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Connecticut
About Certification
Everything you need to know about getting certified to teach in Connecticut
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.
  • I already know what subjects I want to teach.
  • I’m open to teaching different subjects.
  • I’m considering a career change.
  • I’m already certified to teach.

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.

  • Elementary & Early Childhood
  • Special Education
  • Humanities & World Language
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
  • Fine Arts, Media, Physical Education, & Health
  • Academic Specialty
  • Career & Technical Education

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

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