STATE CREDENTIAL REQUIRED
(if any)
LEVEL OF EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS TRAINING RENEWAL ESL Credential ESL Requirements Notes
Alabama
401 Adams Ave.
Montgomery, AL 36104
ph: (343) 242-2926
fax: (334) 242-0214
email: romine@acs.cc.al.us
Alaska
P.O. Box 115509
Juneau, AK 99811-5509
ph: (907) 465-8714
fax: (907) 465-4186
email: amy.iutzi@alaska.gov
Web: www.labor.state.ak.us
Arizona
1535 West Jefferson Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Contact: Miriam Kroeger, Education Program
Specialist
ph: (602) 364-2703
fax: (907) 465-4186
email: miriam.kroeger@azed.gov
Web: www.ade.az.gov/adult-ed
Arkansas
Arkansas Department of Education
Professional Licensure
#4 Capitol Mall
Little Rock, AR 72201
Contact: Mr. Tosen: ph: (501) 682-4342; or George
French: (501) 682-1970 email:
george.french@arkansas.gov /
philip.less@arkansas.gov
Web: www.arkansed.org
http://dwe.arkansas.gov
Lifetime certificate; no renewal
requirements
Completion of fifth-year master's degree
program
ESL teachers are credentialed in
the same way as ABE. (No adult
ESL credential required.)
English language fluency required,
determined through interviews and
local monitoring.
Arkansas teaching license
required. Full-time adult
education teachers are required
to get an adult education
endorsement in addition within
4 years of beginning to teach
full-time.
Bachelor's degree Full-time teachers: 60 hours of
professional development each
year. Part-time teachers: 30 hours
of professional development each
year. Adult Education requires the
Praxis II Principles of Learning and
Teaching (standardized test
required as part of licensure) at the
7-12 level.
Adult education endorsement and license
are required for teachers within 4 years of
hire. 12 to 15 graduate hours of college
courses are required (more may be
required depending on individual university
requirements).
An ESL Certificate is not required;
on the Adult Education Certificate
teachers can be "ESOL/ELLA
certified."
An ESL endorsement for K-12 is
available. Sheltered English
Immersion (SEI) endorsement (45
hrs.) is required for K-12.
A master's degree for ESOL
students is available in Pro
Literacy training and is suggested
in order to get the standard
certificate.
A master's degree is required for staff
teaching credit classes at community
colleges.
ESL teachers are credentialed in
the same way as ABE. An
Arkansas teaching license is
required.
ESL endorsement.
Teachers who need the ESL
endorsement require:
12 hrs. graduate-level coursework
and the Praxis II – Principles of
Learning and Teaching
(standardized test required as
part of licensure) at the P-4, 5-9,
or 7-12 level.
ESL teachers are credentialed in the
same way as ABE.
Bachelor's degree
Arizona Department of Education Teacher
Certification
Certification (Provisional and
Standard Levels): an Adult
Education Certificate may be
used to teach in the areas of
adult basic education, general
educational development,
English as a second language,
or citizenship.
Bachelor's degree or 3
years' experience as
adult education teacher,
tutor, or teacher's aide
Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce
Development
No credential required by the
State of Alaska for ABE, GED,
or ESL teachers teaching in
Regional ABE Programs.
No state requirement
Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education
contact: Dr. Robert Romine, Director of Adult
Education Program
Alabama currently does not require
adult education or ESOL instructors
to have any mandatory coursework
in ABE/GED/ASE nor ESOL.
It is highly recommended that
teachers with an endorsement (12-
15 hrs. of college coursework) in
adult education be considered in
the employment criteria.
If a written exam is used for hiring
an ABE/ASE/ESL instructor, it is at
the discretion of the employing
agency.
ELLs are taught by ABE
instructors.
1) Master's degree
(for Class A certificate)
2) Bachelor's degree
(for Class B certificate)
Secondary teaching certificate
in a teaching field
For Provisional ABE Certification:
Bachelor's degree requirement,
fingerprint clearance, and/or 3
years of experience (may waive up
to 2 years' experience by
postsecondary academic credit,
with 30 semester hours equal to 1
year of experience). Standard ABE
Certification: must complete
requirements for Provisional
Certificate plus 1 year verified parttime
or full-time teaching under a
Provisional Certificate and 10 clock
hours of professional development.
Provisional: Nonrenewable
Valid 3 years
Standard: Renewable
Valid 6 years
60 clock hours of professional
development
Provisional: Nonrenewable
10 clock hours verified by Adult Education
program administrator (include
coursework, in-service training,
professional conferences and workshops,
internships, research, leadership in a
professional organization ,and alignment
with National Staff Development Council
(NSDC) standards
Standard: Renewable
Valid 6 years. 60 clock hours.
verified by Adult Education program
administrator (may include coursework, inservice
training, professional conferences
and workshops, internships, research,
leadership in a professional organization,
and align with NSDC standards.
Must renew every 5 years.
Anticipating required ESL coursework for
AE/ESL certification as well as coursework for
other areas in adult education
Teachers holding a K-12 credential have to get
an adult ed endorsement within 4 years.
Table 1. Adult ESL Teacher Certification and Credentialing in States. (2007). Developed by the Center for Adult English Acquisition (CAELA), Center for Applied Linguistics, Washington, DC. 
STATE CREDENTIAL REQUIRED
(if any)
LEVEL OF EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS TRAINING RENEWAL ESL Credential ESL Requirements Notes
California
California Commission on Teacher Credentialing
Box 944570 (1900 Capitol Avenue)
Sacramento, CA 94270
contact: Cliff Moss and/or Gloria Guzman
ph: (916) 327-6378 or (888) 921-2682
fax: (916) 657-3000
email: Gguzman@cde.ca.gov
Web: www.ctc.ca.gov
(916) 322-5050 ROTC and Workforce
Development
Colorado Associate's degree
Colorado Dept. of Education
Adult Education and Family Literacy
201 E. Colfax Avenue
Denver, CO 80203
contact: Debra Fawcett
ph: (303) 866-6914
fax: (303) 866-6947
email: fawcett_d@cde.state.co.us
A bachelor's or higher degree
completed at a regionally accredited
college or university and completion
of 20 semester units or 10 upper
division semester units in one or any
combination of the following:
Teaching English as a Second
Language (TESL)
Teaching English to Speakers of
Other Languages (TESOL)
English
Language other than English
Linguistics
Bilingual/bicultural studies
Teaching reading
Speech
A Teaching Credential is also
needed.
