Investing in our future is vitally important and strangely difficult. In order to fight oppression from the greedy and power-hungry elite, to better our ways of life with advancing technology, and to increase our country's overall views toward the concept of acceptance, we need education to be a priority. Learn how you can be a spoke in this terribly important wheel. See how Rhode Island measures up to the rest of the country by viewing the percentage of state revenue going toward education in each state. (see State Education Spending vs. Overall State Revenue).
Aspiring Rhode Island educators interested in teaching in these grades and content areas will find their skills in particularly high-demand. Find schools offering teaching certification programs in Rhode Island.
The Rhode Island Department of Education’s (RIDE) Office of Educator Quality and Certification (email@example.com) requires that as a candidate for teacher certification, you meet the federal government’s definition of Highly Qualified. This means that you must have earned a bachelor’s degree awarded by an educator preparation program approved by RIDE, and passed examinations as detailed below.
If you complete an educator preparation program in another state, RIDE should approve your credits if that program is accredited by either the National Association of State Directors for Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) or the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Depending upon your program’s requirements, you may have to complete additional coursework and/or pass examinations to gain full teacher certification in Rhode Island. Transcript analysis will determine in which areas, if any, you are deficient.
Perhaps you completed your teacher preparation program in another country. If so, you must have your academic credentials evaluated by one of the agencies listed on this page.
There are three types of teaching certificates in Rhode Island:
- Initial Certificate - This certificate is issued to new educators who complete a bachelor’s degree education preparation program and meet experience and examination requirements. It is valid for three years.
- Professional Certificate - This certificate is the next level in the three-tiered certification structure, is obtained if you show successful practice on an assessment while holding the Initial Certificate, and is valid for five years.
- Advanced Certificate – This certificate is valid for seven years and may be obtained through displaying highly effective practice based on evaluation ratings while holding the Professional Certificate.
Additionally, there are two levels of certificates:
- Independent Certification Area – This represents an area of certification that can be achieved without needing certification in another area. Examples are Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Middle Grades Education (Stand Alone), Secondary Education, and All Grades Education.
- Dependent Certification Area – This represents an area of certification that can only be achieved if you attain certification in another area as well. Examples include Adaptive Physical Education, English as a Second Language, Middle Grades Extension (All Content Areas) and Special Education (All Content Areas).
A list of certification requirements for each content area/grade level may be found here.
Visit the Praxis website for a summary of examinations required for educator certification in Rhode Island.
Basic skills testing:
If you wish to become a certified teacher in Rhode Island, you must pass the Praxis I Pre-Professional Skills Test in Math (score of 179), Reading (score of 179) and Writing (score of 177), or a composite score of at least 535. This test is usually required prior to enrollment in your Rhode Island educator preparation program. Exemptions from this test may be made if:
- You scored 1150 composite on the SAT (530 verbal, 530 math)
- You scored 24 on reading on the ACT and 20 on math
- You scored 1100 composite on the GRE with at least 465 verbal and 584 quantitative
- You have a master’s degree and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
Content area assessment testing:
All Rhode Island educators must pass Praxis II
content tests in their chosen area(s) of certification, as well pedagogy tests in these areas. Independent certification areas are listed in bold, while dependent certification areas are listed in italics under the certification area on which they are dependent and which you must first hold in order to gain this certification:
- Early Childhood Education Teacher(Grades PK to 2)
- Early Childhood Special Education Teacher Birth through Grade 2
- Early Childhood Bilingual and Dual Language Education Teacher Grades PK-2
- Early Childhood English as a Second Language Teacher Grades PK-2
- Elementary Education Teacher (Grades 1-6)
- Elementary Special Education Teacher Grades 1-6
- Elementary English as a Second Language Teacher Grades 1-6
- Middle Grades English Teacher- Elementary Education Extension
