Out-of-State Educator Licensure
First, we highly recommend applying for a Kansas license first, even if you plan to move out-of-state. This establishes your record with the Kansas State Department of Education and will ease the application process in most other states, especially Colorado, Texas, Illinois, and California. Many states (like Missouri) essentially mandate that you hold the license from your home state before they will issue a Missouri license.
KU alumni teach in every state, and you should have no trouble getting licensed anywhere. KU alumni who need to have "verification" or "recommendation" forms completed for licensure in other states should mail paper copies directly to: Licensure, KU School of Education, 1122 West Campus Rd., 211 JRP, Lawrence, KS 66045. Please allow two weeks for processing, three weeks during peak periods. It's very helpful if you'll attach a note listing your KUID number, email address, any prior names, and when you completed your program at KU so we can find your records. Faxes or electronic files are discouraged, due to the amount of private information on the form.
Students often ask if another state is "reciprocal" with Kansas; essentially, there are no "reciprocal" licenses. Each state has its own application process and different requirements. For example, all states require their own fingerprinting, and many states, like California and Texas, have developed their own standardized tests. To complicate this, the rules are constantly changing. State department web sites will usually have the most up-to-date information. Please see the map below for more information.
Variations of Licensure Terminology
The language of licensure varies from state to state. In most states, new teachers apply for an "initial" or "standard" license. Roughly half of the states in the U.S. will use "Licensure," while the other half use "Certification." California refers to their teaching license as a "Credential." Also, some words, such as "provisional" mean different things in different states; in Kansas, "provisional" means that you are only partially completed with the coursework for a new licensure area, such as special education.
Timelines for Out-of-State Licensure Applications
If you finish an initial program in the Spring semester, you will apply for out-of-state licensure in June or early July. Include a copy of the Kansas license with your out-of-state application packet. Visit with the Human Resources person at your employing district for additional advice. Order hard copy KU Transcripts from the KU Registrar's Office. Be sure to ask them to hold for final grades or degree conferred, as necessary.
Online Licensure & Degree Programs
Recently, the KU School of Education has begun to offer several fully-online academic programs. These online graduate-level programs are not for initial licensure; they are designed for licensed teachers seeking add-on endorsements, or for other educators interested in a Master's degree at KU.