Preliminary: Requirements for the
Full-time Adult Credential
For the 5-year preliminary
credential: Verify 5 years of
experience and/or education
related to each subject to be named
on the credential.
One of the following requirements
must be satisfied:
possess a high school diploma
possess a diploma based on
passage of the GED test
possess the foreign equivalent of a
high school diploma
Pass the California Basic
Educational Skills Test (CBEST).
Preliminary: 2 semester units.
Professional: Applicants must satisfy all of
the following requirements:
Preliminary:
Valid 1-2 years
Professional:
Valid 2-5 years
Adult Education Credential as
well as a subject area
focus/emphasis
TESOL Certificate Available.
Career Technical ESL is also
available.
Contact person for the process of Literacy
Instruction Authorization: Pamela M. Smith, State
Literacy Instruction Authorization
(LIA) is a credential that authorizes
instructors to teach in Colorado's
Adult Education and Family
Literacy Act (AEFLA)-funded adult
education programs. It provides a
system to ensure a well-qualified
workforce and is a gateway into the
profession of adult education. One
of the requirements for this
credential is the successful
completion of four required
courses. A fifth and optional course
on family literacy is available for
Even Start instructors. For those
who enter the field with previous
experience and training, there is a
portfolio option that awards course
equivalency for qualifying previous
college-level courses and/or for
sufficient experience and training to
be able to demonstrate competency
in the knowledge areas that
correspond to the objectives of the
required courses.
Literacy Instruction
Authorization
Colorado's training for both ABE and ESL
teachers is a series of courses leading to
the LIA. The series comprises five courses,
four of which are required, and one
optional family literacy course for Even
Start instructors. The state's Adult
Education and Family Literacy office also
provides professional development for all
ABE and ESL practitioners in AEFLA and
Even Start funded programs through an
integrated Professional Development
system. This system includes a PD SelfAssesment
for Adult Education Teachers,
a Resource Bank of materials related to
the Skill and Knowledge descriptors from
the self-assessment, four regional PD
resource centers, and the PD Point
System, which is correlated to renewal of
the LIA.
The LIA must be renewed
every 5 years; renewal is
contingent upon continuing
education and professional
development credits.
LIA
Posses a valid preliminary full-time adult
education teaching credential. Obtain
verification from the Education Service
District (ESD) of the successful teaching
of a minimum of one course for adults in
each of four terms within the 5-year period
of validity of the Preliminary Adult
Education Teaching Credential (two of
these terms must be with one ESD). The
teaching must be in the subject(s)
authorized by the preliminary adult
education teaching credential. Obtain
verification from a local education agency
(LEA) that the applicant has completed all
Level I and Level II requirements of a
Commission-accredited program of
personalized preparation, including the use
of computers in an instructional setting.
Complete a unit requirement in health
education, including, but not limited to,
nutrition; the physiological and sociological
effects of alcohol, narcotic, and drug
abuse; and the use of tobacco. This
requirement must also include training in
cardiopulmonary resuscitation that covers
infant, child, and adult CPR skills.
Bachelor's degree
(Preliminary credential
requires a bachelor's
degree.)
Master's degree
(Professional requires a
subject matter credential.)
Credential (preliminary, clear,
or professional full-time)
One of the four required courses is
Teaching ESL to Adult Learners.
Another course, Adult Basic
Education and Adult Secondary
Education, is required even for those
who teach (or plan to teach) ESL.
California does not have an adult ESL
credential, but rather an adult education
credential with an academic subject focus (e.g.,
ESL).
Table 1. Adult ESL Teacher Certification and Credentialing in States. (2007). Developed by the Center for Adult English Acquisition (CAELA), Center for Applied Linguistics, Washington, DC. 
STATE CREDENTIAL REQUIRED
(if any)
LEVEL OF EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS TRAINING RENEWAL ESL Credential ESL Requirements Notes
Connecticut
Connecticut Department of Education
165 Capitol Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106
contact: Maureen Wagner
ph: (860) 807-2102
fax: (860) 807-2062
email: maureen.wagner@ct.gov
Web:
www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/PDF/Cert/facts/fact101
_01.pdf
Delaware
Department of Public Instruction
P.O. Box 1402, J.G. Townsend Building
Dover DE 19903
Maureen Wheelan
email: ftracy-mumf@state.de.us
Web: www.doe.state.de.us/
District of Columbia
University of the District of Columbia
4200 Connecticut Ave. NW 20008
ph: (202) 274-6649
fax: (202) 274-6649
GED Number: 202-274-7174
Credentialing office
ph: (202) 442-5377
fax: (202) 274-7173
GED Testing Center:
Web: www.dcged.org
Florida
Florida Department of Education
Turlington Building
325 West Gaines Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0400
contact: Marsha Maxwell,
ph: (850) 245-0995
fax: (850) 487-1735
Marsha's email: marcia.maxwell@fldoe.org and
also email: cordiln@mail.doe.state.fl.us
Web: www.firn.edu/doe
Georgia No credential is required. Bachelor's degree
Georgia Department of Technical and Adult Ed. (preferably in education,
Office of Adult Literacy but not mandatory)
1800 Century Place, NE, Suite 400
Atlanta, GA 30345-4304
contact: Carla R. De Bose, Director of Instructional
ph: (404) 679-1635
fax: (404) 679-1635
email: cdebose@dtae.org
Web: www.dtae.org
ESL teachers are credentialed in
the same way as ABE.
ESL teachers are credentialed in
the same way as ABE/
ESL teachers are credentialed in the
same way as ABE (all adult programs
require a bachelor's degree).
