Transferring your teaching credential from one state to another involves a series of bureaucratic challenges. Although each state enforces its own teaching credential reciprocity policy and accepts teacher credentials from certain states, as of 2010, forty-four states signed the NASDTEC Interstate Contract, which should make the transfer a little bit easier if your paperwork and information are accurate. The following steps are general guidelines you can follow if you’re interested in teaching in another state.
Conduct research. Inform yourself of the reciprocity agreement for the state you are considering. Read the fine print and exception clauses for information regarding any additional requirements, such as years of experience or other certifications.
Verify information. Contact the board of education for the particular state to which you want to transfer. Although they post information online, it's always a good idea to contact them to clarify specifications for your particular case.
If your state does not have a reciprocity agreement with the receiving state, you will have to fulfill the teaching requirements listed on the state's board of education certification Web page.
Contact the local districts of the city in which you’d like to teach. Inquire about any recent changes or superintendent guiding principles, especially if you wish to teach at a charter school.
Depending on the district, sometimes you may need to get a conditional clearance or temporary teaching credential before your own credential clears.
Organize your paperwork. Gather your teaching credential, reference letters, previous test scores and college transcripts.
If you are National Board Certified, present this documentation as well.
If you have a single-subject credential, which most teachers specializing in a particular subject have, such as chemistry, biology, algebra, math, history or English, make sure you have all your subject-area competency test scores in addition to the basic skills exam results.
If you teach bilingual education, ensure that you have your supplementary bilingual certification documents in order.
Contact the Educational Testing Service. Submit the proper forms to have your test results mailed to the receiving state’s Board of Education so that you may begin the review process as quickly as possible.
Submit your application and information packet. Remain proactively involved in your case by contacting representatives reviewing your application. Ask for a specific time frame for each step in the admission process so that you can follow up with a query if a decision has not been made by the anticipated deadline.
Prepare to study. During the review process, some states may find that the tests you passed in your home state were not comparable to their standards. After reviewing your case, the board may require you to take additional tests that match the academic rigor of their own exams.
Pay fees. Some states will require you to pay licensing fees, in addition to the fees you will have to pay for taking exams, additional college courses, requesting official transcripts and fingerprinting.
Anel Laj began her professional writing career more than 10 years ago as a sports journalist for the Los Angeles Daily News. Currently, she is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles. Laj received her Bachelor of Arts in mass communications from UC Berkeley. She earned her Master's in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.