Alabama Teacher Certification Renewal Requirements

The state of Alabama issues an initial certificate to teachers. Applicants must meet various requirements in order to renew their teaching license, including earning professional development credits.

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In Alabama, teachers who earned an initial Class B teaching license will need to renew it before it expires to continue working. The renewal process includes completing an application and choosing among different options, such as earning academic credits. The entire renewal process for Alabama teachers is detailed below.

Renewing Certification in Alabama

Average Salary for Teachers in Alabama (2016)* $49,120 (Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education);
$49,310 (Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education);
$50,060 (Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Education/specific content areas
Testing Requirements Praxis II examinations required for certificates expired over 12 months

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Initial Teacher Certification

The Alabama Department of Education oversees the teacher certification process. Candidates who pursue the traditional route of a bachelor's degree from an approved teaching program are issued a Class B Professional Educator Certificate. Teachers will need to continue their certificate by updating it before their expiration date.

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Requirements for Renewing Alabama Teaching Credentials

Teachers will be able to submit their application and fee for continuing their certificate between January 1 and June 30 of the certificate's year of expiration. All applications must be mailed to the Alabama Department of Education.

In the state of Alabama, teachers must also meet one of the continuation options listed below during their certificate's valid period:

  • Three years of full-time teaching and 50 clock hours of professional development
  • Three years of full-time teaching and three semester hours of acceptable credits
  • Three semester hours of acceptable credits and 50 clock hours of professional development
  • Six semester hours of acceptable credit
  • National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification
  • 100 clock hours of professional development

There are some specific guidelines involved in these requirements; let's look at each in detail.

Full-Time Teaching

Working as a full-time teacher at public and nonpublic schools, regionally accredited colleges, church-related schools, and charter schools can count toward this continuation option. Experience as a substitute teacher, teacher's aide, or graduate assistant does not qualify; less than 20 hours a week also does not qualify. Experience must be verified using the Supplement EXP form.

Acceptable Credits

Teachers can complete academic credits for their certificate renewal at an approved educational institution. Credits must be earned via one of the below options:

  • P-12 teacher preparation program in the certificate discipline
  • P-12 teacher preparation program in a different discipline
  • Academic content course in the certificate discipline
  • At the doctoral level in the certificate discipline

For teachers who earned a Class B Professional Educator certificate, their credit course must be at a junior, senior, or graduate level, with the minimum of a C earned in each course. It should be noted that credit earned for the initial certificate is not allowable for the renewal. Teachers must submit their official transcripts with their completed continuation application.

Professional Development

Professional development hours earned have the following requirements:

  • Must meet the Alabama Standards for Professional Development
  • Provide the applicant with an opportunity to meet their professional development goals
  • Must be labeled with a specific title, date, time, and length

Teachers can have no more than 10 clock hours each of journals/publications, travel, course auditing, supervising interns, and presentations. All professional development hours must be verified using either the Supplemental EXP form, training history reports, or certificates of completion. College course credit does not count as professional development.

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) Certification

NBPTS certification for the purpose of continuation must have been earned during period of validity of the initial teacher's certificate. Renewing one's NBPTS certification does not fulfill the continuation requirement.

Expired Certificate Requirements

If a teaching certificate has expired within 12 months, teachers can still complete the application requirements above up to five years before submitting their application. If a teaching certificate has expired for longer than 12 months, the candidate must re-take a state-approved Praxis II exam/subject assessment in their subject area. If a Praxis subject assessment is not available or applicable, they must complete one of the other reinstatement options.

Certification Resources for Alabama Teachers

In the event that a certificate is expired and Praxis II exams are required, prospective test-takers may find the following subject-specific study guides helpful:

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