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Initial Teaching License

Candidate Profiles

 

Bachelor's Degree Pathway

Candidate Profile

  • No Bachelor's degree
  • High School graduate
  • Returning adult student
  • First teaching license in WI

This pathway requires the candidate to complete a bachelor's degree and an approved teacher preparation program at a Wisconsin college/university. Upon completion, the Wisconsin college/university will endorse you for a Wisconsin license.

Download a PDF version of the video.

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 the bachelor's degree.
  5. COMPLETE all the requirements of the approved teacher licensure program.
  6. APPLY for a Wisconsin Initial Educator License using the ELO System.

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.

Download a PDF version of the video.

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.

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 licensure, 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. These programs are for licensure only and do not lead to a degree.

Download a PDF version of the video.

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.

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.
 

Download a PDF version of the video here.

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

 

American Board 

Candidate Profile

Wis. Stat. 118.197 requires that DPI issue a provisional license to an individual who meets all of the following requirements:

(1) Notwithstanding s. 118.19 (4m), (6) to (9), and (12) to (14), the department shall grant an initial license to teach to an individual who is eligible for licensure under s. 118.19 (4) and (10) and who satisfies all of the following:

(a) The individual possesses a bachelor's degree.

(b) The individual successfully completed an alternative teacher certification program operated by a nonstock, nonprofit organization described under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code that satisfies all of the following criteria:

1. The organization operates in at least five states.

2. The organization has been operating an alternative teacher certification program for at least 10 years.

3. The organization requires candidates to pass a subject area exam and the pedagogy exam known as the Professional Teaching Knowledge exam to receive a certificate under the alternative teacher certification.

The American Board for the Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) is currently the only certification program that meets all of the requirements in this statute.  

Educators who have completed an ABCTE licensure program and wish to apply for a Wisconsin teacher license will submit an Out-of-State [1025] application with the following documentation:

Educators may use the ABCTE Application Checklist to ensure they have obtained all necessary documentation and are submitting the correct application.

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