BA/BS (preferably in education, but
not mandatory)
No training requirements
To renew license, must have 6
hours of professional
development
Provisional: Provisional level
for 8 years; if not. the
certificate lapses.
Professional: Receive a
master's; renewal every 5
years.
Certification in any field--no
specific credentials are
currently required for either
ABE or adult ESOL
Bachelor's degree or
higher
No state additional requirements No training requirements
Certificate
1) Adult Education Academic
Subjects
2) Adult Basic Education
Bachelor's degree 1) Must hold a preK-12 certificate
2) Successful completion of
appropriate tests
Adult Education
Academic Subjects:
1) 18 designated semester hours
2) 30 semester hours (10 clases approx) in
a subject area
3) Student teaching or 1 year of
satisfactory experience of teaching adults
ESL teachers are credentialed in
the same way as ABE.
ESL teachers are credentialed in the
same way as ABE.
Bachelor's degree
Certificate
(Initial, Provisional, and
Professional levels)
Bachelor's degree Initial: Holds or is eligible
endorsement
for secondary academic
Provisional: Successful completion
of assessment training, or 3 years
of ABE teaching
Professional: 3 years of ABE
teaching
Initial: Completed course of study in
special education
Professional: 30 semester hours beyond
bachelor's degree
Certificate
1) Adult Administrator
General Adult Education
2) Adult Education
Secondary
Bachelor's degree in
adult, elementary, or
secondary education
Adult education administrator must
hold a masters degree and
complete a minimum of 3 years'
experience in an adult education
setting and be employed in adult
education as administrator,
coordinator, or teacher.
18 semester hours or its equivalent
within a master's degree
6 semester hours of college-level work or
completion of six approved
courses/clusters in adult education, or 3
approved adult education credits and 2
years of documented satisfactory
internship/employment as a teacher,
counselor, or administrator in adult
education
ESL Certification required Bachelor's degree (same as ABE)
Professional: 30 semester hours
beyond bachelor's degree
ESL teachers are credentialed in the
same way as ABE.
License in ESL K-12 with an
Endorsement in adult ESL
ESL teachers have to hold a valid
teaching certificate in English as a
Second Language.
Adult ESL teachers need
professional development in ESL and
pedagogical material.
Table 1. Adult ESL Teacher Certification and Credentialing in States. (2007). Developed by the Center for Adult English Acquisition (CAELA), Center for Applied Linguistics, Washington, DC. 
STATE CREDENTIAL REQUIRED
(if any)
LEVEL OF EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS TRAINING RENEWAL ESL Credential ESL Requirements Notes
Hawai'i Up to individual program site Up to individual program site Same as ABE
Community Education and Accreditation
Hawai'i Department of Education
475 22nd Avenue, Room 124
Honolulu, HI 96816
contact: Annette Young-Ogata, Educational
Specialist
ph: (808) 735-8371
fax: (808) 735-8375
email: Annette_Young-Ogata@notes.k12.hi.us
Web: www.k12.hi.us/~personnl/license.html
Idaho
The Division of Professional and Technical
Education
650 West State Street
Room 324
Boise, ID 83720-0095
contact: Cheryl Engel, State Coordinator
ph: (208) 332-6931
fax: (202) 332-4664
email: csengel@sde.idaho.gov
Web: www.sde.idaho.gov
Illinois No credential required Same as ABE
Illinois Community College Board
401 East Capitol Avenue
Springfield, IL 62701-1711
ph: (217) 558-2162
fax: (217) 558-6700
email: david.a.baker@illinois.gov
Web: www.iccb.state.il.us/
Indiana
Indiana Department of Education
Rm #229 State House
Indianapolis IN 46204
Gerry Hafner, Assistant Director
ph: (317) 232-0522 (for Gerry & Linda)
fax: 317-233-0859
email: haffner@doe.state.in.us
Web: http://ideanet.doe.state.in.us
Iowa No credential required No state requirement Same as ABE
Iowa Department of Education
Grimes State Office Building
400 East 14th street
Des Moines, IA 50319
ph: (515) 281-3640
fax: (515) 281-4122
email: helene.grossman@iowa.gov
Web: www.state.iowa.gov/educate
Same as ABE (No credential is
required; however, most adult
ESL teachers have an optional
master's in TESOL.)
ABE and ESL are taught at the
15 community colleges. Each
community college has its own
set of requirements.
contact: Helene Grossman, Equity/ESL/Family
Literacy Consultant
contact: David Baker, Assistant Director for Adult
Education, Staff Development, Training, and
Marketing
An extension PD system is available for all
Indiana adult education teachers. A New
Teacher Training System (NTTS) has been
designed to inform, prepare, and support
new adult educators. Features of the NTTS
include an introduction to Indiana’s adult
education system; welcome packet and
handbook; online pre-service; workshops
on ABE and ESL principles and practice;
mentoring by an experienced adult
educator; assistance with assessment; and
ongoing professional development
information.
A valid Indiana teacher's Bachelor's degree No state additional requirements
license in elementary or
secondary is required.
No credential is required (A
basic core of training
recommended to new teachers
and refresher courses for
experienced teachers)
Bachelor's degree ESL teachers must have a bachelor's
degree.
ESL training is required.
Bachelor's degree Local programs may add more
stringent requirements.
6 hours professional development per
fiscal year; a new teacher orientation
completed within 6 months of hire.
No additional requirement
Up to individual program
site (graduated pay scale
depending upon level of
education and degree
held; BA may be
preferred, but sometimes
waived depending on
experience)
Illinois is implementing a new information
management system this fiscal year. This will
allow documentation of teacher professional
development hours and educational
background.
ESL teachers are credentialed in
the same way as ABE. A
voluntary ESL workforce training
(non-credit) certificate is available
through Ball State University in
partnership with the Indiana
Department of Education, Division
of Adult Education.
Same as ABE (A bachelor's degree is
required.)
Current ESL teachers get
training/continual professional
development, but it is not mandatory.
Workshops for new ESL teachers are
offered.
