What Are Walden’s Licensure Programs?

Walden’s Licensure Programs will prepare you for obtaining licensure by providing you with the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions necessary to make a positive impact in your role as a teacher, principal, or administrator. The programs Walden currently offers which lead to licensure include:

How Do I Know if Walden's Program Will Be Accepted in My State?

Each state has different licensing requirements. Contact our enrollment advisors at 1-866-492-5336 and review your state’s department of education website. The state statutes, regulations, or rules outline the license requirements; review all information on the website, including the licensure application. It is important to compare your state’s licensure requirements with Walden’s degree program and your experience.

Is Your State a “License-in-Hand” or “Direct Apply” State?

In some states, you will be required to obtain the Minnesota or Ohio (for the EdS in Educational Leadership and Administration program) license before applying to your state, or it will be in your best interest to obtain the Minnesota or Ohio license first. We call these “license-in-hand” states. You would obtain the Minnesota or Ohio license and then complete the application process for your state as a teacher with an out-of-state license.

In other states, there may be no benefit to having the Minnesota or Ohio license. You can apply directly to these states by completing a state-approved program. We call these “direct apply” states.

Does Your State Have an Out-of-State Application Process?

You need to determine if your state has a separate application process for individuals completing an “out-of-state” (OOS) program. This would apply to all candidates except those in Minnesota or Ohio (for the EdS in Educational Leadership and Administration program). If your state has an OOS process, there will be a separate application listed on the department website, but not all states have an OOS process. Review these requirements early to determine which licensure exams (Praxis, MTLE, GACE, etc.) or other requirements you will need to complete to become licensed.

What Are My General Licensure Exam Requirements?

If you are applying to a “license-in-hand” state, you will have to complete the Minnesota testing requirements, which are part of your program requirements. Determine if having the Minnesota license will exempt you from meeting the testing requirements for the state where you reside.

If you are applying to a “direct apply” state, you will likely have to complete the testing requirements for that state as well as the Minnesota testing requirements, which are part of your program requirements. But make sure to read the details. Wisconsin, for example, requires that applicants meet the testing requirements for that state and the state where the institution is located. Enrollment advisors can provide guidance on testing requirements.

What Do You Need From Walden?

Generally, most state licensure applications have a form that must be completed by the institution (Walden) verifying that you completed a state-approved teacher preparation program. This is often referred to as the Institutional Recommendation (IR) form, or can be called a program completion form, college verification form, etc. The completed IR form and official transcripts are often all you need from Walden.

Which License Do You Qualify for in Your State?

Candidates should check their state website to determine if their state offers licensure in a comparable area. Walden offers programs for initial licensure in Elementary Education, Special Education (cross-categorical/generalist), and principal preparation programs. Additionally, prospective students are advised if they choose to relocate to carefully review, evaluate and understand the current requirements of the applicable licensure board in the state in which they intend to relocate.

Who Can I Talk to if I Have Questions?

Contact your Walden enrollment advisor or an academic advisor at 1-866-492-5336. He or she can answer your questions or connect you with a licensing specialist.

Additional Questions

Prospective and current Walden candidates must research their own state requirements prior to enrolling in a program to help ensure that the program will meet any specific objectives the individual may have upon completion, such as obtaining a license/certificate, endorsement, upgrade, renewal, or salary increase. Licensure requirements vary state by state and are constantly evolving. Enrollment advisors can provide general guidance, but candidates must research their own state requirements as of any given date and stay apprised of policy changes.  

What should I look for when researching my state’s requirements?

Many states have requirements that are specific to individuals prepared at out-of-state institutions. Individuals from states other than Minnesota or Ohio (for the EdS in Educational Leadership and Administration program) should look for requirements specific to individuals prepared at out-of-state institutions. Pay particular attention to the following terms:

Regional accreditation—Institutions receive regional accreditation from one of six accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board and Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Walden is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

Institutional accreditation—Colleges, schools, or departments of education can receive professional accreditation by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) or the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC). The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership is NCATE-accredited.

State-approved program—For individuals to be eligible for initial licensure and some endorsements (particularly reading/reading specialist and teacher leadership), states may require that they complete a program that has been approved by a state agency responsible for educator licensing.

Individuals completing a program approved in one state typically can apply for licensure in another state. Candidates should refer to our licensure page for additional information.

