In order to receive an educator license in Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction requires applicants to demonstrate content knowledge proficiency in their specific license area. Tests and passing scores are approved by the State Superintendent.
I. Subject Area Competency
All candidates who complete their educator preparation programs at a Wisconsin college/university or alternative program after August 31, 2004, are required to demonstrate proficiency in their content area to qualify for a Wisconsin educator license. There are no waivers for the content area proficiency requirement, and the requirement applies to each licensure area. The content area proficiency requirements also apply to educators returning to complete a new licensure area (e.g., subject) after August 31, 2004.
Candidates enrolled in a Wisconsin educator preparation program should contact their respective program for all testing and proficiency requirements pertinent to the licensure endorsement they are seeking and the timing to take the tests within the program sequence.
Educator preparation programs may use one or more of the options available to them to verify the educator has the demonstrated content knowledge proficiency. Consult with your educator preparation program to learn which competency options that program employs.
Educator preparation programs can choose one or more of the following methods of verifying an educator’s subject area competency:
- Praxis II or ACTFL World Language content knowledge tests.
- The Praxis II tests are available for all teaching and pupil services candidates (except school social worker) enrolled in Wisconsin educator preparation programs in any subject other than world languages. A complete listing of Wisconsin-approved subject area tests and their passing scores can be found on the ETS Website or call 1-800-772-9476.
- The ACTFL World Language Tests are available for all world language teacher candidates. Wisconsin requires both the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI-OPIc) and Writing Proficiency Test (WPT). The qualifying score for licensure in Wisconsin on both tests are "Intermediate High." To learn more about Wisconsin-approved world language assessments, please go to the LTI Website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- A GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale in the in the content area or position of the licensure program.
- A content portfolio as defined by the educator preparation program.
II. Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Test
Effective January 31, 2014, applicants for initial licensure as an elementary teacher (grades K-5, EC, EC-MC, MC-EA), a special education teacher, a reading teacher, or reading specialist must receive a passing score of 240 or higher on the Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Test. Any licensed teacher wanting to add one or more of these areas to their license must also pass the test. For more information, see Pearson's Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Test web page.
Note: 2019 Act 44 created an alternative demonstration of knowledge and skill in the teaching of reading for special education teacher candidates only.
Note: Educators applying through the following License Pathways should click on the pathway name below for more specific information: