Delaware requires that all educators be licensed and certified or hold a permit in order to provide services to students. The License & Certification office works with educators and their hiring agency to ensure that educators hold the appropriate credentials for their area of employment. If you have questions, always start with your district or charter school HR department if you have questions. If you are applying for credentials and have not been employed yet, you are welcome to reach out to the Licensure & Certification office for assistance.
General License Types
Delaware defines "License" as a credential which authorizes the holder to engage in the practice for which the license is issued. A Delaware educator holds only one license; however, the license type depends on experience as outlined below.
- Initial License: If you are a brand new educator or have less than one year of licensed teaching experience, you will need to apply for an Initial License and then pass an approved Performance Assessment. If you have more than one year but less than four years of licensed teaching experience, you should also apply for an Initial License and will not be required to pass a Performance Assessment. The following certification areas are not required to pass a Performance Assessment: Elementary School Counselor, Secondary School Counselor, Drivers Education Teacher, School Nurse, School Psychologist and School Social Worker.
- Continuing License: If you have over four years of licensed teaching experience, you should apply for a Continuing License.
- Advanced License: If you have received National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification, you should apply for an Advanced License.
A Delaware educator can hold multiple certificates to certify their education in a specific area of expertise. The certificate types are detailed below.
- Standard Certificate: Delaware defines "Standard Certificate" as a credential issued to certify that an educator has the prescribed knowledge, skill or education to practice in a particular area to teach a particular subject, or to teach a category of students. Find your certification area by reviewing Delaware's List of Standard Certificates. The Professional Standards Board promulgates the regulations governing certification.
- Emergency Certificate: Delaware defines “Emergency Certificate” as a temporary credential issued to an educator who has obtained employment or an offer of employment with an employing authority and holds a valid Delaware Initial, Continuing, or Advanced License, but lacks the necessary skills and knowledge to immediately meet certification requirements in a specific content area. This temporary credential provides the educator with a limited time to meet the requirements for certification in the specific content area. The educator must be employed by a Delaware public or charter school and the emergency must be requested by the employer. The Emergency Certificate is valid for one school year and can be renewed if progress towards certification is being made. Emergency Certificates are not issued for all content areas. Please refer to the specific content area requirements for eligibility.
- Certificate of Eligibility: Delaware defines "Certificate of Eligibility" (COE) as a credential issued to an educator who is participating in a state-approved, appropriate, alternative route to licensure and certification program for teachers of students with disabilities and holds a valid Delaware Initial, Continuing, or Advanced License. The COE must be requested by the employing agency for an educator employed in and working toward a Standard Certificate in one of the following areas: Early Childhood Exceptional Children Special Education Teacher, Special Education Teacher of Students with Disabilities, Teacher of Students with Autism or with Severe Intellectual Disabilities, Teacher of Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, and Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments. A COE is valid for one year and may be renewed, no more than two times, at the request of the employing agency. Educators must provide proof of documented progress for renewal. All COE requirements must be met within three years. Please refer to the specific special education area and Certificate of Eligibility regulation for details.
Permit: Delaware defines "Permit" as a document issued by the Department that verifies an individual's qualifications and training. Permits are issued by the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) to verify an individual's qualifications and training to serve in specialized roles.