There are four types of teaching licenses in Vermont. They are: Initial License (Level 1), Professional License (Level 2), Emergency and Provisional Licenses. There are several paths to obtaining an initial teacher certification in Vermont. Those paths are through the traditional pathway, through reciprocity, through peer or transcript review, and via a temporary license. The basic Vermont teacher certification requirements through the traditional pathway are:
completion of an approved educator preparation program
submission of an application through Vermont's Online Licensing System for Educators (Alis Vermont)
recommendation for licensure by the program institution
Educators who already hold teaching certification from a state that is party to the NASDTEC (National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification) Interstate Agreement are eligible to receive a Level I license by submitting an application, official transcripts, a copy of their out-of-state license, and a successful criminal background check. Candidates who did not attend a teacher preparatory program can seek licensure through a Peer Review program. Finally, Provisional and Emergency licenses are available on the request of school district superintendents and with the agreement of the Vermont Agency of Education when that district has been unable to fill vacant positions with licensed educators.
Education Requirements for Your Vermont Teaching License
Going the Tradition Route
Approximately two dozen universities and colleges in Vermont offer approved teacher preparation programs leading to Vermont teacher certification. Some of the programs geared for candidates seeking licensure in Elementary Education offer dual endorsement in both Elementary and Special Education in one unified program. Others offer two separate programs with the special education endorsement requiring graduate study. Any of these programs include course work in liberal arts and sciences, childhood education and a liberal arts or science concentration. The concentration area consists of at least 30 credits and most programs require a GPA of at least 3.0. All programs include fieldwork experience, including student teaching for a minimum of 15 weeks.
Candidates seeking licensure in Middle or Secondary Education will choose for a specialty area English education, Mathematics education, Social Studies education, or Science education. Students must submit test scores, GPA and complete an interview for admission to these programs. They will need to complete a bachelor's degree with a major in the selected discipline and required education courses. This program also requires fieldwork, practicums and student teaching.
Candidates wishing to teach art, dance, music or theater arts to grades Pre-K through 12 must complete required teacher education core courses, a program in Unified Arts Education, and a major in the area of endorsement. The program must be completed with a minimum GPA of 3.0.
Although alternative paths to certification are provided for candidates who did not attend teacher preparation programs, all candidates for licensure as educators in Vermont must hold at least a bachelor's degree as a fundamental requirement for Vermont teacher certification.
License by Evaluation or Peer Review is a process designed to offer Vermont teacher certification to candidates who have not completed teacher training but have acquired the knowledge and skills needed by educators through experience. Applicants for this type of license must submit a portfolio and attend an interview. The following steps must be completed before submitting an application.
Applicants must hold a B.A, B.S., B.F.A., or a Master's degree. Note that an A.A. degree does not qualify. Official transcripts must accompany the application.
Scores from the Praxis Core test or acceptable substitutes must be submitted. If applicable, scores for the Praxis II must also be submitted.
A resume showing relevant teaching experience must be included.
Applicants must attend a 2-hour Peer Review Clinic which will explain the Peer Review process and provide opportunities to ask questions. Following this clinic, applicants complete a survey in order to receive a certificate of attendance. The candidate then applies through Vermont's online licensing software to schedule a Peer Review.
The steps for completing the Peer Review include:
All application materials are submitted along with a $50.00 fee.
If the application is pre-approved by the Peer Review Coordinator, the applicant will receive an educator acceptance packet.
The candidate then submits the portfolio.
If the Peer Review coordinator accepts the portfolio, the candidate will be asked to pay a $1200 fee and be scheduled for an interview with licensed panelists.
If the candidate is recommended for licensure following the interview, an application for an Initial License can be sent. Unsuccessful candidates following the interview will be given a Plan of Action to be completed in order to apply for a license.
PRAXIS Vermont, Alis Vermont, and Other Exams
The Praxis exams test the knowledge and skills needed by educators. The Praxis Core Exams measure basic academic skills in reading, writing and mathematics. Many colleges and universities require Praxis Core test passing scores prior to admission to teacher preparation programs. The Praxis Subject Assessments test knowledge in specific areas that K-12 educators teach, as well as general pedagogical skills and knowledge. Many states require appropriate subject assessments according to the area of licensure sought as a condition for teacher certification after all academic requirements have been met.
Vermont requires all candidates for educator licensure to achieve passing scores on all three parts of the Praxis Core Academic Skills Test as shown below:
Title of Test
The Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators has taken the place of the Praxis I test. However, candidates who have already taken the Praxis I or the ACT, SAT, or GRE can submit those scores in place of the Core Exams with requirements shown below:
SAT taken before April 1, 1995
SAT taken between April 1, 1995 and March 1, 2016
SAT taken after March 1, 2016
GRE taken before August 1, 2011
GRE taken after August 1, 2011
The Praxis II Content Exam is required for individual specialty areas depending on the grade level and subject to be taught. The Vermont Agency of Education website maintains a list of specific exams needed for each area of licensure.
How to Become a Teacher in Vermont From Another State
Teachers already licensed in a state that participates in the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement can secure a license to teach in Vermont through reciprocity. The applicant must hold a non-conditional current license. This assures eligibility for an Initial Vermont License and exempts the applicant from testing requirements. Once the Level I Professional Educator's License is secured, the educator will be eligible for the Level II Professional Educator's License after successfully teaching in Vermont for three years. Out-of-state applicants who do not have a current license can seek licensure in Vermont through The Peer Review Process.
States that do not have reciprocity agreements honored by Vermont include New York, New Mexico and South Dakota. Educators with licenses from these states can seek a Vermont license through Transcript Review and will be required to meet Vermont's testing requirements. The steps of the Transcript Review Process are:
Candidate submits official transcripts to a Vermont Agency of Education (AOE) Licensing Specialist who will identify three panelists with current endorsements.
If the AOE panel finds the candidate's qualifications to be satisfactory, an endorsement will be given and the candidate will receive a request for a licensing fee.
If the AOE panel does not find the candidate's qualifications to be satisfactory, the candidate will be given 90 days to provide further information.
Using Your Vermont Teaching License to Grow Your Career
All administrators in Vermont schools are required to hold a Master's degree, complete leadership coursework (including coursework required for the specific administrator license sought), and demonstrate knowledge of Vermont laws and regulations and of the school board process for setting policies. The candidate for the administrator license must also complete 300 hours of supervised experience showing competency in Core Leadership Standards. The applicant also has to have completed a 60-hour practicum or have 60 hours of professional experience.
The applicant for an administrator license is also required to either pass ETS Test Code 6990 or complete a graduate level degree in educational leadership. To qualify for a principal endorsement, the candidate must have three or more years of PK-12 experience working with a Vermont teaching license.
Some of the other administrative positions available in the Vermont education system are Director of Special Education, Director of Curriculum, Career Technical Center Director, Assistant Director for Adult Education, Superintendent and Supervisor. Requirements for these positions are similar to those for principal with some differences in the professional experience requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you need a Master's degree to teach in Vermont?
Teacher licensure in Vermont requires a bachelor's degree. Some academic programs for special education preparation lead to a Master's degree, while others include special education training as part of the undergraduate program.
How do I get certified to teach in Vermont?
All teachers in Vermont are required to hold at least a bachelor's degree and to have teacher training (including student teaching experience). The Praxis Core Exams and appropriate Praxis II Subject Assessments are also required.