Explore these frequently asked questions to learn more about educator licensing and certification.
Do I Need a License?
Knowing your career goals is key to knowing what license, if any, you need. The type of work you want to do and the setting where you will do it will drive the need for a license. Most educators working in P–12 settings need a license. Some private, parochial, or charter schools may not require a license. It is important to know the requirements for your local area. See the educator licensing section for more information.
Who Issues Licenses?
Educators are regulated at the state level and are subject to state law and regulations. Each state or jurisdiction vests licensing authority in a specific office or agency, such as a Department of Education or Board of Education. Capella has created a guide with links to all state licensing websites.
What Are the Requirements for Licensure?
The state board or department of education creates rules and policies that provide the specific details governing the profession, including licensing requirements. Licensing requirements generally include specific degree and course work components, background checks and fingerprinting, field work experience, examinations, and fees. Some states also have state-specific courses or training required. It is very important to understand all of these licensing requirements for the state in which you intend to earn a licensure or endorsement. See the licensure research section to get started.
How Do I Know if Capella's Program Will Be Accepted in My State?
Every state has different licensing requirements. The best starting place is your state's board or department of education website. The state statutes, regulations, or rules outline the license requirements, but you should review all information on the website, including the licensure application. It is important to compare license requirements with Capella's degree program and your experience. Follow the licensure research steps outlined in the licensure research section.
What Are the Barriers to Earning a License?
Every state has different requirements related to background checks. Educators who are trusted to work with children are held to high ethical standards. Some examples of barriers to licensure include medical conditions that limit the ability to teach with reasonable skill and safety, chemical substance use within the past 2 years, past or current diagnosis of a sexual disorder, conviction of certain crimes, or being named in a civil lawsuit.
Whom Can I Talk to with Questions?
Contact your Capella enrollment counselor or an academic advisor. He or she can answer your questions or connect you to a licensing specialist.
Capella University cannot guarantee licensure, certification, or endorsement. State regulations vary regarding professional licensure and salary benefits. It is learners' responsibility to understand and comply with requirements for their state.