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About Certification
Everything you need to know about getting certified to teach in Connecticut
About Certification
Everything you need to know about getting certified to teach in Connecticut

To get certified to teach in Connecticut: 

Note: We do our best to keep all information updated, but because certification requirements are regularly reviewed and revised, it is best to confirm requirements with your educator preparation program and the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) Bureau of Certification before applying.
 

Which statement fits you best?

In Connecticut, teachers are awarded certification in specific endorsement areas. Each endorsement area authorizes them to teach a specific set of grades and subjects.

If you know what ages or grades you want to teach—your next steps are to:

  • Decide which subject area(s) you’d like to teach (next section).
  • Identify your certification endorsement area (next section).
  • Select an educator preparation program that offers your desired certification endorsement area.
  • Apply to your educator preparation program.

Pro Tip: There are lots of different subject areas to teach at all ages and grade levels. At any level, adding a high-demand specialty area provides more job opportunities than a single certification endorsement area alone. Your employment prospects may be stronger, especially at the elementary level, where there are a large number of applicants.

If you want to teach young children, consider choosing a high-demand specialty area: 

  • Comprehensive Special Education (K–12)
  • Bilingual Elementary Education
  • Integrated Early Childhood/Special Ed., Birth–Kindergarten
  • Integrated Early Childhood/Special Ed., Nursery–K and Elem. 1-3
  • World Language Instructor, Elementary, Grades 1-6

To broaden your options, you could also consider a subject area that allows you to teach in grades PK-12 (for a complete list, see Choosing a Certification Area):

  • Comprehensive Special Education (K–12)
  • TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)
  • Technology Education
  • Physical Education & Health
  • Music & Art

Heads Up: Most certification endorsement areas require specific tests. Review the CSDE’s Guide to Assessments for Educator Certification in Connecticut to get a leg up on which assessments are required for the subject area you wish to teach.

  • I already know what ages/grades I want to teach.

    If you know what ages or grades you want to teach—your next steps are to:

    • Decide which subject area(s) you’d like to teach (next section).
    • Identify your certification endorsement area (next section).
    • Select an educator preparation program that offers your desired certification endorsement area.
    • Apply to your educator preparation program.

    Pro Tip: There are lots of different subject areas to teach at all ages and grade levels. At any level, adding a high-demand specialty area provides more job opportunities than a single certification endorsement area alone. Your employment prospects may be stronger, especially at the elementary level, where there are a large number of applicants.

    If you want to teach young children, consider choosing a high-demand specialty area: 

    • Comprehensive Special Education (K–12)
    • Bilingual Elementary Education
    • Integrated Early Childhood/Special Ed., Birth–Kindergarten
    • Integrated Early Childhood/Special Ed., Nursery–K and Elem. 1-3
    • World Language Instructor, Elementary, Grades 1-6

    To broaden your options, you could also consider a subject area that allows you to teach in grades PK-12 (for a complete list, see Choosing a Certification Area):

    • Comprehensive Special Education (K–12)
    • TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)
    • Technology Education
    • Physical Education & Health
    • Music & Art

    Heads Up: Most certification endorsement areas require specific tests. Review the CSDE’s Guide to Assessments for Educator Certification in Connecticut to get a leg up on which assessments are required for the subject area you wish to teach.

  • I already know what subjects I want to teach.

    If you know what subject you’d like to teach, your next steps are to:

    • Decide which age(s) or grade level(s) you’d like to teach.
    • Identify your certification endorsement area (next section).
    • Select an educator preparation program that offers your desired certification endorsement area.
    • Apply to your educator preparation program.

    Pro Tip: When selecting ages or grade levels to teach, consider that your employment prospects may be stronger at the middle and high school levels than at the elementary level. Earning a secondary level certification endorsement in Connecticut can also allow you to teach down to grades 4-6 depending on your subject area, according to state regulations.

    The greatest need for teachers is in state-designated shortage areas, many of which are at the secondary level:

    • Math
    • Science
    • World Languages

    To broaden your options, you could also consider a subject area that allows you to teach in grades PK-12 (for a complete list, see Choosing a Certification Area):

    • Comprehensive Special Education (K–12)
    • TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)
    • Technology Education
    • Physical Education & Health
    • Music & Art

    Heads Up: Most certification endorsement areas require specific tests. Review the CSDE’s Guide to Assessments for Educator Certification in Connecticut to get a leg up on which assessments are required for the subject area you wish to teach.

