For most teachers, a career educating children is more than just a job; it is a calling and a life-long passion. However, just as learning to be a teacher required years of study at a college or university, teaching certification also requires very specific steps. Most states share the basic qualifications they require of their licensed teachers, but each of them has distinct differences.
If you are planning on becoming a Connecticut-certified teacher, below is a brief overview of the requirements you will need to meet. Read through them carefully so you will know exactly what you need to do to become a certified teacher in Connecticut.
Requirements for certified teachers in Connecticut
As in most other states, the Connecticut Board of Education requires anyone seeking to become a licensed teacher to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. You must also have taken a state-approved educator training course as part of your college studies. After that, you will be required to obtain teaching certification, and that certification must be appropriate to the position or assignment that you plan to fill. The certificate must also be issued by the Connecticut State Department of Education.
Other requirements include a background check, FBI fingerprinting, and a Foundations of Reading test. You will also be required to pass PRAXIS Core Academic Skills for Educators testing to prove that you have the necessary knowledge and teaching skills to successfully fulfill your role as a teacher.
You may be granted a waiver from taking the PRAXIS Core test if your GRE Revised General test scores were high enough. SAT, ACT and PAA test scores may also be used when requesting a waiver. To apply for a waiver, you would need to create an account with the Connecticut Educator Certification System (CECS) and fill out the online application.
In addition to proving your basic knowledge, you will need to demonstrate your subject-specific knowledge by passing a PRAXIS II test in the area in which you are seeking endorsement. Elementary educators will also need to pass the PRAXIS II Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects and Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) exams.
Connecticut jobs for licensed teachers
There are three levels of teaching certification in Connecticut:
- Initial Educator certification, valid for three years
- Provisional Educator certificate, available after ten months of teaching experience under an initial educator certificate or interim initial educator certificate, valid for eight years
- Professional Educator certificate, available after 30 months of teaching experience under a provisional educator certificate and completing additional State-mandated coursework, valid for five years
Additionally, it is possible to obtain an Interim Educator teaching certificate at the initial or provisional level, allowing you to teach for one year before meeting the testing requirements usually needed for licensing. When the year is up, however, the required testing must be completed before your license will be renewed.
Connecticut also offers applicants an Alternative Route to Certification (ARC). The ARC I program is a nine-week summer program of instruction to train participants to teach English, math, science, history and world languages at the seven to 12 grade level. ARC II offers the same program of study but is run as evening and weekend classes during the months from October to May.
If you successfully complete one of the ARC programs and pass the PRAXIS II testing, you have 90 days to complete the requirements for your Initial Educator teaching certification in Connecticut. After 20 months of teaching and 30 hours of continuing education credits, your license can be upgraded to a Provisional Educator certificate.
If you plan to teach a subject designated as a Teacher Shortage Area (TSA) by the U.S. Department of Education, you might be eligible for student loan deferment or cancellation. The following TSAs have been approved for Connecticut for the 2015-2016 school year:
- Bilingual Education (Pre-Kindergarten – Grade 12)
- Comprehensive Special Education (Kindergarten – Grade 12)
- Intermediate Administrator
- Mathematics (Grades 7 -12)
- School Library Media Specialist
- Science (Grades 7 -12)
- Speech and Language Pathologist
- Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
- Technology Education (Pre-Kindergarten – Grade 12)
- World Languages (Grades 7 – 12)
A full and current list of TSAs for each state is available via the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education.
Teaching license reciprocity in Connecticut
Connecticut does not have a program for teaching license reciprocity, and will not accept out-of-state teaching certificates for regular, contracted teaching positions. To learn more about teaching license reciprocity, see Teaching License Reciprocity Explained.
The state of Connecticut does, however, participate in the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification, and under these guidelines will accept completion of an educator preparation program from out-of-state colleges and universities.
Disclaimer: Licensing requirements are subject to change. Please visit your state board of education to check for recent revisions to teaching license requirements.