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Adding a Degree/Endorsement to a TN Teaching License

  • Adding Degree
  • Adding Endorsement

Masters Degree Designation

An individual who holds a master's degree from a regionally accredited institution shall be granted the master's degree designation for salary purposes if the courses taken are functionally related to the area(s) of endorsement on the teaching license held by the individual or if the degree indicates by the nature of the courses that public education was the primary aim.

Masters Degree Plus 30 Designation

An individual who meets the master's degree designation shall be granted the master's degree plus 30 designation for salary purposes upon completion of 30 additional graduate semester hours of credit if the courses taken are functionally related to the area(s) of endorsement on the teaching license held by the individual or if the nature of the courses indicates that public education was the primary aim. Such credit must be earned from an institution that is regionally accredited.

**NOTE: Masters +30 credit hours MUST reflect educator completion of graduate course work that can be used towards an advanced degree. Professional development courses do not fulfill the requirement for Masters +30 designation.**

Education Specialist's Degree Designation

1. An individual who holds an education specialist degree from a regionally accredited institution shall be granted the Education Specialist's degree designation for salary purposes.

2. An individual who has earned a terminal professional degree (e.g. Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Jurispudence, etc.) shall be given credit at the Education Specialist level if the courses taken are functionally related to the area(s) of endorsement on the teaching license held by the individual. The degree must be earned from an institution that is regionally accredited, accredited by the American Bar Association or the Liaison Committee on Medical Education or approved by a branch of state government.

Doctor's Degree Designation

An individual who holds a Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Education, or Doctor of Arts from a regionally accredited institution shall be granted the doctor's degree designation for salary purposes if the courses taken are functionally related to the area(s) of endorsement on the teaching license held by the individual or if the degree indicates by the nature of the courses that public education was the primary aim.

Click here to download application download pdf file to add a degree(s) to an existing Tennessee teaching license. Official transcript(s) reflecting the degree and conferral date of the degree (photocopies are not accepted) must be submitted with application.

Verification of Application/License Status - You may check our Educator License Information web site to verify receipt of licensure information. Unless you already know your license number we suggest first using the public search option to locate your license number by only entering your first and last name as listed on the application. Click on the name, the license information will be revealed. If you already hold a license and know your license number you may use the Educator Log in option.

 

Currently there are three different ways to add endorsements to a current, valid Tennessee teaching license. (ie. Apprentice Teacher, Out of State Teacher, or Professional Teacher licenses)

 

1.   College/University Recommendation for Endorsement

Effective May 1, 2001, Tennessee adopted a new policy for adding an endorsement(s) to an existing teacher license.  The new policy limits the number of semester hours required for obtaining additional endorsement(s) through Tennessee college/universities. 

Applicants seeking additional endorsement(s) through approved college/university programs must also pass all applicable portions of the Praxis Series Exams developed and administered by Educational Testing Service. (Click to look at a completed listing of Praxis Series Exams required in Tennessee).  Upon completion of all additional endorsement program requirements, the Dean of Education and Certification Officer of the college/university shall send a recommendation to the Tennessee Office of Teacher Licensing for issuance of the addtional endorsement(s).

           

2.  Secondary Academic Endorsements by Test Only (Does not include any Occupational Education License or endorsements, Special Group License or endorsements, or Administrator License or endorsements)

Effective April 1, 2010, applicants who hold a current, valid Tennessee Teacher license (Apprentice Teacher Out of State Teacher or Professional Teacher ) with one or more secondary academic endorsement area(s) (i.e. the endorsement contains one or more of the secondary grades 7-12) can add another secondary endorsement by passing the required Praxis specialty area test(s). Applicants seeking additional endorsement(s) by test only must pass all applicable portions of the Praxis Series Exams developed and administered by Educational Testing Service and submit an application to add the endorsement. (Click to look at a completed listing of Praxis Series Exams required in Tennessee). NOTE: Applicants seeking to add a secondary endorsement by passing required Praxis specialty area tests do not need to obtain the recommendation from a college/university.   The Library Information Specialist and Reading Specialist endorsements require completion of an approved graduate level program and the applicable praxis exam.

