Wisconsin Teacher Certification: Licensing & Requirements

Jul 02, 2020

Teachers educate learners of all ages and play a hugely important role in enabling people to develop professionally and socially. In order to fulfill this role effectively, teachers must be conscientious and patient, and they should regard teaching as their calling. Prospective teachers in Wisconsin, must obtain licensure and an endorsement in the subject area of choice.

Teaching Certification Requirements in Wisconsin

Average Salary for Teachers in Wisconsin (2019)* $57,980 (Elementary), $58,940 (Middle), $59,180 (Secondary)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Major in candidate's chosen subject area, minor in education
Testing Requirements Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (core) tests
Praxis II subject-area test or ACTFL World Language Tests (if subject area is a world language)

Source: *Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Earn a Degree

The first thing hopeful teachers need to do is get a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Teacher candidates should also simultaneously complete an educator preparation program which is approved by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI). The preparation program will essentially involve taking a major in the candidate's chosen subject area for which they wish to eventually acquire an endorsement. Candidates should choose a minor in education.

Educator preparation programs typically consist of a mix of coursework, community and classroom work experience, and student teaching. The programs develop candidates' subject-area knowledge and also provide them with a deep understanding of the ways in which learners develop.

Step 2: Pass all Required Testing

Firstly, teacher candidates in all licensure areas must pass the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (core) tests to gain admission into a Wisconsin educator preparation program. The tests are administered by ETS and the three tests are as follows:

  • Reading: qualifying score of 156
  • Writing: qualifying score of 162
  • Mathematics: qualifying score of 150

The Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators tests can be taken at the same time or separately. Candidates who wish to take all three at once should register for the exams with ETS and select Core Academic Skills for Educators: Combined Test (5752).

Once enrolled in an educator preparation program, the program provider has a couple of options available to them for verifying the content knowledge proficiency:

  • Praxis II tests - taken by teacher candidates enrolled in Wisconsin educator preparation programs in subjects other than world languages. Once again, it's administered by ETS.
  • ACTFL World Language Tests - Generally taken by world language teacher candidates. In this instance, candidates must complete an Oral Proficiency interview (OPI-OPIc) and Writing Proficiency Test (WPT). The passing score for teacher licensure on these tests is 'Intermediate High.'

The final testing step requires teacher candidates who complete a Wisconsin educator preparation program, or alternative program, to demonstrate competency in teaching practices by completing the edTPA.

Step 3: Apply for an Initial Teaching License with Endorsement

When the education and testing requirements have been successfully finished, candidates may then apply for initial teaching licensure electronically using the DPI's Educator Licensing Online (ELO) system. The ELO system is a service that lets applicants manage their own licensing information, including license renewal, and electronic fingerprint submission.

Wisconsin Teacher Certification Resources

Please click on the links below to access our learning resources. They're designed to assist teacher candidates with studying for their Wisconsin licensure exams:

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