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Out of State Pathways

Pathway Options

  1. Out-of-State Pathway
  2. License Based on Reciprocity Pathway
  3. Out-of-State Alternative Routes Pathways
    1. Post-baccalaureate Pathway
    2. Alternative Route Program Pathway
    3. License Based on Equivalency Pathway
    4. Credential evaluation by Wisconsin approved Educator Preparation Program

1. Out-of-State Pathway

  • Bachelor's degree
  • Completed an approved educator preparation program outside Wisconsin
  • Seeking Initial WI license

Applicants have completed the testing requirements of a state-approved educator preparation program and are eligible for licensure in that state. Candidates should apply for the Wisconsin license that most closely matches their out-of-state license. Upon application, a review will be completed to determine comparability with Wisconsin preparation, testing, and statutory requirements.

If you fit this pathway profile:

  1. DETERMINE the Wisconsin license that most closely matches the out-of-state license you hold.
  2. COMPLETE the Wisconsin testing requirements.  Elementary Educators, please see Out-of-state Elementary Education Candidates for more specific information.
  3. UNDERSTAND the Wisconsin statutory and administrative rule requirements. Learn about the most common stipulations at Common Wisconsin Stipulations for Out-of-State Applicants
  4. APPLY for a Wisconsin License using the ELO System.

Notes and related information:

  • It takes approximately 12-16 weeks for out-of-state applications to be reviewed. You can speed the approval of your application by providing all required documents when you apply.
  • Upon application review, DPI will determine for which license you are currently eligible. If you are not eligible for the license for which you applied, DPI will issue the most similar license for which you are eligible. This may be a One-Year License with Stipulations, a License Based on Reciprocity, or a Five-Year Long-Term Substitute license. If there is no license for which you are eligible your application may be denied.
  • If you have a valid license from another state and have at least one year of experience under that license, you may be eligible to apply through our License Based on Reciprocity Pathway.
  • If you completed an alternative route program outside Wisconsin, refer to the Out-of-State Alternative Routes section below to determine your best pathway.
  • For Frequently Asked Questions about the Out-of-State Pathway see the Frequently Asked Questions - Out-of-State page.

Out-of-state Elementary Education Candidates

The grade ranges for teacher licenses in Wisconsin do not always match up to the grade levels used on other states' licenses.  Wisconsin grade ranges are:

Teaching Areas Grades Ranges
Early Childhood (Regular Education and Special Education) PK – 3
Elementary and Middle School K – 9
Middle and High School 4 – 12
Prekindergarten through grade 12 PK – 12
Kindergarten through grade 12 Cross-Categorical Special Education K – 12


The corresponding Wisconsin license for most elementary education preparation programs in other states is our Elementary/Middle School license.  Examples from neighboring states:

State License WI License Required Tests
Illinois

Early Childhood Education (Birth-grade 3)

 

 

Elementary Education (K-9)

PK-3

 

 

 

K-9

  • Praxis II Elementary Education (5014) or (5018)
  • Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Test

 

  • Praxis II Middle School Content Knowledge Test (5146)
  • Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Test
Iowa

PK-K or PK-3

 

 

Elementary Classroom (1-6)

PK-K or PK-3

 

 

K-6

  • Praxis II Elementary Education (5014) or (5018)
  • Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Test
     
  • Praxis II Middle School Content Knowledge Test (5146)
  • Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Test
Michigan

Elementary Education Certificate with Early Childhood Education endorsement (ZA or ZS)

 

 

Elementary Education Certificate (K-5)

 

Regular Education EC-MC

 

 

 

 

K-5

  • Praxis II Elementary Education (5014) or (5018)
  • Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Test


 

  • Praxis II Middle School Content Knowledge Test (5146)
  • Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Test
Minnesota

Pre-Kindergarten, Pre-Primary, or Early Childhood Education (PK-3 or K-3)

 

 

Elementary Education (K-6 or 1-6)

PK-3 or K-3

 

 

K-6 or 1-6

  • Praxis II Elementary Education (5014) or (5018)
  • Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Test

 

  • Praxis II Middle School Content Knowledge Test (5146)
  • Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Test

Kindergarten

Wisconsin licenses that include Kindergarten require that a candidate have proper preparation in Early Childhood Education.  Few K-6 preparation programs outside of Wisconsin are comparable to DPI-approved early childhood programs.  

A candidate would likely qualify for a Wisconsin Early Childhood license with a double-major in elementary education and early childhood or possibly with a major in elementary education and minor in early childhood.  A kindergarten endorsement from another state is not by itself sufficient to obtain a Wisconsin teacher license that includes Kindergarten.