Idaho is moving toward a layered tier of
certification that will include a certificate of
completion of core ABE training that translates
into college credits toward the earning of ABE
certification, as well as a BA or MA inaAdult
education, depending on how far a person
Table 1. Adult ESL Teacher Certification and Credentialing in States. (2007). Developed by the Center for Adult English Acquisition (CAELA), Center for Applied Linguistics, Washington, DC. 
STATE CREDENTIAL REQUIRED
(if any)
LEVEL OF EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS TRAINING RENEWAL ESL Credential ESL Requirements Notes
Kansas
Kansas Board of Regents Office
1000 SW Jackson Street, Suite 520
Topeka, KS 66612-1368
contact: Diane Glass
ph: (785) 296-7159
email: dglass@ksbor.org
Kentucky
Kentucky Adult Education
Council on Postsecondary Education
1024 Capital Center Dr. Suite 250
Frankfort, KY 40601
contact: Dr. Joyce Bullock
ph: (502) 573-5114 ext. 118
email: joyce.bullock@ky.gov
Louisiana
Louisiana Department of Education
Division of Adult Education and Training
P.O. Box 94064
Baton Rouge, LA 70804
contact: Adrienne Fontenot and Elizabeth Moore
ph: (225) 342-0444
fax: (225) 219-4439
email: elizabeth.moore@la.gov
adrienne.fontenot@la.gov
Maine
Maine Department of Education
23 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
contact: Becky Dyer
ph: (207) 624-6755
email: becky.dyer@state.me.us
Maryland
Maryland State Department of Education
200 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
ph: (410) 767-0168
fax: (410) 333-2099
email: pbennett@msde.state.md.us
Massachusetts License (voluntary) Same as ABE.
Massachusetts Department of Education
350 Main Street
Malden, MA 02148-5023
contact: Mary Jayne Fay, ABE Licensure Specialist
ph: (781) 338-6048
fax: (781) 338-6759
email: licenseABE@doe.mass.edu
Must be currently working in the
field of adult education.
No ESL credential required
Web:
www.doe.mass.edu/educators/e_liscense.html and
www.doe.mass.edu/acls/certification.html
All applicants: 1) Minimum
education requirement 2)
Communication & Literacy Skills
Test 3) ABE Subject Matter Test
Bachelor's degree or
master's degree (any
subject)
Applicants for professional
licensure, depending route to
licensure: Demonstrates proficiency
in professional standards, field
experience, and practicum
contact: Patricia Bennett, State director, MSDE,
EL/Civics
Requirements are the same as ABE
(bachelor's degree requirement).
No credential required Bachelor's degree;
master's preferred
Training and experience in adult
education; knowledge of and
cultural sensitivity toward target
population.
Individual Professional Development plan
required annually; participation in state
and local trainings; pre-service,
assessment, GED foundation training for
new teachers.
Assessment training update
required every 2 years.
Same as ABE.
No credential is required for
ABE teachers.
Bachelor's degree No additional requirements are
required by the state.
Same as ABE (no credential is
required).
An Optional ESL Certificate to the
K-12 credential is available but
not required by the state.
Bachelor's degree preferred. (A
bachelor's degree may be required at
the local level. Requirements for
paraprofessionals are also
determined at the local level.)
There is no adult education
credential required (2002
started discussing a credential).
Bachelor's degree No additional requirements
There is no adult education
credential required, although a
K-12 credential is available.
(This may be required at the
local level. Adult Education
certification is highly
recommended by the state but
not required. Incentives are
provided at state and local
levels for having adult ed.
certified teachers on staff.)
Bachelor's degree
preferred. (A bachelor's
degree may be required
at the local level.
Requirements for
paraprofessionals are
also determined at the
local level.)
No additional requirements State plan mandates 15 hours
annually of professional development for
full-time teachers and 10 hours of
professional development for part-time
teachers.
50 hours of PD every 2 years.
Professional development should be
aligned with program improvement plan.
Local programs must have approved
program improvement objectives
negotiated each year (each program has
specific requirements).
KAEA renewed every 2 years
(Cannot renew without 50
hours of PD.)
Same as ABE (ESL teachers have
to have the Kansas Adult
Education Credential.)
Through the Department of
Education, teachers can get an
ESL endorsement to their
elementary or secondary
education credential.
ESL teachers have ESL
endorsement.
Associate's degree or less,
bachelor's degree, or master's
degree and above--credentials have
levels. Adult ESL teachers are
encouraged to have ESL
Endorsement from Kansas
Department of Education.
Kansas Adult Education (KAEA)
Credential
Associate's degree or
less, bachelor's degree,
and master's degree or
above--credentials have
levels.
Valid 5 years; provisional is
non-renewable; professional
is renewable every 5 years.
Requirements are under
development.
Smart System currently in place to track student
information as well as teacher licensure
information. In the future, this system will be
used to look at the effect of professional
development in relation to student outcomes.
Same as ABE. (ESL included in the
ABE Subject Matter Test)
Bachelor's degree
ESL teachers are required to have
knowledge of and to implement the
Maryland Content Standards for
Adult ESL/ESOL.
Table 1. Adult ESL Teacher Certification and Credentialing in States. (2007). Developed by the Center for Adult English Acquisition (CAELA), Center for Applied Linguistics, Washington, DC. 