  • I’m open to teaching different subjects.

    If you’re open to teaching different subject areas, your next steps are to:

    • Decide which age(s)/grade level(s) and subject area(s) you’d like to teach.
    • Identify your certification endorsement area (next section).
    • Select an educator preparation program that offers your desired certification endorsement area.
    • Apply to your educator preparation program.

    Pro Tip: You can narrow down which grade levels and subject areas to teach by considering state-designated shortage areas, or other in-demand subjects, where the need for teachers is greatest and your employment prospects may be stronger.

    There are other perks to teaching in a state-designated shortage area, too:

    • You may be eligible to teach full-time under a Durational Shortage Area Permit (DSAP) while completing a program leading to certification in a shortage area.
    • Many school districts in Connecticut offer additional pay or signing bonuses to teachers working in state-designated shortage areas. In Bridgeport, for example, you can earn credit for 7 additional years of experience, which can equate to more than $10,000 higher in salary, for teaching in a state-designated shortage area. 
    • The Connecticut Teachers Mortgage Assistance Program, built specifically for teachers buying a home, offers an additional 0.125 percent off already below-market interest rate loans to help teachers in subject shortage areas become homeowners in the communities where they work.
    • If you have a student loan, you may be eligible for relief if you’re willing to commit to teaching for several years in high-need areas, thanks to the federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program.

    The CSDE identifies 10 certification shortage areas each year based on the vacancies reported by public school districts. The shortage areas for this school year are:

    • Bilingual Education, PK-12
    • Comprehensive Special Education, K-12
    • Mathematics, Grades 4-8
    • Mathematics, Grades 7-12
    • Occupational Subject, Vocational Technical High School
    • School Library and Media Specialist
    • Science, Grades 4-8
    • Science, Grades 7-12
    • Speech and Language Pathologist
    • Technology Education, PK-12
    • TESOL, PK-12
    • World Languages, Grades 7-12

    There are other subject areas that are consistently in high demand to consider, such as: 

    • Business, Grades 7-12
    • Deaf & Hard of Hearing, PK-12
    • Home Economics (Family and Consumer Science), PK-12
    • Remedial Reading and Remedial Language Arts, Grades 1-12 (Requires three years of prior successful classroom teaching experience)

    Pro Tip: Get a feel for the full list of available certification endorsements by browsing the next section

  • I’m considering a career change.

    If you’re considering teaching as the next stage in your career path, your next steps are to:

    • Decide which age(s)/grade level(s) and subject area(s) you’d like to teach.
    • Identify your certification endorsement area (next section).
    • Select an educator preparation program that offers your desired certification endorsement area.
    • Apply to your educator preparation program.

    Pro Tip: If you’ve already earned a bachelor’s degree or have vocational work experience, you may be eligible for alternative pathways to certification.

    • Do you have a bachelor’s degree that isn’t in education? Alternate educator preparation programs can get you certified to teach without earning an additional degree. These programs may take less time and cost less than traditional certification programs. Head over to Programs to learn more.
    • Are you a paraeducator? Alternate educator preparation programs may get you certified to teach without earning an additional degree. These programs may take less time and cost less than traditional certification programs. Head over to Programs to learn more.
    • Are you a tradesperson? If you have three years of vocational experience, you can get certified to teach as a trade instructor for a Career & Technical Education program in a comprehensive high school without having to attend a preparation program. If you have eight years of field experience, you can get certified to teach as a trade instructor in a vocational/technical high school without having to attend a preparation program. (You will only need to earn nine related professional education credits, which you can earn during your first year of teaching!) Positions may be available in fields such as automotive, manufacturing, construction, cosmetology, culinary arts, hospitality, plumbing, and others. Learn more about Vocational Endorsements from the CSDE.
    • Do you speak another language? Your multilingual skills make you uniquely qualified for high-demand subject areas such as Bilingual Education, World Languages, and Teaching of English as a Second Language (TESOL). You may be eligible to teach full-time under a Durational Shortage Area Permit (DSAP) while completing a program leading to certification.
    • Are you a military veteran? Connecticut students need veterans to serve again as their teachers. Check out Troops to Teachers for resources and opportunities available for veterans interested in teaching.
  • I’m already certified to teach.

