Recommending Official Update
Background InfoAn applicant who has obtained a background check for a previous authorization with the Board of Educational Examiners does not have to complete an additional background check when applying for a teaching license.
Send fingerprint cards in the beginning of the semester in which the person will graduate. No permits will be issued.
First Time ApplicantPlease review the new application from an Iowa institution from our website (www.boee.iowa.gov) in Word or PDF format
Candidates must pass the required Iowa assessments before they can be recommended for licensure for either the initial license or the substitute license. If an applicant has not passed the required assessments but wishes to obtain a substitute authorization, they will need to apply directly with our office.
When an applicant is applying for his/her first Iowa license after completing the teacher education program at your institution, you may recommend that person for all endorsements for which the person is eligible. At least one endorsement must be the endorsement program where the person completed the institution’s approved program. The other endorsements may be obtained by the completion of the college’s approved program or by completion of the state minimum requirements in lieu of the college's approved program. The fee for the initial license with one or more endorsements is $85.
If a program was completed years ago but the individual never applied for a teaching license, then the person can obtain a substitute license. You would just attach a note indicating that the person did complete a teacher education program at your institution and provide the date. If they wish to have their initial license, you will need to make sure they have completed the current requirements for licensure (including all endorsement courses, professional education core courses, and current assessments).
Add EndorsementThe BOEE charges $60 for an analysis to add an endorsement. Thus if a college does not recommend the applicant for the endorsement, the applicant must submit $60 for the BOEE staff to analyze the transcripts and determine if the person has met the requirements. The fee to add an endorsement is $50 per endorsement. We do not need a letter of appeal from the college indicating the college cannot recommend the person for the endorsement.
If a person has an elementary content endorsement and wishes to add the secondary content endorsement, the person does not need to student teach on the secondary level. The person can obtain a Class B two year conditional license to serve as the secondary teacher. Then at the end of the two year license, the administrator can sign off on the experience verification form that the individual was a successful secondary teacher. This will waive the student teaching requirement. As the recommending official, you will need to verify that all of the content endorsement requirements are met if there is a different requirement from the elementary endorsement to a secondary endorsement. You can write a note on college letterhead verifying the completion of the content which the applicant will attach to the application.
Consultants Are Available for Student Teaching Seminars
Teaching MajorThe professional core content requirements require completion of a “30 semester hour teaching major which must minimally include the requirements for at least one of the basic endorsement areas, special education teaching endorsements, or secondary level occupational endorsements.”
Here is guidance on this rule:
Definition of teaching major- a teaching major is a major completed as part of a teacher preparation program
The major may be in an endorsement area or in a related field.
The major must be 30 hours. When the curriculum exhibit sheets are submitted, the exhibits need to indicate how the specific endorsement requirements are met. The related hours in the major are at the discretion of the college and will not be reviewed.
For highly qualified teachers, the federal government has accepted that Iowa secondary teachers have completed a major or course work equivalent to a major. They do accept related course work in the major.
This definition is part of the content requirements for the professional core. Thus the definition of teaching major is that the major is part of the teacher preparation program. The section’s main emphasis is that a person must complete the endorsement requirements for at least one endorsement in the teacher preparation program.
Obtain Initial License at Graduation
Once a student graduates from college, the recommendation is that the graduates apply for either the initial teaching license or the substitute teaching license. The recommendation for which license to receive is purely an individual decision based on that individual’s circumstances. Here are the scenarios to consider.
If the graduate is going to move out of state, the person should apply for the initial license. The initial license lists the endorsement areas the person is eligible to teach so it is the license that will be used by the out of state department for transference to that state’s teaching license.
If the graduate is mobile and willing to move to wherever the job may be, the person should apply for the initial license. This license will indicate to all prospective employers what the person is able to teach.
The times to recommend a substitute license would be if the person graduates in the middle of the year and does not have a position beginning second semester. If the person is only interested in substituting, the person should apply for the substitute license. A person who is going to go into a graduate program should apply for the substitute license.
Do not recommend the substitute license for individuals by stating that if they apply for the initial license right away and don’t have a job, they will have a hard time renewing the license or they will “waste” one of the terms of the license. The initial license is very easy to renew to another initial license. The applicant must verify the completion of the mandatory reporter training within the five year period preceding the date of application for renewal. The applicant can renew for a third term with proof of employment. There can be a time lapse between the renewals if the person is not teaching. The person can switch to a substitute license at any time. What we are finding is that people are obtaining the substitute license and then begin teaching with the substitute license. They forget to apply for the initial license until reminded by their administrator or if the Board takes action on their license.
The important part is that the graduate should apply for an Iowa license even if the graduate thinks the person will never teach in Iowa. Circumstances may change and the person may return to Iowa in the future. Obtaining either the initial license or the substitute license eliminates the person from having to meet any future requirements for the first Iowa license if the requirements would change.
Professional Service LicenseClick here for a link to Professional Service License information.