Professional Licensure, Certification, and Endorsement FAQs

Professional Licensure, Endorsement or Certification FAQ

States use a variety of terms pertaining to earning credentials that allow individuals to work in various fields. This is especially true in the field of education. Some states issue licenses, others endorsements, and some, certifications. Some states offer a combination of the above. For the purposes of the questions below, we will use the term “license” to cover all types of professional credentials.

May I obtain my license from ACE?

Professional licensure in the field of education is granted by a state licensing agency (often the Department of Education), not by an institution. ACE provides education; states issue licenses.

When should I seek information regarding professional licensure?

Be sure that you understand the licensure requirements in your state prior to enrolling in a degree program. Most educators working in P-12 schools are required to have a license, although the same may not be required in some private, parochial or charter schools.

Can ACE tell me whether I will qualify for licensure in my state?

American College of Education strives to have the most up-to-date information on professional licensure in all states. However, due to the complexities of licensure and the frequent changes in regulations and requirements, the most accurate sources of information are the state licensing boards. All licensure-track programs at ACE are approved by the Indiana Department of Education, but as with many states, there are additional requirements a candidate must meet outside of the educational program requirements in order to qualify for licensure in Indiana. Therefore, ACE will provide you with state licensing board website resources to help you begin your research. You will want to refer to your state licensing website periodically throughout your program to determine if licensure requirements have changed and if the changes impact you.

What are some things I need to research with my state licensing board?

Here are a few ideas for you to consider:

  • You will want to see what types of licenses your state issues. You may see terms like “provisional,” “temporary,” “full,” etc. The type of your current teaching license may determine if you can obtain an administrative license. Or, it will help you know which type of teaching license you may obtain by transferring an Indiana initial teaching license after completion of the Transition to Teaching or Master of Arts in Teaching programs.
  • Should you desire to become a school administrator, you will also want to determine whether you need a specific number of years of teaching experience, and what type of teaching license you need in order to obtain an administrative license.
  • Some states offer alternative paths to administrative licenses. Research the requirements to determine whether an alternative path is a good option for you.
  • Confirm whether or not the ACE program in which you are interested meets the licensure requirements in your state. Pay attention to statements like, “must have graduated from a regionally-accredited institution,” or “must have graduated from a state-approved program.”

What are common licensure requirements?

Every state has different licensing requirements. However, common requirements include earning a degree that includes specific coursework, background checks and fingerprints, field experiences like internship or student teaching, or state qualifying exams – sometimes more than one. It is important for you to know your specific state licensure requirements.

Does the ACE program need to be approved by my state licensing board before I can become licensed?

That depends on the state. Some states recognize a degree from an out-of-state institution. Other states require that the program be approved by a state licensing board. Still other states require that the program be approved by that state. All licensure-track programs offered at ACE are approved by the Indiana Department of Education. The Educational Leadership program is also approved in Ohio, Florida, and Texas.

Does the approval of the Educational Leadership program in Indiana, Florida, Ohio and Texas mean there is reciprocity with my state?

“Reciprocity” is a term that is frequently misused and/or misunderstood. So, rather than use that term, the response to the above question is as follows:

If you reside in a state other than Indiana, Florida, Ohio, or Texas, you are considered an out-of-state graduate. Many states will accept these program approvals or a license from another state, but additional requirements may have to be fulfilled, such as a course in the state constitution, CPR training, etc. This is why it is imperative that you be well versed in your own state’s licensure requirements.

If I cannot find the information I am looking for on my state’s licensing website, what should I do?

Always contact your state licensing board. The staff members in the licensing office are charged with knowing the state regulations and are there to help individuals like you understand what is needed in order to obtain and maintain your license.

What should I do when calling my state licensing office?

Before calling your state licensing office, read your state's licensing requirements and jot down your questions. Record the name and phone number of the person with whom you speak, along with the date and time of your conversation. Make notes of the questions you ask and the responses you receive. Compare the information you are given with the information you found on the website or in the regulations. Request for the licensing office to send a written confirmation email, reiterating your conversation.

Will ACE verify with my state’s licensing board that I have completed the program?