Sometimes, teacher candidates who complete an out-of-state teacher preparation program are required to first receive teacher certification in the home state of that program before applying for certification in another state. This process is often referred to as "reciprocity."
Note: WGU graduates licensing by way of reciprocity will be directed to obtain their initial teaching license in WGU's home state of Utah.
Reciprocity is sometimes misunderstood to mean that a teaching certificate is automatically granted to anyone who applies for certification in one state while holding teacher certification in another state. While states will issue reciprocal certificates to those who hold an out-of-state teaching certificate, they usually require that out-of-state certified educator satisfies additional testing and/or coursework requirements before receiving full certification in the new state. WGU's programs requiring reciprocity are designed to meet certification and exam requirements in Utah and the ultimate state of licensure.
Initial Certification in Utah
In order to be eligible for teacher certification in Utah, candidates must complete their teacher preparation program, obtain a background clearance through the Utah State Office of Education (USOE), pass the required certification exam(s) for Utah, and receive a recommendation from the University. In the course of completing their teacher preparation program at WGU, candidates preparing for Utah certification must adhere to the regulations established by the USOE and WGU.
How does this affect WGU Students?
Because of individual state rules, WGU students must obtain initial teacher certification in Utah before applying for a teaching certificate in the states or territories listed below.
In some cases, reciprocity applies only to certain programs within a state. In these instances, the affected programs are listed parenthetically. If a state or territory has no program listed parenthetically, then all of WGU's teacher preparation programs in that state require certification by way of reciprocity.
Teacher of Record Policy for Students Certifying in Utah
Because students in the states/programs listed above are required to obtain licensure in Utah, they must adhere to Utah's policy regarding educators who wish to complete student teaching in their own classrooms as paid, contracted teachers. This means that students in these states/programs who wish to be Teachers of Record during their student teaching must meet certain requirements. And, in some cases, it means that a student cannot be a Teacher of Record while doing their student teaching.
Note: Students cannot be a teacher of record in California, regardless of program.
Applying for Certification
Graduates of WGU teacher preparation programs may request their Utah license recommendation after they have officially graduated from their program by contacting email@example.com. Information on application procedures as well as additional testing and background check requirements for each of the above states can be found in this handbook here: Teacher Licensure Home Page.