Preparing Educators as Leaders

Yes, in June 2012, KSDE extended a rule which helped 5,000 teachers add endorsements over the past 5 years: licensed teachers may add an endorsement in any area (except Elementary, Early Childhood, Special Education or Administration) simply by passing the appropriate licensure exam. This was a radical change from prior practice. After you receive the passing score, simply send a copy to KSDE along with the Form 22, which you can download from under Educator Licensure, Applications.

Download the Form 2 Out-of-State application from the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) in Topeka at their web site under Educator Licensure, Applications. One page of the application will go to the Licensure Officer at the school where you completed your teacher education program.

If your regular Kansas license is current, simply go to under Educator Licensure, Applications and take about 15 minutes to read the instructions for the online Form 1 and file it. We must have your passing ESOL subject exam on file at KU to complete the application.

You can renew a license only 6 months before it expires. When you want to complete two actions at the same time, it takes two applications. If you complete both applications in hardcopy and send them to KSDE at the same time, you will save money, since KSDE will only charge one fee. Contact Alisa by email, describe your situation and include your KUID and mailing address. She can instruct you how to find these forms online, or mail them to you.

Renewals are processed directly with Topeka. If you have specific questions, please call 785-291-3678 and ask to talk to a Licensure Specialist. We are not the authorities for renewals at KU. You will follow the renewal rules in place when your last certificate/license was issued. If your certificate was issued before July 1, 2003, you may use accredited experience, in-service points and/or recent college credits to renew. If you haven't taught recently, you may need 8 college credits (earned in the past 6 years). Credits must be at junior, senior or graduate level, which are courses numbered 300 or higher at KU. Courses should be in an area for which you plan to seek an added endorsement, such as Special Education, ESOL, Administration or another teaching content area. We have many great course options in Lawrence, in Overland Park and through KU Continuing Education at When finished with the courses, send an official transcript along with your renewal application.

By around 2011, most teachers in Kansas will have transitioned to holding a "license" instead of a "certificate." The new license will have renewal requirements printed on the bottom of it. Under the new licensure system, you will work with your school's Professional Development Council (PDC) to seek their approval for renewal requirements. There will be more, and more complicated, options available. Talk to your employer, your local school district, or KSDE if you have questions.

Go to to order online or call the KU Registrar's Office at 785-864-8927. They will need some detailed information and a $10.00 fee per transcript. Allow 7-14 days for processing. Order hard copies in most cases, since state licensure offices will not accept an electronic transcript.

In the best of times, your application will leave my desk in about 10 days, however in busy periods and especially in the summer, it may take up to 3 weeks. Applications are processed in order of date received, except at the ends of semesters, when I process recent grads first. My best advice is to file early and allow enough time for processing!

Depending on your background and the subject you want to teach, it may take two to three years of additional, full-time coursework to complete our teacher education program. Before gathering information, you should decide what subjects and grade levels you are interested in teaching. For example, if you have a BA in History and want to become licensed in Secondary History and Government, it will usually take 2.5 years full-time at KU. If you have a BA in Psychology and a master's degree in Human Resources but you'd like to teach Elementary K-6 or Secondary English, it will take about three years full-time. Find detailed program and admissions requirements on our web site under Advising and Admission.

There are other options too. People with undergraduate degrees in Math, Science or Foreign Language who want to teach those subjects at the secondary level may qualify for our Graduate Licensure Program (GLP) in the C&T Department, which is usually completed in two years of full-time coursework, including one semester of student teaching internship. There is also a GLP in Physical Education, offered through the HSES Department.

If you want to work with children birth through kindergarten, both regular education and special education, we have a graduate level program in Early Childhood Unified Birth-K through the Department of Special Education. Candidates typically have a degree in a human services area such as Psychology or Human Development, with at least a 3.0 gpa and experience working with young children.

School of Education Advisors are always happy to visit with you by email or appointment; contact them at or 785-864-9616. We can review your transcripts by appointment in Lawrence. If you want to receive a formal, written transcript evaluation from the Licensure Officer, there is a $30.00 fee for this service; follow these instructions to get a transcript evaluation. However, most people can simply review the program requirements online and estimate how long it will take to complete a program. We strive to help you as quickly as we can, so start with an email inquiry to the Advising Center or the Licensure Officer.

