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Alternative Routes to Licensure (ARL)

Full ARL step-by-step instructions

ARL Flow Chart

ARL’s “Open Window Period” for accepting applications is March 1 through July 31 of each year. Applications are accepted year round if:

  • A person is a Military "Troops to Teachers" candidate, or
  • A person is an "ABCTE" Competency Testing Completer or if ABCTE contacts ARL directly requesting a review for one of the ARL's approved areas, or
  • A school administrator or Human Resources contacts ARL directly indicating they wish to consider the person for hire and wants them reviewed outside this window period.

Ways to Earn a Utah License

There are four ways to earn a teaching license in Utah.

  • Out-of-State Licensure
    If you already have an existing license from another state, you can apply through Utah's Out of State Licensure program. 
  • University Licensure Program
    Various Utah universities offer “licensure only” programs or licensing programs with Bachelor's or Master’s degrees. Please make sure the university is regionally accredited and that the program you are interested in attending includes licensure. If a person completes a university program outside of Utah, see the Utah's Out of State Licensure process.
  • Utah State Board of Education (USBE) ARL Program (as detailed here).
  • Utah's Academic Pathway to Teaching (APT). Information for this pathway can be found at This licensure type is only available in certain subject areas and is not available for Special Education or Private Schools. For further information or questions please call (801) 538-7740.

The Basic ARL steps are: 1) Apply to ARL, 2) Receive an eligibility letter, 3) Obtain a teaching position that qualifies, 4) Obtain an "ARL Plan," 5) Finish the plan for licensure.

The 5 licensure areas available in ARL are:
1. Elementary Education License 1-8 (or Elementary Education K-6 if teaching Kindergarten). Must have a Bachelor’s degree minimum in any area and must have a broad cross section of course content as outlined in the Content Course Eligibility Checklist worksheet. Teachers who already have an Elementary License and are seeking to earn an Early Childhood license do not go through the ARL program.
2. Secondary Education License with a specific Endorsement area: Must have a Bachelor's degree minimum and have completed the specific endorsement area requirements. ARL's are not eligible for a State Approved Endorsement Plan (SAEP), which require an existing license.
3. Special Education License K-12 with Mild/Moderate Endorsement: Must have a Bachelor’s degree minimum in any area and must have a broad cross section of course content as outlined in the Content Course Eligibility Checklist worksheet. Please also complete and submit an endorsement form for Special Education Mathematics, if you wish to be considered to teach Special Education Mathematics courses as well.
4. Standard Career and Technical Education (CTE) License (previously called CTE APP Licenses): No Bachelor’s degree is required, but must have work experience/certifications in a CTE Career/Applied Technology endorsement area. (Only available in Family and Consumer Science (FACS), Health Science, Information Technology, Skills and Technical areas. Adult Education has a separate CTE License through ARL, but no other endorsements can be attached to it.)
5. CTE Specialist License: An applicant may or may not have a Bachelor’s degree, but must have a valid Division of Occupational & Professional License (DOPL) or Specialty License in a related CTE area. (i.e. Building Trades, Dentistry, Fire, Law Enforcement, Nursing, Pharmacy Technician, Skilled and Technical Science, etc.) CTE Specialist ARL’s would be able to teach two periods or less in this area in a Utah Accredited School that requires a teaching license).

Utah's ARL Program Description

Utah's ARL Program is a teacher preparation program for individuals who wish to earn an initial Level 1 teaching license or are currently licensed teachers who wish to earn another type of teaching license. 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. Employed ARL participants must complete a formal ARL plan which may include such things as required content knowledge test(s), content courses, workshop/conferences, and general pedagogy courses (typically 7-10 classes), teach successfully for a minimum of one year if full time or two years if half time in their eligible subject area at the same school consecutively, having successful principal’s evaluations of classroom performance and teaching disposition skills, and upon program completion, being recommended for licensure by the principal and the ARL advisor. Participants are responsible for all costs involved in completing the ARL process. Participants successfully completing the ARL program will be issued a Level 1 Utah Professional Educator License.

ARL Steps

Please refer to the Full ARL step-by-step instructions at the top of this page for a more complete explanation.

A. First, Apply for the ARL Program and Receive an "Eligibility Letter"

  • 1. Complete the Online Background Check
  • 2. Complete the fingerprinting portion
  • 3. Complete a full Application Packet with all applicable items:
    • Application Form with all answers completed
    • Official University Transcripts. (If Foreign Transcripts see below for information) 
    • $75 Application/Evaluation Fee
    • Eligibility Checklists/Content Endorsement Form for each area you are applying. (No additional fee is required).

For Foreign Transcripts, see Credential Transcript Evaluation and English Oral Proficiency information. (Refer to Foreign Credentialed-Educator).

