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DCPS Licensure and "Highly Qualified" Compliance

OSSE is the licensing agency for all DC educators, including DCPS employees. Outlined below are the application requirements and processes to apply for a new or renewed teaching or administrator license. Questions about these processes should be directed to OSSE at [email protected].

Licensure Application Requirements and Processes:

To apply for an OSSE license, you must do so via the OSSE website, here.

Teacher Applicants-New License

If you are applying for a new teaching license from OSSE, please review the checklist of requirements below. OSSE offers two types of licenses: Standard and Initial. There are two options to apply for a four year, renewable Standard License and three options to apply for a three-year, non-renewable Initial License.

Standard License

Standard Option 1 – Approved program completers

If you

then scan and upload the following –

  • Signed Form 1 in-state or out-of-state approved program completer verification form.
  • Transcripts from all universities attended that reflect your conferred degrees, including a bachelor’s degree transcript even if you have a master’s degree or higher. International candidates must submit a course by course foreign credential evaluation.
  • ETS Praxis score report(s) for basic skills, content knowledge, and pedagogy exams completed.
  • Recent DCPS fingerprint servicing from central office. (Your clearance status shall be made available to OSSE electronically 3-5 days after your visit.)

Standard Option 2 – Reciprocity for out-of-state license holders held to DC testing requirements

If you

  • Hold a valid teacher credential in good standing, issued in another state (reciprocity), and
  • Achieved passing scores for the DC-required Praxis II pedagogy exams (find information regarding required DC Praxis exams here.), and
  • Have verified prior effective teaching experience (where applicable)

then scan and upload the following –

  • Transcripts from all universities attended that reflect your conferred degrees, including a bachelor’s degree transcript even if you have a master’s degree or higher. International candidates must submit a course by course foreign credential evaluation.
  • Licensure exam score reports or testing verification forms for the basic skills, content knowledge, and pedagogy exams taken in your issuing state jurisdiction.
  • Verification of full-time teaching experience in another state OR verification of effective teaching as measured by the student growth component of an evaluation rating.
  • Recent DCPS fingerprint servicing from central office. (Your clearance status shall be made available to OSSE electronically 3-5 days after your visit.)

If you do not meet the requirements for a standard teacher credential, OSSE will evaluate you automatically for an initial teacher credential.

Initial License

Initial License Option 1 – Enrolled in a state-approved program

If you

then scan and upload the following –

  • Signed Form 4 in-state and out-of-state program enrollee verification form.
  • Transcripts from all universities attended that reflect your conferred degrees, including a bachelor’s degree transcript even if you have a master’s degree or higher. International candidates must submit a course by course foreign credential evaluation.
  • A DCPS offer letter or verification of current teaching experience in the system.
  • ETS Praxis score report(s) for basic skills and content knowledge exams completed.
  • Obtain recent DCPS fingerprint servicing from central office. (Your clearance status shall be made available to OSSE electronically 3-5 days after your visit.)

Initial Option 2 – Hold a valid full license from another state with specific missing DC required exams

If you

  • Hold a valid teacher credential that is in good standing, issued in another state (reciprocity), and
  • Achieved passing scores on content knowledge exams and either basic skills (reading, writing, and math) or pedagogy required in another state where a valid full teaching credential is held, and
  • Have verified prior effective teaching experience (where applicable)

then scan and upload the following –

  • Valid out-of-state teacher credential, in good standing, issued from another state.
  • Transcripts from all universities attended that reflect your conferred degrees, including a bachelor’s degree transcript even if you have a master’s degree or higher. International candidates must submit a course by course foreign credential evaluation.
  • Licensure exam score reports or teaching verification forms for content knowledge exams and either basic skills or pedagogy exams taken in your issuing state jurisdiction,
    or
    ETS Praxis score report(s) for content knowledge and either basic skills or pedagogy exams completed.
  • Verification of full-time teaching experience in another state or verification of effective or higher teaching as measured by the student growth component of an evaluation rating.
  • Recent DCPS fingerprint servicing from central office. (Your clearance status shall be made available to OSSE electronically 3-5 days after your visit.)