The following programs are state-approved for licensure/endorsements:

  • Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) with a specialization in Special Education
  • BS in Elementary Education program
  • MSED in Educational Leadership and Administration (Principal Preparation)
  • EdS in Educational Leadership and Administration (Principal Preparation)

When applying for licensure in a state other than Minnesota (or Ohio for the EdS in Educational Leadership and Administration program), candidates should review whether: a) they can apply directly to their state Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board based on the completion of a state-approved program (i.e., the state is a “direct apply” state) or b) if their state requires that they actually obtain the license from the state where the institution is located before applying (i.e., the state is a “license-in-hand” state).

If you do not already have a teaching license:

I want to become a teacher. Can Walden University help me?

Yes. Walden University has received state approval from the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board to offer teacher preparation programs that lead to Minnesota licensure in special education ABS and Elementary Education.

Individuals who want to teach in a state other than Minnesota may be eligible for an initial license/certificate by completing the state-approved teacher preparation programs. When reviewing state requirements, prospective teacher candidates should check if:

  • The state offers a license/certificate with grade and age levels that are comparable with the programs listed above.
  • The state is a license-in-hand or direct apply state.
  • There are any additional requirements to complete prior to being issued a license/certificate (i.e., additional exams, coursework particular to that state, background checks).
  • There are any requirements specific to your state or out-of-state or online institutions.

Is Walden University’s teacher preparation program a state-approved program?

Yes. Walden University’s BS in Elementary Education and Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) with a specialization in Special Education are approved by the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board. Walden has also been approved by the Minnesota Board of School Administrators and the Ohio Board of Regents to offer a preK–12 principal preparation program.

Individuals who want to be licensed/certified in a state other than Minnesota or Ohio (for the EdS in Educational Leadership and Administration program) should research their state’s requirements, paying particular attention to any requirements specific to teacher or principal candidates who are completing a state-approved program from an out-of-state institution.

At the end of Walden’s teacher preparation program, will I be a licensed teacher in Minnesota?

Not automatically. The Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board, not Walden University, grants educator licenses. However, by completing a Walden teacher preparation program, you will have met the educational requirements for the license. You will then need to complete a background check, and apply to the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board. They will make the final determination and grant you your teaching license.

What is the process for a teacher candidate to receive a teaching license in Minnesota?

First, please note that the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board grants teaching licenses, not Walden University. Candidates for teacher licensure must successfully complete one of Walden University’s state-approved teacher preparation programs.

Before Walden can recommend a candidate for licensure to the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board, the candidate must:

  • Complete Walden’s state-approved teacher preparation program.
  • Undergo a Minnesota background check.
  • Ensure that all Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board requirements are met.

Where should I go to find out more information about getting a Minnesota teaching license?

The Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board website is a great resource.

What is covered on the MTLE tests? Can I look at a sample test?

Specific information about what is covered on the MTLE tests is available on the MTLE website at www.mtle.nesinc.com.

Will I be working in classrooms during the teacher preparation program?

Yes. Throughout Walden’s teacher preparation program, you will spend approximately 15 hours per course in classrooms completing field experiences (an average of two to three hours per week during the course’s duration). During this time, you will complete activities and assignments, including observing, interviewing, and interacting with children, and creating and teaching lessons. Then, at the end of the program, you’ll spend 12 continuous weeks of full-time demonstration teaching (also known as candidate teaching). During the experience, you will take over all responsibilities for the classroom and implement what you have learned during the program.

If you do not already have a teaching license and live in a state other than Minnesota:

What if I want to obtain a license in a state other than Minnesota? Can I obtain a license in my home state by completing Walden’s teacher preparation program?

In most cases, yes. Candidates should review their own state’s requirements, paying particular attention to the following:

  • Requirements specific to individuals prepared out-of-state.
  • Whether the state issues a license/certificate in a similar subject and grade span.
  • Whether the state is a direct apply or license-in-hand state
  • If there are any additional requirements specific to that state (e.g., additional exams, coursework, background checks).

First and foremost, candidates should check whether their state offers a license/certificate or endorsement with grade and age levels comparable to Walden’s program. For example, your state may not offer a cross-categorical (covering multiple disabilities) license in special education. In this situation, the candidate should receive acknowledgement from the state as to whether the Walden special education teacher preparation will be accepted for a categorical license.