For Elementary School or Special Education (Refer to the Content Course Eligibility Checklist worksheet). For Special Education: Please also complete and submit an endorsement form for Special Education Mathematics if you wish to be considered to teach Special Education Mathematics courses

For Secondary Education or CTE (in a Middle School, Junior High School, High School) Endorsement Checklists, refer to Endorsements.

For CTE Career Technology DOPL Endorsement Checklists. (Refer to Endorsements).

  • 4. Become Eligible
    If eligible, you will get an Eligibility letter designating what you can teach if hired. If not eligible, the letter will indicate what you will need to complete in order to become eligible. (See the full ARL steps for more information on areas and positions that are not eligible for ARL.)

The following Subject Endorsement Areas are not available in the ARL program for initial licensure: Administration, Anthropology, Distance Learning, Driver’s Education, ESL, Gifted and Talented, Mathematics Level 2 and lower, Philosophy, Reading, School Counseling, Social Dance, Work Based Learning, and Youth in Custody (YIC). ARL's are not eligible for SAEP because these are for educators who already have an existing license.

Speech Language Technicians have their own program. (Refer to Speech-Language Technician (SLT) ARL). Please contact Crystal Thomas, Speech-Language Pathology Specialist, at 801-538-7589, if you have any questions about this area.

Administration and Counseling do not have ARL programs. For questions about School Counseling, please contact Lillian Tsosie-Jensen, Comprehensive Counseling and Guidance Specialist, at 801-538-7962, if you have questions about this area.

  • 5. Apply for positions at various districts/Charter Schools/accredited Private Schools.

B. Then, Obtain a Position that Qualifies

Obtain a position in a qualified teaching position. You must be hired by an accredited Utah school in a licensed position for at least half time or more in your eligible areas. See the full ARL steps for more information on the position requirements to qualify for ARL.

The following assignments do not qualify for ARL:

  • 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 Program. Assignments in non-accredited Schools, Special Education in Private and Online School settings, Special Education transition assignment, and Residential Treatment Centers do not qualify for ARL.

C. Next, Receive an ARL Plan Outlining Required Coursework, Testing, etc.

ARL will set up an appointment with you to go over your ARL plan once it is developed. You will meet with an ARL Specialist to make sure you understand your plan and program expectations. Plans typically include such items as related Praxis Test(s), 6 General Pedagogy Classes, 1-4 Methods Classes, and any additional Content Classes if needed as part of the licensing process once hired. Special Education K-12 and Elementary Education 1-8 plans usually require 10 total courses including pedagogy and methods courses and Content Praxis test(s). (Unique CTE Specialist License areas such as Law Enforcement and Fire do not require an ARL plan and are issued temporary licenses to teach up to 2 periods for at least one full academic school year. They would move to Step 18 in this ARL process unless they chose to earn a Standard CTE License. Any change in a person's employment or teaching assignment may alter or nullify your Professional Growth Plan so participants must contact ARL immediately if a change is made.

A few subject areas have the option to either coursework/testing or a competency route (such as American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) for Biology, Chemistry, Elementary Education, English, History, Mathematics, Physics, or Special Education). ABCTE is an approved route to meet the pedagogy requirements for ARL. Individuals must still meet all other ARL requirements including content eligibility and successful employment as a teacher in a Utah public or accredited private school to receive full licensure. Some subjects areas have additional content and methods items that are still required even after passing the ABCTE testing. Please refer to the ABCTE section for more information.

D. Finally, Complete the Plan and be Recommended for Licensure

ARL Contact Information

ARL Overall Specialist:

Robyn Roberts
Phone: (801) 538-7602 | robyn[dot]roberts[at]schools[dot]utah[dot]gov(E-mail)

Assistant for ARL General Questions, Secondary Education, and CTE subjects:

Stephanie Crosland
Phone: (801) 538-7834 | stephanie[dot]crosland[at]schools[dot]utah[dot]gov(E-mail)

Assistant for Elementary Education, Dual Immersion, Special Education, Languages, and English subjects:

Penny Ford
Phone: (801) 538-7695 | penny[dot]ford[at]schools[dot]utah[dot]gov(E-mail)

Mailing Address

USBE Licensing
250 East 500 South
PO Box 144200
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4200

Make sure to include both the street address and the PO Box in your mailing address.

Electronic transcripts are only considered official when sent directly from the University through a transcripts clearinghouse to transcripts[at]schools[dot]utah[dot]gov(transcripts@schools[dot]utah[dot]gov).

Incomplete applications will be returned.


Effective 07/01/2013 to 06/30/2017 as per Utah Legislature. *Please see fee schedule for updated information.
Background Check Fee - $40*
Application & Evaluation Fee - $75*
Program Development and Tracking Fee - $300*
Licensure Fee - $40*

Participants are responsible for all costs involved in completing the ARL process. Coursework and testing fees are charged by the various schools and organizations and are not reflected in the fee list.

Information and fees listed here are subject to change.

Fees are non-refundable.