STATE CREDENTIAL REQUIRED
(if any)
LEVEL OF EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS TRAINING RENEWAL ESL Credential ESL Requirements Notes
Michigan Michigan teaching certificate Bachelor's degree or 5 days of professional development
Office of Adult Education, Labor, and Economic
Growth
master's degree annually - offered - free to maintain
P.O. Box 30714
Lansing, MI 48909
ph: (517) 373-6911
fax: (517) 335-3630
email: colagrossli@michigan.gov web:
Web: www.michigan.gov/adulteducation
Minnesota License Bachelor's degree
Minnesota Board of Teaching
1500 Highway 36 West
Roseville, MN 55113-4266
contact: Dianne Garcia
ph: (651) 582-8833
fax: (651) 582-8872
email: board.teaching@state.mn.us
Web: http://cfl.state.mn.us/teachbrd
Mississippi
State Board for Community and Junior Colleges
Education Research Center
3825 Ridgewood Road
Jackson, MS 39211
contact: Danny Seal, Program Specialist
ph: (601) 432-6440
fax: (601) 432-6363
email: seal@sbcjc.cc.ms.us
Web: http://sbcjc.cc.ms.us
Missouri
State of Missouri Department of Elementary and
Secondary Education Adult Education
402 Dix Road
P.O. Box 480
Jefferson City, MO 65102
contact: Gene Johnson, Supervisor of AEL
ph: (573) 522-6547
fax: (573) 526-5710
Teresa Noels: (573) 751-1248
Web: http://services.dese.state.mo.us
Montana
Montana Office of Public Instruction
Helena, MT 59620-2501
Contact: Margarete Bowles, ABE State Director
ph: (406) 444-4443
Web: www.metnet.state.mt.us
Must be hired/employed by a statefunded
AEL program as an AEL
teacher. Prior to initial certification,
candidates must apply to go
through 16 hours of pre-certification
and a background check. Then
candidates are qualified to apply for
Initial AEL certification. Next, within
4 years, staff participate in 60 hours
of approved professional
development, including the
Beginning Teachers' Assistance
Program (BTAP). Beginning
teachers are also required to
participate in a 2-year mentoring
program. Those holding a Career
Continuous certificate are required
to attend 20 hours of approved
professional development per year.
Bachelor's degree or
higher
AEL I: 1) Successful completion of the
AEL Beginning, Intermediate, and
Experienced Teacher Workshops;
2) One in-service per year and other
training as may be required
AEL II: 1) 12 credit hours of AEL;
3) Successful completion of seven annual
workshops and one in-service per year,
and other training as required. Expand
professional development opportunities.
Pre-certification workshop and beginning
teacher assistance program. There is a
statewide PD Center.
Rather than having a renewal
process, Missouri teachers
have the option of upgrading
their certificates after 4 and 10
years of teaching.
Same as ABE. Additional
requirements are determined
locally. Some areas may also
require an ESL endorsement.
Provisional cert. valid 6 years;
Professional cert. valid 5
years
Michigan Test for Teacher
Certification. Additional
requirements are determined by
local districts. Most require an
elementary education degree, but
some require a secondary
education degree.
There is a 4-year Initial AEL
certificate (issued by the
Department of Education). After
4 years with an Initial certificate,
teacher may apply for the
Career Continuous certification.
When the teacher has
completed Initial Certification,
MA degree, and 10 years of
teaching, teacher may apply for
High Quality Career Continuous
certification. This is a lifetime
certificate and, upon receiving
this certificate, a teacher is
exempt from professional
development.
No credential required No level of education
required; it is up to local
decisions.
No requirements
Certificate of ABE orientation
completion
Bachelor's degree or
higher
contact: Linda Colagross, Education Consultant
Manager
1) Successful demonstration of
identified standards
2) Successful completion of an
ABE teacher preparation program
Same as ABE, plus must pass an
8-hour training on BEST Plus.
Annual BEST Plus refresher
meetings are also offered.
20 hours of state-approved PD
annually. This is the minimum
requirement for part-time
instructors. Full-time instructors
receive more. 60 hours of PD
opportunities are offered by the
state annually. This is also
supplemented locally.
ESL teachers are credentialed in
the same way as ABE.
20 hours of orientation to behavioral and
federal regulations, documentation
requirements, etc. Includes some theory on
adult education. Based on a manual. Must
pass a test on manual contents to receive
certificate of ABE orientation completion. 1
year of mentoring by a local trainer.
Requirements are the same as ABE
(Bachelor's Degree Requirement)
No training is required by state. Same as ABE (No ESL credential) Same as ABE (No ESL requirements)
Certification is the same as ABE
teachers.
Requirements are the same as ABE
(a bachelor's degree is needed).
Table 1. Adult ESL Teacher Certification and Credentialing in States. (2007). Developed by the Center for Adult English Acquisition (CAELA), Center for Applied Linguistics, Washington, DC. 
STATE CREDENTIAL REQUIRED
(if any)
LEVEL OF EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS TRAINING RENEWAL ESL Credential ESL Requirements Notes
Nebraska
Nebraska Department of Education
301 Centennial Mall South
P.O. Box 94987
Lincoln, NE 68509
contact: Vicki Bauer, Director
ph: (402) 471-4807
fax: (402) 471-8127
email: vicki.bauer@nde.ne.gov
Web: www.nde.state.ne.us/ADED/home.htm
Nevada
Community College of Southern Nevada
2409 Las Verdes - K1A
Las Vegas, NV 89102
contact: Ken Zutter, Program Information Specialist
ph: (775) 687-9236
fax: (775) 687-9114
email: kzutter@doe.nv.gov
Also contact: Sharyn Yanoshak
ph: (702) 253-6280
fax: (702) 253-6280
New Hampshire
Bureau of Adult Education
21 South Fruit Street, Suite #20
Concord, NH 03301-3860
contact: Debbie Tasker, Consultant and GED
administrator. phone: (603) 271-6701; email:
dtasker@ed.state.nh.us
Art Ellison: ph: (603) 271-6698; fax: (603) 271-
1953; email: aellison@ed.state.nh.us
Web: link: www.nhadulted.org
www.state.nh.us/labor
New Jersey Bachelor's degree Same as ABE.
New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce
Development
P.O. Box 055, 2nd Floor
Trenton, NJ 08625-0055
ph: (609) 943-5922
fax: (609) 984-4313
email: claudia.merkel-keller@dol.state.nj.us
Web: www.state.nj.us/education
New Mexico No credential required No ESL requirements
New Mexico Higher Education Department
1068 Cerillos Rd.
Santa Fe, NM 87505
contact: State Director for Adult Basic
Education, Pamela Etre-Perez, PhD
ph: (505) 476-6533
email: pam.etre-perez@state.nm.us
Web: http://sde.state.nm.us
NMHED Web site (re: policies, procedures, grant
opportunities): hed.state.nm.us.
