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Teacher Certification and Licensure Requirements - Arts in Education

To view an updated and expanded ArtScan (2014) please visit the ArtScan website, a project of the Arts Education Partnership.

This Artscan database report identifies states that require/offer specific certification or licensure for arts teachers or specialists. ECS did not include state endorsements in this version of Artscan or policies made by individual higher education institutions. The report also highlights arts requirements for certification/licensure of regular classroom teachers.

Certification or licensure required for arts teachers or specialists Arts requirements for certification or licensure of regular classroom teachers
Alabama Not found in statute or code. Elementary education: The elementary education curriculum must provide the teacher with the knowledge and ability "to plan and provide a developmentally appropriate curriculum for elementary students in accordance with the Alabama courses of study for...music...and visual and performing arts." (Ala. Admin. Code r. 290-3-3-.06)
Alaska Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Arizona Not found in statute or code. Professional teaching standards: Elementary teachers must demonstrate knowledge of language arts and reading, math, science, social studies and fine arts, and must demonstrate knowledge of a variety of methods for teaching same. (Ariz. Admin. Code R7-2-602)
Arkansas

Teacher licensure: Establishes the requirements and procedures for obtaining an Initial, Standard or Provisional Teaching License, including for art, fine art and music (vocal and instrumental). (Code Ark. R 005 16 001)

Visual art and music: By no later than June 1, 2005, every public elementary school in the state shall provide instruction for no less than 40 minutes in visual art and no less than 40 minutes in music. The instruction must be provided by a licensed teacher certified to teach art or music. Before June 1, 2005, an elementary art or music teacher may be a volunteer or a certified teacher. (Ark. Code Ann. § 6-16-130)

Certification laws and regulations: All candidates for certification must fulfill general education requirements that include study in the arts. In addition, any candidate for the 1-6 elementary certificate must complete 3 hours of “Public School Art” and 3 hours of “Public School Music.” (These hours not required for K-6 elementary certificate.) (Code Ark. R. 005 16 001)
California Single subject teaching credentials: Specifies the thirteen subject areas in which the Commission on Teacher Credentialing may issue single-subject credentials. Art is one; music is another. (CA EDUC CODE § 44257) Art Single-subject Credential and Music Single-subject Credential

Types and content of examinations: Requires the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to adopt examinations and assessments to verify the subject matter knowledge and competence of candidates for the single subject teaching credentials described in Section 44257. (CA EDUC CODE § 44282) NOTE: Theater teachers receive English credentials and dance teachers receive physical education credentials.

Noncredentialed teachers: "Specialized secondary programs may select as teachers noncredentialed persons who possess unique talents or skills from business, performing arts, or postsecondary institutions." (CA EDUC CODE § 58803)

Multiple subject credentials: One unit of visual and performing arts is required in the Multiple Subject Credential training. (CA EDUC CODE § 44252 and 44258).

NOTE: Multiple Subject Teaching Credentials authorize the holder to teach in self-contained classrooms such as classroom settings in most elementary schools. However, a teacher authorized for multiple subject instruction may be assigned to teach in any self-contained classroom (preschool, K-12, or in classes organized primarily for adults).

Types and content of examinations: "A general subject matter examination authorizing teaching multiple subjects shall include an examination of the candidate's knowledge of the following areas: language studies, literature, mathematics, science, social studies, history, the arts, physical education, and human development." (CA EDUC CODE § 44282)

Colorado Not found in statute or code. Educator Licensing Act: Program content standards for teacher professional education and professional development. Requires elementary teachers to be knowledgeable in music and visual arts, among other areas. (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 22-60.5-106)

Early childhood education: To receive an endorsement on a professional or provisional teaching license, a candidate must demonstrate competencies that include the ability to take advantage of childrens' acquisition of prior knowledge to determine readiness to learn core skills that include the arts, and the ability to develop effective instructional strategies related to the arts, among other subjects. (1 Colo. Code Regs. 301-37)

