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Delaware Credential System

Licensure

Certification

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Delaware Credential System

With the exception of educators who hold current certificates issued without licenses under the previous certification system (see previous system), educators must hold BOTH a license and a certificate in order to be eligible to practice in a Delaware public school.

Although the criteria for licensure and certification are different (see below), a first-time applicant applies for a license and certificate simultaneously and the license and certificate typically comprise a single document.

Licensure

A License gives an educator permission to practice in a Delaware public school. With the exception of the initial inactive license (see initial inactive), the license is issued for a specific period of time, meaning that it will expire. An educator can hold only one license at any given time. There are three types of licenses in Delaware: Initial, Continuing, and Advanced.

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An Initial License is valid for three years (or up to six years in the case of trade and industry teachers) unless suspended or revoked and is not renewable. It is most c is valid for three years (or up to six years in the case of Skilled and Technical Sciences teachers) unless suspended or revoked and is not renewable. It is most c is valid for three years (or up to six years in the case of Skilled and Technical Sciences teachers) unless suspended or revoked and is not renewable. It is most commonly issued to an educator with fewer than three years of full-time experience, but in some cases, may be issued to an educator who has been out of the profession for a time.

For comprehensive information regarding the requirements for initial licensure, conditions of issuance, and exceptions, please view >Initial Inactive License issuance. An initial inactive license is a full license and should be viewed by district hiring personnel as such. When a holder of an initial inactive license becomes employed in a Delaware public or charter school, his or her district or school will submit an employment form to the Department and the Department will then issue the educator an active, or dated, initial license.

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Moving from an Initial License to a Continuing License: At the end of the period of initial licensure, an educator will be granted a continuing license provided that he or she has successfully completed the professional development activities of the initial license (see mentoring) and has received no more than one unsatisfactory annual evaluation during the period of initial licensure.

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A Continuing License is valid for five years unless revoked and is renewable. It is issued to an educator who has successfully completed the professional development activities of the initial license (see mentoring) and has received no more than one unsatisfactory annual evaluation during the period of initial licensure. It may also be issued to an educator who is entering, or reentering, Delaware's credential system with three or more years of full-time experience. A holder of a standard or professional status certificate under the previous system may also be issued a continuing license upon the expiration of his or her current credential.

For comprehensive information regarding the requirements for continuing licensure, conditions of issuance, and exceptions, please view Regulation 1511 Issuance and Renewal of Continuing License.

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Renewing a Continuing License: At the end of the period of continuing licensure, an educator will be granted a renewal of the continuing license provided that he or she has fulfilled, and submitted proper documentation to his or her district of the fulfillment of, the professional development requirements of the continuing license (see clock hours).

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An Advanced License is valid for ten years unless revoked, and is issued to an educator who receives National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification. At the end of the period of advanced licensure, an educator will be granted a renewal of the advanced license provided that he or she has maintained proficiency according to the standards of the National Board by completing the National Board’s renewal process (see renewal). If an educator opts not to, or fails to, renew his or her National Board certification, he or she will be placed on a continuing license upon the expiration of his or her advanced license. Provided that he or she meets all licensure requirements, a holder of current National Board certification who relocates to Delaware will receive an advanced license upon applying for Delaware licensure/certification. This license will be valid for the duration of the individual’s National Board certification. (Please note that these candidates must still apply for Delaware licensure/certification.)

For comprehensive information regarding the requirements for advanced licensure, conditions of issuance, and exceptions, please view Regulation 1512 Issuance and Renewal of Advanced License.

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Certification

A Certificate defines the area (e.g., Elementary K-6, English, Secondary School Counselor, or Principal/Assistant Principal) in which an educator may practice. Consequently, an educator may hold multiple certificates.

To view the requirements for a particular certificate, please see regulations.

Currently, there are two classes of certificates in the State of Delaware: Standard and Emergency.

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A Standard Certificate is always valid unless revoked and is issued to an educator who holds, or is eligible to hold, a Delaware license (see above) AND who demonstrates through completion of an approved program, approved coursework, or testing, or by holding a full and current certification issued by another U.S. state or by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in the certificate area that he or she has acquired the prescribed knowledge to practice in a particular area.

For comprehensive information regarding the requirements for standard certification, conditions of issuance, and exceptions, please view Regulation 1516 Standard Certificate.
For an explanation of the standard, professional status, limited standard, and temporary certificates issued without licenses under the previous certification system, please see previous system.

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An Emergency Certificate is issued to an educator who holds, or is eligible to hold, a Delaware license but has not met the requirements for certification in a specific content area. An emergency certificate is issued only at the request of the hiring authority. Individuals should not contact the Department seeking emergency certification or attempt to apply for such a certificate online unless and until directed by their district or charter school.

