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Alternative Teaching Certification in Idaho

You do not have to complete the traditional educator preparation program in order to become a teacher in Idaho. Learn about the alternative certification routes in this state.

Idaho Alternative Teacher Certification

The state of Idaho will accept candidates from several non-traditional educator preparation programs. The certification process includes passing background checks and completing state-required coursework.

Required DegreeBachelor's degree
Required Degree FieldAny
License Renewal PeriodInterim teaching certificate is valid for three years
Initial teaching certificate is valid for five years
License Renewal Requirements Idaho Comprehensive Literacy course and Mathematical Thinking for Instruction course to upgrade to the initial teaching certificate
Six professional development credits to renew initial teaching certificate
Average Salary for Teachers in Idaho (2018)*$48,990 (Elementary School Teachers)
$53,660 (Middle School Teachers)
$51,170 (High School Teachers)
Job Outlook for Teachers Nationally (2016-2026)*7% (Elementary School Teachers)
8% (Middle School Teachers)
8% (High School Teachers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Non-Traditional Educator Preparation Programs

You will need a bachelor's degree and completion of one of the below approved non-traditional educator preparation programs:

  • College of Southern Idaho
  • American Board of Certification for Teacher Excellence
  • Teach for America
  • Lewis-Clark State College

You can apply for your interim teaching certificate while completing your non-traditional program.

Background Check Process

You will need to get fingerprinted for background checks with the Statewide Sex Offender Registry, the Idaho State Police Bureau, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The first step is to send an email request to the State Department of Education for a fingerprinting form. You can also obtain one from the department's office. Your local law enforcement agency can fingerprint you.

Interim Teaching Certificate for Non-Traditional Candidates

The interim teaching certificate application requires the fingerprint card and required forms, a processing fee, official bachelor's degree transcripts, and an interim certificate qualification letter from your educator preparation program. You will also need to include documentation of your employment, such as a letter from your hiring school district or educator preparation program.

You will receive a three-year interim certificate after meeting all these requirements. You will then be able to work in an Idaho school under the direction of a supervising teacher.

Initial Teaching Certificate for Interim Teaching Certificate Holders

The state of Idaho requires that you meet two criteria during the three-year validity period of your initial teaching certificate. You will need to complete the coursework requirement for the Idaho Comprehensive Literacy course and the Mathematical Thinking for Instruction course. After meeting these requirements, you will be able to apply for your initial teaching certificate, which will be good for five years and is renewable. The application process for this certificate consists of an application, processing fee, and coursework documentation such as transcripts or test scores. You will also need to provide mentor and evaluator checklists if you completed the Teach for America or American Board of Certification for Teacher Excellence preparation programs.

Initial Teaching Certificate Renewal Requirements

The state of Idaho requires six semester credits of professional development in order to renew your initial teaching certificate. They must be related to the area of certification on your current teaching certificate. You can utilize in-service hours to meet the professional development requirement. Fifteen contact hours is equivalent to one semester credit hour. In addition, three semester credits are equal to four quarter credit hours.