Alternative Teacher Certification in Indiana

If you already have a degree and want to join a new career in teaching, there are alternative licensure paths for you. This article will look at some of the testing and experience requirements you will need to complete to obtain licensure.

Teachers in Indiana have a very specific pathway for licensure; however, if you have earned your degree in something else or are coming from out of state, an alternative licensing path is for you. Typically, in Indiana, alternative licensed teachers can only teach middle and high school students. We will look at the steps required for those alternative licensing paths here.

Alternative Certification Requirements for Teachers in Indiana

Average Salary for Teachers in Indiana (2016)* $51,400 (Middle School), $51,870 (High School)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Required Field Any
Testing Requirements CASA, pedagogy test, content area test

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Complete Education Requirements

Gaining alternative licensure is a bit tricky. In Indiana, there are a number of options, including experience, certification, and advanced degrees. To become a licensed teacher, you really only need a bachelor's degree. This will work if you choose to earn the charter school licensure or a career specialist permit that allows teachers to teach in their specific subject for two years before needing renewing. This permit also requires students to complete a pedagogy component, and there are programs both on campus and online that can help fulfill this requirement. Veterans can also work with the Troops to Teachers program to take counseling and earn certification. No matter the route you choose to take, you must earn CPR certification and train in suicide prevention.

The more practical alternative routes for teaching licensure are to earn an advanced degree or complete the transition to teaching program. The advanced degree path allows for full licensure if you have a master's degree in the topic you wish to teach (for instance, history, health science, English, technology, etc.). You must also have at least one year of academic experience (substituting does not count) in a middle school, high school, or college. For the transition to teaching program, students with bachelor's degrees will take a 2-semester program that qualifies individuals to teach middle or high school.

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Step 2: Complete Testing Requirements

Just because you are considering an alternate path to becoming a teacher, you are not exempt from testing requirements. For those with an advanced degree, you will still need to pass the Developmental (Pedagogy) Assessment exam with a score of 220. You will need to take the secondary school exam which will license you to work with grades 5-12. This $114-exam can be given year-round with an appointment. It is computer-based, and you must complete all 100 multiple-choice questions.

A content area assessment is required for those teaching a career and technical education (CTE) subject. These subjects include marketing, family and consumer sciences, business and information technology, and agriculture. Passing grades are always 220, and students are always given an hour and a half to complete the test. If you choose to teach in a typical subject, such as language arts, you should also take the corresponding assessment exam.

Step 3: Apply for Licensure

From here, you will continue as any other future teacher trying to get licensed. You must create an account and application with the Licensing Verification and Information System (LVIS). This is where you will be asked questions, asked to fill in information, and will upload important documentation, such as official transcripts for your master's degree program and official letters verifying academic teaching experience. This letter must come from the school, with the letterhead, and an administrator's signature. It should include subjects and grades taught, dates for when you taught, and the school's type and accreditation.

Indiana Teacher Certification Sources

Though you will not need to take the traditional CASA exam, you'll need to take the pedagogy exam and a content area exam. Below, we provide a link to help prepare you for those assessments. Along with the Secondary Education exam, you can find more content area-specific exams on the site.

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