    If you’re already certified to teach—in Connecticut or elsewhere—your next step is to learn more about your eligibility for certification by reviewing the CSDE Talent Office Bureau of Certification website, as well as Certification Guides and Fact Sheets.

    These resources will help determine your pathway to Connecticut certification if you are:

    • An out-of-state (or international) educator looking to teach in Connecticut.
    • A certified Connecticut educator interested in renewing or advancing your certification.
    • A certified Connecticut educator wanting to add cross-endorsements in other certification areas or earn an administrator certification.

Choosing a Certification Area

Once you know your grade and subject preferences, you can select a certification endorsement area.

In some cases, you may have multiple certification endorsement options to choose from. For example, if you want to teach fourth, fifth or sixth grade, you could get (a) an Elementary endorsement for grades 1-6 and/or (b) an endorsement for grades 4-8 in a particular subject area. 

Pro Tip: You can add cross-endorsements in different grade levels and subject areas throughout your teaching career. You don’t have to get all your endorsements at once. ?
 

Are you ready to find your certification endorsement area in Connecticut?

It's easy:

  • Filter by grade level and subject area to see which certification endorsement(s) apply to your teaching interests.
  • Hover to explore additional notes and details, like certification shortage areas.

If you prefer to review this information in tables, expand the sections below.

Try Viz
  • Elementary & Early Childhood

    These certification endorsements allow you to teach in multiple subject areas at the early childhood and elementary school levels.

    Subject Grade Range Notes
    Elementary 1–6  
    Integrated Early Childhood/Special Ed., Birth–Kindergarten Birth–K  
    Integrated Early Childhood/Special Ed., Nursery–K and Elem. 1–3 PK-3 Authorizes teaching special education in PK-K only
    Montessori, Elementary 1–6 Requires Association Montessori International (AMI) certification
    Montessori, Primary, Birth to Kindergarten Birth–K Requires Association Montessori International (AMI) certification
  • Special Education

    These certification endorsements allow you to teach students with disabilities or students who require additional academic supports at the elementary, middle and/or high school levels.

    Subject Grade Range Notes
    Comprehensive Special Education K-12 State-designated shortage area
    Integrated Early Childhood/Special Ed., Birth–Kindergarten Birth–K  
    Integrated Early Childhood/Special Ed., Nursery–K and Elem. 1–3 PK-3 Authorizes teaching special education in PK-K only
    Deaf & Hard of Hearing PK-12  
    Blind PK-12  
    Partially Sighted PK-12  
  • Humanities & World Language

    These certification endorsements allow you to teach in humanities subject areas or world languages at the upper elementary, middle and/or high school levels.

    Subject Grade Range Notes
    English 7–12 State regulations authorize teaching down to grades 5 and 6 with this endorsement
    English, Middle School 4–8  
    History & Social Studies 7–12 State regulations authorize teaching down to grades 5 and 6 with this endorsement
    History & Social Studies, Middle School 4–8  
    French 7–12 State-designated shortage area; state regulations authorize teaching down to grades 4, 5 and 6 with this endorsement
    German 7–12 State-designated shortage area; state regulations authorize teaching down to grades 4, 5 and 6 with this endorsement
    Italian 7–12 State-designated shortage area; state regulations authorize teaching down to grades 4, 5 and 6 with this endorsement
    Latin & Classical Humanities 7–12 State-designated shortage area; state regulations authorize teaching down to grades 4, 5 and 6 with this endorsement
    Mandarin Chinese 7–12 State-designated shortage area; state regulations authorize teaching down to grades 4, 5 and 6 with this endorsement
    Portuguese 7–12 State-designated shortage area; state regulations authorize teaching down to grades 4, 5 and 6 with this endorsement
    Russian 7–12 State-designated shortage area; state regulations authorize teaching down to grades 4, 5 and 6 with this endorsement
    Spanish 7–12 State-designated shortage area; state regulations authorize teaching down to grades 4, 5 and 6 with this endorsement
    Other World Language 7–12 State-designated shortage area; state regulations authorize teaching down to grades 4, 5 and 6 with this endorsement
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)

    These certification endorsements allow you to teach STEM subjects at the elementary, middle school and/or high school levels.

