State Teacher Licensure Information
Licenses Types and Approved Alternative Pathways by State


Updated July 2019

The SREB Teacher Preparation Commission recommends that states hold all new teachers to the same high standards , regardless of the pathway type.

The updated table summarizes the types of licenses issued by SREB states and alternative pathways into the teaching profession.

State License Types Approved Alternative
Routes to Licensure

Emergency certificate

Provisional certificates

Professional certificates, organized by degree level:

  • Class B (Baccalaureate)
  • Class A (Master’s)
  • Class AA (Specialist/Doctorate)

Provisional eCertificate in Teaching Field

Alternative Class A Program


Provisional license

Standard license, with tiered designations:

  • Early Career Professional Educator
  • Career Professional Educator
  • Lead Professional Educator
  • Master Professional Educator

Lifetime teaching license

Arkansas Professional Pathway to Educator Licensure

Master of Arts in Teaching programs

Provisional Professional Teaching License

Other approved programs or pathways include the American Board for the Certification of Teacher Excellence, Arkansas Teacher Corps and Teach for America


Emergency certificate

Certificates of eligibility (special education)

Standard certificate, with tiered licensure levels:

  • Initial License
  • Continuing License
  • Advanced License

Three University of Delaware programs:

  • Alternative Routes to Certification Program
  • Delaware Transition to Teaching Partnership

Masters Plus Certification Program (for special education)

Relay Graduate School of Education (for Teach for America corps members)


Temporary, non-renewable licenses

Professional license

District certification programs

Educator preparation institutes

Preparation via college coursework

Professional training option


The state currently issues five renewable and five non-renewable certificates.

Non-renewable credentials include:

  • Pre-Service
  • Induction
  • International exchange
  • Two certificates offered through district request

Renewable credentials include:

  • Standard Professional
  • Performance-Based Professional
  • Advanced Professional
  • Lead Professional
  • Retired Educator
Georgia Teacher Academy for Preparation and Pedagogy program

Emergency certificate

Provisional certificates

Professional certificates, organized by degree level:

  • Rank III (Baccalaureate)
  • Rank I (Master’s)
  • Rank I (Master’s + 30)

Eight alternative pathways, including:

  • District training programs
  • Programs for career-switchers, veterans, and college faculty
  • Teach for America
  • University-based programs

Five non-standard credentials, including:

  • Resident teacher certificate (pre-service credential for candidates completing a yearlong residency)
  • Temporary teaching permits, certificates or authorizations

Seven standard credentials, including:

  • Professional level certificates
  • Practitioner licenses (for candidates completing alternative pathways)
  • Five other certificates, including for teachers with out-of-state licenses

Three alternative pathways:

  • Certification-only program
  • Master’s degree program
  • Practitioner teacher program

Provisional licensure

  • Conditional certificate
  • Resident teacher certificate

Professional licensure

  • Professional eligibility certificate
  • Standard professional certificate
  • Advanced professional certificate

District certification programs

Transcript analysis1


Pre-service teacher license

Alternative route license

Five-year educator licenses, organized by degree level:

Class A = Bachelor’s

Class AA = Master’s

Class AAA = Specialist

Class AAAA = Doctorate

American Board for the Certification of Teacher Excellence

Master of Arts in Teaching Alternate Route

Mississippi Alternate Path to Quality Teachers

Teach Mississippi Institute

North Carolina

Emergency license

Provisional licenses for alternative routes, including:

  • Lateral entry license2
  • Resident license

Limited licenses3

Professional educator license, including:

  • Initial professional license
  • Continuing professional license
  • Regional alternative licensing centers (through 2022)
  • Residency programs offered by universities or private providers
  • Teach for America
  • University-based alternative programs

Emergency certificate

Initial alternative certificate

Standard certificate

  • American Board for the Certification of Teacher Excellence
  • Alternative Placement Program
  • Career development program for paraprofessionals
  • Teach for America
  • Three content-specific programs
  • Troops to Teachers
South Carolina

Alternative route certificate

Internship certificate

Initial certificate

Professional certificate4

Special certificates for international teachers and adjunct instructors

American Board for the Certification of Teacher Excellence

Adjunct certification

Career and technical education work-based certification

District-based certification

Program of Alternative Certification for Educators

Teach for America

Teachers of Tomorrow


Practitioner license (for beginning teachers, including those enrolled in alternative certification programs)

Professional license

Approved programs are the Nashville Teacher Residency and Teach for America-Memphis.

Emergency certificate

Intern certificate

Probationary certificate

Standard certificate

The State Board for Educator Certification has approved over 200 alternative certification programs.

Program entities include:

  • Charter schools & networks
  • Community colleges
  • Counties
  • Districts
  • Education service centers
  • Private providers
  • Universities

Provisional licenses

Collegiate professional license

Postgraduate professional license

  • University-based alternative programs
  • Experiential learning route
  • Four career-switcher programs
  • Provisional licensure route
  • Provisional special education route
  • University-based alternative programs
West Virginia

Alternative teaching certificate

Temporary certificate

Professional licensure

  • Initial, three-year teaching certificate
  • Five-year renewable professional certificate
  • Permanent professional teaching certificate
The state board of education allows districts to start alternative program partnerships.

Source: SREB review of state law and state agency websites

1 Individuals with content-area degrees qualify for professional certification after completing coursework, assessment, and teaching experience requirements.

2 The lateral entry pathway will end on June 30, 2019. License holders have until June 30, 2022 to convert their credential to an initial professional license.

3 Senate Bill 219 authorizes the state board of education to issue limited license as requested by districts and charter schools. The license gives teachers more time to complete the requirements for a continuing professional license or out-if-state teachers to convert their credential to a professional educator license.

4 Educators may advance their certificate classification by completing advanced degree or postsecondary coursework.