How do you get certified to teach in Connecticut?
If you’re new to teaching and want to get certified to teach in Connecticut:
- What kind of teachers are needed in Connecticut?
- Choose the right certification endorsement area.
- Review your pathway to certification.
- How to receive your teacher certification.
- How much will certification cost?
- Review other resources, if you're still exploring.
Do you already have teaching experience? You may be able to become certified in Connecticut education without attending a preparation course. Check out the “Your Pathway to Teaching” section to learn how.
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 preparation course and the Connecticut Department of Education (CSDE) Bureau of Certification before applying.
"Schools are more than just places where students learn how to read and write — they're communities. They're like second families to our students." — Dr. Miguel Cardona
What kind of teachers are needed in CT?
You’ll have more job opportunities—and make a bigger impact—teaching in areas with a strong need for education. You can explore state-designated shortage areas in the next section, “Choose the right certification area.”
There are perks for teaching in a state-designated shortage area:
- You may be eligible to teach full-time (and earn a paycheck!) while you complete your teaching course. Read more about the Durational Shortage Area Permit.
- Many schools offer additional pay or signing bonuses to teachers working in these subjects.
- The Connecticut Teachers Mortgage Assistance Program offers lower interest rate loans to help teachers in subject shortage areas become homeowners.
- If you’re willing to commit to teaching for several years in high-need areas, you may be eligible to have some of your school loans cancelled. (1)
What subjects are "shortage areas"?
You can get the most up-to-date list on the CSDE's website. These subjects are currently on the list:
- Bilingual education (elementary or secondary)
- Math and science (middle and high school)
- Special education (all grades)
- Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL, all grades)
- World languages (middle and high school)
Choosing the right 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 receive elementary endorsement for grades 1-6 or an endorsement for grades 4-8 in a particular subject area.
You can add cross-endorsements in different grade levels and subject areas throughout your teaching career. You don’t have to achieve all your endorsements at once.
What endorsements can I earn?
Are you ready to find your certification endorsement area in Connecticut?
- 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.
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, there are three tiers of teacher certification—and a few ways to get you there.
To begin, choose a path below that works for you based on your current education level and experience.
Which statement fits you best?
If you’re a first-time teacher, you’ll need to choose an educator course.
Programs for undergraduates
If you don’t already have a degree, you can earn your degree and your teaching certificate at the same time.
Many colleges and universities offer teaching programs that go along with a degree in education or a teaching subject, like math, history or art. So you might major in English or biology, minor in education and earn your teaching certificate all at the same time.
Programs for college graduates
If you already have a bachelor's degree in any subject, you can check out local courses that help you become certified. Some even allow you to work in education or start teaching (and earning a salary) while you complete your courses.
You have two basic choices:
- Master’s degree programs
- Post-baccalaureate programs
In Connecticut, all teachers must earn a master’s degree eventually. If you earn a master’s degree now, you can start teaching with a higher salary and meet the requirement. This can be a really great option if you have less experience working with students, as traditional degrees offer extra time and practice.
If you’re not interested in a master’s degree right away, a post-baccalaureate program will let you earn your certification in as little as one year. Some are offered by universities and allow you to earn college credit at the same time. Others are certification-only offered by non-profit organizations, which can be more cost-effective and take less time to complete.
Check out Programs to find undergraduate, graduate and certification-only teaching courses.
How to earn you teacher certification
Choose the subject area you want to teach.
Explore your options and consider high needs subjects and specialties, like math, trades, bilingual education, and special education.
Need advice or have questions? Talk to a TEACH Connecticut career coach for free, and receive advice on how to choose a certification area, how to find the right teaching program, what tests to take and more. Visit the TEACH Connecticut coaching page to start.
Earn a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university.
Your bachelor’s degree 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). Connecticut accepts degrees from a large number of universities, but you should confirm that yours is regionally accredited.
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.
Graduate—and earn a recommendation—from a state-approved educator preparation program.
Each program sets its own requirements for admission and completion. Your preparation program must formally recommend you for certification.
You can meet this requirement either as part of your undergraduate coursework, or by applying to and graduating from a preparation program after earning your bachelor’s degree.
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, including teaching tools and strategies.
- 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 meet minimum score requirements on—the edTPA portfolio-based assessment. Candidates prepare a portfolio of lesson plans, student work and other artifacts to submit for assessment as a part of your student teaching experience.
Start by browsing TEACH Connecticut’s Programs page.
Pass Connecticut content area assessments.
You’ll have to pass one or more tests designed to show you know your subject well enough to teach it. Depending on your teaching program, you might take a test before you enroll, during your program or after you finish.
Review the CSDE’s Guide to Assessments for Educator Certification in Connecticut for more info.
Submit an application to the state and pay the application fee.
After you meet the requirements above, it’s time for you to formally apply for your teaching certificate. In-state graduates applying for their first certificate must submit a paper application.
You can contact the CSDE’s Bureau of Certification with any questions. Processing time usually takes 6 to 12 weeks.
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.
How much will certification cost?
The total costs will vary depending on the 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 initial certification:
It's understandable to have your eye on the cost of preparation programs, but there are lots of scholarships, loan forgiveness and other funding opportunities that can lower your program costs. Check out Financial Aid & Scholarships to find out more.
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- Federal Student Aid, Wondering whether you can get your federal student loans forgiven for your service as a teacher?, https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/teacher
- Connecticut State Department of Education, Becoming Certified in Connecticut, https://portal.ct.gov/SDE/Certification/Bureau-of-Certification/Getting-Certified-in-Connecticut