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Social Studies

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.

700/1700 Social Studies (all) (for program completers before 7/1/1972)

The license holder may teach any social studies subject in 700/1700 range at the grade levels specified on the license, EXCEPT Psychology (740/1740) and Religion (755/1755).

701/1701 Broadfield Social Studies (for program completers 7/1/1972 – 8/31/2004)

The license holder may teach any social studies subject up through grade 9 within grade levels specified on the license.

The license holder may teach fusion social studies courses for grades 10-12. Fusion courses are those drawn from several of the social studies disciplines, for examples American problems, civics, social problems, vital issues, et cetera.

701/1701 Broadfield Social Studies (for program completers 8/31/2004 -  present)

The license holder may teach any social studies subject at the early adolescence – adolescence level, up through grade 10, and any basic or fusion social studies subject in grades 11-12 that is NOT:

  • A semester-long discrete course in a PI 34 social studies category (e.g. Psychology)
  • An honor, International Baccalaureate (IB), or Advanced Placement (AP) course
  • Part of the college preparatory sequence and/or an elective course with more depth of content than basic courses.

To teach a course under criteria a, b, or c above, the teacher must hold a license based on completion of at least a concentration in that subject area.