Connecticut Certificate required: A certificate for each special subject or field is required for anyone employed by a board of education in the following special subjects taught at the elementary and secondary levels: agriculture, art, health, home economics, technology education, music and physical education. This certificate shall also authorize the teaching of appropriate special subjects or fields in the adult education high school credit diploma program. (C.G.S.A. 170 § 10-145d) Initial educator certificate requirements - Early childhood: To receive an initial educator certificate for early childhood teaching with an endorsement in birth through kindergarten and nursery through grade three, an applicant must present evidence of having completed a number of requirements, including 39 credits in 5 of 6 areas, one of which is fine arts. Applicants for a K-3 certificate must also have completed college coursework that includes teaching and learning of the arts. (Conn. Agencies Regs. § 10-145d-431)

Initial educator certificate requirements - Elementary: To receive an initial educator certificate for elementary teaching, an applicant must present evidence of having completed 39 credits in 5 of 6 areas listed. One area must be either foreign language or fine arts. Applicants must also take 30 credits in professional education, which may include teaching the arts. (Conn. Agencies Regs. § 10-145d-436)

Initial educator certificate requirements - Middle grades: To receive an initial educator certificate for teaching at the middle grades, an applicant must present evidence of having completed 39 credits in 5 of 6 areas, including fine arts. Requirements for the humanities interdisciplinary major include course work in 3 of the following areas: literature, philosophy, drama, fine arts, dance, theology or foreign language. (Conn. Agencies Regs. § 10-145d-446)

Initial educator certificate requirements - Secondary grades: To receive an initial educator certificate for secondary academic subjects, an applicant must present evidence of having completed 39 credits in 5 of 6 areas, one of which is fine arts. (Conn. Agencies Regs. § 10-145d-451)

Delaware Professional standards board: Requires bachelor's degree, a major in art and completion of an approved teacher education program in art. (Del. Code Ann. tit. 14 § 1543-1545) Professional standards board - Standard certificate elementary teacher (Grades K- 6): The department of education will issue a Standard Certificate as an Elementary Teacher to an applicant who holds a valid Delaware initial, continuing, or advanced license, and who meets several requirements, including a Bachelor's degree that includes six semester hours of fine arts, OR courses which reflect accomplishment of the NCATE specialty organization standards for elementary teacher education. The same rule applies for an early care and education teacher. (Code Del. Regs. 14 1500)
District of Columbia License requirements: License requirements for teachers of the following art forms are listed in DCMR Title V, Chapter 16: Performing Arts-Visual Arts (§ 1629), Music (§ 1630), Drama and Theatre (§ 1631), Dance (§ 1632), Art 9 K - 12 (§ 1636), Music-Instrumental K - 12 (§ 1645), Music-Vocal K - 12 (§ 1646). License requirement: License requirement for elementary education, grades 1-6, includes: "Appreciation and creative expression in fine arts including at least two of the following: art, music, drama, dance, and film." (DCMR Title V, Chapter 16 § 1606.1-a-7)

Art and music are listed as courses that will fulfill the humanities requirement. (DCMR Title V, Chapter 16, S§ 1600.1-c-1-B)
Florida Specialization Requirements for Certification in Drama (Grades 6-12). (Fla. Admin. Code Ann. r. 6A-4.0342)

Specialization Requirements for Certification in Art (Grades K-12). (Fla. Admin. Code Ann. r. 6A-4.0101)

Specialization Requirements for Certification in Dance (Grades K-12). (Fla. Admin. Code Ann. r. 6A-4.0123)

Specialization Requirements for Certification in Music (Grades K-12). (Fla. Admin. Code Ann. r. 6A-4.0271)

