How to Earn a Teaching License in Delaware
If you want to teach in Delaware, your first step is to earn certification. There are several ways to do this and your options will depend upon your level of education and experience.
This guide can help you determine the pathway that’s right for you at any point in your career. Perhaps you’re beginning your journey and need to know about Delaware’s certification process. Or maybe you want to learn how to progress to advanced certification, earn an endorsement, or you’re a looking to move to Delaware and want to understand reciprocity.
You’ll find all that information and more right here. The short video below gives an overview of what to expect as a certified teacher in Delaware.
Delaware has a critical need for certified teachers. With growing numbers of teachers retiring and fewer graduates entering the job market with education degrees, school districts in Delaware need to increase their pool of teacher applicants to ensure quality educations for all students. Teachers in critical need areas such as special education, foreign languages and secondary school mathematics and science are in high demand. With a teaching license in Delaware, you can choose from among many available positions in which you can pursue your interests and meet your goals.
If you are pursuing a traditional route, the requirements for teacher certification in Delaware include the completion of a bachelor’s degree and a state-approved educator preparation program. Student teaching and a passing score on an approved performance assessment also are required. In addition, you have to achieve a passing score on a subject area test that aligns with your certification.
Meeting these requirements makes you eligible to apply for an Initial License that is valid for three years. When you submit your certification application, you also must apply for a Standard Certificate in the specific subject area or grade level that you intend to teach. While holding your Initial License, you must participate in a comprehensive educator inductor program that includes mentoring and other professional development opportunities provided by the Delaware Department of Education (DOE) and your employing school district.
You can progress to a five-year Continuing License after completing the three-year period of teaching under your Initial License. Satisfactory Delaware Performance Appraisal System (DPAS) annual summative evaluations also are required. To progress to the next level teaching license, a 10-year Advanced License, you must earn National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification.
Minimum Education Requirements for Delaware Teachers
The minimum education requirement for teacher certification in Delaware is a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited four-year college or university. The institution must be accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) or the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC). If you’re a first-time college student, you should pursue an initial certificate-yielding educator program so you can earn your degree while preparing for certification. The course of study should be in a program area in which the DOE offers a related Standard Certificate.
For admission to state-approved educator preparation programs, applicants must have at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or a grade point average in the top 50th percentile for the final two years of education.
You must participate in student teaching or an approved alternative to qualify for Delaware teaching certification. While enrolled in a state-approved educator preparation program, your requirements will include completion of a clinical residency of at least 10 weeks of full-time student teaching under the supervision of a cooperating teacher. You also will participate in other opportunities for clinical practices that align with the grade level and subject area of the certification you are pursuing.
If you are preparing for an Initial License and certification in a subject area or category other than a core content area, you may qualify to substitute an alternative for student teaching if you have at least 91days of long-term teaching experience. This experience must have occurred in one assignment in the academic year immediately preceding your application. Proof of regular evaluations with a minimum of satisfactory performance also is required for consideration of this alternate student teaching experience.
Pass Delaware Certification Exams
Delaware certification exams measure subject area knowledge and classroom performance. Upon completing your teacher preparation program, you have to achieve passing grades in the Praxis subject area tests that correlate with your specific licensure areas. In addition, you must pass one of the two state-approved performance assessments, either the edTPA by Pearson or the Praxis Performance Assessment for Teachers by ETS. The specific assessment you complete depends on the criteria established by your educator preparation program.
As of June 2017, the requirement to take the Praxis Core for teacher licensure in Delaware was eliminated by law.
After successfully completing the academic and testing requirements for the type of certification you are pursuing, you are ready to apply for an Initial License using the online Delaware Educator Data System (DEEDS).
In addition, you must provide official documentation of all transcripts, certificates and experience listed in the application to the DOE. This includes transcripts from your college or university. These documents must be sent directly to the DOE or to you for forwarding to the DOE in a sealed envelope from the institution. The results of Praxis assessments taken in Delaware are sent to the DOE upon your request. A non-refundable fee also is required.
How Much Do Teachers in Delaware Make?
Salaries for individual teachers in Delaware are determined by a teacher’s education and years of teaching experience. The demand for a specific type of certification and the finances of a school district can affect how much teachers in Delaware make. Examples of how much teachers in Delaware earn are listed here.
|Early Childhood Educator||$28,370|
|Elementary School Teacher||$66,140|
|Secondary School Teacher||$68,020|
|Special Education Teacher||$69,600|
Job Growth for Teachers through 2030
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook
You can earn specialty certifications in Delaware that are awarded as Standard Certificates. A Standard Certificate authorizes you to teach in a specific age/grade level or subject area. A Standard Certificate is not subject to revocation once you have met its qualifications and earned its award. When applying for an Initial License, you also must apply for a Standard Certificate. You can add additional Standard Certificates as you acquire the appropriate education and qualifications
Early Childhood Education
You can earn Early Childhood Education certification with an Early Childhood Teacher Standard Certificate that authorizes you to teach children from birth to grade 2. This certificate also qualifies you to teach from kindergarten to grade 2 as an elementary school teacher. To qualify for an Initial License with this Standard Certificate, you must complete a bachelor’s degree and a state-approved early childhood education educator preparation program. Graduate-level certificate or master’s degree educator preparation programs also are available if you qualify.