2. License Based on Reciprocity Pathway

The License Based on Reciprocity is a Tier II three-year renewable educator license. The License Based on Reciprocity is available for teacher and administrator licenses, but it is not available for pupil services licenses. 

  • Hold a current teaching license in good standing from another state
  • Have taught one year with the teaching license from out of state or one-year teaching in a WI school while holding a valid WI license
  • Hold a current administrator license in good standing from another state or one-year admin experience
  • Have worked one year with the administrator license from out of state

If you fit this pathway profile:

  1. DETERMINE your eligibility by following the steps: License Based on Reciprocity
  2. PREPARE electronic copies of your valid license from another state and an employment verification
  3. APPLY for a Wisconsin License using the ELO System.

3. Out-of-State Alternative Routes Pathways

Candidate Profiles

  • Completed an alternative route program outside of Wisconsin
  • Received licensure directly from another state's education agency via a certificate program or equivalency process
  • Received licensure through a two-year institution outside of Wisconsin
  • Received licensure through another process outside of Wisconsin (e.g., passing a content examination)

Applicants who completed an educator preparation program for teachers, pupil services, and/or administrators at a college or university headquartered outside the state of Wisconsin, including online colleges or universities and out-of-country (non-U.S.) colleges/universities, should apply for Wisconsin licensure via the Out-of-State pathway above.

If you have completed an alternative route to licensure in another state you may complete the following pathways to Wisconsin licensure:


3a. Post-baccalaureate Pathway Candidate Profile

  • Bachelor's degree
  • Career changer, entering teaching
  • Educator seeking additional license
  • College graduate, seeking MS degree in a new content area

Having earned a Bachelor's degree, these candidates choose to return to a Wisconsin college/university approved to offer a teacher licensure program. Post Baccalaureate programs provide subject area and teaching coursework that lead to teacher licensure only or towards a master's degree program.

If you fit this pathway profile:

  1. DECIDE what you are interested in teaching.
  2. IDENTIFY the Wisconsin colleges/universities that are approved to prepare teachers for the Wisconsin teaching license you are seeking on the Find a Preparation Program page. 
  3. CONTACT the college/university directly to learn about their program and enrollment. See Contact Information for Approved Educator Preparation Programs on the Approved Educator Preparation Programs page.
  4. COMPLETE all the requirements of the approved teacher licensure program.
  5. APPLY for a Wisconsin Initial Educator License using the ELO system.

3b. Alternative Route Program Pathway Candidate Profile

  • Bachelor's degree, with a major in the license subject
  • Career changer, entering teaching
  • Educator seeking an additional license in a shortage area
  • Seeking licensure in a shortage area in Wisconsin
    • mathematics, science, career and technical education subjects, business education, world languages, special education, bilingual/bicultural and ESL; also regional shortages

For subject-specific license, the candidate must have already completed a major in the subject area of the license they are seeking. Wisconsin alternative route programs prepare candidates with teaching coursework for Wisconsin licenses in shortage areas.

If you fit this pathway profile:

  1. DECIDE what you are interested in teaching.
  2. IDENTIFY the Wisconsin Alternative-Route Program Providers that are approved to prepare educators in the Wisconsin teaching license you are seeking on the Find a Preparation Program page.
  3. CONTACT the Alternative Route Program Providers directly to learn about their program and enrollment. See Contact Information for Approved Educator Preparation Programs on the Approved Educator Preparation Programs page.
  4. COMPLETE all the requirements of the approved alternative route licensure program.
  5. APPLY for a Wisconsin Initial Educator License using the ELO System.

3c. License Based on Equivalency Pathway Candidate Profile

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Three years of teaching experience in PK-12, postsecondary, and/or industry
  • Major or major equivalent in content area
  • May have completed alternative-route teacher preparation program in another state or a teacher preparation program in another country
  • May be a teacher in a private or charter school, postsecondary education, or a workplace

Candidates in this pathway have not completed a Wisconsin recognized and approved educator preparation program. Three years of teaching experience and a performance-based assessment process will be used to determine competency in the Wisconsin educator standards. These programs are for licensure only and do not lead to a degree.

If you fit this pathway profile:

  1. Work directly with one of the providers in the chart below.
  2. Complete all the requirements of the program you choose. The provider will assist you in completing the application materials for licensure.

License Based on Equivalency - Options
 

Program Program Provider Contact
Licensed Based on Equivalency (LBE) Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Wisconsin DPI LBE
Assessment-Based Licensure for Educators (ABLE) EducatorsAbroad ABLE

3d. License Based on Credential evaluation by Wisconsin approved Educator Preparation Program


Submit questions and comments about this information to the Licensing Online Help desk.