Approval of preservice teacher preparation programs: Education major program requirements include six semester hours in the humanities, including philosophy and fine arts. (Fla. Admin. Code Ann. r. 6A-5.066)
Georgia Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Hawaii Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Idaho Not found in statute or code. Elementary education: An elementary teacher certificate requires a minimum of three semester credit hours of fine arts. (ID ADC 08.02.02.018)
Illinois Certification in specific teaching fields: Specifies the knowledge and performance indicators of "the competent visual arts teacher." (Ill. Admin. Code tit. 23, § 27.330) Standards for early childhood certification - Fine arts The competent early childhood teacher understands the content, function, and achievements of dance, music, drama, and visual arts as primary media for communication, inquiry, and insight and promotes the abilities of children from birth through grade three as they express themselves through the arts. Knowledge and performance indicators for teachers are listed. (Ill. Admin. Code tit. 23 § 26.170)

Standards for elementary teacher certification - Fine arts: The competent elementary teacher understands the educational, communicative, and aesthetic value of dance, drama, music, and visual art and the role fine arts play in reflecting history and culture and promotes all students' ability to express themselves creatively. Knowledge and performance standards are listed. (Ill. Admin. Code tit. 23 § 26.170)

Indiana Teaching area certificates: Indicates course requirements for music majors and visual arts majors that are in addition to a teaching license. (515 IAC 1-1-32 and 1-1-57) Early childhood and elementary education teacher license: Candidates will be qualified for the standard license in early childhood, K-3, or elementary education when they have met several requirements, including undergraduate coursework in the arts. The coursework must be designed to develop appreciation and skills in music and art. (515 IAC 1-1-1; 1-1-2;1-1-3)
Iowa Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Kansas Not found in statute or code. Regulations and standards for Kansas educators: Approved teacher preparation programs must develop assessment systems to measure statewide educator standards. Early childhood and elementary teacher candidates must demonstrate knowledge and skills based on the educator standards, including for the fine arts, to receive a license. (Kan. Admin. Regs. 91-1-200-201) and
Teacher Education and Licensure: Regulations and Standards for Kansas Educators
Kentucky Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Louisiana Teacher certification requirements: Certification for arts teachers must include 31 semester hours of arts content. (La. Admin. Code tit. 28 I Bulletin 746 § 903) Elementary teacher certification: Three semester hours in the arts are required for elementary teacher certification. (La. Admin. Code tit. 28 I Bulletin 746 § 903)
Maine Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Maryland

Certification for specialty in art or music: Applicants must (a) Complete an approved teacher preparation program which leads to certification in art or music, PreKindergarten through grade 12, or (b) Complete the course work requirements found in COMAR 13A.12.02.18 and complete the professional education and experience requirements found in COMAR 13A.12.02.06A(2) and (3).

Certification in theater: Applicants must (a) Complete an approved teacher preparation program which leads to certification in Theater, grades 7-12, or (b) Complete the course work and experience requirements found in COMAR 13A.12.02.06.

Not found in statute or code.
Massachusetts Teacher certification: The following statutes define certification requirements for teachers of the arts.

Dance (all levels): (Mass. Regs. Code tit. 603, § 7.06(4))

Music (all levels): (Mass. Regs. Code tit. 603, § 7.06(20))

Theater (all levels):(Mass. Regs. Code tit. 603, § 7.06 (30))

Visual Art (Levels: PreK-8; 5-12):(Mass. Regs. Code tit. 603, § 7.06(31))

PreK-2 program: Topics in basic principles and concepts of the arts, health, and physical education appropriate to the PreK-2 grades shall be included in an approved program but will not be addressed on a written test of subject matter knowledge. (Mass. Regs. Code tit. 603, § 7.06 (5)(c))

Elementary (Levels 1-6): The following topics shall be included in an approved program but will not be addressed on a written test of subject matter knowledge: 1. Basic principles and concepts in each of the visual and performing arts (art, music, drama/theater, dance). (Mass. Regs. Code tit. 603, § 7.06 (7)(c))