If you want to teach Art, contact the Art Education faculty.

If you want to teach Music, contact Music Education faculty.

Provisional licensure is available after completion of the appropriate methods, characteristics and practicum in the specific area requested (Adaptive, Functional, Gifted, Unified Early Childhood Birth - K). You must have a job offer requiring the special education endorsement before you can apply for this license. A provisional license is effective for two years, during which time most students can complete the remaining 5-6 courses in the program. If necessary, you may request a second provisional, allowing up to 4 years total to complete all the classes, as long as you have made sufficient progress during the first provisional.

You will find program information at under the Department of Curriculum and Teaching (gifted) or the Department of Special Education (adaptive, functional and early childhood unified birth-K).

Yes, about 20 students do this every year. Call or email Alisa as soon as you have the job offer and she will send you a packet of waiver instructions. You must be a regularly licensed teacher in Kansas, admitted to KU and enrolled in one course before we can write the plan of study letter. Try to apply for admission to KU at least two months before you want to take the first class. KSDE deadlines for receiving waiver applications from schools are November 1 and February 1. Most people employed on waivers contact me in August. Some districts will not employ teachers under waivers, as they must be listed as "not highly qualified".

Under the old system, early childhood level was defined as birth through age 5 (strictly pre-school) and separate programs prepared teachers in regular education or special education. Under the new licensure system, Early Childhood Unified is offered at two levels (birth-3rd grade or birth-kindergarten), and prepares teachers for working with both regular and special education students. We admitted our first group in UEC Birth-3rd grade in Fall 2005 and they completed Spring 2008. This program was structured like our 5-year undergraduate teacher education program. Starting in Spring 2011, this will be a 4-year program and admission is highly competitive. Additionally, we offer a master's degree program for UEC, birth - kindergarten, which was approved in June 2008. This is a 36-hour master's degree program, an excellent licensure option for a person with a BA in Psychology, Human Development , Speech-Language-Hearing, or related area who wants to work with regular or special needs children birth through kindergarten. See the SPED departmental site for program details.

Licensure, sometimes called certification, is normally issued through a state Department of Education or Teaching Standards Board - just google your state. In Missouri, the department is called MO DESE. If you don't find the state you need, contact Alisa.

In most cases you should allow 2-6 months to complete the process in a new state, including getting new fingerprints, taking new tests, and processing applications at the state department. Almost all states will issue you a temporary permit for a year or so, to allow time for completion of tests or other new requirements. FYI, Missouri requires the same tests as Kansas. And it's always a good idea to have a current Kansas license when you apply out of state.

There is a service, sponsored by USC,, which aims to provide basic licensure information on all states. However, certification/licensure rules are constantly changing and you will find the most up-to-date information on individual state web sites. Alisa is happy to make appointments with KU students to explain out of state licensure and assist them with the job search.

Sometimes people move to Kansas who completed alternative licensure or another type of program elsewhere which does not meet Kansas standards. The candidate may have been issued a temporary license to take a job here, but KSDE will require additional courses, and perhaps a personal meeting in front of the committee.

First, email Alisa and provide details about your background and the letter that KSDE has sent you. Typically, if you are only missing 1-4 standards total, we may be able to help you, but each case is unique. However, if you are missing many standards, for example more than 4 in Professional Education or more than 3 in Adaptive, KU may not be able to help. There is a point where we believe that you should start over and complete an entire approved program that meets our state standards. And often the classes required to meet many standards will not be offered at a time when a working teacher can take them.

There is a $30 fee charged for evaluation of transcripts to develop the plan of study, if we think we may be able to help you; this money helps to cover some of the staff time involved in these often complicated cases. Checks are payable to KU School of Education, Licensure Office.


Licensure Announcements
  • 06/12: KSDE extended the rule allowing teachers to add most endorsements with subject exam. 
  • Fingerprint packets may be picked up in JRP Hall #208
KU Licensure Officer

Alisa Branham
#211 JRP Hall

10th among public universities for its master’s and doctoral programs
—U.S. News & World Report
#1 public program in nation for special education
—U.S. News & World Report
Assists public schools and other partners in all 105 Kansas counties
$938,377 in scholarship funds awarded to 420+ students
Research expenditures of $36,804,773 for 2011-12