You are here

Wisconsin Master Educator License Based on NBPTS

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.

NBPTS certification is not the same, and does not replace Wisconsin educator license issued by the DPI.

In order to qualify for a Wisconsin educator license, an educator must have completed an approved educator preparation program in related field and meet all the requirements as stated in Wis. Admin Code PI 34 and Wis. Stat. 118.19.

For more information about educator licensing in Wisconsin, please go to Educator Licensing.

Not all certifications issued by the NBPTS have direct translation to Wisconsin educator licenses in terms of developmental levels and/or subject areas. The DPI can only issue educator licenses that are defined in Wis. Admin Code PI 34.

Wisconsin Master Educator License is only issued for the license area (i.e. level and subject) that the NBCT already holds, or qualify to hold, at the Lifetime license level.

Please see related documents for the chart of national board certification areas and corresponding Wisconsin licenses.

Out-of-State National Board Certified Teachers

Due to statutory requirements that are specific to Wisconsin, almost all educators from out of state applying for a Wisconsin educator license will have statutory stipulations and are issued a 3-year Provisional license. The specific stipulations will be cited for the license issued.

All stipulations must be resolved and educators must qualify for a Lifetime license before applying for a Wisconsin Master Educator license.

Wisconsin Educators with Provisional Licenses

National Board Certified Teachers who hold Wisconsin Provisional licenses must first qualify for the Lifetime license before qualifying for a Master Educator license. The requirements for a Lifetime license include successfully completing at least six semesters of experience in Wisconsin in the area of their license (teaching or pupil services) and completing all statutory requirements. The six semesters of successful experience must meet the following criteria:  

  • Experience completed in the license area (Teaching or Pupil Services) while holding either a Provisional, Initial Educator, or Professional Educator license.
  • Experience completed in the five years immediately preceding the July 1 start date of the Lifetime license.
  • Experience must be providing direct services to students in a prekindergarten through grade 12 setting in the license area of the Provisional license and verified as successful experience by an educational entity in Wisconsin.

Applying for Master Educator License

You may apply for Wisconsin Master Educator license the following year after you receive your NBPTS certification, as long as the NBPTS is still valid. The effective date of the Master Educator license will be July 1 of the year the application was submitted.

In order to apply for a Master Educator license:

  • Applicant must already hold, or qualify to hold, a Wisconsin Lifetime license in the corresponding area.
    • Wisconsin educators must be eligible for the Lifetime license.
    • Out-of-State educators must resolve all stipulations and be eligible for the Lifetime license.
  • Applicant must submit an application and fee, and include NBPTS certificate or score report letter.

Application Form

To apply for a Wisconsin Master Educator License: Educator Licensing Online

    Related document: