Utah Administrative Code

The Utah Administrative Code is the body of all effective administrative rules as compiled and organized by the Division of Administrative Rules (see Subsection 63G-3-102(5); see also Sections 63G-3-701 and 702).

NOTE: For a list of rules that have been made effective since October 1, 2019, please see the codification segue page.

NOTE TO RULEFILING AGENCIES: Use the RTF version for submitting rule changes.


R277. Education, Administration.

Rule R277-503. Licensing Routes.

As in effect on October 1, 2019

Table of Contents

R277-503-1. Authority and Purpose.

(1) This rule is authorized by:

(a) Utah Constitution Article X, Section 3, which vests general control and supervision over public education in the Board;

(b) Section 53E-3-501, which directs the Board to establish rules and minimum standards for the qualification and licensing of educators and ancillary personnel who provide direct student services; and

(c) Subsection 53E-3-401(4), which allows the Board to make rules to execute the Board's duties and responsibilities under the Utah Constitution and state law.

(2) The purpose of this rule is to:

(a) provide minimum eligibility requirements for applicants for teacher licenses;

(b) provide explanation and criteria of various teacher licensing routes;

(c) provide criteria and procedures for licensed teachers to earn endorsements; and

(d) require all applicants for licenses to submit to a criminal background check.

R277-503-2. Definitions.

(1) "Alternative Routes to Licensure advisors" or "ARL advisors" means:

(a) a specialist designated by the Superintendent with specific professional development and educator licensing expertise; and

(b) a curriculum specialist designated by the Superintendent.

(2)(a) "Career and technical education" or "CTE" means organized educational programs that:

(i) prepare individuals for a wide range of high-skill, high-demand careers;

(ii) provide all students with a seamless education system from public education to post-secondary education, driven by a Plan for College and Career Readiness; and

(iii) provide students competency-based instruction, hands-on experiences, and certified occupational skills, culminating in further education and meaningful employment.

(b) CTE areas of study include:

(i) agriculture;

(ii) business and marketing;

(iii) family and consumer sciences;

(iv) health science;

(v) information technology;

(vi) skilled and technical sciences; and

(vii) technology and engineering education.

(3) "Competency-based" means a teacher training approach structured for an individual to master and demonstrate content and teaching skills and knowledge at the individual's own pace and sometimes in alternative settings.

(4) "Core academic subject" means English, reading or language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history, and geography.

(5) "Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation" or "CAEP" means the nationally-recognized organization that provides accreditation of professional teacher education programs in institutions offering baccalaureate and graduate degrees for the preparation of k-12 teachers.

(6) "Endorsement" means a supplemental qualification to a teaching license that is based on content area mastery obtained through a higher education major or minor or through a state-approved endorsement program.

(7) "LEA," for purposes of this rule, includes the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind.

(8) "Letter of authorization" means a formal approval given to an individual, such as an out-of-state candidate or a first year ARL candidate who:

(a) is employed by an LEA in a position requiring a professional educator license;

(b) has not completed the requirements for an ARL license or a Level 1, 2, or 3 license; or

(c) has not completed necessary endorsement requirements.

(9) "Level 1 license" means a Utah professional educator license issued by the Board to an applicant who has met all ancillary requirements established by law or rule, and:

(a) completed an approved preparation program;

(b) completed an alternative preparation program;

(c) is approved pursuant to an agreement under the NASDTEC Interstate Contract; or

(d) completed the requirements of R277-511.

(10) "Level 2 license" means a Utah professional educator license issued by the Board after satisfaction of all requirements for a Level 1 license and:

(1) satisfaction of requirements under R277-522 for teachers whose employment as a Level 1 licensed educator began after January 1, 2003 in a Utah public LEA or accredited private school;

(2) at least three years of successful education experience in a Utah public LEA or accredited private school or one year of successful education experience in a Utah public LEA or accredited private school and at least three years of successful education experience in a public LEA or accredited private school outside of Utah;

(3) additional requirements established by law or rule.

(11) "Level 3 license" means a Utah professional educator license issued by the Board to an educator who holds a current Utah Level 2 license and has also received:

(a) National Board Certification;

(b) a doctorate in education or in a field related to a content area in a unit of the public education system or an accredited private school; or

(i) holds a Speech-Language Pathology area of concentration; and

(ii) has obtained American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) certification.

(12) "National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification" or "NASDTEC" means the educator information clearinghouse that maintains an interstate reciprocity agreement and database for its members regarding educators whose licenses have been suspended or revoked.

(13) "National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education" or "NCATE" means the nationally-recognized organization that accredits the education units providing baccalaureate and graduate degree programs for the preparation of teachers and other professional personnel for elementary and secondary schools.

(14) "Pedagogical knowledge" means practices and strategies of teaching, classroom management, preparation and planning that are in addition to an educator's content knowledge of an academic discipline.

(15) "Regional accreditation" means formal approval of a school that has met standards considered to be essential for the operation of a quality school program by the following organizations:

(a) Middle States Commission on Higher Education;

(b) New England Association of Schools and Colleges;

(c) North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement;

(d) Northwest Accreditation Commission;

(e) Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; and

(f) Western Association of Schools and colleges: Senior College Commission.

(16) "Restricted endorsement" means a qualification available only to teachers in necessarily existent small school settings based on content area knowledge obtained through a Board-approved program of study or demonstrated through passage of a Board-designated test.

(17) "State-approved Endorsement Plan" or "SAEP" means a plan in place developed between the Superintendent and a licensed educator to direct the completion of endorsement requirements by the educator.

(18) "Teacher Education Accreditation Council" or "TEAC" means the nationally recognized organization which provides accreditation of professional teacher education programs in institutions offering baccalaureate and graduate degrees for the preparation of K-12 teachers.

R277-503-3. Licensing Eligibility.

(1) For a license applicant following the traditional college or university license, the license applicant shall:

(a) complete a Board approved college or university teacher preparation program;

(b) be recommended for licensing; and

(c) satisfy all other requirements for educator licensing required by law; or

(2) For a license applicant following an alternative licensing route, the license applicant shall:

(a) have a bachelors degree or higher from an accredited higher education institution in an area related to the position the applicant is seeking;

(b) have skills, talents or abilities, as evaluated by the employing entity, making the applicant appropriate for a licensed teaching position and eligible to participate in an ARL program; and

(c) while participating in an alternative licensing program, be approved for employment under an ARL license.

(3) An ARL program may not exceed three school years.

(4) A license applicant seeking a Level 1 Utah educator license, or an area of concentration, or an endorsement in a core academic subject area shall submit passing scores on a Board-designated content test, where tests are available, prior to the issuance of a renewable license or endorsement.

(5) For each endorsement in a core academic area to be posted on the license, a teacher shall submit passing scores on a Board-designated content tests, where tests are available.

(6) A licensure candidate recommended for a Utah Level 1 license who does not submit a passing score on the test designated in Subsection(4) is not eligible for licensure until achieving a passing score.

(7) All educators licensed under this rule shall also:

(a) complete the background check required under Section 53A-6-401;

(b) satisfy the professional development requirements of R277-500; and

(c) be subject to all Utah licensing requirements and professional standards.

R277-503-4. Licensing Routes - Traditional and Alternative Routes.

(1) An applicant seeking a Utah educator license shall successfully complete the accredited program or legislatively-mandated program consistent with this rule.

(2) To be recognized by the Board, an institution of higher education teacher preparation program shall be:

(a) Nationally accredited by:

(i) CAEP;

(ii) NCATE; or

(iii) TEAC; and

(b) approved by the Board to recommend for licensure in the license area, or endorsements, or both in designated areas.

(3)(a) An applicant who meets the eligibility requirements in Section R277-503-3, and is assigned to teach exclusively in an online setting, is eligible to begin the ARL program.

(b) Upon completion of the ARL program, the applicant shall earn a license area of concentration that is restricted to providing instruction in an online setting.

R277-503-5. Alternative Routes to Licensure (ARL).

(1) To be eligible to begin the ARL program, an applicant for a school position requiring an elementary license area of concentration shall have a bachelors degree and at least 27 semester hours of applicable content courses distributed among elementary curriculum areas provided under R277-700-4.

(2) To be eligible to begin the ARL program, an applicant for a school position requiring a secondary license area of concentration shall hold at least a bachelors degree and:

(a) a degree major or major equivalent directly related to the assignment; or

(b) have completed all Board-designated content coursework required for the relevant endorsement.

(3) To be eligible to begin the ARL program, an applicant for a CTE school position who does not meet the requirements in R277-503-4(2) shall meet the requirements for a CTE license area of concentration as provided in R277-518.

(4) To be eligible for acceptance in the ARL program, an applicant shall be employed in a position at a Utah public or accredited private school where the applicant:

(a) receives a teaching assignment where the applicant has primary instruction responsibility for the assigned students;

(b) is designated the teacher of record for assigned courses for all school accountability and educator evaluation purposes;

(c) is responsible for the instructional planning of the courses including developing, adapting, and implementing the curriculum to meet student needs;

(d) analyzes and assesses student progress and adjusts instruction, materials, and delivery strategies to meet the students' needs;

(e) has final responsibility for determining student grades and credit for the courses taught by the applicant;

(f) is assigned in:

(i) a 7-12 secondary setting and employed at least 0.5 FTE in the applicant's eligible content areas; or

(ii) a K-6 elementary setting and employed at least 0.5 FTE and is responsible to teach language arts and reading, mathematics, science, and social studies or is employed in a state-sponsored dual immersion program; and

(g) shall be formally evaluated twice each school year consistent with R277-531, Public Educator Evaluation Requirements (PEER).

