Teacher & Administrator Certification for Recent Graduates
“Licensure provides the professional and public assurance that educators have met state teaching standards and have demonstrated their readiness to teach and improve student learning.” (National Education Association)
Graduates who have successfully completed one of GSEHD’s state-approved educator preparation programs and passed the ETS PRAXIS exams for licensure are eligible to receive a D.C. teaching or administrator license through the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), the state education agency for the District of Columbia. Once you have obtained your D.C. license, you can apply for licensure in other states through reciprocity.
Please note, teacher and administrator certification is granted by individual state education departments, not any university. We recommend consulting with the appropriate licensing agency or board in the state or territory for which licensure is sought prior to beginning any course of study. For more information about licensure/certification in a specific state, please contact the appropriate state’s licensure agency.
Disclaimer: The information provided below is intended as a guide. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, please refer to the official websites of the relevant education departments.
Many states, including D.C., participate in the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Interstate Agreement of Reciprocity. This agreement eases the process for those who wish to apply for their licensure in other participating states. Please note, participating states may have additional requirements for educators who are coming from another jurisdiction.
Reciprocity is easier if you complete the certification requirements and obtain your teaching credential in the state where you completed your program requirements. Thus, we recommend that our graduates obtain a D.C. license upon completion of a GSEHD program to ensure a smoother transition between jurisdictions.
Licensure is not automatically granted upon graduation. Candidates must submit a formal application to each state in which they seek a license. It is recommended that GSEHD graduates apply for D.C. licensure first to ease the process of reciprocity. Following receipt of D.C. licensure, candidates are eligible for reciprocal certification in more than 40 participating states.
- Types of Licensure
Initial Licensure: Licensure, certification, or endorsement that signifies successful completion of preparation for P-12 educators through programs at the baccalaureate or post-baccalaureate levels. Initial licensure programs are designed to prepare candidates who have not yet earned a P-12 professional license.
Advanced Level Licensure: Licensure, certification, or endorsement that signifies successful completion of preparation at the post-baccalaureate or graduate levels as specialized school professionals for employment in P-12 schools and districts. Advanced-level programs are designed to develop additional specialized professional skills for P-12 teachers who have already completed an initial licensure program, are currently licensed administrators, or are other certified (or similar state language) school professionals.
*Official definitions obtained from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
- Licensure in D.C.
To begin the application process for D.C. licensure:
- Visit the D.C. Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) website to determine the requirements needed for a standard teacher credential.
- Create an account and submit your application on the Educator Credential Information System (ECIS) portal.
- The application will require an official record of passing the appropriate Praxis exam(s), an official copy of academic transcripts, and an FBI criminal background clearance, which includes fingerprint submissions.
- In addition, OSSE requires a program completer verification form (see below) to be completed by the George Washington University as a part of the D.C. licensure application process.
Please note: OSSE has an 8- to 10-week processing time from the date an application is submitted. The verification form can take an additional 1- to 2-weeks to process. You should plan accordingly to complete the certification process in a timely fashion.
- Licensure in Other States
Please note that some states may require additional courses or national teacher examinations. Graduates should contact individual State Departments of Education for the most recent information on current state requirements, and be sure to consult the ETS Praxis website for the specific tests required by each state.
Many states require a program completer verification form (see below) to be completed by the George Washington University as a part of their licensure application process.
Instructions for Virginia and Maryland licensure:
- Helpful Links & Resources
- D.C. Educator Credentialing and Certification
- D.C. Educator Credential Exams
- D.C. Teaching Certification Information
- How to Apply for D.C. Educator Credentials/Licensure
- D.C. Praxis Score Requirements
- State Credential Contact List
- Adding Teaching Endorsements with OSSE
- How to Obtain a FBI Identity History Summary Check (IHSC)
The PRAXIS exams are meant to measure subject-specific content knowledge in preparation for initial and advanced level licensure.
For Initial Licensure:
The following programs require successful completion of select PRAXIS exams for graduation from the university. Select your program to download a PDF guide to required exams and frequently asked questions.
- Master's in Elementary Education
- Master's in Early Childhood Special Education
- Master's in Special Education for Children with Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities
For Advanced Level Licensure:
To add the Administration/Supervision endorsement to your teaching credential for the following programs, the School Leaders Licensure Assessment (SLLA-6990) examination is required.
- Educational Leadership and Administration: Master’s, Education Specialist, Post-Master’s Certificate
- Submitting Scores
Be sure to include GW and other licensing agencies as recipients of your exam score:
- George Washington University (GWU) - RA5246
- DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) – 7076
- Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) – 8425
- Maryland State Department of Education (MDOE) – 7403
For more information on state licensure requirements and their respective exam codes, please visit the ETS website.
In order to submit a request for a program completer verification form, please complete the following steps:
- Download the applicable verification form:
- Fill in all the relevant student/applicant information. Feel free to only include the last 4 digits of your SSN or affix your full SSN after the form is returned.
- Be prepared to submit an official record of the most recent passing Praxis scores.
- Complete the following form:
Should you have any questions or require guidance throughout the certification and licensure process, please feel free to reach out to Jessica Fohr, Associate Program Director, Partnerships at firstname.lastname@example.org.