Additional requirements include completion of an early childhood student teaching experience or an approved substitute experience. You also are required to pass the Praxis Education of Young Children subject test and an approved performance assessment.
Elementary School Teacher
To become certified as an elementary school teacher in Delaware, you can earn the Elementary Teacher Standard Certificate. This certificate is required to teach from kindergarten to grade 6. With this certification, you also are authorized to teach early childhood areas from kindergarten to grade 2. You can earn an Initial Certificate and an Elementary Teacher Standard Certificate with a bachelor’s degree and completion of an elementary education educator preparation program. You also can enroll in a post-baccalaureate certificate or master’s degree to meet the certificate requirements if you qualify.
Additional requirements include completion of an elementary school student teaching experience or a state-approved alternate. You also have to achieve passing grades on the Praxis Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects assessments, including the Reading and Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies sub-tests. An approved performance assessment also is required.
Secondary School Teacher
Certification as a Delaware secondary school teacher requires earning a Standard Certificate for one or more subject areas. This Standard Certificate authorizes you to teach grades 9 to 12. A bachelor’s degree or higher, with a major in the subject area you intend to teach, and completion of an educator preparation program is necessary to qualify. You also can complete these requirements in a post-baccalaureate certificate or master’s educator preparation program if you qualify.
To earn a Standard Certificate to teach secondary school, you are required to complete a student teaching experience in your subject area or submit proof of an approved substitute experience. You also must pass the Praxis Subject Assessment that aligns with your area of certification and an approved performance assessment.
Substitute Teacher Certification
You can serve as a substitute teacher without certification in Delaware.
To become a substitute teacher, you should contact the hiring office of the school district in which you are interested in working. Each district determines individual requirements and salaries for substitute teachers working in its schools.
Physical Education (PE) Certification
You can earn a Physical Education (PE) Teacher Standard Certificate in Delaware, which authorizes you to teach physical education to students from kindergarten to grade 12. Completion of a bachelor’s degree or higher and a physical education educator preparation program is required. If you have a bachelor’s degree, you can complete these requirements in a post-graduate certificate or master’s degree educator preparation program.
To qualify for a Standard Certificate to teach physical education, you must complete a physical education student teaching experience or submit proof of an approved equivalent experience that can be used as a substitute. You also must pass an approved performance assessment and the Praxis Physical Education: Content Knowledge subject test.
Special Education Certification
A Standard Certificate in Special Education Teacher of Students with Disabilities is available if you want to earn special education certification in Delaware. This Standard Certificate authorizes you to teach children with disabilities from kindergarten to grade 12. You must complete a bachelor’s degree or higher and a special education or students with disabilities educator preparation program to earn this certification. You can earn these credentials in a post-graduate certificate or master’s degree educator preparation program if you qualify.
To earn a Standard Certificate in Special Education, you must successfully complete a special education student teaching experience or submit proof of an approved equivalent experience that qualifies as a substitute. You also must pass a state-approved performance assessment and the Praxis Special Education: Core Knowledge and Applications subject test.
You can earn other special education Special Certificates if you want to teach students with specific disabilities. Specialized certification as an Early Childhood Exceptional Children Special Education Teacher (Birth to grade 2); Teacher of Students with Autism or with Severe Intellectual Disabilities; Teacher of Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments also can be earned. The same requirements and assessments as those required for the Special Education Teacher of Students with Disabilities Standard Certificate apply.
English as a Second Language Certification
To earn English as a Second Language (ESL) certification in Delaware, you must qualify for a Teacher of English Learners Standard Certificate. This authorizes you to teach English learners from kindergarten to grade 12. Requirements include a bachelor’s degree or higher with a major in ESL, or a related subject, and completion of an educator preparation program in teaching English learners.
You also must achieve at least the Advanced Mid level on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Proficiency Guidelines, Oral Proficiency Interview in English, and Writing Proficiency Test in English. Additional assessments include a state-approved performance assessment and the Praxis English to Speakers of Other Languages subject test. You also are required to complete an ESL student teaching experience or submit proof of an approved equivalent ESL experience to earn this Standard Certificate.