- Middle Grades Mathematics Teacher – Elementary Education Extension
- Middle Grades Science Teacher – Elementary Education Extension
- Middle Grades Social Studies Teacher – Elementary Education Extension
- Middle Grades Stand Alone – English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, World Language (Grades 5-8)
- Middle Grades Special Education Teacher Grades 5-8
- Middle Grades Bilingual and Dual Language Education Teacher Grades 5-8
- Middle Grades English as a Second Language Teacher Grades 5-8
- Secondary Education Teacher – Mathematics (Grades 7-12)
- Middle Grades Mathematics Teacher – Secondary Grades Extension
- Secondary Education Teacher – English (Grades 7-12)
- Middle Grades English Teacher – Secondary Grades Extension
- Secondary Education Teacher – Biology, Chemistry, General Science or Physics (Grades 7-12)
- Middle Grades Science Teacher – Secondary Grades Extension
- Secondary Education Teacher – Social Studies (Grades 7-12)
- Middle Grades Social Studies Teacher – Secondary Grades Extension
- Secondary Grades – Any Content Area (Grades 7-12)
- Secondary Grades Special Education Teacher – Grades 7-12
- Secondary Grades Bilingual and Dual Language Education Teacher Grades 7-12
- Secondary Grades English as a Second Language Teacher Grades 7-12
- All Grades Physical Education (PK-12)
- All Grades Adapted Physical Education Teacher PK-12
- Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, or Middle Grades or Secondary Education – Any Content Area
- All Grades Special Education Deaf & Hard of Hearing Teacher PK-12
- All Grades Special Education Visually Impaired Teacher PK-12
- All Grades Special Education Severe Intellectual Disability Teacher PK-12
- All Grades – Any Content Area (PK-12)
- All Grades Bilingual and Dual Language Education Teacher PK-12
- All Grades English as a Second Language Teacher PK-12
RIDE mandates that all prospective teachers seeking state certification complete 60 hours of field experience and 12 weeks of student teaching. Field experience, also known as a practicum, entails observing classroom teachers at work and possibly assisting or taking over instruction of the class from time to time.
Your student teaching assignment will place you into a classroom congruent with the grade level/content area you wish to teach. This will involve sitting in for a teacher and taking responsibility for instruction, classroom management, and daily duties of the regular classroom teacher for a period of no less than 12 weeks.
During both the field experience and the student teaching experience, you will interact with a diverse group of students and teachers in a variety of educational settings. Experienced teachers and faculty members will assist you in learning to interact effectively with students and teachers whose backgrounds differ from yours.
Document and Application Requirements
Have you completed your educator preparation program, attained a bachelor’s degree, fulfilled experience requirements, and passed all necessary exams? If so, you are ready to apply for teacher certification in Rhode Island. The following documents must be submitted to RIDE:
- Completed application form
- Correct application fee
- Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
- Statement from your educator preparation program that you have completed the program and that you are competent in the area in which you seek certification
- Requests for evaluation of credentials, if necessary
- Copies of certification test score reports
Send all of the above documents to Rhode Island Department of Education, Office of Educator Quality and Certification, 255 Westminster Street, 4th Floor, Providence, RI 02903-3400.
Criminal History Background Check
As part of the educator certification process in Rhode Island, you must disclose any criminal history on your application form. Prior to any contact with children (i.e., before field experiences or student teaching), you must complete the criminal background check process. Your college/university will provide you with the correct authorization forms and directions on how to go about this process. You may also inquire about this process directly through the Department of Attorney General, Bureau of Criminal Identification, 150 South Main Street, Providence, RI 02903 (401-274-4400).
After the background check is completed, you must carry a copy of it with you at all times while in your field experience and during your student teaching assignment.
For more information, contact schools offering approved teacher preparation programs in Rhode Island.
If you require more information on educator certification in Rhode Island, contact the Rhode Island Department of Education’s (RIDE) Office of Educator Quality and Certification at firstname.lastname@example.org.
State estimations based on analysis by Richard Ingersoll, Professor of Education and Sociology, University of Pennsylvania, from the National Center for Education Statistics Student and Staffing Survey, and therefore include a slight margin of error.