R277-503-6. Licensing by Agreement.

(1) An individual employed by an LEA shall satisfy the minimum requirements of R277-503-3 as a teacher with appropriate skills, training or ability for an identified licensed teaching position in the LEA.

(2) An applicant shall obtain an ARL application for licensing from the Board's web site.

(3) After evaluation of a candidate's transcripts and Board-designated content test score, the ARL advisors and the candidate shall determine the specific content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge required of the license applicant to satisfy the requirements for licensing.

(4) The ARL advisors may identify higher education courses, district sponsored coursework, Board-approved professional development, or Board-approved competency tests to prepare or indicate content, content-specific, and developmentally-appropriate pedagogical knowledge required for licensing.

(5) An applicant who has been employed as an educator under a competency-based license or as a full-time instructional paraeducator may offer that experience in lieu of one or more pedagogy courses as follows:

(a) The applicant has had at least three years of experience as an educator or paraeducator;

(b) The applicant's experience has been successful based on documentation from the LEA; and

(c) The Superintendent and employing LEA have approved the applicant's experience in lieu of pedagogy courses.

(6) An employing LEA shall assign a trained mentor to work with an applicant for licensing by agreement.

(7)(a) An LEA shall supervise and assess a license applicant's classroom performance for a minimum of one school year if the applicant teaches full-time or a minimum of two school years if the applicant teaches part-time.

(b) An LEA may request assistance from an institution of higher education or the ARL advisors in monitoring and assessing an applicant.

(8)(a) An LEA shall assess a license applicant's disposition as a teacher following a minimum of one school year full-time teaching experience.

(b) An LEA may request assistance in assessment under Subsection (8)(a).

(9) The ARL advisors shall annually review and evaluate a license applicant following training, assessments or course work, and the full-time teaching experience and evaluation by the LEA.

(10) Consistent with evidence and documentation received, the ARL advisors may recommend a license applicant to the Board for a Level 1 educator license.

R277-503-7. Licensing by Competency.

(1) An LEA may employ an individual as a teacher if the individual:

(a) has appropriate skills, training, or ability for an identified licensed teaching position in the LEA; and

(b) satisfies the minimum requirements of Section R277-503-3.

(2)(a) An employing LEA, in consultation with the applicant and the ARL advisors, shall identify Board-approved content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge examinations.

(b) The applicant shall pass designated examinations demonstrating the applicant's adequate preparation and readiness for licensing.

(3) An employing LEA shall assign a trained mentor to work with an applicant for licensing by competency.

(4) An LEA shall monitor and assess a license applicant's classroom performance during a minimum of one-year full-time or two-years part-time teaching experience.

(5) An LEA shall assess a license applicant's disposition for teaching following a minimum of one-year full-time teaching experience.

(6) An LEA may request assistance in the monitoring or assessment of a license applicant's classroom performance or disposition for teaching.

(7) Following the one-year training period, an LEA and the Superintendent shall verify all aspects of preparation including content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, classroom performance skills, and disposition for teaching to the ARL advisors.

(8) If all evidence/documentation is complete and satisfactory, the Superintendent shall recommend an applicant for a Level 1 educator license.

(9) An ARL candidate under Section R277-503-5 shall be issued an ARL license or license area as appropriate that is presumed to expire at the end of the school year.

(10) An ARL license may be extended annually for two subsequent school years with the following documentation of progress in the ARL program:

(a) a copy of the supervisor's successful end-of-year evaluation;

(b) copies of transcripts and test results, or both, showing completion of required coursework;

(c) verification of working with a trained mentor; and

(d) satisfaction of the full-time full year experience.

R277-503-8. LEA Specific Competency-based Licenses.

(1)(a) An LEA may apply to the Board for a Level 1 competency-based license for an applicant to fill a position in the LEA.

(b) The application shall demonstrate that other licensing routes for the applicant are untenable or unreasonable.

(2) An employing LEA shall request a Level 1 competency-based license no later than 60 days after the date of the individual's first day of employment.

(3) An application for a Level 1 competency-based license from the LEA for an individual to teach one or more core academic subjects shall provide documentation of:

(a) the individual's bachelors degree; and

(b)(i) for a K-6 grade teacher, the satisfactory results of the state test including subject knowledge and teaching skills in the required core academic subjects under Subsection 53E-6-306(3)(a)(ii) as approved by the Board; or

(ii) for a teacher in grades 7-12, demonstration of a high level of competency in each of the core academic subjects in which the teacher teaches by passing the state core academic subject test required under Subsection R277-503-3(4), in each of the core academic subjects in which the teacher teaches at the Superintendent-established passing score.