Michigan Specific teaching curriculum: An applicant who has been graduated from a specific teaching curriculum, such as fine arts, industrial arts, library science, music, physical education, health education, or foreign language, may be certified to teach that specific subject in elementary and secondary grades when, upon recommendation of the sponsoring institution, the applicant qualifies at both levels. (Mich. Admin. Code 390 §1151) Not found in statute or code.
Minnesota

Teachers of dance and theater arts: Describes standards and licensure requirements for dance and theater teachers. (Minn. R. 8710.4300)

Teachers of vocal/instrumental music: Describes standards and licensure for music teachers. (Minn. R. 8710.4650)

Teachers of visual arts: Describes standards and licensure for visual arts teachers. (Minn. R. 8710.4900)

Subject matter standards -- Elementary education: A candidate must complete a preparation program for licensure that must include the candidate's demonstration of the knowledge and skills in items A to G, including the arts: (G) A teacher of children in kindergarten through grade 6 must demonstrate knowledge of fundamental visual and performing arts, including music, dance, and theater, concepts and the connections among them. (Minn. R. 8710.3200.3.G)

Mississippi Educator licensure: A five-year license is available in the performing arts, which include dance, drama, music and visual arts. (MS ADC 36 000 005) Teacher education standards: K - 4 programs must be interdisciplinary and include six semester hours of fine arts. (MS ADC 36 000 073)
Missouri

Art certification: Certification requirements by subject, including art, in grades K-12, K-9 and 9-12 are listed in the Missouri Compendium of Certification Requirements. Applicants for a certificate must pass the Praxis Test in Art: Content Knowledge. (Mo. Code Regs. Ann. tit. 5, § 80-800.200)

Elementary certification: Elementary teachers (K-6) are required to obtain teaching method competency in art. (Mo. Code Regs. Ann. tit. 5, § 80-800.200)
Montana Teacher certification: Montana provides certification in the following areas:
K-12 Art (ARM tit. 10-58 § 503);
Drama (ARM tit. 10-58 § 507);
K-12 Music (ARM tit. 10-58 § 519)
Not found in statute or code.
Nebraska Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Nevada Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
New Hampshire Teacher certification standards: Certification is offered in the following areas:
Music (N.H. Code Admin. R. Ed 507.38);
Theatre (N.H. Code Admin. R. Ed 507.34); and
Visual arts (N.H. Code Admin. R. Ed 507.09).
Teacher preparation programs: "Each institution that provides an educator preparation program shall provide a program of general studies designated to give prospective teachers the following competencies which will enable them to:
(2) Discover literature and the arts as media for self-expression and be sensitive and responsive to the universality of the arts" (N.H. Code Admin. R.Ed 609.01)
New Jersey Not found in statute or code.

Curriculum for teacher preparation programs: The preparation program for all instructional certificates must include provisions in (a) 1-5: (1) A minimum of 60 semester credit hours of general education including electives. General education courses shall be distributed among the arts, humanities, mathematics, science, technology and the social sciences. There must be some study in each area; and (2) A major in the arts, humanities, social sciences, mathematics, science or technology disciplines. (N.J. Admin. Code tit. 6A § 9-10.2)

New Mexico Not found in statute or code. Educational requirements for licensure: The state board requires those seeking licensure or reciprocity in elementary or secondary education to complete certain minimum requirements in the college of arts and sciences, including six hours in fine arts. (N.M.S.A. 1978, § 22-10A-6) (N.M. Admin. Code tit. 6 § 61.2.8)

Fine Arts Education Act: Those teaching art must be supervised by certified school instructors if they do not hold valid teaching licenses in one or more of the disciplines included in fine arts education. (N.M.S.A. 1978, § 22-15D)

Licensure in middle level education, grades 5-9: Those seeking a license pursuant to this regulation must have a bachelor's degree that includes six semester hours in fine arts. Teacher competencies include the "[a]bility to interest and actively involve students in the study of issues related to their lives and the environment in which they live, drawing on the disciplined knowledge of...the arts..." and the "[a]bility to encourage students to express themselves creatively in a number of ways, including visual and performing arts." (N.M. Admin. Code tit. 6 § 61.3)