Applicants seeking additional endorsement(s) that are not secondary areas must complete an approved additional endorsement program through a college/university and  pass all applicable portions of  the Praxis Series Exams developed and administered by Educational Testing Service. (Click to look at a completed listing of Praxis Series Exams required in Tennessee).  The Elementary Education, Early Childhood Education, Special Education PreSchool/Early Childhood and Early Development and Learning endorsements are not secondary endorsements, therefore are not eligible for this option.  Upon completion of all requirements, the Dean of Education and Certification Officer of the college/university shall send a recommendation to the Tennessee Office of Teacher Licensing for issuance of the additional endorsement(s).

 

3.  State Minimum Requirements Endorsements

There are some areas of endorsement which may only be obtained by meeting state minimum requirements.  Some of these areas are only available as additional endorsements to an existing teacher license. Others require prerequisites such as certain degrees and experience. These areas and requirements are:  Bible, Driver Education, School Food Service Supervisor, Superintendent, and Supervisor of Attendance.

Bible - The applicant must have a valid teaching license.  A minimum of 12 semester hours in literature of the Bible is required.  Coursework may not include courses in theology, doctrine, ethics, dogma and other courses of a doctrinal nature.

Driver Education - The applicant must have a valid teaching license and hold a secondary endorsement (grades 7-12 or K-12) and shall complete at minimum of 10 semester hours of driver and traffic safety education including the following areas:

 
  • Basic driver and traffic safety education
  • Advanced driver and traffic safety education
  • General safety
  • First aid and emergency medical services

School Food Service Supervisor - The applicant shall hold a bachelor's degree and the applicant shall be a licensed educator or shall have completed at least 18 semester hours in education, psychology, or sociology.  The applicant shall complete 12 semester hours including course work in each of the following:

 
  • Personnel management
  • Nutrition
  • Accounting, cost analysis, or financial management of food systems, and
  • Spread sheet applications

The applicant shall complete one of the following:

  • Field experience of 6 semester hours, or
  • Professional experience-supervised by a licensed school food service supervisor—of at least 120 (check) clock hours including the following areas: procurement, quantity foods, design and layout, and sanitation and food safety.

Superintendent - The applicant must have a valid license endorsed in principal, supervisor of instruction, or administration/supervision.  The applicant shall have at least a master's degree. The applicant must have 5 years acceptable experience which shall include teaching and/or administration. The applicant shall have a graduate major in educational administration and supervision or a minimum of 20 graduate semester hours in administration, supervision, and related courses.  The following courses must be completed:

 
  • School organization and administration
  • Supervision
  • Curriculum development
  • School finance
  • School plant and transportation
  • School and community relations

Supervisor of Attendance - The applicant must have a valid teacher license.  The applicant must have 5 years of teaching experience.  The applicant must complete a minimum of 8 semester hours of coursework in the following areas:

 
  • Counseling and guidance
  • Community and school relations
  • Special Education
  • Social case work
  • State and federal laws relating to school attendance

Application form Instructions

Click here to download applicationdownload pdf file to add an endorsement(s) to an existing Tennessee teaching license or apply and upload forms using the online license application.  If an add-on endorsement is completed out-of-state, see requirements for completing licensure requirements in another state.

  1. Complete the personal information.
  2. Answer all the questions at Please Read Carefully Before Signing section, sign and date.
  3. Check block Amendment to Add Endorsement Area(s) to Teaching License.
  4. The Dean of Education and Certification Officer of the Tennessee college/university will complete the second page of the application attesting to the completion of all institution requirements for adding the additional endorsement(s).  Applicant seeking to add an endorsement by test only or by state minimum requirements do not need to obtain the recommendation from a college/university.
  5. Mail the completed application and official transcript(s) reflecting the courses required for the additional endorsement(s) to the address provided on the application. Test scores must be sent directly from the Educational Testing Services to the Tennessee State Department of Education, unless the Institutional Score Report is submitted by the college/university.
  6. Verification of Application/License Status - You may check our Educator License Information web site to verify receipt of licensure information. Unless you already know your license number we suggest first using the public search option to locate your license number by only entering your first and last name as listed on the application. Click on the name, the license information will be revealed. If you already hold a license and know your license number you may use the Educator Log in option.