    Subject Grade Range Notes
    Agriculture PK-12  
    Biology 7–12 State-designated shortage area; state regulations authorize teaching down to grades 5 and 6 with this endorsement
    Biology, Middle School 4–8  
    Chemistry 7–12 State-designated shortage area; state regulations authorize teaching down to grades 5 and 6 with this endorsement
    Chemistry, Middle School 4–8  
    Computer Science PK-12  
    Earth Science 7–12 State-designated shortage area; state regulations authorize teaching down to grades 5 and 6 with this endorsement
    Earth Science, Middle School 4–8  
    General Science 7–12 State-designated shortage area; state regulations authorize teaching down to grades 5 and 6 with this endorsement
    General Science, Middle School 4–8  
    Mathematics 7–12 State-designated shortage area; state regulations authorize teaching down to grades 5 and 6 with this endorsement
    Mathematics, Middle School 4–8  
    Physics 7–12 State-designated shortage area; state regulations authorize teaching down to grades 5 and 6 with this endorsement
    Physics, Middle School 4–8  
    Technology Education PK-12 State-designated shortage area; authorizes teaching construction, manufacturing, transportation and communication systems
  • Fine Arts, Media, Physical Education, & Health

    These certification endorsements allow you to teach in one of several enrichment subject areas at the elementary, middle and high school levels.

    Subject Grade Range Notes
    Art PK-12  
    Dance PK-12 Teaching this subject can also be authorized by a Physical Education (PE) endorsement
    Health PK-12  
    Music PK-12  
    Physical Education PK-12  
    School Library Media Specialist PK-12  
    Theatre and Drama PK-12 Teaching this subject can also be authorized by an English endorsement
  • Academic Specialty

    These certification endorsements allow you to teach in speciality subject areas at the elementary, middle and/or high school levels.

    Subject Grade Range Notes
    Bilingual Education PK-12 State-designated shortage area; requires endorsement in the content area to be taught
    Remedial Reading and Remedial Language Arts 1–12 Requires three years of prior successful classroom teaching experience
    Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) PK-12 State-designated shortage area
    World Language Instructor, Elementary PK-8 Requires secondary world language endorsement
  • Career & Technical Education

    These certification endorsements allow you to teach in career and technical education subject areas, mostly at the middle school and/or high school levels.

    Subject Grade Range Notes
    Business 7–12 Also authorizes teaching marketing
    Health Occupations – Comprehensive High School 9–12 Requires experience in the occupational area
    Health Occupations – Vocational Technical Schools 9–12 Requires experience in the occupational area
    Home Economics PK-12 Also referred to as Family & Consumer Science
    Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) 7–12 Requires a Department of Defense teacher certificate
    Marketing Education 7–12 Requires experience in marketing
    Occupational Subject - Vocational Technical Schools 9–12 Requires experience in the occupational area
    Practical Nurse Education Instruction 9–12 Requires experience in the occupational area
    Trade & Industrial Occupations – Comprehensive High School 9–12 Requires experience in the occupational area
    Vocational Agriculture 7–12 Requires experience in the occupational area

Your Pathway to Teaching

Once you know what you want to teach, you're ready to start your journey to becoming a certified teacher in Connecticut! In Connecticut, there are three tiers of teacher certification—and two pathways to get you there. 

The three tiers of certification in Connecticut are initial, provisional and professional. Advancement through the tiers requires additional years of experience and meeting certain criteria, such as advanced coursework. Learn more about what it takes to upgrade your teacher certification in the Guide to Maintaining Educator Certification from the CSDE Talent Office’s Bureau of Certification.

The two pathways to obtaining a Connecticut certificate are based on either having prior teaching experience or completing an approved educator preparation program.

  • If you have at least two years of appropriate prior teaching experience, learn more about your eligibility for certification by reviewing the Guide to Obtaining Educator Certification Guide from the CSDE Talent Office’s Bureau of Certification.
  • If you don’t have prior teaching experience, you will need to complete the pathway outlined below—educator preparation program completion—to earn your initial Connecticut teaching certification. Here’s a step-by-step overview of this pathway: 
  1. Earn a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university.