In many states, there are licensure requirements particular to individuals who complete a program from an out-of-state institution. These requirements may differ from the requirements for individuals completing programs from in-state institutions. Candidates should determine whether out-of-state programs need to be state-approved and/or accredited by an organization, such as NCATE. This applies to endorsements, renewals, upgrades, and salary increases, as well as initial licensure/certification.

Some states require that individuals completing a program at an out-of-state institution actually obtain the out-of-state license first; other states do not require the actual license, just completion of a state-approved program. Candidates should review the requirements for individuals completing programs from out-of-state institutions to determine if they must receive their license from the originating state or if completing a state-approved program will allow them to apply directly to their state.

Walden’s enrollment advisors can provide you with general guidelines and other information about licensure. It remains your responsibility to understand and comply with the current out-of-state licensure requirements for the state in which you seek to be licensed, as requirements vary state by state.

Walden University makes no representation or guarantee that successful completion of any program or coursework will permit you to obtain state certification or licensure in your state.

If I live in a state other than Minnesota and want to obtain a teaching license from my home state, do I first have to obtain the Minnesota license?

It depends upon your home state. All states have policies regarding out-of-state procedures that must be followed when someone is eligible for or has received licensure through an out-of-state institution with a state-approved program, such as the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board-approved programs at Walden University. Some states require that you actually obtain the out-of-state license first while other states do not require the actual license, just completion of a state-approved program. Additionally, prospective students are advised if they choose to relocate to carefully review, evaluate and understand the requirements of the applicable licensure board in the state in which they intend to relocate.

If you have questions, please contact a Walden University enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336. Enrollment advisors can provide information on licensing requirements, but it is your responsibility to understand and comply with the most up-to-date out-of-state licensing information for your state.

Is Walden University’s teacher preparation program approved in any other state besides Minnesota?

No. Our program is a Minnesota state-approved program. Just as with the majority of other teacher preparation programs throughout the United States, our program is approved only in our home state. Since Walden University is based in Minnesota, the program is approved by Minnesota. The program may, however, meet the educational requirements for licensure in other states. (Individuals may need to complete additional requirements before being eligible for licensure/endorsement.) You should research your state licensure/certification requirements, paying particular attention to requirements specific to individuals prepared by out-of-state and/or online institutions.

Do I need to go to Minnesota to take the MTLE tests?

No. You can take the MTLE tests at any official testing site. When you register for the tests, be sure to select Walden University from the list so that your scores can be sent to Walden. To find a testing site, visit the MTLE website at www.mtle.nesinc.com.

If you already have a teaching license:

Can Walden’s other graduate courses and programs be used for the renewal of an already-existing teacher license or certificate?

It depends on the state and sometimes on the school district. In most states, graduate coursework that could lead to a master’s degree or the master’s degree itself suffices for “lane changes” on the salary scale and for licensure renewal or upgrading. Typically, the coursework or degree must be earned at a regionally accredited institution of higher education, such as Walden University. Check with your state and your district to learn about any specific requirements.

Does Walden’s MS in Education program with a specialization in Educational Leadership (Non-Licensure) (Grades K–12) lead to certification as a principal?

If your state requires the completion of a state-approved program, then no. The MS in Education with a specialization in Educational Leadership (Non-Licensure) (Grades K–12) program is not approved for administrative licensure in Minnesota (Walden’s home state) or any other state. The program may meet some of the coursework requirements for administrative licensure in states that do not require the completion of a state-approved administrator licensure program.

For those interested in principal certification, Walden has a principal preparation program (preK–12) (EdS in Educational Leadership and Administration) that is approved in Minnesota and Ohio as meeting the educational requirements for principal licensure. Candidates may need to satisfy additional state requirements (i.e., assessments, background checks) before being issued a license/certification.

Does Walden’s M.S. in Education program with either a specialization in Elementary Reading and Literacy (PreK–6) or a specialization in Elementary Reading and Mathematics (Grades K–6) lead to an endorsement, or add-on certificate, for already-certified teachers?

If your state requires the completion of a state-approved program, then no. Neither specialization has been state-approved in Minnesota as a licensure program and, therefore, would not be recognized as leading to a reading endorsement or reading add-on certificate in states that require the completion of a state-approved program. Neither of these specializations covers the grade span of K–12 or includes a practicum, which are requirements for endorsements in some states.

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