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Educator Licensure Services

Educator licensure becomes more complex every year, and the School of Education and Human Sciences does everything they can to help KU students and alumni understand the requirements and process for attaining licensure through the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE), as well as in other states.


Educator Licensure Verification


Individuals who need to have “verification” or “recommendation” forms completed by KU should email a PDF scan of these forms to the School’s licensure officer (contact info below).

Individuals should include a note with any prior last names (if applicable) and a current email address. Allow up to two weeks for processing. Information about official KU transcripts can be found at the Office of the University Registrar’s web site.


Programs for Initial Educator Licensure

  • Elementary education (K-6)
  • Elementary unified (K-6) (coming soon)
  • Early childhood unified (birth-K)
  • Unified early childhood (birth-3)
  • Secondary english/language arts (6-12)
  • Secondary history, government and social studies (6-12)
  • Secondary mathematics (6-12)
  • Secondary sciences (biology/physics/chemistry/earth & space) (6-12)
  • Foreign languages (PK-12)
  • Physical education (PK-12)
  • Visual art (PK-12)
  • Music (PK-12)

Programs for Licensure Endorsement

  • High incidence disabilities (special education) (K-6 or 6-12)
  • Low incidence disabilities (special education) (PK-12)
  • Teaching English for speakers of other languages (TESOL) (PK-12)
  • Reading specialist (PK-12)
  • Building leadership (PK-12)
  • District leadership (PK-12)

Educator Licensure Exams


Educational Testing Service (ETS) offers the standardized exams required for educator licensure in Kansas. Review the information on the ETS web site.

All ETS exams are electronic and the schedule varies. 6871 is the recipient code for the School of Education & Human Sciences at the University of Kansas. Please include your full social security number on the registration, which will help us to match your score with your KU records.

Individuals are able to download their score report roughly four weeks after the exam, and scores are available for 10 years. There are variety of recommended test preparation materials available on the ETS web site. Passing scores are required to be “highly qualified.”

Due to COVID-19, ETS is offering many (but not all) of the required exams in an at-home format due to many closed testing centers. More information on at-home testing options can be found here.

Students who cannot take (or did not pass) their licensure exams may apply for a one-year non-renewable license in most cases. ETS test fee waivers are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and testing accommodations can be made with documentation of disability, health-related needs or if English is not your primary language. More information can be found on the Praxis web site.


Background Checks, Fingerprinting & Legal Issues


Applicants applying for their first educator license must be fingerprinted for a KBI/FBI background check. KSDE fingerprint packages are available at the School of Education and Human Sciences Welcome Center. Fingerprint packages are available via postal mail upon request via email (contact information below). It is recommend to get fingerprinted one to three months prior to applying for educator licensure.  Individuals with legal issues (criminal records related to drugs, theft or crimes involving children) should review detailed information (pdf).


Applying for Educator Licensure in Kansas


Students who finish an educator preparation program at KU will receive instructions from the School and then will apply online to complete Form 1 through the KSDE web site. After academic grades are posted, students should allow two weeks for processing licensure applications at KU. Processing at KSDE takes four to eight weeks. KSDE no longer prints nor mails educator licenses. Individuals will print their own license using the Educator License Look-Up resource.

 


Exam Requirements for Initial Educator Licensure


In the final year of the teacher preparation program, KU students take the PLT (Principles of Learning and Teaching) and subject area exams, which are required for initial licensure in Kansas.

Exam information for the state of Kansas can be found on the ETS web site.

We strongly recommend that most new teachers graduating in May take the PLT and subject exams between October and January of their final year. This allows time to receive scores and time to schedule a re-take if necessary. Passing scores are required to be "highly qualified."

 


Exam Requirements for Add-On Licensure Endorsement


Licensed teachers may add a licensure endorsement in two ways:

  1. By completing an approved licensure endorsement program at KU and passing the appropriate ETS subject exam. Individuals should review instructions for applicants and apply online to complete Form 1 through the KSDE web site; or

  2. By passing a subject exam. For example, a physics teacher might be able to pass the mathematics exam, so he/she could teach both. Note that this option applies to all content areas except for elementary, unified early childhood, special education, or educational administration. Individuals should review instructions for applicants and apply online to complete Form 22 through the KSDE web site.


Other Educator Licensure Options


  • Alternative Educator Licensure:
    • KU does not offer any programs for “alternative” licensure” (called the "restricted license" in Kansas). Visit the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) web site to learn more about Restricted Teaching License Alternative Pathways.     
  • Substitute Teacher Licensure:
    • There are two kinds of substitute licenses in Kansas; and most individuals apply for the lower level Emergency Substitute license which does not require the completion of an educator preparation program. Review information about substitute licensure (pdf).
  • Out-of-State Educator Licensure:
    • It is recommended that individuals apply for initial educator licensure in Kansas first (even if planning to move/teach out-of-state). This establishes a record with KSDE and will ease the application process in most other states. Some states (MO, IL & TX) mandate that the individual hold a license from the state in which the student completed the educator preparation program before they will issue a license. Individuals should include a copy of the Kansas license with the out-of-state application. Each state has its own application process and requirements. View more information from KSDE or from the Education Commission of the States here.
  • Waivers for Special Education:
    • KSDE allows a school district to hire a licensed teacher in special education as soon as they start special education coursework. To qualify, the individual must:
      1. Hold a current teaching license in Kansas;
      2. Be admitted to the special education program appropriate to their job assignment; and
      3. Be currently enrolled in at least one course with a plan to finish in three years. More information can be found Waiver Info July 2020 (pdf).

Renewing A Kansas License


Renewals are processed directly through KSDE, as they have become more complicated in recent years and requirements will vary depending on whether a license is current or expired, and  whether the individual has been teaching or not. 

Individuals should consult with their employer, local school district, Professional Development Council (PDC), or a licensure consultant at KSDE for information on licensure renewal.

If the individual has not taught recently, they may be required to complete eight credit hours earned in the past six years. Courses should be in an area for which the individual plans to seek an added licensure endorsement. Most individuals should review instructions for applicants and apply online to complete Form 3B, 20 or 21 through the KSDE web site.



Joseph R. Pearson Hall
Joseph R. Pearson Hall,
1122 West Campus Rd.
Lawrence, Kansas, 66045