Same as ABE (No ESL Credential
required)
Same as ABE
Must pass an examination in
physiology and hygiene, including
the effects of narcotics and alcohol,
have completed basic military
training, or have completed collegelevel
study in areas such as
biology, health, or nutrition.
Must complete the Provisional Teacher
Program (induction/mentoring for alternate
route or traditionally prepared first-year
teachers); or a state-approved college
teacher preparation program and 1 year of
full-time teaching under a valid state
license.
Statewide ABE professional development
is offered but is not required.
No level of education
required
General certification required
for all teachers working in the
public school system (K-12), but
no specification of content
focus.
No credential is required. State does not require a
level of education.
Requirements set by local
programs, may vary by
type of program.
No requirements Same as ABE.
ESOL Certificate is an option for
Adult ESL professionals
(given by the Bureau of Adult
Education).
This ESOL Certificate is given to
recognize teacher's efforts but
gives no financial reward.
No level of education is
required by the state.
Initial Certificate: Evidence of
student outcomes as demonstrated
by retention and CASAS test scores
or receipt of GED. Must show for
two classes. Good for 3 years.
For optional professional license, a
master's degree is required, plus 6 hours
of coursework and 3 years teaching
experience; license is valid 3 years and
need 30 hours of professional
development.
contact: Claudia Merkel-Keller, Assistant Director
of Workforce Dev.
Certification is permanent, but
there is a requirement for 100
hours of professional
development to be completed
in a 5-year span of time to
maintain the certification.
Same as ABE
No ABE credential is required. High school diploma No requirements 24 hours of professional development
every 3 years
Voluntary Adult Basic
Educator's Certificate of
Performance
For optional K-12 endorsement,
adult ESL teachers need 15 hours
of coursework.
Same as ABE--bachelor's degree is
needed for the ESOL Certificate
option.
No ESL requirements
Table 1. Adult ESL Teacher Certification and Credentialing in States. (2007). Developed by the Center for Adult English Acquisition (CAELA), Center for Applied Linguistics, Washington, DC. 
STATE CREDENTIAL REQUIRED
(if any)
LEVEL OF EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS TRAINING RENEWAL ESL Credential ESL Requirements Notes
New York
New York State Education Department
Office of Workforce Preparation and
Continuing Education
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12234
contact: Tom Orsini
ph: (518) 474-8940
fax: (518) 474-2801
email: torsini@mail.nysed.gov
Web: www.emsc.nysed.gov/workforce/home.html
usny.nysed.gov/licensing (teacher cert)
North Carolina
Department of Community Colleges
200 West Jones Street
Raleigh, NC 27603
contact: Karen Brown
ph: (919) 807-7140
fax: (919) 807-3445
email: kbrown@nccommunitycolleges.org
Web: www.ncccs.cc.nc.us
North Dakota No credential required Same as ABE
North Dakota Department of Public Instruction
Bismarck, ND 58505-0440
ph: (701) 328-2393
fax: (701) 328-4770
email: dmassey@nd.gov
Web: www.dpi.state.nd.us/adulted
Ohio Same as ABE Same as ABE
Ohio Department of Education
Office of Career-Technical and Adult Education
Adult Basic and Literacy Education
25 South Front Street, 6th Floor, Mail Stop 614
Columbus, OH 43215-4183
ph: (614) 466-5015
fax: (614) 728-8470
Web: www.ode.state.oh.us
In the near future trying to put credential in
place
Local programs establish their own hiring
practices within these guidelines. For instance,
the program can decide that only individuals
with ESL certificates will be hired to teach ESL
classes or only those certified in math, reading,
or writing will teach ABE/GED classes.
Same as ABE (A Bachelor's Degree
is necessary)
Same as ABE (No ESL Credential
required)
Every year, teachers must
renew their certificate.
Same as ABE
The RCN offers required and other core
trainings in areas including but not limited
to New Teacher Training, Reading,
Writing, Math, Technology, Learning
Disabilities, ESOL, etc. A training calendar
and online registration exist on the RCN
Website.
Ohio teaching
certificate/license must be
renewed according to Ohio
Department of Education
Policy. Adult Education
Teaching Permit: Instructors
apply for annual renewal
through the local school
district and Department of
Education.
Bachelor's degree or
higher in any area
contact: David Massey, Assistant State
Superintendent
contact: Denise Pottmeyer, State Director for Adult
Basic and Literacy Education
email: denise.pottmeyer@ode.state.oh.us
All staff paid by Adult Basic and
Literacy Education (ABLE) funds
must complete an Individual
Professional Development Plan
(IPDP). The Resource Center
Network (RCN), funded by the Ohio
Department of Education,
financially supports two activities
per year for staff that work more
than 7 hours per week; one activity
for staff that work less than 7 hours
per week. ABLE staff are
encouraged to attend more than the
required trainings. The state has
developed teacher, administrator,
and support staff competencies that
will form the basis of PD tracks that
may lead to a certification or
endorsement in various areas (e.g.,
ESOL instructor). The tracks will
include required and elective
courses.
If employed by an LEA, an
instructor must hold:
*a current Ohio teaching
certificate/ license in any area
(K-12 or adult education) or
* a temporary Adult Education
Teaching Permit (this permit is
for those with lapsed
certificates or for those without
certificates with a minimum of a
bachelors degree).
For programs housed in
community-based organizations
or community colleges,
instructor requirements are
reviewed and negotiated during
grant approval process, but
most programs hire certified
teachers.
600 East Boulevard Avenue, State Capitol Building,
9th Floor
No credential required Bachelor's degree No state-level requirements No training requirements at the state level
(training is a local decision)
PreK-12 teaching Certificate At least 10 hours of inservice per year Same as ABE
required by Local Education
Agencies (LEAs)
Temporary teaching certificate
in adult education (only as
required by LEAs)
A bachelor's segree is
required (for temporary
preK-12 cert.). After 5
years of teaching, ABE
staff need a masters
degree (for permanent
preK-12 cert.)
3 years of preparation/experience
in the subject to be taught
Table 1. Adult ESL Teacher Certification and Credentialing in States. (2007). Developed by the Center for Adult English Acquisition (CAELA), Center for Applied Linguistics, Washington, DC. 
