Recruit and Retain: The Future of Education

Teacher Certification in Connecticut

Connecticut has multiple tiers of teacher certification. A person who is new to the teaching profession can achieve his or her initial teaching certificate by completing an approved program either in conjunction with a bachelor’s degree or at a later stage. There are alternative programs for individuals with bachelor’s degrees – provided they make it through a select process.

Connecticut regulations describe requirements for teachers in multiple categories, including elementary, early childhood, secondary academic, middle grade, foreign language K-8, and special subjects. Middle grade certification is for teaching in a middle school setting; it is also valid for departmentalized teaching in the upper elementary grades. Secondary certification is for grades seven and above and is also valid for teaching endorsed areas in departmentalized educational settings at the upper level (generally, grades five and six).

The following is a partial list of available certifications:

  • Elementary (Grades1–6 )
  • Integrated Early Childhood/Special Education (Nursery/ K/ Grades 1–3)
  • Middle School English/ Language Arts (Grades 4-8)
  • Remedial Reading and Language Arts (Grades 1–12)
  • Technology Education (PK-12)
  • French (Grades 7-12)
  • General Science (Middle Schools)

Regulations offered detailed descriptions of the requirements. The Bureau of Certification has provided fact sheets (

Schools can be a very good resource. One will find undergraduate programs available in elementary education, special education, and a number of secondary content areas. Some K-12 or PK-12 programs are available at the undergraduate level; art and music are among the options. One Connecticut school currently offers middle grade certifications in core academic areas at the undergraduate level. The Department of Education website includes resources about educator preparation programs (

Connecticut has set statutory requirements for educator preparation ( Elementary and early childhood education students can expect at least six credit hours of comprehensive reading education. All education students, regardless of the level that they will be teaching, receive literacy instruction that is reflective of current research. All receive instruction in second language instruction. Initial instructor certification programs include no fewer than 36 hours of special education. They prepare future teachers to foster mental health and tackle issues such as bullying.

In most cases, an examination is required prior to credentialing. Many certifications are issued on the basis of Praxis II content examinations. Elementary education requires passing scores on the Connecticut Foundations of Reading Test, as well as a Praxis test. The Department of Education has published Foundations of Reading pass rates by institution (

Bilingual and world languages candidates take American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) tests.

A recommendation from an approved program is required for many certifications, including early childhood, elementary, middle grades, and secondary academic credentials.

A Connecticut student demonstrates competence in core academic subjects before program entry. The Praxis Core remains one option (; this assesses general academic skills and is distinct from the content area examinations required later.

Alternate Certification

There are several pathways to alternate certification in Connecticut, including Teach for America, the Connecticut Alternate Route to Certification (ARC) Program, and Relay. The Charter Oak State College ARC Program is for individuals who seek certification to teach small children.

Alternative programs are designed for areas where there are challenges recruiting qualified individuals. The Connecticut Alternate Route to Certification Program has 2018 to 2019 cohorts in several secondary and hard-to-fill K-12 or PK-12 areas, including world languages. Relay, an Americorps program, lists elementary education among the possible positions/ certifications.

There are separate alternate cross-certification programs for teachers who seek cross-certification in key areas like literacy or special education.

Recent legislation allows for cross certification by examination in some areas such as mathematics (

Out-of-State Teachers

Connecticut is a member of the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Interstate Agreement ( Some applicants will be exempt from meeting Connecticut’s specific coursework requirements.

Candidates who have not had the required 36 hours of special education as part of their initial program will need to do so. The Department of Education has provided a list of approved providers (

Achieving Higher Level Certifications

A provisional certificate is dependent on 1) ten months of experience and completion of the Teacher Education And Mentoring (TEAM) induction program or 2) 30 months of other qualifying teaching experience which might include teaching experience in a nonpublic school.

A professional certificate requires additional coursework. Individuals who are achieving first-time teaching certification can expect to earn master’s degrees en route to the higher credential ( At this stage, a teacher will be expected to have at least 30 months of experience.

The Application Process

The application system is online.

Required forms are available for download from the website of the State Department of Education (

The initial teaching certificate carries a $200 fee; included within this is a $50 nonrenewable application fee.

Additional Information

Connecticut teachers are credentialed by the Bureau of Certification. The Bureau of Certification can be reached at ‘teacher.cert at’ or (during designated hours) at (860) 713-6969.