A small but mighty state in southern New England, Connecticut boasts a thriving educational climate for prospective teachers to explore as they begin their career. Individuals who are considering teaching as their ideal career should familiarize themselves with the Connecticut teaching license requirements. To become a teacher in Connecticut, all individuals must do the following:
Obtain at least a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution
Complete a state-approved educator preparation program
Submit an application with all required documentation
While these steps may seem somewhat rigid at first glance, there are actually several different pathways that potential Connecticut educators may follow. Out-of-state educators, for example, may be eligible for reciprocity to utilize their existing educational and professional experience to attain certification. Individuals who earned a bachelor's degree in a field unrelated to education, on the other hand, may pursue a number of alternative routes to teaching certification in Connecticut.
Connecticut Teaching License Preparation Programs
Per the requirements set by the Connecticut State Department of Education, individuals following the traditional path to earning a Connecticut teaching license must earn a bachelor's degree in education. In tandem with the completion of their undergraduate coursework, students must also obtain an official recommendation for teaching certification from their institution through participation in a state-approved educator preparation program. By attending a state-approved and regionally accredited institution, future teachers can ensure they receive an education that properly prepares them for a successful career.
Although Connecticut is the third smallest US state in terms of land mass, there is no shortage of options for potential educators on the traditional pathway. The following are just a few institutions offering approved teacher preparation programs:
Albertus Magnus College
Central Connecticut State University
Eastern Connecticut State University
University of Hartford
Southern Connecticut State University
Other approved teacher preparation programs offer the opportunity to earn a bachelor's degree and a master's degree together as part of a hybrid program. Individuals who are interested in pursuing their bachelor's degree in education should note that admission to an approved institution is typically contingent on passing a basic skills assessment, and that most programs at these institutions will require them to maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 or better for the duration of their undergraduate experience.
Prerequisite Coursework for Connecticut Teaching License
Whether an individual takes the traditional route or one of the available alternative routes to a Connecticut teaching license, participation in a state-approved educator preparation program is mandatory. These programs may vary slightly from each other in admission requirements and completion criteria, but will typically follow the same general structure, outlined below:
Required courses both specific to the individual's intended grade levels and subject area, and pedagogical courses focusing on core teaching skills and philosophies
Required hours of practical and observational classroom experience learning from established professionals
Collection of assignments, projects, and other materials produced during the coursework into an edTPA portfolio
In Connecticut, 36 clock hours of special education coursework is required as part of all state-approved teacher preparation programs.
Connecticut Teaching License Testing Requirements
One portion of the Connecticut teaching license requirements involves completing state mandated testing.
Prospective teachers are first required to take the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators exam suite, which measures basic skills in reading, writing, and mathematics. These scores are usually required as part of the application process for college/university-based teaching programs. While programs may require a certain score on each Praxis Core test for admission, most utilize Praxis scores to inform course placement for accepted students. In many cases, future educators may be able to submit their SAT, ACT, PPA, or GRE scores in lieu of taking the Praxis Core tests.
The second part of Connecticut's testing requirements involves Praxis Subject Assessment that helps determine whether an individual has the necessary skills and subject knowledge to be a successful teacher. This requirement is most commonly fulfilled by taking the Praxis II examination that corresponds to the individual's intended grade level and subject area; though candidates seeking a world language endorsement must take the ACTFL, and the Foundations of Reading test is required for early childhood, elementary, and special education endorsements. Praxis II passing scores vary from exam to exam, with specific information on Connecticut Praxis passing scores available on the Connecticut State Department of Education website.
In addition to the aforementioned Connecticut teaching license requirements, Connecticut mandates that potential teachers submit their fingerprints to the State Police Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for review. This background check must be completed at least 30 days prior to the individual being placed into any school for fieldwork.
Connecticut Teaching License Application Steps
Once a candidate has earned their bachelor's degree, completed the appropriate teacher preparation program, and passed the required exams, they are ready to take the following steps to apply for certification:
Make an account on the Connecticut Educator Certification System (CECS) if applying online, or meet with the appropriate individual at their Connecticut-based institution to complete the paper version of the application.
Submit the documentation requested by the CSDE (process will vary between online and paper applications).
Submit the $200 certification fee, which includes a non-refundable application review fee of $50.
Applications typically process 6-8 weeks after submission, although submissions made during high-volume time periods may take as long as 10-12 weeks. Candidates whose certification is denied have 20 days from the date they receive the CSDE's decision to appeal the decision and have the application reviewed again.