Requirements for secondary education licensure: The state board requires those seeking licensure in secondary education to complete a minimum number of requirements, including six semester hours in the fine arts. (N.M. Admin. Code tit. 6 § 61.2.8)

New York Teacher education: Teacher education programs leading to certificates valid for teaching special subjects, including the arts, must provide a content core in the subject (the major) to ensure candidates are able to teach to state standards in their subject. (N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 8, § 52.21) Curricula in teacher education: Teacher education programs must ensure that candidates for certificates in childhood education (grades 1-6) and middle childhood education (grades 5-9) have the knowledge base to teach to state standards in, among other areas, the arts. (N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 8, § 52.21)
North Carolina Not found in statute or code. Professional teaching standards - Standard 6: Elementary teachers have a basic understanding of the major concepts in the arts."

Standard 12: "Working alone or with arts specialist/teachers or with other qualified arts professionals, elementary teachers are able to integrate the arts into the elementary curriculum." (NC State Board of Education, Policy QP-B-002)
North Dakota Teacher certification: Visual art and music certification requirements are outlined. (N.D. Admin. Code § 67.1-02-03-07.) Not found in statute or code.
Ohio Licenses in the arts: Ohio has four multi-age licenses in the arts which are valid for teaching learners from ages three through twenty-one and pre-K-12: dance, drama/theatre, music and visual art. Institutes of higher learning determine specific requirements. (Ohio Admin. Code 3301-24-05) Not found in statute or code.
Oklahoma Professional standards: Teacher education and certification - Full subject matter competencies: Specifies competencies needed for teacher licensure in forty subject areas, including art education, instrumental/general music, vocal/general music, speech/drama/debate and dance education. (Okla. Admin. Code 210:20-9-172) Not found in statute or code.
Oregon

Basic and standard teacher license requirements: The state administrative code describes the requirements necessary to receive two levels of teacher licensure for art, music and drama.

Basic art: (Or. Admin. R.584-038-0040); Standard art: (Or. Admin. R. 584-040-0040)

Basic music: (Or. Admin. R. 584-038-0210); Standard music: (Or. Admin. R. 584-040-0200)

Basic drama: (Or. Admin. R. 584-038-0170); Standard drama: (Or. Admin. R. 584-040-0170)

Basic elementary licensure: Sixty quarter hours are required to obtain a basic license, which are designed to develop competence in elementary instruction, including…(7) Three quarter hours in music education. (8) Three quarter hours in art education. (Or. Admin. R. 584-038-0010)

Standard elementary licensure: Fifteen quarter hours of graduate subject matter preparation are required to obtain a standard elementary license to strengthen the applicant's background in one or more of the following areas…music education, or art education. (Or. Admin. R. 584-040-0010)

Pennsylvania Granting provisional college certificates: Allows the state superintendent to grant provisional certificates to candidates with a bachelor's degree in music, as long as the candidate has completed the prescribed number of hours of professional studies. This certificate allows the candidate to teach for 3 years, and may be renewed for 3 years. (24 P.S. § 12-1204)

Special temporary or permanent certificates: The superintendent of public instruction must provide for special examinations, and for temporary or permanent certificates, for teachers of kindergartens, drawing, vocal music, manual training, physical training and other special branches.