Initial Option 3 – Newly employed with DCPS for 0-3 years with Principal’s Choice Selection

If you

  • are a Principal’s Choice (DC LEA Request) applicant

then scan and upload the following –

  • Signed LEA Principal’s Choice enrollment verification form.
  • Transcripts from all universities attended that reflect your conferred degrees, including a bachelor’s degree transcript even if you have a master’s degree or higher. International candidates must submit a course by course foreign credential evaluation.
    • ETS Praxis score report(s) for the Praxis I Core and Praxis II Content Knowledge Exams.
    • Obtain recent DCPS fingerprint servicing from central office. (Your clearance status shall be made available to OSSE electronically 3-5 days after your visit.)

Teacher Applicants-Renewing OSSE License

If you currently hold an OSSE teaching license, please review the checklist of requirements below to renew your license.

Renewal Option A - Performance-Based Renewal

If you

  • Have three years of an Effective or higher IMPACT rating directly in the licensure subject area within the most recent four years of the license validity period

then upload the following –

  • All pages of your “final” (end-of-year) annual performance evaluation report for each applicable school year. This report is already in PDF form on your IMPACT dashboard on the top left tool bar. Incomplete or partial reports shall not be accepted.
  • Recent DCPS fingerprint servicing from central office. (Your clearance status shall be made available to OSSE electronically 3-5 days after your visit.)

Renewal Option B - Professional Development Activity-Based Renewal

If you

  • Have 120 clock hours (PLUs) of professional development where the license holder is the student, not the teacher or facilitator and where the training was completed during the four-year validity period of your credential in any of the following combinations below –
    • 120 PLUs all in licensure subject area or the equivalent eight credit hours all in licensure subject area
    • 60 PLUs in licensure subject area plus 60 PLUs in anything education-related
    • 60 PLUs in licensure subject area plus four credit hours in anything education-related
    • Eight credit hours all in licensure subject area or the equivalent 120 PLUs all in licensure subject area
    • Four credit hours in licensure subject area plus four credit hours in anything education- related
    • Four credit hours in licensure subject area plus 60 PLUs in anything education-related

then scan and upload the following –

  • Official transcripts bearing the signature or stamp of the institution registrar. Grade reports, student transcripts, or web-account transcripts are not accepted. Coursework must be taken for credit and must indicate a “pass” or letter grade of “C” or higher.
  • Official training activity transcript or official certificate of completion issued by the training organization. (Find information on PD Training Activity Documentation here.)

Teacher Applicants-Adding an Endorsement

If you currently hold an active OSSE teaching license, please review the checklists below to add an endorsement.

There are two options to add an endorsement. If you wish to add a teaching endorsement, you also must –

  • Pass the subject content Praxis II exam in the endorsement area, and
  • Pass the pedagogy exam(s) that correspond with the grade level of the endorsement (if not already completed)

Renewal Option A - Performance-Based Renewal

If you

  • Have three years of an Effective or higher IMPACT rating directly in the licensure subject area within the most recent four years of the license validity period

then upload the following –

  • All pages of your “final” (end-of-year) annual performance evaluation report for each applicable school year. This report is already in PDF form on your IMPACT dashboard on the top left tool bar. Incomplete or partial reports shall not be accepted.
  • ETS Praxis score report(s) showing passing scores for the DC subject content and pedagogy exams in your area of teaching (find more information regarding educator credentialing exams, here: https://osse.dc.gov/node/1189301).
  • Obtain recent DCPS fingerprint servicing from central office. (Your clearance status shall be made available to OSSE electronically 3-5 days after your visit.)

Renewal Option B - Professional Development Activity-Based Renewal

If you

  • Have 120 clock hours (PLUs) of professional development where the license holder is the student, not the teacher or facilitator and where the training was completed during the four-year validity period of your credential in any of the following combinations below –
    • 120 PLUs all in licensure subject area or the equivalent eight credit hours all in licensure subject area
    • 60 PLUs in licensure subject area plus 60 PLUs in anything education-related
    • 60 PLUs in licensure subject area plus four credit hours in anything education-related
    • Eight credit hours all in licensure subject area or the equivalent 120 PLUs all in licensure subject area
    • Four credit hours in licensure subject area plus four credit hours in anything education- related
    • Four credit hours in licensure subject area plus 60 PLUs in anything education-related

then scan and upload the following –

  • Official transcripts bearing the signature or stamp of the institution registrar. Grade reports, student transcripts, or web-account transcripts are not accepted. Coursework must be taken for credit and must indicate a “pass” or letter grade of “C” or higher.
  • Official training activity transcript or official certificate of completion issued by the training organization. (Find information on PD Training Activity Documentation here.)
  • ETS Praxis score report(s) showing passing scores for the DC- subject content and pedagogy exams in your area of teaching (note: you can find more information regarding educator credentialing exams here).
  • Obtain recent DCPS fingerprint servicing from central office. (Your clearance status shall be made available to OSSE electronically 3-5 days after your visit.)