Certifications for School Administrators
Standard Certificates for school administrators in Delaware can be earned as School Principal/Assistant Principal or Superintendent/Assistant Superintendent. Requirements for a School Principal/Assistant Principal certificate include completion of a master’s or doctorate degree in educational leadership from a state-approved educator preparation program. A minimum of five years of teaching experience also is required.
Candidates for the Superintendent/Assistant Superintendent certificate must have a doctorate degree in educational leadership from a state-approved educator preparation program. They also must have a minimum of five years of teaching experience and a minimum of two years of full-time educational leadership experience in a position equivalent to a school principal, assistant principal or other administrator. Clinical experiences for administrators must total at least 240 hours in an approved Delaware educator preparation program, distributed through the course of the program.
Teaching Reciprocity Agreements in Delaware
Teaching reciprocity agreements in Delaware allow you to use out-of-state teaching credentials toward the requirements for certification here. By recognizing education and experience earned in another state, Delaware helps teachers save time and money in obtaining a new teacher license and employment.
|NASDTEC Interstate Agreement||Delaware is a participant in the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement.|
|State Grants Full Reciprocity||Delaware does not offer full reciprocity to out-of-state teachers.|
|Coursework Requirements||There are no additional coursework requirements for out-of-state teachers.|
|Test-out or Exemption||Delaware does not offer an exemption or option to test out; it has no additional coursework requirements.|
|Assessment Requirements||No additional assessments are necessary for out-of-state teachers who have a valid full reciprocal teaching license or certificate. Out-of-state teachers with less than one year of teaching experience are required to pass an approved performance assessment within the first two years of an Initial License to be eligible for a Continuing License. Out-of-state candidates who do not qualify for reciprocity must pass subject matter assessments. Out-of-state teachers with valid licenses do not have to take new assessments.|
|Different Requirements Based on Experience||Out-of-state teachers who have between one and four years of teaching experience can apply for an Initial License without having to complete a performance assessment. However, they must complete professional development and mentoring programs during the Initial License period. Teachers with less than one year of out-of-state experience can apply for an Initial License. To qualify for a Continuing License, they must pass an approved performance assessment within the first two years of licensure and participate in professional development and mentoring activities while the license is valid.|
|Performance Requirements||Out-of-state teachers who have fewer than four years of successful teaching experience or whose license is expired can qualify for an Initial License. Those who request a Continuing License must provide proof of a minimum of three years of “successful” experience, demonstrated by two satisfactory evaluations comparable to Delaware’s summative evaluations for in-state teachers.|
|Special Reciprocity for Advanced Credentials||Delaware does not offer different reciprocity for advanced credentials. Out-of-state teachers with advanced credentials can qualify for an Initial License.|
Information reported by the Education Commission of the States.
Alternate Teaching Certification
The Alternative Routes to Certification (ARTC) Program is an option for non-traditional teaching students in Delaware. ARTC helps qualified individuals obtain certification credentials while they work as full-time teachers. Participants earn the qualifications necessary for certification through a state-approved program of professional education courses. The traditional student teaching experience is replaced by intense supervision and mentoring provided in the employing schools where the students work. The ARTC program helps school districts across Delaware fill positions in secondary subject areas and K-12 Music and Art, where there is are critical unmet needs for certified teachers. Learn more about alternative teaching certification.
Teach for America
Teach for America helps to remedy education inequality by recruiting, educating and assigning certified teachers to work in Delaware’s low-income urban and rural public schools. This national organization helps to close education gaps in the Wilmington and Georgetown areas by making meaningful contributions in classrooms and local communities. Participants are college graduates of all majors who commit to participate for two years. Teach for America provides training and professional development so its teachers can earn teaching certifications and be successful educators.
Transition into Teaching for Career Changers
Career changers interested in making the transition to teaching can pursue the four-year Delaware Transition to Teaching Partnership (DT3P) program. Like all ARTC programs, DT3P helps promising mid-career changers transition into teaching. Participants must have a bachelor’s degree or 30 credits in English Language Arts, Science, Mathematics or Technology to qualify to teach in a high-need secondary school.
DT3P participants complete a summer training program before entering classrooms in the fall as full-time teachers. They finish the additional certification coursework at the University of Delaware over two years. After earning certification, they teach in their positions for an additional two years to fulfill the terms of the program’s four-year commitment.
Delaware Teacher Corps Student Loans for Teachers
Delaware Teacher Corps student loans are available to Delaware residents who are enrolled in a teacher certification program at a Delaware college or university. Eligible applicants must be committed to pursuing certification in a critical need area as defined by the DOE. Students pursuing certification in middle and high school math and science get first priority for available funds. Those pursuing certification in special education are given second priority. Loans are renewable for up to three additional years. After graduation, one year of loan forgiveness is offered for each year a recipient teaches in a critical need area in a Delaware school.