Earning a Utah Educator License

Academic Pathway to Teaching (APT)

APT is an alternative pathway to a Utah Educator License approved by the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) in June 2016. It is governed by Utah Administrative Rule R277-511. It allows an individual who has a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited university to pass an appropriate Board-approved content knowledge test to apply for and receive a Level 1-APT License with an Elementary (Grades K-6) or Secondary (Grades 6-12) area of concentration.

This license is valid for three school years and if the individual is not hired in a teaching position in Utah, may be renewed using the standard Active/Inactive Renewals.

Application Process

These steps must all be completed prior to submission of the APT application. Please check the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for additional clarification.

Step by Step Application Process

  1. Initiate a Utah State Board of Education (USBE) Background Check at Educator Licensing Online.
  2. To obtain your Comprehensive Administration of Credentials for Teachers in Utah Schools (CACTUS) number, please go to my.uen.org to create a Utah Education Network (UEN) account 24 hours after initiating a background check. When you log in to your UEN account, you are able to enter your CACTUS record.
  3. Pass appropriate Content Knowledge Test. For a list of tests for Utah, review the Utah State Licensure Test Requirements. The areas available through APT begin on page 7. 
  4. Complete the Educator Ethics Review at Educator Licensing Online.
  5. Complete and submit the APT License Application.
  6. Include original transcripts showing a Bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited college/university.
  7. Include documentation of a passing score on a Board-approved content knowledge test
  8. Mail a complete application packet to:

USBE Licensing
250 East 500 South
PO Box 144200
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4200

Post-Hire Instructions

APT Post-Hire Instructions

  1. Local Education Agency (LEA) provides a teacher leader and develops a teacher training/mentor plan that will prepare the license holder to meet the Utah Effective Teaching Standards.
  2. LEA will work with the license holder to help them complete the Entry Years Enhancement (E.Y.E.) upgrade requirements.
  3. A license holder must teach full-time for three years, or four years of at least 0.4 Full-Time Equivalency (FTE).
  4. Upgrade submission procedures are done manually using the APT Upgrade Application, including a brief summary of the teacher training/mentor plan and a letter from the LEA administrator specifically recommending the individual for upgrade to a Standard Level 2 Utah Educator License.

Alternative Routes to Licensure (ARL) 

What is ARL?

Utah’s ARL program is a pathway for individuals without a background in education to become licensed Utah Educators. The program is also a pathway for current Utah educators to add new areas of concentration to their existing license. 

Participants in ARL complete the requirements for licensure (i.e. pedagogy and methods coursework, testing, etc.) at the same time they are teaching in their desired license area in an accredited Utah School. 

What license area/endorsement(s) should I apply for?

How does ARL work?

The basic ARL steps are:

  1. Apply to the program
  2. Receive an Eligibility Information Letter
  3. Be hired in a qualifying teaching assignment
  4. Confirm participation in the program and receive an ARL Professional Growth Plan (PGP)
  5. Complete all PGP Requirements while teaching for at least one year
  6. Receive a Utah Educator License 

Who can apply to ARL?

Individuals who can provide documentation of required content knowledge in a subject area taught in schools can apply to ARL.

  • Generally, this means the applicant has a Bachelor’s degree or above and coursework from an accredited university in the subject area or 6 years of documented work experience in the area for Career and Technical Education specialties. 

When to apply for ARL?

Applications are accepted during the Open Enrollment window (March 1-July 31)

  • Applications may be accepted outside the Open Enrollment window if:
    • The applicant has a current teaching assignment posted in CACTUS
    • A Principal or Human Resources representative contacts ARL on the applicant’s behalf indicating that the applicant is hired or being considered for hire.
    • The applicant has completed the ABCTE Competency Testing Certification and/or if ABCTE contacts ARL recommending the applicant’s application be accepted. 

How to apply to ARL?

1. Background check:

  • The first step in the application process is initiating a Utah State Board of Education (USBE) background check at Educator Licensing Online (district level background checks do NOT meet this criteria).
  • To obtain a Comprehensive Administration of Credentials for Teachers in Utah Schools (CACTUS) number, please go to my.uen.org to register for a Utah Education Network (UEN) account 24 hours after initiating a background fingerprint check. Log in to your UEN account, select the “Personal Page” option and then click the link to enter CACTUS and retrieve your number. You may track the status of your application through your CACTUS record.

