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Adding a Grade Level to a Teacher License

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.

There are five different pathways an educator could use to add an additional grade range to their license.

  1. License Based on a Content Test Pathway
  2. Post-Baccalaureate Pathway
  3. Alternative Route Program Pathway
  4. License Based on Equivalency Pathway
  5. Out-of-State Pathway

To determine which of the above pathways you are eligible for, please visit the pages above and read through the information presented there. To follow the Post-Baccalaureate Pathway, contact one of our approved Educator Preparation Programs (EPPs) and have them evaluate your transcripts and other professional development to determine what they would require to endorse you for the additional grade levels.

If a district conducts a search and cannot find a licensed candidate, they can hire a teacher who is not licensed in that grade level if they request a One-Year License with Stipulations.  However, to renew a One-Year License with Stipulations for an additional year, the teacher must show progress towards earning the new grade levels.