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Teacher Education | Professional Licensure

Professional Licensure Information

Professional Licensure Information

To teach in the DC public school system, you must be properly licensed. You are eligible for licensure after completing your program at American University. However, teacher certification is a state responsibility; it is not granted by any university.

The Teacher Education Program at American University is nationally accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), and approved through the District of Columbia which is a partner in a reciprocity agreement with the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC).

Licensure is not an automatic process. It has detailed, prescribed procedures, some of which are time-bound. You should plan carefully to complete the certification process in a timely fashion, working with an advisor to ascertain the necessary steps.

The process outlined below will help you get started.

Licensure in the District of Columbia

District of Columbia Regular II License Application Directions

Applicants who graduated from one of American University's state approved teacher education programs, and have successfully passed the ETS Praxis I and Praxis II exams for licensure, are eligible to receive a teaching license from the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education Office of Educator Licensure Quality. (OSSE-OELQ)

To apply for a DC license you must:

·        Successfully pass the Praxis CORE and II. Please have your scores sent to American University, institution code 5007.

·        Complete an “OSSE In-stateRegular II Application” Please include your AU ID Number on the application.

Your application should include:

1. An official copy of your undergraduate transcript

2. A recent criminal background clearance IN A SELAED ENVELOPE. Information on obtaining a FBI Criminal Background Check can be found here. Please note that you must obtain a copy of your fingerprints to be submitted to the FBI. Also note that current DCPS employees may obtain their fingerprint clearance or be re-fingerprinted at no cost from DCPSHR.

3. An Application Processing Fee of $50 in the form of money order or certified check made payable to DC Treasurer. (OSSE does not accept personal checks).

·          Your completed application should be sent directly to OSSE.

·          All candidates for licensure will be issued a renewable four-year Regular II license

Application scan only be submitted once for licensure. OSSE requires a program verification form to be filled out by American University. If you are a current student, this will automatically be done for you. If you have already graduated, you will need to contact Amy Simonsen at

OSSE OELQ has a 6 week processing time from the date they receive your file from American University. A confirmation email will be sent from OSSE directly to you when your file has been routed for processing.

If your file has not been processed by OSSE within the stated 6 week time frame, please email for assistance.

Licensure in Other States

Students who complete approved teacher preparation programs and pass the appropriate national teacher examinations are eligible to apply for teacher certification (licensure) in the District of Columbia, and through such certification are eligible for reciprocal certification in over 40 states. Please be aware that some states may require additional courses or national teacher examinations. Students should contact individual State Departments of Education for the most recent information on current state requirements. Also, be sure to consult the ETS website ( for the specific tests required by each state.



Amy Simonsen
p. (202) 885-3715
f.  (202) 885-1187