Louisiana Teacher Certification: How to Become a Licensed Teacher in Louisiana
If you want a career teaching in Louisiana, the first step is finding information about qualifying for a teaching certificate from the state. Being fully informed about the different ways to become an educator in Louisiana is the best starting point.
Requirements for certified teachers in Louisiana
According to the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE), the minimal educational requirements include a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts that includes professional education, general education, a concentration area, and a minimum of 180 field hours of experience. All applicants must complete one semester of supervised teaching or school internship and pass the Praxis Core Academic Skills and Principles of Learning exams.
There are three alternative educational routes that lead to a career as a certified teacher in Louisiana.
- The Practitioner Teacher Program requires full-time teaching combined with certification-focused continuing education. Between 21 and 33 credit hours of intensive coursework are required.
- The Master’s Degree Program allows candidates to teach while pursuing an accelerated degree plan culminating in a master’s degree.
- The Certificate Only Program is directed toward part-time teachers and those who do not desire to achieve a master’s degree.
Louisiana teaching certification is issued in six grade divisions: PK-3, grades 1-5, grades 4-8, grades 6-12, special education and all-inclusive K-12. Teachers are required to demonstrate competency by passing the PRAXIS II subject assessment exam prior to certification. Teachers working under a Temporary Authority to Teach (TAT) or one of the Practitioner programs are required to pass the PRAXIS Pre-professional Skills Test (PPST) to assess reading and writing skills.
Louisiana jobs for licensed teachers
Louisiana has multiple certification levels for teaching professionals. Louisiana teaching certification options are listed here:
- Level I Professional Certificate: For level one, teachers must complete an approved traditional or alternative educational program with a minimum GPA of 2.5, pass PRAXIS II exams for their concentration area and be recommended for licensure. This three-year certificate may be renewed once with six credit hours of education in the specialty area.
- Level II and III Professional Certificate: Certificates are available for educators with at least three years of experience (Level II) and educators with master’s degrees and prior teaching experience (Level III). Certificate renewal terms vary depending on the level. Renewal for both Level II and Level III require 150 continued learning units per five-year certificate term. For detailed information about Professional certificates, visit the Louisiana Department of Education website.
- Extended Endorsement License: The EEL is for educators teaching outside their area of focus.
- Temporary Authority to Teach (TAT): This non-renewable license allows districts to hire teachers with a non-education baccalaureate for one term in an emergency.
- Out-of-Field Authorization to Teach: Issued to teachers pursuing add-on certification. The three-year certificate may be extended for two years for certain focus areas.
- Temporary Employment Permit: This certificate is issued to a candidate who has not passed the required state exams, but is otherwise qualified to teach.
In addition to the above certificate levels and teaching possibilities, Louisiana teaching certification in Higher Education and Leadership areas is available for special education supervisors, principals and district leadership personnel.
If you plan to teach a subject designated as a Teacher Shortage Area (TSA) by the U.S. Department of Education, you might be eligible for student loan deferment or cancellation. The following TSAs have been approved for Louisiana for the 2015-2016 school year:
- Early Childhood (Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten)
- Early Childhood Education
- Elementary Education
- Middle and Secondary Education
- Foreign Language
- Social Studies
- Special Education
A full and current list of TSAs for each state is available via the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education.
Teaching license reciprocity in Louisiana
Louisiana participates in a teaching license reciprocity agreement with the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC). When you apply for a teaching certificate in one state using an existing license from another, the “destination state” is actually recognizing your credentials as verification that you are qualified to teach. You must still meet all requirements before you can teach there.
Fortunately, the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement for Educator Licensure streamlines this application process and expedites the goal of teaching in your new state. For more information, see Teaching License Reciprocity Explained.
Disclaimer: Licensing requirements are subject to change. Please visit your state board of education to check for recent revisions to teaching license requirements.