2. Application forms:

  • Applicants complete their content coursework before they are eligible to participate in the ARL program. Required pedagogy and methods coursework can be completed while in the ARL program.
  • Applicants applying for content areas outside their degree major must pass the appropriate Utah State Licensure Test Requirements to be eligible for the program (e.g. an applicant who majored in Chemistry, and wants to teach Secondary English needs to take the English Praxis exam to be eligible for English. If applying for Chemistry, the applicant can take the required Praxis exam during the first year participating in the ARL program). For specific questions about what courses are counted toward eligibility, the candidate needs to contact the content specialist listed on the individual endorsement applications. 

3. Provide Transcripts and Required Documentation

  • ARL requires original transcripts for all coursework being reviewed. ARL recommends applicants submit transcripts from all institutions they have attended. Transfer credits listed on a transcript are not reviewed; the transcript listing the original credit is required for review purposes.
  • Electronic transcripts are acceptable only if sent directly from the institution to transcripts@schools.utah.gov. Personally printed copies of electronic transcripts or forwarded emails of electronic transcripts are not accepted.
  • Foreign Transcripts must be translated/evaluated by a vendor accredited through National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). Applicants with degrees only from foreign institutions must supply an English Oral Proficiency Language Test results with a score of Advanced-Mid from within the past five years. 

Where to submit an ARL application packet?

Mail application, forms, paper transcripts, documentation, and industry certifications as one packet to:

USBE-ARL
250 East 500 South
PO BOX 144200
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4200

There is No Fee for this application

New applications take approximately 6 weeks to process and are active for 18 months.

ARL Contact Information

ARL General Information Webinar 
Fridays from 11-1 p.m.

General e-mail: arl@schools.utah.gov

Licensing questions: (801) 538-7740

Cassidy Johnson
General Questions
Phone: (801) 538-7532 | E-mail

Penny Ford
Office Assistant
Phone: (801) 538-7695 | E-mail

Bonnie Smith
Office Assistant
Phone: (801) 538-7532 | E-mail

Christina Ausmus
ARL Program Specialist
Phone: (801) 538-7834 | E-mail

Kathleen Webb
ARL Education Specialist
Phone: (801) 538-7602 | E-mail

International License

If you have a standard renewable license from another country and would like to apply for a Utah Educator License, please read the following step by step instructions to prepare your international-credentialed application packet for submission to the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) for review.

Application Process

  1. English Language Proficiency
    If English is not the primary language spoken in your country of origin, verification of your English proficiency is required. You may schedule an Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) with Language Testing International (LTI). Utah currently only accepts the certified American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) OPI. The OPI requirement may be waived for those who hold a degree from a country where English is the primary language. An applicant must attain a level of Advanced-Mid to pass the English Language Proficiency benchmark. Your OPI passing score cannot be more than five years.
  2. Foreign Transcript Evaluation
    Send your academic records for a transcript evaluation to a Foreign Credential Evaluation Service. USBE accepts evaluations completed by services accredited by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). You will need to request a course-by-course and degree report with a statement of U.S. equivalency. Your credentials must be equivalent to a bachelor's degree in an education program or a program that leads to teacher licensure from a United States institution of higher education.
  3. Initiate a USBE Background Fingerprint Check at Educator Licensing Online. Background checks done in other states or for a Local Education Agency (LEA) in Utah are not accepted.
  4. To obtain your Comprehensive Administration of Credentials for Teachers in Utah Schools (CACTUS) number, please go to my.uen.org to register for a Utah Education Network (UEN) account 24 hours after initiating a background check. When you log in to your UEN account, you are able to enter your CACTUS record.
  5. Complete and sign the Application for Utah Educator License for International-Credentialed Educators.
  6. Complete appropriate Endorsement Application(s) for Secondary Education, Special Education, and Career and Technical Education (CTE) License Areas.
  7. Content Knowledge Assessment
    • Pass appropriate Praxis II Content Test. For a list of tests for Utah, review the Utah State Licensure Test Requirements. Tests from other states historically accepted by Utah remains in place. You must show that you passed the test within the timeframe that Utah accepted it and with a Utah passing score; or
    • Show evidence of a reasonably equivalent assessment; or
    • Verify four (4) or more years of successful, licensed experience teaching in the subject/area outside of Utah.
    • For World Languages, an oral fluency test – known as an oral proficiency interview (OPI) – is required; see World Languages endorsement application for details. The OPI may be waived for those who hold a degree from a country based on the primary world language of that country or by verification of four (4) or more years of successful, licensed experience teaching the subject/area outside of Utah.
  8. Complete an Educator Ethics Review at Educator Licensing Online.
  9. Complete and submit a Verification of Educator Experience form, if applicable. You are welcome to use the form USBE has available or a similar designated form from your former employing district or school. Each form must show all former employment and be signed by an official school or district administrator. USBE requires verification of actual full-time licensed educator experience. Please be sure to have this information translated into English, if necessary. If you taught at a private school, a copy of the accreditation certificate must be included.
  10. Include originals or clear copies of the front and back of all current educator license(s) that have ever been issued to you. If your license(s) is expired, include a completed Verification of Professional Certification and a copy of the expired license(s). If your country does not print licenses, but only provides electronic records of your license, please print and include this verification.
  11. Submit a complete International License packet to:
    USBE Licensing
    250 East 500 South
    P.O. Box 144200
    Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4200