Teacher Applicants-Upgrade from Initial to Standard License

There are three options to upgrade to from an Initial License to a Standard License. Please review the checklists below to upgrade your active Initial License.

Standard Option 1 – Approved Program Completers

If you

  • Have completed a state-approved teacher preparation program, and
  • Achieved passing scores for the DC-required Praxis II pedagogy exams (find information regarding required DC Praxis exams, here: https://osse.dc.gov/node/1189301)

then scan and upload the following --

  • Signed Form 1 in-state program completer verification form.
  • Official transcript that verifies your education preparation program completion.
  • ETS Praxis score report(s) for any pedagogy exams completed.
  • Obtain recent DCPS fingerprint servicing from central office. (Your clearance status shall be made available to OSSE electronically 3-5 days after your visit.)

Standard Option 2 – DC Initial License Holders

If you

  • Have two consecutive years of Effective or higher IMPACT evaluations, and
  • Achieved passing scores for the DC-required Praxis II pedagogy exams (find information regarding required DC Praxis exams, here: https://osse.dc.gov/node/1189301)

then scan and upload the following –

  • Final yearly Effective or higher IMPACT evaluation reports for the most recent two consecutive years.
  • ETS Praxis score report(s) for any pedagogy exams completed.
  • Recent DCPS fingerprint servicing from central office. (Your clearance status shall be made available to OSSE electronically 3-5 days after your visit.)

Standard Option 3 – Reciprocity for out-of-state license holders held to DC testing requirements

If you

then you may apply for a four-year standard teacher credential by scanning and submitting the following –

  • ETS Praxis score report(s) for any basic skills, content, or pedagogy exams completed.
  • Recent DCPS fingerprint servicing from central office. (Your clearance status shall be made available to OSSE electronically 3-5 days after your visit.)

Administrator Applicants-New License

OSSE offers two types of administrator licenses: Standard and Initial. There are four options to qualify for a Standard Administrator License, and four options to qualify for an Initial Administrator License. Those that have less than four years of school-based teaching, instructional leadership, or pupil services experience and/or no SLLA testing must apply for an Initial Administrator License.

Standard License

If you

Option A

  • Hold a completed bachelor’s degree, and
  • Have completed an approved program that leads to a state certification in school leadership, and
  • Have passing scores for the DC-required school leadership licensure (SLLA) exam

OR

Option B

  • Hold a completed master’s degree or higher, with
  • Four years of school-based teaching, instructional leadership, or pupil services experience (note: substitute teaching experience does not apply), and
  • Have passing scores for the DC-required school leadership licensure (SLLA) exam

OR

Option C

  • Have a valid full administrative services license held in another state, and
  • Hold a completed bachelor’s degree, and
  • Have completed an approved program that leads to a state certification in school leadership, and
  • Have passing scores for the DC-required school leadership licensure (SLLA) exam

OR

Option D

  • Have a valid full administrative services license held in another state, and
  • Hold a completed master’s degree or higher, with
  • Four years of school-based teaching, instructional leadership, or pupil services experience (note: substitute teaching experience does not apply), and
  • Have passing scores for the DC-required school leadership licensure (SLLA) exam

then scan and upload the following –

  • Transcripts from all universities attended that reflect your conferred degrees, including a bachelor’s degree transcript even if you have a master’s degree or higher. International candidates must submit a course by course foreign credential evaluation.
  • Any valid out-of-state licensure in school leadership/administration.
  • Program completion verification form signed by the verifying certification officer of the institution where the school leadership program was completed (if applicable).
  • Licensure exam score reports for the Praxis school leadership exam (SLLA) or any equivalent school leadership exam taken in your issuing state jurisdiction if you hold a valid out-of-state license.
  • Verification of four years of full-time preK-12 school-based teaching, instructional leadership, or pupil services experience in a DC LEA or another state.
  • Recent DCPS fingerprint servicing from DCPS Central office. (Your clearance status shall be made available to OSSE electronically three to five days after your visit.)