Emergency certificates are valid for up to three years (or up to six years in the case of trade and industry teachers) unless revoked. During the period of emergency certification, an educator is expected to meet the requirements (as enumerated in the evaluation letter accompanying his or her emergency certificate) for a standard certificate in the area to which he or she has been assigned (see resources for evaluated candidates for approved coursework and procedural information).

For comprehensive information regarding the requirements for emergency certification, conditions of issuance, and exceptions, please view Regulation 1515 Emergency Certificate.

resources for evaluated candidatescand.aspx">resources for evaluated candidatesformance were conducted AND has met all other requirements may be eligible for Delaware licensure. Upon completing the ninety-one days in lieu of student teaching, the candidate should apply for Delaware licensure/certification, and his or her employer (district, charter school, or private school) should forward official evaluations completed by the candidate's supervisor during the ninety-one days to the Department. Delaware districts and charter schools may keep the evaluations in the individual's personnel file and submit a letter verifying the successful completion of the ninety-one days to the Department. If an individual wishes to use past experience, that experience must have been a single assignment of at least ninety-one days, must have been an evaluated experience so that the employer can provide the Department with the necessary documentation, and must have occurred within the last year.

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Expired Credentials

An individual who has at any time held a Delaware standard or professional status certificate, provided that the certificate has not been revoked and is not held in conjunction with a suspended license, is considered fully certified and therefore eligible for employment in a Delaware public school. Upon hiring such an individual, the district or charter school will forward an employment form to the Department, the Department will determine the type of license for which the educator is eligible (see licensure), and the educator will be issued a license and certificate(s). The educator does not need to complete refresher coursework or contact the Department to renew such an expired credential. He or she simply needs to become employed in a Delaware public or charter school.

An individual who is not employed in a Delaware public or charter school at the time his or her credential expires will not automatically be issued an updated license/certificate. However, a standard or professional status certificate will remain valid (see above), and should the educator become employed in a public or charter school, he or she will receive an updated license/certificate upon the forwarding of an employment form (by the hiring district or charter school) to the Department. Again, he or she would not need to complete refresher coursework or contact the Department requesting the renewal of the expired credential.

An educator who holds an expired (Delaware) limited standard or temporary certificate should see previous system.

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Lost Credentials

If you wish to replace a lost credential, you should contact the Department. There is no cost for the replacement license and/or certificate.

Prospective educators, current educators, and administrative and district personnel, please note: Delaware public and charter schools can access educators' license/certificate information online via the Delaware Educator Data System (DEEDS).

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Previous System of Certification (For holders of standard, professional status, limited standard, and temporary certificates without licenses)

Overview (With emphasis on standard and professional status certificates without licenses)

Background. Standard, professional status, limited standard, and temporary were categories of certification under the previous system of certification. Under this previous system, certificates were assigned expiration dates, and licenses were not issued. (In effect, the certificate served as both a license and a certificate.) Standard and professional status denoted full certification whereas limited standard and temporary certificates were restricted certificates that gave holders a prescribed period of time to qualify for full certification. Regulatory changes abolished the professional status, limited standard, and temporary designations. The standard certificate was left in place, and a new category of restricted certification, the emergency certificate, was created. In addition, the concept of licensure was introduced into Delaware's educator credentialing system. Under current regulations, the license serves as an indicator of educator experience and/or qualifications. Also, the effective and expiration dates now assigned to the license (rather than to the certificate) provide a timeframe within which an educator must meet certain license maintenance, or professional development, requirements.

Practical Issues. Because he or she was certified under the previous credential structure, a holder of a standard or professional status certificate issued prior to August 31, 2003, may be fully and currently certified and eligible to teach despite the fact that he or she is not licensed. Provided that he or she is employed, such an educator will be placed on the appropriate license (typically a continuing license) and certificate upon the expiration of his or her current certificate. He or she does not need to submit a request to the Department that he or she be moved to a license and certificate. Eligible employed educators will be transitioned automatically. Likewise, an educator who has not been employed for a period of time and as a result holds an expired standard or professional status certificate but no license (since licenses were not issued at the time he or she was certified) is eligible for employment since he or she was fully certified under the “old” system and his or her certificate is always valid unless revoked (see expired).

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Limited Standard Certificate/Procedures for Holders of

The limited standard was a category of certification under the previous certification system (see above). Limited standards are no longer issued. Holders of an unexpired limited standard certificate should complete the requirements given to them in their evaluation letters by the expiration date of the certificate. For a list of approved coursework—the list corresponds with the categories of courses given in evaluation letters—or for information on submitting official documentation (transcripts, test scores, and/or forms) to the Department, please see resources for evaluated candidates.

The Department recommends that holders of expired limited standards who wish to pursue employment as Delaware public school educators contact the Department.

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Temporary Certificate/Procedures for Holders of

Like the above-described limited standard, the temporary certificate was a category of certification under the previous system of certification. Temporary certificates were issued for one year periods. All temporaries are now expired. The Department recommends that holders of temporary certificates who wish to pursue employment as Delaware public school educators contact the Department.

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