Frequently Asked Questions About Licensure
Frequently Asked Questions About Kansas Teaching Licenses
1. How is the system designed?
A: The system includes:
- Initial license, good for two years, following completion of a preparation program, a pedagogical assessment, and a content assessment.
- Professional license, good for five years, earned by completing a performance assessment during the initial license period.
Licenses (indicate who you can work with) for:
- Infancy through early childhood (birth-grade 3)
- Early childhood through late childhood (grades K-6)
- Late childhood through early adolescence (grades 5-8)
- Early adolescence through late adolescence/adulthood (grades 6-12)
- Early childhood through late adolescence/adulthood (grades K-12)
- Endorsements (indicate what you can teach)
- School specialist license-for library media, school counselor, reading teacher leader or school psychologist endorsement, requires graduate degree, 3.25 GPA, school specialist assessment and professional teaching license (except for school psychologist)
- School leadership license-for program, building, or district leadership endorsement, requires graduate degree, 3.25 GPA, 3 years teaching on a professional license, school leadership assessment
- Accomplished teaching license-earned by achieving certification from National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
- Restricted license for teachers, requires content degree, a mentor, a partnership between the hiring district and a college/university, a plan to complete full preparation in 3 years (license can only be used in that district, in that position)
- Restricted license for district leadership, requires content degree, a mentor, a partnership between the hiring district and a college/university, a plan to complete full preparation in three years, three years teaching on a professional license or five years related experience (license can only be used in that district, in that position)
- Interim alternative license, for out-of-state applicants who achieved licensure through alternative routes
- Provisional teaching endorsement or school specialist endorsement, requires current KS license, completion of half of an endorsement program, plan to complete the program, verification of employment (license is portable)
- Licenses for visiting scholars and for candidates from foreign countries and other states
2. What is a license?
A: A license is awarded by the State to indicate that the person is qualified to practice that particular profession. Doctors, cosmetologists, morticians, engineers, architects, etc., must all be licensed by the State before they can practice (work) in the state.
3. What is a certificate?
A: A certificate is recognition from the profession itself of accomplished practice by a licensed professional. The profession sets the standards and requirements for certification, which is voluntary. For teachers, certificates are awarded by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS).
4. How do I renew a Professional License?
A: Follow the rules printed on your license. You will need to do one of the following:
- 120 points on an PDP (professional development plan-formerly known as an IDP), for people with advanced degree(s)
- 160 points on an PDP, at least 80 from college/university credit, for people with BA/BS degrees
points on PDP's must be from at least one of these three areas: content, professional education, service to the profession
- 8 credit hours in an approved program or completion of an approved program
- completion of all NBPTS assessment components granted certification from NBPTS
5. How do I upgrade from an Initial to a Professional License?
A: You must complete a performance assessment designated by the State Board of Education. An interim assessment is in place for the 2010-2011 school year. Click here to see details.
6. What about the the two renewals for people who have MA/MS degrees?
A: That option remains in the system. It allows educators who have an advanced degree to renew twice using experience. This is sometimes called the "masters privilege."
7. Where are the license and endorsement standards?
A: Not in these regulations. The standards that define what someone must know and be able to do to get a particular license and/or endorsement have been adopted by reference by the State Board of Education. That is so that it doesn't require the formal regulatory process when amendments are needed. (State Board policies can be amended in 2 to 3 months, instead of the regulatory 8-9 month process.)
8. Who developed the standards?
A: They were developed by committees of teachers, higher education representatives and members of the public during the original development of the Redesign, 1992-1996. Those standards went through several revisions and were the subject of several hundred hearings involving thousands of Kansas NEA members and Kansas citizens.
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