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Alternative Routes to Licensure

Program Description

Utah's Alternative Routes to Licensure (ARL) is a teacher preparation program for individuals who currently hold a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited university.

For Special Education Licensure options and application, please visit the Special Education website. The regular education ARL steps listed here are similar in nature to USOE’s Special Education ARL Program option.

University degrees and degree majors are verified through original transcripts that document the degree, the degree major, and the year conferred.

Qualified candidates who wish to teach in an accredited secondary school (Middle School, Junior High School, High School), must have a degree major in a subject taught in Utah secondary schools or have met all the content coursework and testing requirements (except “Methods of Teaching”) for the endorsement they want to earn prior to being eligible for the ARL program. .

Qualified candidates who wish to teach elementary school must have a transcript that documents a broad background of liberal arts content in the areas of language arts, science, social studies, mathematics, the fine arts, physical education, and health. A minimum of 27 semester hours or 40 quarter hours of applicable credit are required for eligibility. (For more information on elementary education, see Eligibility section).

Brief Summary of the Alternative Route to Licensure Steps:

ARL Licensing Process
Before submitting an application to alternative routes to licensure, complete a background check (Step 1) and get your fingerprinting done (Step 2). Your application cannot be processed (even if ARL receives your application) until the background check has cleared the Utah State Office of Education.

First, apply for the ARL Program & get an “Eligibility" Letter

1. Complete the Online Background Check. (

2. Get fingerprinting done.

3. Complete a full Application Packet with official transcript(s) and fee as well as other items as needed, such as the Content Eligibility Checklist Form, Endorsement Checklists, Foreign Transcript Evaluation, and/or English Oral Proficiency Test. Make sure to include:

A. Application Form  
Special Education applicants must use a separate application form found at

B. Official transcripts with degree(s) posted. If you have foreign transcripts please also complete the following:

  • Foreign Transcript Evaluation (if your degree or coursework is from foreign transcripts). If your degree or coursework is from foreign transcripts, you must have a Foreign Credential Evaluation done before applying to ARL. See “Out-of-State Foreign Credential” information (at under “Step 2”.)
  • English Oral Proficiency Testing (if English is not the primary language spoken in your degree’s country of origin). If English is not the primary language spoken in your degree’s country of origin, you will also need verification of your English proficiency through an Oral Proficiency Language Test before applying to ARL. You may schedule an Oral Proficiency Interview with Language Testing International (LTI) ( . An applicant must attain a level of Advanced Low to pass the English Language Proficiency benchmark.)

C. $75* Application Fee

D. “Content Course Eligibility Checklist” Form (if applying for Elementary or Special Education. This form can be found at )

E. Endorsement Checklists for each subject area you are applying for (if not a degree-related major in the Secondary Education endorsement area) must be included with your application. Secondary Education applicants who do not have a directly related major in the area, must include a completed “endorsement” checklist for each area they are wish to be considered for. No additional endorsement review fees are needed with this ARL application. Endorsement links can be found at: . Areas such as Business, etc. are found under the “CTE Career and Technical Education” link.

4. Become Eligible – If eligible, you will get an Eligibility letter which you can give to District Human Resources where you want to apply to teach. The letter will designate the license area (i.e. Secondary or Elementary) and which area of endorsement (subject) you can earn if hired.

5. Apply for jobs at various districts/Charter Schools/Private Schools as long as they are accredited. Apply at: and/or each district you are interested in working in.

Then, get a job:

6. Get a Job – You must be hired in an accredited school for .50 contract or more in your eligible areas. Instructors, aides, tutors, language assistants, pull out program teachers, or Elementary Education specific subject only teachers (i.e. reading, etc.) are NOT eligible to earn a license through the regular ARL Alternative Route to Licensure Program. Special Education teachers must be hired to teach in an approved mild/moderate special education setting and must be directly instructing students for at least .50 FTE minimum. Special Education teachers must be either the teacher of record directly instructing students, or Co-teaching with direct instruction of students or a Consultative Collaborative Special Education Pullout Teacher directly instructing students for at least .50 FTE minimum. Online teachers are eligible to earn an Online teaching license through ARL.

7. Inform our ARL office if you are hired in a licensed teaching position.

8. Submit an ARL “Confirmation of Employment” Form with signatures from the principal and HR director. Your new teaching assignment will be put on CACTUS (the State Teacher Tracking System).