(4) An application for a Level 1 competency-based license from an LEA for non-core teachers in grades K-12 shall provide documentation of:

(a) a bachelors degree, associates degree or skill certification; and

(b) skills, talents or abilities specific to the teaching assignment, as determined by the LEA.

(5) Following receipt of documentation and consistent with Subsection 53E-6-306(2), the Superintendent shall approve a Level 1 competency-based license.

(6) If an individual with a Level 1 competency-based license leaves the LEA before the end of the employment period, the LEA shall notify the Superintendent regarding the end-of-employment date.

(7) An individual's Level 1 competency-based license shall be valid only in the LEA that originally requested the competency-based license.

(8) A written copy of a Level 1 competency-based license shall prominently state the name of the LEA followed by LEVEL 1 - LEA SPECIFIC - COMPETENCY-BASED LICENSE.

(9)(a) An LEA may change the assignment of a competency-based license holder and provide notice to the Superintendent;

(b) The Superintendent may require additional competency-based documentation for the teacher to remain qualified.

(10) A Level 1 competency-based license is equivalent to the Level 1 license as described in R277-500 and R277-502 as to length and professional development expectations, and subject to the same renewal procedures except that an individual may renew a Level 1 competency-based license.

(11) A Level 2 competency-based license may be issued to a Level 1 competency-based license holder if that individual successfully completes the Entry years Enhancement program as detailed in R277-522.

(12) A Level 2 competency-based license is equivalent to the Level 2 license as described in R277-500 and R277-502 as to length and professional development expectations.

(13) A Level 3 competency-based license may be issued to a Level 2 competency-based license holder if that individual holds a doctorate in education or in a field related to a content unit of the public education system from an accredited institution.

(14) A Level 3 competency-based license is equivalent to the Level 3 license as described in R277-500 and R277-502 as to length and professional development expectations.

(15) If an individual holds a Utah license, an application for an LEA specific competency-based license shall be subject to additional Superintendent review based upon the following criteria:

(a) license level;

(b) current license status;

(c) area of concentration and endorsements on Utah license; and

(d) circumstances justifying the LEA specific license.

(16)(a) If an application is not approved based on the Superintendent's review of the criteria provided in Section R277-503-4, appropriate licensure procedures shall be recommended to the requesting LEA.

(b) An applicant may be required to:

(i) renew an expired license;

(ii) apply for an endorsement;

(iii) pass appropriate Board approved tests consistent with Subsection R277-503-3(4);

(iv) obtain an additional area of concentration;

(v) apply to Alternative Route to Licensure; or

(vi) satisfy other reasonable standards.

R277-503-9. Endorsement Routes.

(1)(a) An applicant shall successfully complete one of the following programs for an endorsement:

(i) a Board-approved institution of higher education educator preparation program with endorsements;

(ii) assessment, approval, and recommendation by a designated and subject-appropriate Board specialist; or

(iii) a Board-approved Utah institution of higher education or Utah LEA-sponsored endorsement program that includes content knowledge and content-specific pedagogical knowledge approved by the Superintendent.

(b)(i) The Superintendent shall be responsible for final recommendation and approval for programs described in Subsections (1)(a)(i) and (ii).

(ii) A university or LEA shall be responsible for final review and recommendation of programs described in Subsection (1)(a)(iii), and the Superintendent shall be responsible for final approval.

(2)(a) A restricted endorsement shall be available and limited to teachers in necessarily existent small schools as determined under R277-445.

(b) Teacher qualifications shall include at least nine semester hours of Superintendent-approved university-level courses in each course taught by the teacher holding a restricted endorsement.

(3) All provisions that directly affect the health and safety of students required for endorsements, such as prerequisites for drivers education teachers or coaches, shall apply to applicants seeking endorsements through all routes under this rule.

(4) Prior to an individual taking courses, exams or seeking a recommendation in the ARL licensing program, the individual shall have LEA and Superintendent authorization.

R277-503-10. Sunset Clause.

(1) This rule will sunset on June 30, 2020.

(2) Notwithstanding, Subsection (1), the Superintendent shall grant an Associate Educator license to an ARL candidate in good standing with the candidate's ARL program prior to June 30, 2020.

(3) An educator who receives an Associate Educator license under Subsection (2) may receive a Professional Educator license by completing the candidate's approved ARL program.

(4) The Superintendent may not accept new applications for the ARL program after November 1, 2019.

KEY

teachers, alternative licensing

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment

July 31, 2019

Notice of Continuation

November 15, 2016

Authorizing, Implemented, or Interpreted Law

Art X Sec 3; 53E-3-501(1)(a); 53E-3-401(4)


Additional Information

Contact

For questions regarding the content or application of rules under Title R277, please contact the promulgating agency (Education, Administration). A list of agencies with links to their homepages is available at http://www.utah.gov/government/agencylist.html or from http://www.rules.utah.gov/contact/agencycontacts.htm.