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New Teacher Licensure Processing Information

What Pending Means:

The term "pending" means the licensure application has been received and has been entered in the database.  However, it has not yet been evaluated for issuance.

 

"Pending" for a Tennessee new graduate initial Apprentice License has a different connotation than "pending" for any other license transaction.

New graduate license applications are prepared by the Certification Office of the Institution of Higher Education (IHE) where the candidate was prepared.  The candidates themselves do not assemble the application packet.  The IHE personnel make sure the application includes all required components.

 

Therefore, the SDE almost never has to return a new grad application for additional required components. 


 

Licensure Information

To apply for a new Tennessee teacher license, you will need to visit TNCompass.  All licensure transactions, such as to apply, advance, and renew, must be submitted through TNCompass electronically.  First time users will need to register for a new account. For more information regarding licensure, you can visit www.tn.gov/education.  

 

 

 

Licensure Policy

 

The policy is available on the State Board of Education web site, policy number 5.502.

 

 

 

 

It takes time to process new graduate license applications:
"Pending" does not translate into "Panic"


(message adapted from email received from
Vance Regard, Executive Director, Teacher Licensure, TN DOE)


Tennessee "traditional" teacher preparation programs produce about 3500 new grads per year.  The vast majority of these are spring graduates and their applications for initial licensure arrive at the SDE in May and June.  Obviously, it takes a good deal of time to process all of these applications.

 

The SDE is contacted by telephone and email by a good number of new grads (as well as their parents and legislators) making statements like, "I cannot get an interview or be hired until I have a teaching license."  It is hard to say whether the candidates are hearing this from LEA Human Resources personnel, or if it is just their perception.

 

The term "pending" means the licensure application has been received and has been entered in the database.  However, it has not yet been evaluated for issuance.

 

"Pending" for a Tennessee new grad initial Apprentice License has a different connotation than "pending" for any other license transaction.

 

New grad license applications are prepared by the Certification Office of the Institution of Higher Education (IHE) where the candidate was prepared.  The candidates themselves do not assemble the application packet.  The IHE personnel make sure the application includes all required components.

 

Therefore, the SDE almost never has to return a new grad application for additional required components. 

 

Bottom line for NEW GRADUATES:
If you are a new graduate of a teacher licensing program from a Tennessee IHE, and your license status is "pending", you can rest assured that you will get your license as soon as the SDE gets through the applications received before your application arrived.

 

The SDE Teacher Licensure Department has 8 consultants who actually evaluate applications for various transactions.  (Each one handles a specific type of transaction.)  The department has 5 staff who support this process in various ways.  They also have a number of staff members from other divisions who work overtime in the evenings and on weekends.

 

The Department is still being slowed by the high volume of telephone calls.  They are averaging about 300 calls per day, many of which keep the consultants from evaluating applications. 

 

New grads need to rest assured that they will have their license before too much longer and that they may be interviewed and possibly offered a position while their application is in "pending" status.