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License Based on a Content Test Pathway

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.

Candidate Profile

Many teachers who hold a valid WI Provisional Educator, Lifetime Educator or Master Educator license have options to add licenses by passing a content test.  This pathway does have certain limitations based statute and administrative rule that are related to both the licensure held and/or the licensure sought. 

The first major limitation, effective 01/01/2019, involves statutory stipulations attached to license subject areas.  Specifically:

a) In granting certificates or licenses for the teaching of courses in economics, social studies or agriculture, adequate instruction in cooperative marketing and consumers' cooperatives shall be required (Wis. Stat. sec. 118.19 [6]).  This is the Co-operative Marketing & Consumer Cooperatives statutory stipulation.  The specific subject areas affected here are Economics (1710) and Agriculture (1200).

b) In granting certificates or licenses for the teaching of courses in science or social studies, adequate instruction in the conservation of natural resources shall be required (Wis. Stat. sec. 118.19 [6]).  This is the Environmental Education statutory stipulation.  The specific subject areas affected here are:

  • Biology (1605)
  • Chemistry (1610)
  • Earth/Space Science (1635)
  • Economics (1710)
  • Environmental Studies (1615)
  • Geography (1715)
  • History (1725)
  • Life/Environmental Science (1606)
  • Physics (1625)
  • Political Science (1735)
  • Psychology (1740)
  • Sociology (1745)

 

The role of statutory stipulations in this process also depends on the rank of the teaching licenses held by the educator (Provisional/Initial or Lifetime/Professional).  Provisional/Initial license holders will be given these statutory stipulations with the granting of the license and will then have time to address them during the tenure of the license.  NOTE—Educators with unmet statutory stipulations ON ANY license cannot advance any of their licenses to Lifetime status.

Lifetime license holders must meet all statutory stipulation requirements before obtaining a license based on content test.  They can demonstrate completion of the required training by either possessing another license that already required such training (e.g. a person with a biology license without any license stipulations will have met the requirements of b) and can therefore get a physics license without further evidence), or they will have to address the stipulations through coursework/training from providers that can be found on the Statutory License Stipulations page. This coursework will result in documentation that will be submitted with the application for license based on content test.

The second limitation relates to the grade and developmental levels of the license held by the educator that is used (via the five scenarios below) to add additional licenses. For the first three scenarios, the phrase “or an equivalent license” applies to educators who hold grade or developmental levels that generally correspond to or fall within the developmental level of the scenario (for specific guidance, see the linked PDF files in the specific scenarios below).  In the case of an “equivalent” license, any license granted by content test will be at the developmental or grade level of the existing license (e.g. someone with a 7-12 Agriculture license can add Math under Scenario 1, but will get it only for grades 7-12). 

 

Five different scenarios in which an educator is eligible for this pathway are laid out below, along with additional details regarding specific tests to be taken.

  • Teachers who hold a Middle and High School license (34.046, grades 4-12), a special education license(34.049, K-12, EA-A), a PreKindergarten through grade 12 license (34.047, PK-12), or an equivalent license can add certain additional subjects at the 4-12 grade level by passing a content test.  Specific eligibility requirements for this pathway related to subject areas and development/grade levels are listed in the PDF below.
    • For information about what subject areas can be added, which content test to take, and the passing score for each test use the LBCT-Adding 4-12 licenses PDF to find this information.
  • Teachers who hold a Prekindergarten through 12 license (34.047) or an equivalent license can add another PK-12 license or Middle and High School license (grades 4-12) in certain non-special education subject areas by passing a content test. Specific eligibility requirements for this pathway related to subject areas and development/grade levels are listed in the PDF below.
    • If adding on a PK-12 subject area, use the LBCT-Adding PK-12 licenses PDF to find information about what content test to take and the passing score for each test.
    • If adding on a Middle and High School (grades 4-12) subject area, use the LBCT-Adding 4-12 licenses PDF to find information about what subject areas can be added, which content test to take, and the passing score for each test.
  • Teachers who hold an Elementary and Middle School (34.045, grades K-9), a special education license (34.049, K-12, MC-EA), or the equivalent license and have at least four semesters of teaching experience in grades PK-3 (may include Head Start program teaching) can add an Early Childhood-Regular Education license (birth to grade 3) by passing the Praxis II Elementary Education Content Knowledge test and the Foundations of Reading Test.
  • Teachers who hold an Elementary and Middle School license (34.045, grades K-9, MC-EA), a special education license (34.049, grades K-12, MC-EA or EA-A), or the equivalent license and have at least four semesters of teaching experience in English/language arts or math in grades 7 or 8 can add a license in that subject at the Middle and High School level (grades 4-12) by passing a content test.
  • Teachers who hold an Elementary and Middle School License (34.045, grades K-9, MC-EA), a special education license(34.049, grades K-12, MC-EA, EC-A) or an equivalent license may add a license in English as a Second Language or a world language at the K-9 grade level by passing the applicable content knowledge test.

 

 

If you fit this pathway profile:
 

  1. VERIFY your eligibility on the license look-up page: License Lookup
  2. CHOOSE the test you will take. Register directly with the test vendor to take the test.  Test vendors are Pearson (Foundations Of Reading Test (FORT)), ETS (Praxis tests) and ACTFL (world language tests).
  3. TAKE the test, and obtain an original score report from the test vendor. Verify minimum passing score. Do not request score reports to be sent directly to the department (DPI)
  4. APPLY for the new license using the Educator Licensing Online (ELO) System. Upload a copy of the original score report from the test vendor. An applicant may add more than one related area license at a time based on a passing score. Do not submit an application without an original score report attached.

 

IMPORTANT!

If you pass an approved content test by August 31st and are otherwise eligible for licensure, the effective date of your license will be July 1st of that same year.

If you pass an approved content test after September 1st and are otherwise eligible for licensure, the effective date of your license will be the following July 1st.