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:
- Complete an "OSSE In-state Regular II Application" (obtained from AU)
- Successfully pass the PRAXIS I and PRAXIS II exams. Please have your scores sent to American University, institution code 5007.
- Submit an Application Processing Fee of $50 in the form of a money order or certified check made payable to DC Treasurer. OSSE does not accept personal checks.
- Submit a recent criminal background clearance IN A SEALED ENVELOPE. Instructions on obtaining a criminal background clearance will be available online soon. In lieu of that, you may contact the Teacher Education Office at email@example.com for more information. Please note that current DCPS employees may obtain their fingerprint clearance or be re-fingerprinted at no cost from DCPS HR.
- All candidates for licensure will be issued a four-year Regular II License which is renewable.
Once you have officially completed your program and submitted the requisite forms, American University will confirm your eligibility for licensure and forward your application packet directly to OSSE Office of Educator Licensing and Quality for final processing.
All applications must be complete. The AU Teacher Education Office will not accept incomplete/piecemeal applications.
Please send all application materials and payment to:
The Teacher Education Office
Gray Hall 111
4400 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20016
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.
To check on the status of your file you may email firstname.lastname@example.org if it is within the 6 week processing time. If your file has not been processed by OSSE within the stated 6 week time frame, please email email@example.com 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 (www.ets.org/praxis) for the specific tests required by each state.