Overview of District of Columbia Teacher Requirements
How to Qualify for Licensure
For initial teacher licensure in the District of Columbia, all candidates must:
- Earn a baccalaureate degree.
- Complete a state-approved educator preparation program or meet coursework requirements as outlined in the D.C. Municipal Regulations via transcript analysis.
- Submit the appropriate licensure fees.
- Pass The Praxis Series® tests for their licensure area and type.
For additional information on D.C. teacher licensure requirements, please visit the licensure website for the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE).
All license seekers must submit original test-taker score report(s) attached to their D.C. licensure application packet (printing/submitting the PDF score report sent by ETS is acceptable). The process to separately send individual test results electronically or through regular mail to this jurisdiction has not been finalized at this time. Failure to submit your score results as part of your licensure application packet will result in a licensure denial response.
- As of the 2014–15 testing year, ETS discontinued paper-delivered testing. However, Praxis® tests will continue to be available in a paper-delivered format as required for ADA accommodations. All scores for previously administered paper-delivered tests are reportable for 10 years from the date the test was taken.
- The District of Columbia requires a Social Security number (SSN) in order to process educator licensure paperwork. ETS does not require your SSN for its own purposes, but failure to provide your SSN will delay processing of your licensure application.
Who Must Take the Tests?
All teacher candidates or those wishing to become certified must take The Praxis Series tests.
Praxis® Core Academic Skills for Educators (Core) Tests
All candidates seeking initial licensure must present passing scores for the Praxis® Core Academic Skills for Educators (Core) tests at the time of application (exceptions: Performing Arts, Technical & Industrial Occupation and Military Science & Tactics license seekers). Predetermined scores must be achieved on the Core tests in reading, writing and mathematics prior to Level I or Level II licensure in the District of Columbia.
Praxis® Subject Assessments (formerly the Praxis II® tests)
In addition, any candidate seeking a non-renewable provisional license (Regular I) must successfully complete the relevant Praxis® Subject Assesments in the subject area being taught. Candidates seeking full licensure (Regular II) must submit passing scores on the appropriate Praxis Subject Assesments in the subject area at the time of application.
Any licensed teacher seeking endorsement licensure in additional subject areas must pass the relevant Praxis pedagogy test (where required) and may demonstrate content knowledge by:
- Passing the corresponding Praxis Subject Assessments; OR
- Having a major or major equivalent (30 semester hours) from an accredited college/university; OR
- Meeting the content area requirements as outlined in the DC Municipal Regulations.
For comprehensive information on endorsement licensure requirements, please visit OSSE's endorsement webpage.
See required tests for each area of certification for which you are seeking licensure.
Licensure by Reciprocity
Licensure by reciprocity is extended to individuals seeking the issuance of a District of Columbia educator credential. Individuals may be granted a waiver of D.C.'s testing requirements and may be issued a full license by meeting all of the following conditions:
- Completion of a state-approved educator preparation program at an institution or organization located outside of the District of Columbia in the subject area matching the license being sought; AND
- Possession of a valid out-of-state Level II license (full credential without deficiencies) in the subject area matching the license being sought; AND
- Completion of a minimum of three (3) years of full-time PreK–12 teaching experience in the licensure subject area. The experience cannot include substitute teaching.
Candidates who do not meet the three prerequisites above will be given a transcript analysis of their credentials. A transcript analysis may require license seekers to complete additional coursework and/or state tests prior to being issued a D.C. license.
- About the Praxis Tests
- The Praxis Series® Information Bulletin
- Prepare for a Test
- Register for a Test
- Accommodations for Test Takers with Disabilities or Health-related Needs
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