STATE CREDENTIAL REQUIRED
(if any)
LEVEL OF EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS TRAINING RENEWAL ESL Credential ESL Requirements Notes
Oklahoma
Oklahoma Department of Education
contact: Dr. Stephanie Curtis, Director of Lifelong
Learning
ph: (405) 521-3321
fax: (405) 521-0091
Web: www.ridoe.net
http://sde.state.ok.us/pro/abe.html
Oregon No credential required Same as ABE
255 Capitol Street NE/PSB
Salem, OR 97310-0203
ph: (503) 378-8648, x 284
fax: (503) 378-8434
email: maryjane.bagwell@state.or.us
Web: www.oregon.gov/ccwd/abe
Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Department of Education
333 Market Street
Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
contact: Rose Brandt
ph: (717) 772-3737
ph: (717) 783-6788
email: rosebrandt@state.pa.us
Web: www.paadulted.org
Rhode Island
Rhode Island Department of Elementary and
Secondary Education
255 Westminster Street, Shepard Building
Providence, RI 02903-3400
contact: Johan Uvin, State Adult Education Director
ph: (401) 222-8950 and 222-8948
fax: (401) 222-4256
email: johan.uvin@RIDE.RI.GOV
South Carolina
South Carolina State Department of Education
Office of Community Education
South Carolina Department of Ed.
1429 Senate St. 906 Ruthledge Office Bldg.
contact: Kathy Harvin
Columbia, SC 29201
ph: (803) 734-3160
fax: (803) 734-2873
email: old email: Certification@scteachers.org
Web: www.scteachers.org and sc.ta.org
South Dakota No credential is required.
Department of Labor
700 Governors Drive
Pierre, SD 57501-2291
contact: Marcia Hess
ph: (605) 773-3101
fax: (605) 773-6184
email: marcia.hess@state.sd.us
Web: www.sdjobs.org and www.state.sd.us
No level of education is
required by the state, but
a bachelor's degree is
preferred.
No requirements
Currently, a work group composed of ABE and
ESL practitioners is researching models and
creating a proposal to address credentialing,
compensation, and qualification of staff.
At conferences and workshops,
South Carolina offers "ESL Strands"
best practices for teaching literary
skills, etc.
Same as ABE (ESL teachers need to
have a bachelor's degree.)
Required: new ESL teachers are
provided orientation.
Same as ABE
15-hour New Teacher training for all
ESL and AEL teachers within 4
months of hire date
Same as ABE (ESL teachers have
to be Oklahoma certified and and
pass general education and
subject area competency
examinations).
Same as ABE
Same as ABE (No ESL credential
is required.)
15-hour New Teacher training for all ESL
and AEL teachers within 4 months of hire
date
Participation in new practitioner orientation
within first year of hire; ongoing
expectation of engagement in professional
development activities. FY 08 grants
included up to 50 hours of paid
professional development for full-time staff.
State provides professional development,
but it is not a requirement.
Oklahoma Teacher's
Certificates are renewed
every 5 years.
No credential is required.
A task force is working to
establish a credential.
A bachelor's degree is
required.
No additional requirements
No credential is required. No level of education is
required by the state;
many programs ask that
teachers have a high
school credential or
bachelor's degree, but
there is no state mandate.
No requirements mandated by the
state; programs may have preferred
qualifications.
A majority of full-time
instructors hold master's
degrees in relevant
content areas. However,
this is not always the
case in rural areas. Parttime
instructors often hold
a minimum of a
bachelor's degree.
New teachers are provided
orientations.
No ESL credential required
(looking into establishing
"guidelines" for teachers to have
certain knowledge).
Department of Community Colleges & Workforce
Development
Requirements are determined
by individual colleges.
contact: Mary Jane Bagwell, Adult Education
Leadership Specialist
No credential required No level of education
required by the state;
agencies require teachers
to have a bachelor's
degree.
No requirements
All teachers have to be
Oklahoma certified, but there is
no credential required for ABE
teachers and ESL teachers.
Bachelor's degree To obtain an Oklahoma Teacher's
Certificate credential, teachers
must pass general education and
subject area competency
examinations.
No state-level training prior to certification.
Adult education training is provided by the
state agency after the certified teacher has
been hired by the local adult learning
center.
Regional training through the College of
Charleston
Current task force so that ESL
teachers have to have a
credential (not yet
established)
ESL teachers must complete 45
hours of professional
development.
A 4-year degree is not required
for ESL teachers.
Table 1. Adult ESL Teacher Certification and Credentialing in States. (2007). Developed by the Center for Adult English Acquisition (CAELA), Center for Applied Linguistics, Washington, DC. 
STATE CREDENTIAL REQUIRED
(if any)
LEVEL OF EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS TRAINING RENEWAL ESL Credential ESL Requirements Notes
Tennessee No credential required Bachelor's degree Same as ABE
500 James Robertson Parkway
11th Floor Davy Crockett Tower
Nashville, TN 37245
ph: (615) 741-7057
fax: (615) 532-4899
email: hope.lancaster@state.tn.us
Web: www.state.tn.us/labor-wfd/AE
Texas Same as ABE
Texas Learns
6311 Irvington Blvd.
Houston, TX 77022-5618
contact: Joanie Rethlake, State Director
ph: (713) 696-0700
fax: (713) 696-0797
email: jrethlake@hcde-texas.org
Utah No credential is required. No requirements No requirements Same as ABE No ESL requirements
Utah State Office of Education
250 East 500 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
contact: Marti Kelly, Coordinator of ABE
ph: (801) 538-7824
fax: (801) 538-7768
Web: www.usoe.k12.ut.us/cert
Vermont No credential required No requirements No requirements Same as ABE
Department of Education
120 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05620-2501
contact: Thomas Alderman, Director of Adult
Education
ph: (802) 828-3134
fax: (802) 828-3146
email: tom.alderman@state.vt.us
Web: www.education.vt.gov
Virginia No credential is required. Local program decision
Office of Adult Education and Literacy
Virginia Department of Education
James Monroe Building
101 North 14th Street
P.O. Box 2120
Richmond, VA 23218-2120
contact: Elizabeth Hawa, Director
ph: (804) 225-2075
email: Elizabeth.Hawa@doe.virginia.gov
When teachers are certified with the
optional credential, 12 hours of
professional development are required. 24
hours of professional development are
required for every teacher each year if
teachers are not certified with the optional
credential.