Local Education Agency (LEA) Specific Competency-based License

A LEA may apply to the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) for a LEA-Specific Level 1 Competency-based license for an applicant to fill a position in the LEA if other licensing routes for the applicant are untenable or unreasonable.

Application Process

  1. Initiate a USBE Fingerprint Background Check at Educator Licensing Online. Background checks done for an LEA in Utah are not accepted.
  2. To obtain your Comprehensive Administration of Credentials for Teachers in Utah Schools (CACTUS) number, please go to my.uen.org to create a Utah Education Network (UEN) account, 24 hours after initiating a background check. When you log in to your UEN account, you are able to enter your CACTUS record.
  3. Complete and sign the LEA Specific Competency-based License Application.
  4. Written letter from Director/Human Resources director/Superintendent on LEA letterhead requesting license and detailing the reasons other licensing routes are untenable or unreasonable.
  5. Pass appropriate Praxis II Content Test for core content areas. For a list of tests for Utah review the Utah State Licensure Test Requirements.
  6. Complete an Educator Ethics Review at Educator Licensing Online.
  7. Submit original transcripts of all colleges/universities you have attended with your application packet. USBE will accept electronic transcripts only if sent directly from the college/university through a transcript clearinghouse via transcripts@schools.utah.gov. Please make a note on the application that transcripts have been sent electronically to USBE. For Secondary or Elementary Education area, a Bachelor's degree or higher from a regionally accredited college/university is required. If transcripts are from an international college/university, a U.S. equivalency evaluation for degree is required. Please go to National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) for information to find a company that does such an evaluation.
  8. Post assignment in CACTUS by LEA prior to submitting an application packet.
  9. Submit a complete LEA-Specific application packet to:
    USBE Licensing
    250 East 500 South
    P.O. Box 144200
    Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4200

License Tests

The Utah State Board of Education (USBE) requires each applicant who applies for a Utah Educator License to pass an appropriate content knowledge test for the area they are seeking. Unless otherwise noted, all tests are PRAXIS tests administrated by Educational Testing Services (ETS).

Licensure Testing Update July 2018

Utah State Licensure Test Requirements

Out-of-State (OOS) License

Application Process

If you have a standard renewable educator license from another state and would like to apply for a Utah Educator License, please read the following step by step instructions to prepare your OOS application packet for submission to USBE for review.

