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For Current Teachers

  • Renewals
  • Adding Degrees
  • Adding Endorsements
  • Advancement

A Tennessee educator license is issued for a specific time period and must be renewed. Each type of license has specific renewal requirements.

EFFECTIVE AUGUST 1, 2013

Educators desiring renewal using professional development must submit validated documentation. This does not include active administrators.

Click on the type of license you wish to renew for specific instructions.

If you hold a Master’s degree or higher and have enough qualifying experience, you may apply online to renew these types of licenses using the Educator License Information (ELI) website.

Alternative licenses: school systems are responsible for requesting renewal for the following license types:

Note:  If you held an Alternative A, E, C, Type I, or Type II please contact the Office of Educator Licensing for special instructions.

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 Jurisprudence, 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.

Download the 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.

There are three different ways to add endorsements to a current, valid Tennessee educator license.

  1. Complete an approved college/university program for additional endorsement and all applicable Praxis II exams.  (Complete listing of Praxis II series exams required in Tennessee). The college/university shall submit recommendation for additional endorsement.
  2. Secondary Academic Endorsements by Test Only
    • It is the responsibility of the educator to pass all applicable Praxis II exams and submit official scores and a completed application requesting additional endorsement to the Office of Educator Licensing.
    • Additional endorsements may not be added to the following license types using the test only option:
      • Occupational license endorsements
      • Special Group license endorsements: School Counselor, Social Worker, School Psychologist, Audiologist, Speech Language Pathologist
      • Administrator license endorsements
      • Endorsements which have additional special requirements: Library Media Specialist, Reading Specialist, State minimum requirements endorsements
      • Early Childhood, Early Childhood Special Education, Early Development & Learning, and Elementary Education. (These are not secondary grade levels)
    • Educators must obtain a college/university recommendation in addition to testing requirements to obtain the endorsements listed above.
  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 are:
      • Bible
      • Driver Education
      • School Food Service Supervisor
      • Superintendent
      • Supervisor of Attendance
    • Additional information on State Minimum Requirement endorsements
  • Apprentice
  • Transitional
  • Interim B
  • Apprentice Occupational
  • Beginning Administrator

Public School Educators

An educator with an apprentice level license who is employed in Tennessee becomes eligible to advance to the professional level license upon recommendation by the employing school system. Guidelines for licensure advancement are as follows:

  1. The educator must be evaluated by a school administrator who has completed "training on an evaluation instrument currently approved by the State Board of Education." 
  2. The educator must currently be employed for a minimum of 5 months, hold a valid apprentice level license, and have a total of three years (minimum of 25 months) of verified acceptable experience. Download an experience verification formdownload pdf file. Information on what constitutes acceptable experience in Tennesseedownload pdf file
  3. The educator's current assignment must match an endorsement area on his/her valid apprentice level license.
  4. Educator is not eligible for advancement if issued an Alternative or Interim License, Permit, or Waiver in the school year in which advancement is requested.
  5. Licensure advancement forms (both positive and negative recommendation) must be submitted from the local school district to the CORE Centers for the school year in which the advancement is requested. Local school systems can download Advancement to Professional License download pdf fileform.

Note: An educator may not submit the licensure advancement application on his/her own behalf. It may only be submitted by the employing Tennessee school system.

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.

Non-Public School Educators

Licensed educators employed in categories one, two, three, and 1SP of state approved non-public schools are eligible for advancement to the professional level license. Advancement is required for licensed educators in category one and seven schools and is optional for those in category two and three schools. Guidelines for licensure advancement are as follows:

  1. The educator must be evaluated by a school administrator who has completed the "training on an evaluation instrument currently approved by the State Board of Education." 
  2. The educator must currently be employed for a minimum of 5 months, hold a valid apprentice level license, and have a total of three years (minimum of 25 months) of verified acceptable experience. Download an experience verification formdownload pdf file. Information on what constitutes acceptable experience in Tennesseedownload pdf file
  3. The educator's current assignment must match an endorsement area on his/her valid apprentice level license.
  4. Educator is not eligible for advancement if issued an Alternative or Interim License, Permit, or Waiver in the school year in which advancement is requested.
  5. Licensure advancement forms (both positive and negative recommendation) must be submitted to the Office of Educator Licensing for the school year in which the advancement is requested. Click here to download Advancement to Professional Licensedownload pdf fileform.

Note: Licensed educators in category four and category five non-public schools are not eligible for licensure advancement.

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.

Transitional to Apprentice or Professional Teacher License

Application must be submitted to The Office of Educator Licensing signed by The Director of Schools verifying the following:

  1. Verification of completion of professional core by college/university.
  2. Praxis scores must be submitted by Designated Institution Report or submitted directly from ETS.
  3. All transcripts that have not previously been submitted must be submitted.
  4. Tennessee program completers - Verification of minimum of one year successful teaching experience for Apprentice License (local evaluation on file with school system) OR
  5. Out of State program completers - Verification of two years successful teaching experience for Apprentice License (local evaluation on file with school system) OR
  6. Verification of three years successful teaching experience for Professional License (local evaluation on file with school system).

Local school systems can download the Advancement to Apprentice License Formdownload pdf file.

Note: An educator may not submit the Licensure Advancement Form on his/her own behalf. It may only be submitted by the employing Tennessee school system.

If you previously held an Alternative A, C, E, Type I or Type II, please contact the Office of Educator Licensing for information.

Interim Type B License

Advancing from the Interim Type B License to full licensure, the educator must complete the application and submit evidence verifying the passing of all testing requirements for endorsement area(s) desired.  Download Advancement Formdownload pdf file

Designated Institution Score Reports can be submitted by the college/university or scores sent directly through Educational Testing Services (ETS) to the Office of Teacher Licensing. A complete listing of all tests required is available.

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.

Apprentice Occupational to Professional Occupational License

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. 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. 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 Educator Licensing. 

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.

Beginning to Professional License

Educators employed as administrators in Tennessee public and accredited non-public schools can advance from the Beginning Administrator License (BAL) and Instructional Leadership License – Beginning (ILL-B), as well as from the Professional Administrator (PAL) and Instructional Leadership License – Professional (ILL-P). Administrators employed in Tennessee public schools must also keep up-to-date with the state mandated Tennessee Academy for School Leaders (TASL) requirements.

Information on these requirements

Download the advancement applicationdownload pdf file.

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.