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Alternative Routes to Licensure (ARL)

Click here for the full ARL step-by-step instructions.

ARL’s “Open Window Period” for accepting applications is March 1 through July 31 of each year. (If a school is considering an applicant for hire and wants us to accept an application for review outside this window period, the school administration or Human Resources would need to contact ARL directly.)

Ways to Earn a Utah License

There are 3 ways to earn a regular teaching license in Utah:

  1. Out-of-State Licensure
    If you already have a license from another state.
  2. University Licensure Program
    Various universities offer “licensure only” programs or licensing programs with Bachelors or Master’s degrees. Please make sure that the university is regionally accredited by CAEP, NCATE, or TEAC and that the program you are interested in attending includes licensure. In Special Education, refer to Special Education's Alternative Route to Licensure Information.
  3. Utah’s Alternative Route to Licensure (as outlined below). 

ARL Flow Chart

Utah’s ARL Program Description

Utah's Alternative Routes to Licensure (ARL) 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. Participants in the ARL program complete course work determined by an official review, take required content knowledge test(s), take required content and general pedagogy courses (typically 7-10 classes), teach successfully for a minimum of one year full time or two years if less than full time in their eligible subject area up to a maximum of three academic school years in a licensed position, have successful principal’s evaluations of classroom performance and teaching disposition skills, and upon program completion, be 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 Alternative Routes to Licensure program will be issued a Level 1 Utah Professional Educator License.

Five Types of Licenses Available in ARL

ARL has five types of license areas available to earn through ARL depending on your situation. Individuals with a Bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited university have the option of applying to ARL for consideration in one or more of the following:

  1. Elementary Education License 1-8 (or Elementary Education K-6 if teaching Kindergarten in the ARL program)
    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 need to go through the ARL program. (Refer to Endorsements and Early Childhood Education (ECE) License Area).
  2. Secondary Education License with a Specific Endorsement Area
    Secondary Education applicants must have a degree major in the specific area or have completed all the “endorsement” content and testing requirements (with the exception of the Methods course) prior to becoming eligible for ARL. (Refer to Endorsements and Early Childhood Education (ECE) License Area for endorsement area eligibility checklists).
  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. University degrees and degree majors are verified through original transcripts that document the degree, the degree major, and the year conferred. Private and online school settings are not eligible for ARL in Special Education.

    Non-Bachelor’s degree applicants who have CTE Career/Applied Technology work experience/certifications can apply for the following:
  4. Standard 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 area. (Only available in FACS, Health Science, Info. Technology, Skills & 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 DOPL Division of Occupational & Professional License or Specialty License in a related CTE area. (i.e. Building Trades, Dentistry, Fire, Law Enforcement, Nursing, Pharmacy Technician, Skilled & Technical Science, etc.) CTE Specialist ARL’s would be able to teach 2 periods or less in this area in a Utah Accredited School that requires a teaching license).

School Counseling does not have an ARL program.

Speech-Language Technicians

ARL Steps

Click here for the full ARL step-by-step instructions.

A. First, Apply for the ARL Program and Get an "Eligibility Letter"
ARL’s “Open Window Period” for accepting applications is March 1 through July 31 of each year. (If a school is considering an applicant for hire and wants us to accept an application for review outside this window period, the school administration or Human Resources would need to contact ARL directly.)

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

ARL applications are valid for 18 months from the date of the eligibility/temporary denial letter.

For all ARL Applications:

ARL Application Form

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 Secondary Education or CTE (in a Middle School, Junior High School, High School) Endorsement Checklists. (Refer to Endorsements and Early Childhood Education (ECE) License Area).

For CTE Career Technology DOPL Endorsement Checklists. (Refer to Skilled & Technical Sciences Education Educator Licensing).

  • 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: Anthropology, Distance Learning, Driver’s Education, ESL, Gifted and Talented, Philosophy, Reading, School Counseling, Social Dance, Work Based Learning, YIC.  Speech Language Technicians have their own program. (Refer to Speech-Language Technician (SLT) ARL).

  • 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.

B. Then, Get a Job that Qualifies

Get a Job 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, and Residential Treatment Centers do not qualify for ARL.

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

To earn a license and endorsement(s) while you teach. ARL will set up an appointment with you to go over your ARL plan once your position is posted on CACTUS and we have received your “Confirmation Form”, Program Fee, etc. You will meet with an ARL advisor 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). A few subject areas have the option of either Coursework/Testing or a Competency Route (such as ABCTE for Special Education). 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. (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.) As part of an ARL plan, you would need to complete the items outlined in your ARL plan such as completing all coursework, passing the applicable tests, teaching successfully full time for at least 1 year or at least 2 years if less than full time, working with a trained mentor assigned by your Principal, making annual progress, having successful Principal’s observations, remaining in good standing, etc. Any change in your employment or teaching assignment may nullify your Professional Growth Plan so contact ARL immediately. (Refer to the full ARL steps and your ARL plan for more details).

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

ARL Contact Information

For ARL general questions concerning Secondary Education and CTE subjects:

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

For ARL Elementary Education, Dual Immersion, Special Education, Languages, and English subjects:

  • Armando Venegas, ARL Specialist
    Phone: (801) 538-7858 | armando[dot]venegas[at]schools[dot]utah[dot]gov(E-mail)
  • Penny Ford, Assistant
    Phone: (801) 538-7695 | penny[dot]ford[at]schools[dot]utah[dot]gov(E-mail)

Mailing Address

Utah State Office of Education
ARL Program
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 to transcripts[at]schools[dot]utah[dot]gov(transcripts@schools[dot]utah[dot]gov).

Incomplete applications will be returned.


Effective 07/01/2013 as per Utah Legislature
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 as well and are not reflected in the fee list.

Information and fees listed here are subject to change.

Fees are non-refundable.