9. Pay the Program Development and Tracking Fee $300.

Next, get an “ARL” Plan outlining required Coursework, Testing, etc. to earn a license and endorsement(s) while you teach. A Professional Growth Plan is developed only after a candidate is hired and pays the requisite program development and tracking fee. You are responsible for all costs involved in completing your ARL Plan:

10. Get a “Professional Growth Plan” (PGP) Plan. You will meet with an ARL advisor to make sure you understand your plan and program expectations. For example, all participants usually take 6 General Pedagogy Classes, 1-4 Methods courses, the related Praxis testing, and any additional content courses if needed as part of the licensing process once hired. Special Education plans usually require 10 total courses including pedagogy and methods courses and Content Praxis test(s). A few subject areas have the option of either Coursework/Testing or a Competency Route (such as ABCTE for Sp. Ed.). Please do not enroll in ABCTE unless you have received an ARL plan with specific options for this because Utah doesn’t accept the ABCTE program otherwise.

11. Pass the Praxis II Content Area test to become HQ highly qualified as soon as possible (preferably by the first semester of teaching). 

12. Teach full time for at least 1 year (or at least .50 part-time for 2 years). Your plan can be renewed for up to 3 years if you have never had a temporary authorization before. (Board rule allows for only 3 “authorizations” in an individual’s lifetime.)

13. Work with a trained mentor assigned by your Principal in your school.

14. Take Courses that are outlined on your PGP Plan. All courses must earn a "C" grade or above. Not C-.)

15. Each Spring, you submit "Progress Forms” with official transcripts and documentation. (SLCC coursework may be posted in OnTrack through or official SLCC transcripts.)

16. Each Spring, your Principal will submit their observations and evaluations of you. You must successfully pass these observations/classroom performances with “meets standards” or above.

17. Your first year Temporary ARL Authorization will be reissued to a Temporary ARL License if you complete your Progress Forms and your Principal’s evaluations satisfactorily. You must do this each year that you are in the program in order to have your temporary license re-issued for the following year.

Finally, complete the plan and be recommended licensure:

18. Complete PGP plan. (Let us know if anything changes in your employment during the time you are completing the plan.)

19. Once the Plan is completed, we will request a Principal’s Letter of Recommendation for Licensure from your current principal.

20. Complete a Level 1 Licensure Application form.

21. Update your background check only if it is outdated - more than 3 years old.

22. Complete the "Ethics Review" online at

23. Pay the Level 1 Licensing Fee ($40) to USOE.

24. Once the Principal’s Recommendation letter is received and the Ethics Review, Level 1 License Form & fees are in, you will be recommended for licensure.

25. Yeah! The licensing process is complete when you receive your license in the mail.

Below is a futher explanation of the ARL process:

ARL allows participants to teach in an accredited Utah school on a temporary license for up to three years while they are fulfilling licensure requirements. Participants must be employed by a Utah school district, charter school, or accredited private or parochial school while earning a license and must be teaching in a licensed position at the time a license is earned and issued.

Qualified candidates who wish to apply to Alternative Routes to Licensure must first complete a criminal background check. Candidates pay fees and receive an authorization form for the background check online at ( ). Authorization forms are taken to one of the listed Livescan centers located throughout the state for actual fingerprinting. After the fingerprint check has been completed and sent to the Utah State Office of Education, the candidate may apply to the Alternative Routes program. You will be notified that your background check has cleared. If you have no criminal history, simply apply to ARL after you have completed the digital Livescan background check. Applications are taken from March 1 through July 31 each year. Applicants must submit the following in a single envelope:

  • A completed ARL application (form online);
  • An original transcript (no copies) documenting a bachelor’s degree, degree major, and year conferred;
  • A check or money order for the application/evaluation fee.

If applying for Elementary or Special Education, also include a completed "Content Eligibility Checklist" form found on the eligibility page. Evaluation fees are non-refundable.

Participants in the ARL program complete course work determined by a transcript review, take required content knowledge test(s), teach for a minimum of one year and a maximum of three years in a licensed position, successfully pass evaluations of classroom performance skills by the principal and, upon program completion, are recommended for licensure by the principal and ARL advisor.

Participants successfully completing the Alternative Routes to Licensure program will be issued a Level I Utah Professional Educator License in the following areas of concentration:

Early Childhood Education

Kindergarten Only

Pre-School Teachers do not Qualify for ARL;

Already licensed Elementary Teachers see

"endorsement" section instead.

Elementary Education

Grades 1-8

Elementary Schools

Secondary Education

Grades 6-12

Middle, Junior, High Schools

Special Education Mild Moderate

Grades K-12

K-12 Mild Moderate Special Education
Preschool teachers do not qualify for ARL


 If you already have a Elementary License and are seeking to earn an Early Childhood license, you do not need to go through the ARL program. See “Endorsement” section for more information on this.

Note: Information and fees listed here are subject to change.  Fees are non-refundable.


Background Check Fee - $40

Application Fee - $75

Program Development & Tracking Fee - $300

Licensure Fee - $40