Is There A Multi-State Teaching Credential?

Multi-State Teaching CredentialsOurs is a mobile culture and newly credentialed teachers may want to know if there is a multi-state teaching certification allowing them to teach in a state other than the one in which they are credentialed. The answer to that question is “yes,” and “no.” First, one must look at a concept called reciprocity.

What is Reciprocity

According to the Univeristy of Southern California, Rossier School Online, each state reserves the right to set its own teaching certification standards, and the standards vary from state to state. There is, however, an agreement of reciprocity in which one state may recognize the credentials of another, and consider an application for state credentials for review by its licensing board. The new state may also set some additional requirements. This concept of reciprocity is a response to the national teacher shortage and the hope is that credentialed teachers will cross state borders to service areas in which there is a high need.

What Reciprocity is Not

Receiprocity is not a permit to exchange one license for another. Reciprocity is not multi-state teacher certification. Your own credentials may surpass the requirements for licensure in the state where you obtained the license, but they may not meet the standards in another state, and if your state accepts the teacher credentials of another, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the other state follows suit. In addition, because we value self-determination, states retain the right to determine qualifications for teachers in their own boundaries. An organization called The National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification was formed in 2011 to increase cooperation between states. The only states not participating in the agreements were Iowa and Minnesota, but the organization has individual agreements from every other state plus Guam, Puerto Rico and even some Canadian provinces.

Is there a National Certification?”

There is no national certification, but there are other organizations that exist to clarify issues and facilitate the process of cross-certification of teacher credentials between states. One of these is the National Board for Professional Standards and Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium. There is no national “clearing house,” but, according to the The National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification, there are individual agreements spelling out the conditions under which each state would accept the credentials of teachers from other states. States have established areas of regional reciprocity as well, but these agreements supplement, not supplant, the state right to set its own standards. Some of these considerations may include taking additional coursework or passing other assessment examinations, but teachers will not usually need to complete another teaching program. There are websites that list the requisites for becoming credentialed in other states, and the Department of Education in that state should be able to assist you in determining what steps you need to take to obtain licensure.

Related Resource: Educational Instructional Coach

Once, high school graduates could easily obtain licensure to return to their communities as teachers. That was another age. Today the need for well-trained teachers who are also tech-savvy requires that teachers undergo extensive education before they can teach others. Added to the mix, education is not cheap. Teachers invest a lot of money in degrees that allow them to become licensed. In a mobile society there must be cooperation between states even if there is no true multi-state teaching certification.