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Prospective and New Teachers

  • Traditional Licenses
  • Alternative Licenses
  • Occupational Licenses

I. An Apprentice license is a full license which is valid for five years and is renewable.  In order to hold an Apprentice license for teaching or an Apprentice Special Group license for school social worker, the following requirements must be met:

a) Applicant must be at least 18 years of age

b) Applicant must hold at least a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college/university

c) Applicant must have successfully completed a state-approved educator preparation program and be recommended by that program for licensing

d) Applicant must pass required Praxis II exams

e) Application must be made by an education preparation institution on behalf of the candidate [i.e. individuals may not apply for licensure directly].

Note: Library Media Specialist is an endorsement on an Apprentice license and has the additional requirement of a Master’s degree in Library Media.

 

II. An Apprentice Special Group license for school counseling, school psychologist, speech/language pathologist, or school audiologist is valid for five years and is renewable.  In addition to the requirements listed above, applicants must hold a Master’s degree in the specialty area related to the credential type for which they are applying.

For reference use ONLY: Initial Licensure Application (Tennessee Institution Graduates Only)download pdf file

For information regarding how to advance from an apprentice license to a professional license, please refer to Licensure Advancements.

The Transitional license is the principal primary alternative teaching license; however, it is not a full teaching license. A transitional license is issued when a superintendent/director of a Tennessee school system issues the request to the Office of Educator Licensing on behalf of an individual who will be employed while completing specific licensure requirements. This license is issued for one school year at a time, and may only be renewed two times for a maximum of three years.

All candidates seeking Transitional licensure must first secure an offer of employment from a Tennessee Public school system or a Tennessee state approved private school (a candidate cannot apply for a transitional license directly, the district or state-approved school must apply on their behalf) and meet the following requirements:

  1. Have at least a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university
  2. Meet the requirements for content area knowledge through one of the following:
    1. Have an acceptable major in the endorsement area sought; OR
    2. Have at least 24 semester hours in the endorsement are sought ; OR
    3. Pass the PRAXIS II exam(s) in the content area for the endorsement sought
  1. Have a verifiable affiliation with a preparation program that is:
    1. Regionally accredited; AND
    2. State approved for teacher education for the licensure endorsement program(s) and appropriate grade level range for the Tennessee endorsement(s) sought by the employing school system; AND
    3. Have obtained an "intent to hire" statement, including a commitment to provide mentoring, from a Tennessee school system that submits completed applications for the Transitional License, with supporting documentation, to the Tennessee State Department of Education Office of Teacher Licensing, in addition to all official transcripts with confer dates of degrees earned.

For reference use ONLY: Transitional License Application download pdf file

Read how to renew a Transitional License.

An Apprentice Occupational Education License may be issued to individuals who meet requirements in the area of Health Science or Trade and Industry.

Click for a listing of Occupational Education License endorsement areas currently available in Tennessee.

The Health Science educator must document three years of full-time successful employment within the past five years in a state approved health care facility: (ex: hospital, nursing home, rehab center, dental or medical office, home health, day surgery center etc.). He/she must also have an associate or higher degree and hold current licensure or certification in an allied health occupation, or current licensure as a registered nurse in Tennessee.

The Trade and Industry educator must document a minimum of five years of appropriate and current work experience during the past eight years in the field for which application is made. He/she must also be a high school graduate or the equivalent as determined by the General Education Development (GED) test.

The Cosmetology educator must also hold current licensure to instruct in Tennessee as issued by the respective state licensing board in addition to the other requirements for Trade and Industry educators.

Click to download the application for the Apprentice Occupational Education Licensedownload pdf fileor call (615) 532-2834 to request the forms be mailed to you. Qualifications including experience and educational preparation shall be reviewed by the staff of the Office of Career & Technical Education. Once an application has been reviewed and approved, the Apprentice Occupational Education License will be issued. Click to download the guidelines for applying for the Apprentice Occupational Education Licensedownload pdf file

Note: The Apprentice Occupational Education License is only valid for three years of teaching in a Tennessee public or state accredited private school.

Advancing to the Professional Occupational Education License, valid for a ten year period, requires an evaluation of the candidate's knowledge and skills by an approved university to determine what specific coursework will be required for advancement. Click to download the requirements for advancing and teacher evaluations formdownload pdf file. This evaluation must be scheduled by the applicant as soon as the Apprentice Occupational Education License is received in order to complete the required coursework within the three year period that the license is valid. Click to download the advancement applicationdownload pdf file. Upon completion of all requirements the educator must submit the completed advancement application, and the teacher evaluations form to the Office of Teacher Licensing. 

Deactivation of Occupational Endorsements

An educator with an Occupational Teacher License who is employed in Tennessee becomes eligible to deactivate an endorsement that appears on the license when the educator notifies the Office of Teaching Licensing of the desire to deactivate the endorsement. Guidelines for deactivating the endorsement are as follows:

  1. The educator must make the request on a notarized Deactivation/Reactivation Endorsement request form
  2. The educator must hold a valid Occupational Teacher license.
  3. The educator's endorsement will ONLY be deactivated and NOT removed from the license.
  4. The educator can download Deactivation Endorsement formdownload pdf fileor call (615) 532-2834 to request the form be mailed.

An educator with an Occupational License may reactivate an endorsement that has been deactivated.  Guidelines for reactivating the endorsement are as follows:

  1. The educator must make the request on a notarized Deactivation/Reactivation Endorsement request form
  2. The educator must hold a valid Occupational Teacher license.
  3. The Trade and Industry educator must document a minimum of 240 hours work hours during the past eight years in the area in which the endorsement reactivation is requested.
  4. Current and valid Industry Certification, where required, must be presented with the reactivation application.
  5. The educator can download Reactivation Endorsement formdownload pdf fileor call (615) 532-2834 to request the form be mailed.