (visit the ETS website for Tennessee test requirements); 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 is an administrator license, valid for three years, and may be renewed. To be issued the ILL using a valid comparable administrator license from a state other than Tennessee, the applicant must:

  • be at least 18 years old;
  • hold a graduate degree from a regionally accredited college or university;
  • provide evidence of three (3) years qualifying pre-K-12 education working experience using the experience verification form;
  • submit qualifying scores on required assessment(s)* (required assessment information can be found here);
  • 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
  • provide proof of a full, valid, and continuously renewable license, comparable to the Tennessee Instructional Leader License.

*Out-of-state applicants who are unable to submit passing scores on the required assessment but have met all other requirements may be issued the Instructional Leadership License—Aspiring (ILL-A).  The ILL-A allows educators to be hired as an assistant principal. Once qualifying scores are submitted, the educator may advance to the ILL.

The ILL is valid for three years and may be renewed. To be issued the ILL using a recommendation from an out-of-state EPP, the applicant must:

  • be at least 18 years old;
  • hold a graduate degree from a regionally accredited college or university;
  • provide evidence of three (3) years qualifying pre-K-12 education working experience, using the experience verification form;
  • submit qualifying scores on required assessment(s)* (required assessment information can be found here);
  • 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
  • have a recommendation from the out-of-state instructional leader preparation provider where the applicant completed preparation. All out-of-state instructional leader preparation programs must meet conditions stipulated in State Board Rule 0520-02-04.

*Out-of-state applicants who are unable to submit passing scores on the SLLA but have met all other requirements may be issued the Instructional Leadership License—Aspiring (ILL-A). The ILL-A allows educators to be hired as an assistant principal. Once qualifying scores are submitted, the educator may advance to the ILL.