Office of Certification and Accreditation
What is reciprocity?
Reciprocity is the ability to take teaching credentials (certification) from one state and apply them towards some or all of the requirements of another state. Generally, reciprocity refers to the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement.
Is there a reciprocity standard from state to state?
Reciprocity benefits vary and are at the discretion of the receiving state. Some states allow reciprocity benefits to be applied at different points in time (zero years of teaching, two-four years of teaching, etc.)
A state may accept a teacher’s teaching credentials through reciprocity and still require additional items, such as tests, workshops, fingerprinting, etc.
I am from a State other than Delware, and I want to teach in my home state after I graduate from UD. Can I do this?
The short answer: Yes!
The complete answer is: Yes! BUT you may have to take additional steps in order to gain certification in your desired state. This is true for any teacher completing a teacher program in any state other than the one where they intend to teach.
How it typically works:
- A UD teacher candidate completes their degree at UD and meets the requirements for Institutional Recommendation, which includes passing the relevant Praxis Subject Assessments and passing the Performance Assessment (either the edTPA or PPAT.)
- If the candidate applies to teach in a state where reciprocity begins later in a teacher’s career (for example, after three years of teaching), then that candidate has to meet all of the requirements of the desired state. Please Note, many states specify pathways for out-of-state-prepared teachers, which may include a Program Verification form or letter signed by the UD Teacher Certification Officer.
- If the candidate applies to teach in a state where reciprocity can begin immediately, the candidate may opt to gain certification in Delaware first and then transfer that teaching license to another state to utilize reciprocity. OR that candidate may choose to apply directly to that same state without Delaware Certification, where they may have to meet more stringent guidelines.
Why is it so complicated? Where can I learn more?
Each state makes its own rules and has its own requirements according to a number of factors. Also, states may change their rules and regulations at any time.
NASDTEC coordinates the Interstate Agreement that outlines cooperation for reciprocity.
Each state’s Department of Education has their own guidelines for how out-of-state-prepared applicants can apply for certification.
What does the UD Teacher Certification Officer do?
The University of Delaware has a Teacher Certification Officer who is available to guide students through general questions they have about certification. The role of the Teacher Certification Officer is to explain the general processes, help with any paperwork required from UD, and to help students find the resources they need to complete their certification process. Meeting certification requirements and completing the process is the responsibility of the student.
The UD Teacher Certification Officer is in contact with candidates in their junior and senior years. She gives presentations in senior-level courses and holds workshops throughout the year. She is also available to meet with students.
Additional information and helpful tools can be found on the Center for Excellence and Equity in Teacher Preparation.