How to Apply for an Educator License | Vacca Office of Student Services | Kent State University

How to Apply for an Educator License

Pre-application For Licensure

 

Applying for an initial license?

Create an ODE SAFE Account

Before accessing the online licensure applications, you must first let ODE know who you are by creating a SAFE account. This is a secure ODE web portal account. Opening a SAFE account requires an Ohio driver's license or an Ohio state ID.  Those who do not hold such Ohio identification may apply for a SAFE account, but it may take approximately 2 weeks to complete the identification process and successfully create an account.

Your SAFE account is not complete until you open the e-mail sent to you from ODE and click on the link.

Pre-application for Licensure

Once all final grades are posted for the applicant's licensure program and all licensure exams are passed, the applicant is now ready to complete the online Pre-application for licensure on the Student Portal which, once complete, will link to the online licensure application on the Ohio Department of Education website. The Pre-application MUST be completed for processing and review of the licensure application. 

Please review this chart to figure out what license to apply for and the cost:

Program Completed

License

Cost

Early Childhood Associate (2-year Associate Degree program)

Five-Year Associate

$200

Educational Interpreting (Bachelors or Masters level)

School Counseling

Five-Year Professional

$200

School Psychology

Speech Pathology/Audiology

Principal

Superintendent

All other initial licensure areas, including any undergraduate, post-undergraduate, and graduate level programs. Examples: Early Childhood Education at the undergraduate or graduate level, Master of Arts in Teaching, Special Education at undergraduate or graduate level, Library Media, etc. (this is not an inclusive list).

Four-Year Resident Educator

$160

What needs to be on file in 304 White Hall before applying for licensure?

  • Pre-application for licensure on the Student Portal which, once complete, will link to the online licensure application on the Ohio Department of Education's website.
  • Passing test scores (Praxis II, OAE, ACTFL) required for licensure.
  • Copy of prospectus or plan of study (not a transcript) listing licensure course requirements for graduate and non-degree students.
  • Principal applicants must provide a letter from your school district verifying a minimum 2 years of employment and indicating the specific grade levels in which you have taught.
  • Superintendent applicants must provide a letter from your school district verifying 3 years of employment.
  • Teacher Leader Endorsement applicants must provide proof of Master's degree completion if degree was completed at another university.
  • Teacher Leader Endorsement applicants must provide a letter from your school district verifying 4 years of employment.

NOTE: Any of the above items can be uploaded through the online Pre-application for licensure during that process.

NOTE: If any of the above is incomplete or missing, the licensure application will be denied.

When to apply for a license?

ODE and the Vacca Office of Student Services always recommends that students apply for licensure immediately following graduation regardless of whether they have secured a job in Ohio.  Students who fail to apply for licensure within 12 months of program completion will have their coursework reviewed and may be subject to additional requirements.

Has it been more than 12 months since program completion? 

If so, the applicant must complete the Applying for Licensure 12 Months or Later After Program Completion form and forward it to the program coordinator (undergraduate or graduate) prior to applying for licensure. Students must apply for licensure within 12 months of program completion to meet current licensure standards.  Once the necessary requirements specified on the form (if applicable) are complete, please proceed to the next paragraph.

Add an Endorsement or Teaching Field to an existing license?

If coursework is completed to add an Endorsement to an existing license (examples: Reading K-12, Transition to Work, 4th/5th Endorsement, Middle Childhood Generalist, Teacher Leader, etc.) or a teaching field within the same licensure area and grade levels as a current license (examples: already hold a Mild/Moderate Intervention Specialist License and want to add Moderate/Intensive, or want to add a third and/or fourth concentration area to a Middle Childhood License), then complete the online Pre-application for licensure on the Student Portal which, once complete, will link to the online licensure application on the Ohio Department of Education website. The Pre-application MUST be completed for processing and review of the licensure application. On ODE web site, click on My Credentials (not My Applications).  Then, click the check box on the right under "add an area."  Choose the endorsement you are applying to add. The cost is $20 and the effective year matches the current license.

Apply for a second license?

If the applicant is already licensed and applying for licensure in a different teaching area and/or grade level(s) from a current license (for example, current license is an Early Childhood license and want to add Intervention Specialist, or Integrated Language Arts and want to add Library/Media), please review this chart to figure out the license and cost:

Current License

License

Cost

 

4-Year Resident Educator

$160*

4-Year Provisional

5-Year Associate

5-Year Professional

5-Year Professional

$200*

*If current license was renewed with the same effective year, cost is $20

Complete the online Pre-application for licensure on the Student Portal which, once complete, will link to the online licensure application on the Ohio Department of Education website. The Pre-application MUST be completed for processing and review of the licensure application.

Fingerprinting Information

FIRST OHIO LICENSE

When an individual submits an application for their very first license issued by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), a BCI and FBI background check report, completed within 365 days of the date the application is received, must be on file at ODE.

Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) Electronic Fingerprinting

(for the State of Ohio)

  • This can be done in the Instructional Resource Center (IRC) in room 221 White Hall during operating hours.  For current hours, contact the IRC at 330-672-2353.
  • The cost is $25.00 and can be paid with cash, check, or money order made payable to: IRC @ KSU.
  • You must bring current, state issued identification (driver's license or ID card).

The results will be mailed to the address you give at the time of fingerprinting. This is your only official copy of your results.  The Instructional Resource Center and the Vacca Office of Student Services do not have access to your results.  You can obtain additional official copies for a fee from BCI (740-845-2375).

BCI electronic fingerprinting can also be done at any WebCheck location in Ohio. 

FBI Electronic Fingerprinting (Federal)

  • This can be done in the Instructional Resource Center (IRC) in room 221 White Hall during operating hours.  For current hours, call 330-672-2353.
  • The cost is $30.00 and can be paid with cash, check, or money order made payable to: IRC @ KSU.
  • You must bring current, state issued identification (driver's license or i.d. card).

The Ohio Department of Education does not accept BCI or FBI paper and ink fingerprints.  All BCI and FBI fingerprint information must be submitted electronically.

How Criminal Conviction/Conduct Affects Licensure

ODE Office of Professional Conduct - Statutes and Rules

Obtain Alternative Licensure?

The Vacca Office of Student Services does not provide advising or support for this option. Information can be found on the Ohio Department of Education's Alternative License Options web page.