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New Teacher Licensure Processing Information

What Pending Means:

The term "pending" means the licensure application has been received and has been entered in the database.  However, it has not yet been evaluated for issuance.

 

"Pending" for a Tennessee new graduate initial Apprentice License has a different connotation than "pending" for any other license transaction.

New graduate license applications are prepared by the Certification Office of the Institution of Higher Education (IHE) where the candidate was prepared.  The candidates themselves do not assemble the application packet.  The IHE personnel make sure the application includes all required components.

 

Therefore, the SDE almost never has to return a new grad application for additional required components. 


Update Regarding Expiring Licenses and Using Evaluation Scores for PDPs

 

(Please visit www.tn.gov/education to reference all information given here in regards to teacher licensing.)

 

 

The deadline for renewing or advancing a teacher, occupational teacher, or school service personnel license that expired on August 31, 2016 has been extended until December 1, 2016.  Applications previously submitted to the office of educator licensure and preparation will be honored even it the application has not yet been fully processed, and the license will remain active. 

 

Once the application has been processed, the license will be renewed or advanced if the educator meets the requirements.  If there is a deficiency on an application, the department will provide the educator an opportunity to correct the deficiency.  If the deficiency cannot be corrected, the license will become inactive.

 

 

Licensure Renewal/Advancement for the Upcoming School Year

 

Any teacher who holds a license that will expire on August 31, 2016 must submit an application for renewal or advancement to the office of educator licensure and preparation on or before August 31st.  As of August 1, 2016 all licensure renewal and advancement transactions must occur through TNCompass; the department no longer accepts paper applications for renewal or advancements of Tennessee licenses. 

 

If the office of educator licensing and preparation does not receive the application by August 31, 2016, the license will become inactive.  To reactivate an inactive license, an educator must submit passing scores on required content assessments that are no more than five years old. 

 

 

 

Licensure Changes in 2015

 

Beginning September 1, 2015, a new policy for licensure will go into effect.  Read more about the policy changes at the TDOE website (link above).  The policy is available on the State Board of Education web site, policy number 5.502.

 

 

 

 

It takes time to process new graduate license applications:
"Pending" does not translate into "Panic"


(message adapted from email received from
Vance Rugaard, Executive Director, Teacher Licensure, TN DOE)


Tennessee "traditional" teacher preparation programs produce about 3500 new grads per year.  The vast majority of these are spring graduates and their applications for initial licensure arrive at the SDE in May and June.  Obviously, it takes a good deal of time to process all of these applications.

 

The SDE is contacted by telephone and email by a good number of new grads (as well as their parents and legislators) making statements like, "I cannot get an interview or be hired until I have a teaching license."  It is hard to say whether the candidates are hearing this from LEA Human Resources personnel, or if it is just their perception.

 

The term "pending" means the licensure application has been received and has been entered in the database.  However, it has not yet been evaluated for issuance.

 

"Pending" for a Tennessee new grad initial Apprentice License has a different connotation than "pending" for any other license transaction.

 

New grad license applications are prepared by the Certification Office of the Institution of Higher Education (IHE) where the candidate was prepared.  The candidates themselves do not assemble the application packet.  The IHE personnel make sure the application includes all required components.

 

Therefore, the SDE almost never has to return a new grad application for additional required components. 

 

Bottom line for NEW GRADUATES:
If you are a new graduate of a teacher licensing program from a Tennessee IHE, and your license status is "pending", you can rest assured that you will get your license as soon as the SDE gets through the applications received before your application arrived.

 

The SDE Teacher Licensure Department has 8 consultants who actually evaluate applications for various transactions.  (Each one handles a specific type of transaction.)  The department has 5 staff who support this process in various ways.  They also have a number of staff members from other divisions who work overtime in the evenings and on weekends.

 

The Department is still being slowed by the high volume of telephone calls.  They are averaging about 300 calls per day, many of which keep the consultants from evaluating applications. 

 

New grads need to rest assured that they will have their license before too much longer and that they may be interviewed and possibly offered a position while their application is in "pending" status.