Current in-service training requirement
proposal
Although there is no state-level requirement
that adult education ESL teachers be
licensed/endorsed in adult education or ESL,
the Division of Teacher Education and
Licensure does have an adult education
endorsement with an add-on related to ESL.
(See Virginia Licensure Regulations for School
Personnel - July 1998, Code of Virginia 8 VAC
20-21-160, 8 VAC 20-21-170, 8 VAC 20-21-
180, and 8 VAC 20-21-190; Virginia Licensure
Renewal Manual - July 1998.)
It is recommended by the Office
of Adult Education and Literacy
that individuals who are hired to
teach adult education classes in
Virginia be either licensed or
working toward licensure.
Bachelor's degree
(minimum)
Training available through the Virginia
Adult Learning Resource Center
All other teachers: a minimum of 6 hours of
professional development each year
Requirement for first-year teachers: 6
hours of new teacher orientation on
working with adult learners and a minimum
of 6 hours of Division of Adult Educationsponsored
professional development.
No state requirement
(Majority have BA or MA,
but there is no official
requirement.)
No required level of
education is required by
the state.
No credential is required.
Optional credential started in
2004.
A bachelor's degree is
required.
Preferred: Tennessee teacher
certification, training, or coursework
in teaching reading and/or math; 3
years' teaching experience;
completion of at least three
workshops in the subject(s) being
taught
Department of Labor and Workforce Development,
Division of Adult Education
Teacher certification is highly
recommended but no longer a
requirement.
contact: Hope Lancaster, Director of Professional
Development and ESOL
For optional credential,
professional development required.
Optional credential is based on a
point system.
Table 1. Adult ESL Teacher Certification and Credentialing in States. (2007). Developed by the Center for Adult English Acquisition (CAELA), Center for Applied Linguistics, Washington, DC. 
STATE CREDENTIAL REQUIRED
(if any)
LEVEL OF EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS TRAINING RENEWAL ESL Credential ESL Requirements Notes
Washington No state requirements No state requirement
Adult Basic Education Office
WA State Board for Community & Technical
Colleges
319 SE 7th Ave. P.O. Box 42495
Olympia, WA 98504-7200
contact: Brian Kates, Policy Associate
ph: (360) 704-4324
fax: (360) 586-0145
email: bcaines@sbctc.ctc.edu
West Virginia
Department of Education
Office of Professional Preparation
Building 6, Rm 252
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East
Charlestown, WV 25305-0330
contact: Coordinator
ph: (304) 558-7010
fax: (304) 558-7843
email: mfmiller@access.k12.wv.us
Web: http://wvde.state.wv.us
Wisconsin Bachelor's degree Valid 2 years Certificate
Wisconsin Technical College System Board
4622 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53707-7874
ph: (608) 266-0003
fax: (608) 266-1690
email: sharon.spangberg@wtcsystem.edu
Web: www.board.tec.wi.us/cert/index.htm
Wyoming
Community College Commission in Wyoming
Professional Teaching Standards Board
2300 Capitol Avenue
Hathaway Bldg. 2nd Floor
Cheyenne, WY 82002
contact: Margarete Elwood, Adult Basic Ed Director
ph: (307) 777-7675
fax: (307) 777-6234
Same as ABE (no ESL Credential
is required); advanced degree is
requested by employers.
Programs which are funded by the
state need to provide professional
development to ESL teachers.
Employers often request a master's degree from
ESL teachers. Local employers, mostly
community and technical colleges and
community-based organizations, determine their
own individual hiring requirements.
Provisional certificate: Bachelor's
degree or minor in ESL, TESOL,
applied linguistics, VESL, or bilingual
education and 1 year of occupational
experience outside the field of
education
Same as ABE
Professional certificate: Required
major in one of the areas listed above
Professional Teaching Certificate
and ESL Endorsement
Initial Professional Teaching
Certificate: Valid 3 years; 1)
bachelor's degree; 2) NBPTS
Certificate; 3) Praxis I & II, Principles
of Learning and
Teaching Praxis Test; Professional 5-
Year Teaching Certificate: valid 5
years; 1) successful completion of a
beginning educator internship or a
valid out-of-state certificate and 5
years' teaching experience; 2) 2
years' experience; 3)
recommendation of superintendent
No state training requirement Same as ABE
contact: Sharon Spangberg, Certification
Consultant
Certificate (provisional or 5-
year certificate)
Provisional certificate: 20 relevant
credit hours required
Professional certificate: relevant major
required (including courses in educational
methods, history and philosophy of the
Wisconsin technical college system,
curriculum development, educational
psychology, educational evaluation,
guidance and counseling, and educational
diversity, plus 2-credit course)
No credential is required.
(Since 2002 have been
discussing a credential.)
No level of education is
required by the state.
No state requirements.
Complete pre-service training program 1) Valid 5 years; 2) 6
semester hours of appropriate
college/university coursework
for issuance of a Professional
Teaching Certificate or in a
program of adult education; 3)
30 clock hours of ABE staff
development in-service
activities; 4) recommendation
of a superintendent in the
county of employment
No credential is required. No level of education is
required by the state.
Adult License with ABE Bachelor's degree
Endorsement
3) National Board for Professional
Teaching Standards (NBPTS)
Certificate and WVBE Adopted
Tests
1) Minimum education requirement
2) Meets the proficiency scores on
the state competency exam(s) and
enrolls in an 18 semester hour
WVBE-approved alternative route
to certification program
Depending upon route to licensure,
requirements may include:
Table 1. Adult ESL Teacher Certification and Credentialing in States. (2007). Developed by the Center for Adult English Acquisition (CAELA), Center for Applied Linguistics, Washington, DC. 
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