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General Information for Teaching Licenses

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Important Notice


Educators with an invalid Life or Lifetime license have until December 31st 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 30th. Educators will have until December 31st to complete this application for their license to be revalidated. 

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Unless otherwise specified, applicants for licenses in the category of teaching must have:

  1. Completed of a state-approved educator preparation program in the licensure area.
  2. A minimum of bachelor’s degree or the equivalent. Speech Language and Pathologist must have a master’s degree.

Phonics Requirements

Licenses in early childhood education, elementary education, reading teacher, and reading specialist require completion of training in the teaching of reading that includes phonics. Phonics is the teaching of reading using the phonic value of letters, letter groups and syllables.

Completion of phonics requirements is required before a license can be issued in the subject area mentioned above. This requirement can be fulfilled through university coursework, conferences, seminars, or workshops.

Licenses Issued Prior to July 2004

Five-year teaching licenses that were issued before Wis. Admin. Code PI 34 took effect in 2004 might have been issued for a subject and/or grade level that are not listed above. Upon applications, these 5-year teaching licenses will be renewed as Professional Educator License. However, in some cases the subject and/or grade level will remain as they were.

Seeking a Teacher License in Wisconsin?

Go to the Pathways to Licensure page to learn how to obtain your Wisconsin teacher license.

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