    Connecticut accepts degrees from a large number of universities, but you should confirm that yours is a regionally accredited college or university. The bachelor’s degree you earn should be in a field closely related to what you want to teach (though there are some exceptions to this rule, such as state-designated shortage areas. See the I'm open to teaching different subjects tab). You may also need to earn credits that meet the state content requirements for the subject area you wish to teach. To be accepted into a Connecticut educator preparation program, you generally need a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of B-, or 2.75, for all undergraduate courses.

    Heads Up: If you have a bachelor’s degree from outside of the U.S., your credentials must be evaluated by an agency currently approved by the CSDE to determine if they meet the requirements.

  2. Graduate from a state-approved educator preparation program.

    You can meet this requirement either as part of your undergraduate coursework (e.g. earning a BA in Education), or by applying to and graduating from a post-baccalaureate educator preparation program after earning your bachelor’s degree. Your educator preparation program must formally recommend you for certification.

    Generally, a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of B- (2.75) is required for all undergraduate courses, in addition to as a diagnostic assessment such as the Praxis Core Academic Skills Test, SAT, ACT or GRE. Each program sets its own requirements for admission and completion.

    Through your preparation program, you will:

    • Take coursework related to (1) the specific subject and grade levels you are seeking certification in and (2) the teaching profession more broadly (i.e. pedagogy).
    • Participate in hands-on, clinical experiences in a variety of classroom settings, where you can observe and practice with instructors, mentors and teachers who are effective and experienced.
    • Prepare an edTPA portfolio of lesson plans, student work and other artifacts during your student teaching placement to submit for assessment.

     

    All teacher candidates completing preparation programs must participate in—and, beginning in September 2019, meet minimum score requirements on—the edTPA portfolio-based assessment. To meet this requirement, candidates prepare a portfolio of lesson plans, student work and other artifacts to submit for assessment as a part of your student teaching experience. 

    Get started by browsing the Programs page
     

     

  3. Pass Connecticut certification assessments.

    Most teacher candidates have to pass specific tests that evaluate your knowledge of teaching (e.g. Foundations of Reading) and the subject area(s) you wish to teach. (e.g. Praxis II). Your education preparation program will determine the timing of when you will take these assessments.

    Pro Tip: Review the CSDE’s Guide to Assessments for Educator Certification in Connecticut to get a leg up on which assessments are required for the subject area you wish to teach.
     

  4. Submit an application to the state and pay the application fee.

    After you meet the three requirements above, it’s time for you to formally apply for your teaching certificate. First, confirm with your educator preparation program that you are eligible to apply. In-state graduates who are applying for their first certificate must submit a paper application. You can contact the CSDE’s Bureau of Certification with any questions. Generally speaking, processing time is 6 to 12 weeks.

    Pro Tip: By creating an online account for the Connecticut Educator Certification System (C.E.C.S.), you can pay fees online, check the status of your application, or print unofficial copies of your certificates and permits. Out-of-state graduates may apply for certification online.

Adding It All Up

Teaching is the greatest opportunity to shape the trajectories of young people’s lives—and the future of our world. While the experiences you’ll have are priceless, you may be wondering what it costs to get certified to teach in Connecticut. 

The total costs will vary depending on the educator preparation program you attend and the tests required for your certification endorsement area. Below are some of the costs you can expect while earning and obtaining your certification: 

Heads Up: While there are some fees for maintaining or advancing your certification, there are no renewal fees once you earn your Professional certificate.

Pro Tip: It's understandable to have your eye on the cost of educator preparation programs, but there are lots of scholarships, loan forgiveness and other funding opportunities that may lower program costs for Connecticut’s future teachers. Check out Financial Aid & Scholarships to learn more.

Additional Resources

Looking to dive a little deeper? ?

  • Educator Preparation Program Profiles

    Head over to Programs to learn more about TEACH Connecticut's participating educator preparation options. Learn more.

    Learn More
  • Troops to Teachers

    Find out about exclusive opportunities available to Connecticut military veterans to get certified to teach. Learn more.

    Learn More
  • CSDE Educator Preparation Providers Guide

    Review which Connecticut EPPs support certification endorsements in which grade level and subject areas. Learn more.

    Learn More
  • CSDE Certification Guides & Fact Sheets

    Discover your eligibility for certification by reviewing these fact sheets from the CSDE Bureau of Certification. Learn more.

    Learn More
  • CSDE Bureau of Certification FAQ

    Skim through this comprehensive set of FAQs to get your questions answered. Learn more.

    Learn More
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