If you do not meet the requirements for a standard administrative services credential, OSSE will evaluate you automatically for an initial administrative services credential.

Initial License

If you

Option A

  • Hold a completed bachelor’s degree, and
  • Have completed an approved program that leads to a state certification in school leadership

OR

Option B

  • Hold a completed master’s degree or higher, with
  • Two years of school-based teaching, instructional leadership, or pupil services experience (note: substitute teaching experience does not apply)

OR

Option C

  • Have a valid full administrative services license held in another state, and
  • Hold a completed bachelor’s degree, and
  • Have completed an approved program that leads to a state certification in school leadership

OR

Option D

  • Have a valid full administrative services license held in another state, and
  • Hold a completed master’s degree or higher, with
  • Two years of school-based teaching, instructional leadership, or pupil services experience (note: substitute teaching experience does not apply)

then scan and upload the following –

  • Transcripts from all universities attended that reflect your conferred degrees, including a bachelor’s degree transcript even if you have a master’s degree or higher. International candidates must submit a course by course foreign credential evaluation.
  • Any valid out-of-state licensure in school leadership/administration.
  • Program completion verification form signed by the verifying certification officer of the institution where the school leadership program was completed. (if applicable)
  • Verification of at least two years of full-time preK-12 school-based teaching, instructional leadership, or pupil services experience in a DC LEA or another state.
  • Recent DCPS fingerprint servicing from central office. (Your clearance status shall be made available to OSSE electronically 3-5 days after your visit.)

Administrator Applicants-Renewing OSSE License

If you currently hold an OSSE teaching license, there are two pathways to renew your Standard Administrator License. Please review the checklist of requirements below to renew your license.

Renewal Option A

If you

Have three years of an Effective or higher IMPACT rating directly related to school administration or leadership within the most recent four years of the license validity period

then upload the following –

All pages of your “final” (end-of-year) annual performance evaluation report for each applicable school year. This report is already in PDF form on your IMPACT dashboard on the top left tool bar. Incomplete or partial reports shall not be accepted.

Recent DCPS fingerprint servicing from central office. (Your clearance status shall be made available to OSSE electronically 3-5 days after your visit.)

Renewal Option B

If you

  • Have 120 clock hours (PLUs) of professional development where the license holder is the student, not the teacher or facilitator and where the training was completed during the four-year validity period of your credential in any of the following combinations below –
    • 120 PLUs, or
    • the equivalent eight credit hours in school administration, leadership, and/or PreK-12 education subject areas

then scan and upload the following –

  • Official transcripts bearing the signature or stamp of the institution registrar. Grade reports, student transcripts, or web-account transcripts are not accepted. Coursework must be taken for credit and must indicate a “pass” or letter grade of “C” or higher.
  • Official training activity transcript or official certificate of completion issued by the training organization. Find information on PD Training Activity Documentation here.[PDF]
  • Recent DCPS fingerprint servicing from central office. (Your clearance status shall be made available to OSSE electronically 3-5 days after your visit.)

Administrator Applicants-Upgrading from Initial to Standard License

There is one option to upgrade to from an Initial License to a Standard License. Please review the checklist below to upgrade your active Initial License.

If you

  • Have passing scores on the Praxis school leadership licensure exam (SLLA), and
  • Have completed four years of school-based teaching, instructional leadership, or pupil services experience (note: substitute teaching experience does not apply)

then scan and upload the following –

  • Verification of prior full-time experience from a previous school district and/or the DCPS official system-generated record of employment.
  • ETS SLLA score report. (Please include all pages of the report.)
  • Recent DCPS fingerprint servicing from central office. (Your clearance status shall be made available to OSSE electronically 3-5 days after your visit.)

Note for All Licensure Applicants: OSSE requires that an individual applying for licensure demonstrate that they have cleared the background check within the last 2 years through the DCPS fingerprinting process. OSSE is provided clearance information automatically and electronically for those individuals that meet this requirement. If it has been more than 2 years since the fingerprints were last taken, the employee must report to Central Office to have new fingerprints taken. Once the new fingerprints have been cleared by the FBI, the results will then be sent to OSSE automatically and electronically. Non-employees may also submit a licensure application to OSSE, but they must complete a background search independently.

If you are not sure if your fingerprints were taken within the last 2 years, email the Clearance Team at [email protected].