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Education Standards and Practices Board

Assuring highly qualified professional educators for North Dakota students
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2718 Gateway Avenue
Suite 303
Bismarck, ND 58503-0585
(701) 328-9641 - Phone
(701) 328-9647 - Fax


ESPB square logo Licensure

Types of License

North Dakota Century Code Authority

A person must hold a valid North Dakota license issued by the North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board in order to be permitted or employed to teach in any public school in this state. No teacher is entitled to receive any compensation for the time the teacher teaches in a public school without a license to teach which lawfully is issued and in force in the county in which the school is taught. Prior to receiving a salary for the first month taught in a school district, a teacher must exhibit the teacher's license to the business manager of the school district (NDCC 15.1-13-18 and NDCC 15-36-12). Non-public schools must employ licensed teachers to be approved and in compliance with compulsory attendance laws.

Types of Educator's Licenses and Procedures

  1. 40-Day Provisional: Issued to applicants who have been offered a job and have completed the entire application process with the exception of the background investigation. A letter from the school administrator indicating their desire to issue a contract without the background investigation being complete and a letter from the applicant indicating their criminal background history is needed by the ESPB prior to issuing this license. 40-Day Provisional License Instructions (34kb pdf)
  2. Initial License (Two-Year): Issued to first-time applicants who have met all of the ND requirements for licensure.
  3. Two Year Renewal: Issued to applicants with less than eighteen months of successful contracted teaching in North Dakota ADD or to substitute teach. The requirements include completing the renewal of the application form parts 1, 2, 3 and 4.
  4. Regular (Five-Year): Issued to individuals who have met all of the requirements for a ND Educator's Professional License and have successfully taught 18 months (full-time equivalent) in the state of North Dakota. Individuals must be under contract at least thirty days of the five-year period and complete six semester hours of re-education.
  5. Alternate License (One-Year): Issued in a documented shortage area. License is initiated by a letter from the local school administrator indicating the search for a qualified applicant and the desire for this license to be issued. Requirements include the completed application as per number 2 above, a bachelor of arts degree in a content area, and a plan of study from the college of education where the applicant will complete eight semester hours each year toward the teaching degree.
  6. Interim/Substitute (One-Year): Issued in a documented shortage area to individuals with a bachelor of arts degree. License is initiated by local school administrator letter and a letter from applicant indicating they will not sign a contract and are only filling in during shortage.
  7. Out-of-State Reciprocal (Two-Years): Issued to individuals who hold a valid license from another state but have not met the ND standards and rules. A plan of study is developed for each individual indicating the coursework needed. The individual has a total of four years to complete all requirements.
  8. Re-Entry (Two-Years): Issued to individuals who have been out of the teaching field for more than five years, or to out of state applicants who have not completed at least four semester hours of reeducation credit within the past five years. Eight semester hours of reeducation is required if the applicant signs a contract during the license period. Fingerprinting required.
  9. Probationary (Two-Years): Issued to individuals who have not completed the reeducation requirements for the five year or reentry license. Only one probationary license is issued.
  10. Minor Equivalency Endorsement: ME 16 or ME 24 in content areas. Me 16 requires 16 semester hours in a specific content area. ME 16 is good for five years. Coursework to complete ME 24 must be completed within five year period. This endorsement can not be used if someone wants to change from elementary to secondary education or vice versa. Requirements must be completed prior to entering classroom
  11. Middle School Endorsement: Educator has two years while in classroom to complete ten semester hours in middle school philosophy, curriculum, adolescent psychology and middle school strategies and foundations. No student teaching is required.
  12. Elementary Reeducation Endorsement: Educator has two years while in classroom to complete requirements including five areas of elementary methods. Five weeks of student teaching at the elementary level is required.
  13. Kindergarten Endorsement: Educator has two years to complete twelve semester hours and student teaching while in the classroom. One full year of experience can be used in lieu of student teaching.
  14. Waivers:
    • Fees: Out-of state transcript review fee waived until substitute signs contract. Fee waiver must be requested by school with documented shortage of substitutes.
    • Reeducation Credits: waived if the teacher is not under contract. Once a contract is signed, the reeducation credits are due.
  15. Interim/Emergency Clinical Practice Plan Option: Applicants who have entered the profession of teaching through interim/emergency license; trade, industry, technical or health occupations interim licensure; or applicants who have an elementary education degree with a transcripted minor and are seeking to compete the requirements for regular licensure may meet the student teaching requirements through a supervised clinical practice option. Applicants must meet all of the requirements as outlined in ESPB Administrative Rule 67.1-02-04-07. Applicants must submit the completed form SFN 52869 (88kb pdf) to the office of the Education Standards and Practices Board prior to beginning their clinical practice, along with a plan outlining how they intend to complete the other professional education requirements for regular licensure.
  16. 30-Year Life: A license issued to a teacher who has held a ND license for 30 years. Expiration: none
  17. Out of State Highly Qualified. The Highly Qualified license is issued to those applicants who submit the application form and all requirements including official transcripts, background investigation, Record of Education and current recommendations from employing schools, and the Confirmation of Highly Qualified Status completed by the State Department of Education or Independent Board responsible for educator licensure.  Not additional tests or coursework will be required with this license.
  18. Other State Educator License (OSEL).  A two or five year license issued to those applicants who hold and submits a valid license received from an approved regular teacher education program from the other state. If the applicant has not tested in the sending state and has been licensed after 2002 in that state, they will have two years to complete ND tests.  The regular application will be submitted including official transcripts, background investigations, Record of Education, and recommendations from current employing school administrators.  No additional coursework or tests will be required with this license.
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