• Fogarty Elementary Classroom

    Licensing Requirements

    All educators, including teachers, support personnel, and administrators must hold a license issued by the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) in order to be eligible to teach in Providence Public Schools.

    Are you a Teacher Assistant or Paraprofessional? View certification requirements:


  • Types of Teaching Licenses


    Issued to a person who is enrolled in a RI approved alternate route preparation program (e.g. Teach for America) and who have been offered a position in the district to serve as an educator of record. See this overview for more information.


    Issued to a person who seeks certification through reciprocity but has not yet met RI testing requirements. See this overview document and application for more information. 


    Issued to a person who has demonstrated subject matter proficiency, and has met other coursework or experience requirements. See these overview, requirements, and application documents for more information.


    Educators holding Initial certificates must complete 25 Professional Learning Units (PLUs) per year of employment for a total of 75 PLUs in order to progress to a Professional (5-year) certificate.


    Educators holding Professional Certificates must complete 15 PLUs per year of employment for a total of 45 PLUs in order to renew as a Professional (5-year) certificate. Since PLUs were not required until renewal year 2020, educators must complete them for school years 2019-20, 2020-21, and 2021-22 only.


    Educators who achieve an aspirational benchmark in addition to the 45 PLUs can progress to an Advanced (7-year) certificate. Evidence of aspirational benchmarks must be submitted to RIDE on when renewing online on My eCert. Aspirational benchmarks include:

    1. National Board Certification

    2. Conferral of an advanced degree

    3. RIDE or national recognition (Milken Award, State Teacher of the Year, or Presidential Award for Math and Science)

    4. Completion of NISL Executive Development Program or served as a NISL facilitator

    5. Achieves RIDE certification in limited number of shortage areas identified by RIDE


    A One-Year Special Provisional Certificate may be issued to educators who hold Initial, Professional or Advanced Educator Certificates and did not obtain approval or did not complete professional learning unit requirements. Educators holding the Special Provisional certificate must complete the missing PLUs during this certificate's one-year cycle and submit evidence to the school/district to complete the electronic sign off process.


    An Emergency Preliminary Certificate is only issued at the request of a school district if a certified and qualified applicant is not available. For more information, see this overview.

  • For out of state applicants

  • Reciprocity allows individuals who completed a state approved out-of-state preparation program or who hold valid full out-of-state certificates to pursue RI certification where similar certificate areas exist.

    This pathway:

    • leads to full RI certification

    • recognizes state approved program completers from outside of Rhode Island

    • recognizes full and aligned out-of-state certificates

    • requires compliance with current RI testing requirements

    Changes to certification tests effective June 1, 2022



  • Required Paperwork


    Educational requirements


    Helpful Tools

    • Official Transcripts: Bachelor's degree
    • Official Transcripts: Master's degree (if applicable)
    • PRAXIS Test Results
    • Conferral of approved program (if not on transcripts)

    Bachelor's degree (required for all teaching positions)

    Master's degree (not required for all positions)