  1. Initiate a USBE Background Fingerprint Check at Educator Licensing Online. Background checks done in other states or for a local education agency (LEA) in Utah are not accepted.
  2. To obtain a Comprehensive Administration of Credentials for Teachers in Utah Schools (CACTUS) number, please go to my.uen.org to register for a Utah Education Network (UEN) account 24 hours after initiating a background fingerprint check. Log in to your UEN account, select the 'Personal Page' option and then click the link to enter CACTUS and retrieve your number. You may track the status of your application through your CACTUS record.
  3. Complete and sign the Application for Utah Educator License for OOS Educators
    • Expedited review is available for United States military veterans or the spouse of an actively serving United States service member with appropriate documentation.
  4. Complete appropriate Endorsement Application(s) for Secondary Education, Special Education, and Career and Technical Education (CTE) License Areas. This form is to be filled out by the applicant as a self-assessment to document coursework completed out of state in comparison to Utah licensing requirements.
  5. Content Knowledge Assessment
    • Pass appropriate Praxis II Content Test. For a list of tests for Utah review the Utah State Licensure Test Requirements. USBE will continue to honor tests from other states historically accepted by Utah. The applicant must show that the test was passed within the time frame that Utah accepted the results and has met the Utah passing score; or
    • Show evidence of a reasonably equivalent assessment. For a list of previously reviewed OOS assessments go to OOS Testing Equivalency. If your assessment is not on this list, please include evidence with your application; or
    • Verify four (4) or more years of successful, licensed experience teaching in the subject/area outside of Utah.
    • For World Languages, an oral fluency test – known as an Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) – is required; see World Languages endorsement application for details. The OPI may be waived by verification of four (4) or more years of successful, licensed experience in teaching the subject/area outside of Utah.
  6. Complete an Educator Ethics Review at Educator Licensing Online.
  7. Submit original transcripts of all colleges/universities you have attended with your application packet. USBE will accept electronic transcripts only if sent directly from the college/university through a transcript clearinghouse via transcripts@schools.utah.gov. Please make a note on the application that transcripts have been sent electronically to USBE.
  8. Complete and submit a Verification of Educator Experience form, if applicable. Each form must show all former employment and be signed by an official school or district administrator. For experience in a private school, a copy of the school’s regional accreditation certificate must be included. USBE requires verification of actual OOS full-time licensed educator experience.
  9. Include originals or clear copies of the front and back of all current educator license(s) that have ever been issued to you. If your license(s) is expired, include a completed Verification of Expired Professional Certification for OOS Certification and Licensure form and a copy of the expired license(s). If your state does not print licenses, but only provides electronic records of your license, please print and include this verification. Utah no longer accepts Institutional Recommendations from OOS institutions.
  10. If you completed an Alternative Educator Program, you must include official documentation of an alternative educator program completion and an official program description including class descriptions. This evidence will be considered in lieu of a traditional course of study from a teacher-preparation program.
  11. Additional Documentation:
    Administrative/Supervisory K-12
    Include official documentation of successful completion of an administrative internship in both elementary and secondary school levels, as well as some hours outside of your school where you are employed. Include total number of hours (400 for Utah) completed, types of duties performed, and verification of teaching and school administrative experience, if applicable.
    School Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP)
    Include with your application either your School SLP OOS License or your American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) card and maintenance letter (come attached together). A Praxis II Content Test is not required.
  12. Submit a complete OOS application packet to:
    USBE Licensing
    250 East 500 South
    P.O. Box 144200
    Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4200

Utah University Recommendation

The information below is for individuals who have completed an education preparation degree program through a Utah college/university and are ready to apply for a Utah Educator License, please read the following step-by-step instructions to obtain your standard Utah Educator License.

Instructions:

  1. Contact your Advisor/Education Department to verify that your file is complete.
  2. Verify the university recommendation is posted in Comprehensive Administration of Credentials for Teachers in Utah Schools (CACTUS).
  3. To view your CACTUS record and obtain your CACTUS number, log into your personal Utah Education Network (UEN) account. If you need your login and password reset, contact UEN directly.
  4. Complete a Utah Educator Ethics Review at Educator Licensing Online, within one calendar year of being recommended in CACTUS for a Utah Educator License.
  5. Have a cleared Utah State Board of Education (USBE) Fingerprint Background Check after July 1, 2015. You may begin a background check at Educator Licensing Online
  6. Complete the process at Educator Licensing Online for "University Recommendation" to receive a copy of your Educator Licence via e-mail. It can take up to 24 hours for an e-mail to be sent with a copy of your license attached.