"The superintendent may issue temporary or permanent certificates for the teaching of such special subjects to graduates of approved special schools of such subjects. (24 P.S. § 12-1207)

Professional educator programs - Elementary education: Professional education programs must provide evidence that Elementary Education certification candidates complete a program of studies and are able to demonstrate their knowledge of fundamental concepts of elementary education and competence in applying developmentally appropriate practices for elementary students including: (I.H.) Arts instruction in accordance with the Pennsylvania Academic Standards, which include appreciation and production of the arts, basic concepts in art, music, dance, and drama, arts for therapy and recreation activities. (22 Pa. Code § 49 and 22 Pa. Code § 354)
Rhode Island Teacher certification: Rhode Island has specific certification requirements for art, dance, music, and theater education.
Certification Requirements
Elementary certification: Elementary school teachers must have done classroom work in the arts as part of the teacher preparation program.
Certification Requirements
South Carolina Requirements for additional areas of certification: Provides certification requirements in the areas of art, music education, speech and drama, and theater. (S.C. Code of Regulations R. 43-62) Not found in statute or code.
South Dakota Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Tennessee Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Texas Fine arts teachers: Fine arts teachers in secondary grade levels (6-12) must be certified in the specific fine arts content area for which they are assigned to teach. Teachers in elementary grade levels may be certified as classroom generalists or in the specific fine arts content area for which they are assigned to teach. (Tex. Admin. Code tit. 19 § 233.2, 233.10) Generalists: Generalist classroom teachers in elementary grade levels must successfully pass the Texas Examination of Educator Standards (TExES), which includes standards related to fine arts content areas. (Tex. Admin. Code tit. 19 § 230.5)
Utah Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.
Vermont Not found in statute or code.

Elementary education - Knowledge standards – Professional knowledge: Teacher candidates will demonstrate a thorough understanding of the developmental nature and needs of children ages 5-12, and of ways to structure the learning environment and organize, implement, and assess curriculum and instruction to maximize students' learning and development. Specifically, the educator understands: Music, drama, and the visual arts as expressions of human emotion and culture.

Performance standards – Professional knowledge: Specifically, the educator: Integrates the visual and performing arts within the curriculum and facilitates and encourages children's creative expression through a variety of media. (Vt. Code R. 5440-00)

Virginia Not found in statute or code. Teacher certification: Candidates for a preK-3 or preK-6 endorsement must have completed course work that covers specified competencies and fulfills semester-hour requirements, including: (f) Arts and humanities - 6 semester hours. (8 Va. Admin. Code 20-21-130 and 140)
Washington Not found in statute or code. Knowledge and skill requirements of the performance-based certification system: Washington has identified knowledge and skills in the arts that elementary educators must demonstrate. The standards address effective teaching, professional development and professional contributions. (WAC 180-78A-540; 180-79A-011; and 180-82-332)
West Virginia Not found in statute or code. Minimum requirements for licensure: Early childhood and elementary teachers must demonstrate knowledge of West Virginia's content in the arts through specified exams. (Title 126, Leg. Rule; Board of Educ. Series 136 (Policy 5202), and Appendix B)
Wisconsin

Teaching categories: A license may be issued under this subsection to an individual who has completed an approved program in a license category with at least a major and has completed an approved program in professional education. Subject areas include art, dance and music. (Wis. Admin. Code PI § 34.30(2))

District standards: Art and music instruction must be provided to all students in grades K-6, and must be available to all students in grades 7-12, taught by licensed art or music instructors. (Wis. Admin. Code § PI 8.01)

Teacher education program approval: All institutions which offer professional education programs leading to licensure in Wisconsin must submit to the state superintendent for approval, written evidence that their programs comply with the requirements of this chapter which ensures that students who will graduate from an institution after August 31, 2004 must be able to complete the requirements of this chapter. (Wis. Admin. Code § PI 34.06 (1))

Teacher education program approval and licenses -- Conceptual framework: Each school, college or department must have a written conceptual framework that complies with PI 34.06 1. The conceptual framework will be well defined, articulated, and defensible and must include all of the following: (7) A general education program that demonstrates student knowledge and understanding of all of the following for initial classroom teaching licenses, including: (c) Fine arts. (Wis. Admin. Code PI 34.15(7)(c))

Wyoming Not found in statute or code. Not found in statute or code.


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