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Educational Interpreter Licensure Requirements

DPI is currently receiving a high volume of contacts for assistance.  The three most commonly asked questions and their answers are below:

Help with WAMS IDs

Before you can submit an application to DPI, you must register for a Web Access Management Systems (WAMS) user ID.

How to set up a WAMS account

Already have one or more WAMS accounts?

How to start your WAMS account recovery:

Perform a WAMS account recovery for all emails you have. Enter your email address but do NOT enter your User ID to start your WAMS account recovery. Once in the account recovery process you will be prompted to change your password. After you change your password you will be told in parentheses what your correct User ID is. Please make note of that before you terminate the account recovery session. Once you have recovered all WAMS accounts you have, login to ELO with each of your accounts individually. If you can see your licenses, you are logging in with the correct WAMS account. If you are taken through the Onboarding process again, you are not using the correct WAMS account and should try another account.

If you encounter errors in the WAMS account recovery process, please contact WAMS directly.  DPI is unable to help with WAMS recovery because the system is used by many state agencies and is run by the Department of Administration:

Revalidating Life or Lifetime License

Educators, whose Life or Lifetime license was invalidated in July, have until December 31 to revalidate their license. Upon approval of the $45 Request Background Check - Lifetime Licensee [5900] application, the Lifetime license will be revalidated just as if the educator completed the application before June 30. Educators will have until December 31 to complete this application for their license to be revalidated.

Background Checks

DPI is required by law to conduct a background check on each applicant for a Wisconsin educator license regardless of whether it is an initial request or a renewal request.

All educators are required to complete a background check to maintain or revalidate a life or lifetime license. There are directions for how to complete the $45 Request Background Check - Lifetime Licensee [5900].

To find the year in which your most recent background check was submitted, search License Lookup using your name or entity number and check see the “Last Background Check Submitted” field.

EIPA SCORE UPDATE: The State Superintendent's Advisory Council on Deaf/Hard of Hearing Programs recommended and the DPI has accepted that the required EIPA Performance score for the initial educational interpreter license should be 3.3 beginning July 1, 2019.

To issue an educational interpreter license for the first time, the department must review the applicant's application and transcripts to determine eligibility. An applicant can apply for the license in ELO at: https://dpi.wi.gov/tepdl/elo/other/educational-interpreters

Requirements to obtain an Educational Interpreter License under

PI 34.086

An educational interpreter license may be issued to an applicant who meets all of the following requirements:

  1. Hold an interpreter training program certificate from an accredited 2- or 4-year college or university. The program shall include the following coursework:
    • English to American Sign Language interpretation.
    • American Sign Language to English interpretation.
    • Transliterating and oral interpreting.
    • Current practices for interpreters in educational settings.
    • Ethical practices as it relates to interpreters.
  2. Completed a practicum of at least 150 hours in grades pre-kindergarten through grade 12 with a licensed educational interpreter assigned as a mentor. Completion shall be verified by a representative from a higher education interpreter training program or the school district administrator where the practicum took place.
  3. Has a passing score on the written and educational interpreter performance assessment (EIPA). The passing score shall be set by the state superintendent in consultation with the state superintendent’s advisory council on deaf and hard of hearing programs.

Alternative Eligibility

An educational interpreter license may also be issued to an applicant who meets components one and two below:

  1. Holds one of the following licenses or certifications:
    • A sign language interpreter 151-150 license issued by the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services.
    • One of the following certifications from the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.
      • National Interpreter Certification.
      • Registry for Interpreters of the Deaf K-12.
      • Certificate of interpretation and certificate of transliteration.
      • Comprehensive skills certificate.
      • Master comprehensive skills certificate.
      • Certified deaf interpreter or deaf interpreter.
    • A basic, advanced, or master certification from the Board for Evaluation of Interpreters.
    • Certification from an organization approved by the state superintendent in consultation with the state superintendent’s advisory council on deaf and hard of hearing programs.
  2. Completed a practicum of at least 150 hours in grades pre-kindergarten through grade 12 with a licensed educational interpreter assigned as a mentor. Completion shall be verified by a representative from a higher education interpreter training program or the school district administrator where the practicum took place.

An applicant can apply for the license in ELO at: https://dpi.wi.gov/tepdl/elo/other/educational-interpreters

For questions about this information, contact Ariana Baker

For information on renewing this license see this page:  https://dpi.wi.gov/tepdl/licensing/types/educational-interpreter/interpreter-renewal