Connecticut Alternative Teacher Certification
Individuals who earned their bachelor's degree in an area unrelated to education can still pursue a career as an educator by following one of these pathways for a Connecticut alternative teacher certification:
Master's degree: For individuals who have little or no experience working with students, this option provides more time for prospective teachers to develop their skills before entering the workforce. All Connecticut educators must eventually earn a master's degree, so this option may help save time in the long run, and usually results in a higher starting salary.
Post-baccalaureate programs: These programs can be an ideal option for individuals looking to save time and money as they work toward their certification. Programs offered through colleges/universities often allow students to earn college credit in tandem with their coursework and can take as little as a year to complete. There are also program options offered through non-profit organizations that are certification-only, but may be faster and cheaper than other options.
Residency preparation programs: This option is specific to individuals who are already employed at a school.
Trade certifications: Experienced tradespeople may be eligible for certification to teach their trade at the high-school level.
Veteran resources: The Veterans Teach CT website offers unique resources for veterans who are thinking of pursuing a career in teaching.
Opportunities for bilingual individuals: Because there is significant need for teachers in the Bilingual Education and World Languages subject areas, prospective teachers who are bilingual may find opportunities to engage in full-time work while pursuing certification.
Connecticut Teaching Reciprocity for Out-of-State Educators
Educators who are licensed to teach in another state may have questions about Connecticut teaching license reciprocity, and whether Connecticut participates in full reciprocity. While Connecticut does not offer full reciprocity, the state is part of the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Interstate Agreement, which has been signed by 46 other states and offers teachers in other states the potential to waive certain certification requirements if eligible.
Requirements for Experienced Out-of-State Educators
Requirements for Inexperienced Out-of-State Educators
Bachelor's degree from a regionally-accredited institution of higher education 2.5 years teaching experience with current certificate Passing scores on relevant assessments in current state of licensure
Bachelor's degree from a regionally-accredited college or university Endorsement and proof of completion of a state-approved teacher preparation program Proof of any experience thus far Documentation of passing scores on required state assessments in current state
Connecticut Teaching License Professional Development & Advancement
Like many states, Connecticut utilizes a tiered certification structure that allows teachers to advance their licensure after achieving their Initial Educator Certificate. After this certification, the state of Connecticut mandates that all teachers must participate in the TEAM Mentoring Program. This is a two-year program that pairs new teachers with an experienced mentor to focus on the individual's growth and development as a new teaching professional. After completing this program and gaining 30 months of experience, teachers are eligible for the Provisional Educator Certificate. The final certification level is the Professional Educator Certificate, which is earned through the completion of graduate coursework. While these levels incentivize teachers to increase their certification and experience, there is no requirement for documentation of professional development when applying for state of Connecticut teacher certification renewal. There are, however, a number of professional development opportunities offered through the Connecticut Education Association (CEA), which Connecticut teachers can use to improve their professional resume.
Connecticut Educator Employment Outlook and Salary
In Connecticut's public schools, over 500,000 students are enrolled at the K-12 levels. With a 12:1 student to teacher ratio as of 2022, Connecticut teachers can expect small class sizes; they also see an average annual salary between $78,040-82,480, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Teachers who specialize in technical education, special education, or other areas of significant need have the potential to earn even more. Although a 1-2% reduction in the overall number of K-12 teachers in Connecticut is anticipated between 2018 and 2028, job openings are still expected to be readily available. As of 2018, Projections Central estimated the following number of teachers at each grade level in Connecticut:
1,520 Kindergarten teachers
16,490 Elementary school teachers
8,620 Middle school teachers
16,390 Secondary school teachers
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I teach in Connecticut with a Massachusetts license?
Although Connecticut does not offer full teaching license reciprocity, it is still possible to get certified. Connecticut participates in the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement with 46 other states, which enables out-of-state teachers to waive certain requirements for Connecticut licensure. Eligibility may vary based on experience.
How long does it take to become a teacher in CT?
Depending on which route an individual takes to becoming certified to teach in Connecticut, the process can take as little as one year. Some prospective educators may earn their certificate while completing their undergraduate degree, while others may need to obtain a master's degree.
How do I become a teacher in CT?
To become a teacher in Connecticut, prospective educators must obtain at least a bachelor's degree; complete a state-approved teacher preparation program and earn an endorsement from their institution; pass the required state testing for their subject and grade level; and submit an application through the Connecticut State Department of Education.