Alternative Routes to Licensure (ARL)

Possible ARL Completion Routes

There are two ways to complete ARL:

1. Licensing by Agreement (e.g. by Coursework and Praxis testing)
Licensing by Agreement means a person is completing requirements through a specific course of study (e.g. coursework and Praxis testing). The ARL advisor will determine required coursework on a case-by-case basis. Although ARL has its own curriculum and coursework, required coursework may be completed through any regionally accredited institution of higher education. A “C” grade or above must be earned.

The Utah State Board of Education (USBE) ARL program has partnerships with the following colleges/universities, but participants must have an ARL Professional Growth Plan in place before enrolling:

  • Salt Lake Community College Continuing Education for taking the required pedagogy courses.
  • Utah State University Master’s Degree program for Secondary Education ARL’s only. USU offers the required general pedagogy and various methods course options for ARL while in a Master’s degree program. Secondary Education ARL participants with a professional growth plan who wish to earn a master’s degree while earning a Secondary Education license through the state ARL program may do so by also applying to the Utah State University ARL Master’s program.
  • University of Utah for the Summer Elementary Education Methods courses

Courses can also be taken at other regionally accredited universities as long as pre-approved by the ARL Specialist in advance in writing.

USBE subject area specialists may also offer workshops, conferences, etc. of interest that may or may not apply to the ARL plan requirements so please make sure to get these pre-approved by the ARL Specialist. The following links are updated periodically: For Academic Subject Specialist see the “Teaching and Learning” section and then drill down to “Academic Areas and Support Programs” to find the classes/conferences/workshops/professional learning offered.
For CTE Subject Specialists see the “Career and Technical Education” section and then drill down to “CTE Programs” to find the classes/conferences/workshops/professional learning offered.

2. Licensing by Competency (Tests)
Licensing by Competency means a person is completing requirements through USBE-approved content and pedagogical tests. Not all content areas can be licensed through competency testing.

Utah accepts American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) competency testing as part of the ARL requirements in certain subject areas as long as all the eligibility endorsement requirements and ARL Professional Growth Plan requirements are all met in full. USBE has approved the following tests through ABCTE: Biology, Chemistry, Elementary Education, English Language Arts, History, Mathematics, Physics, and Special Education. Some subject areas have additional content & methods items that are still required even after passing the ABCTE testing. (See below for additional requirements.)

The ABCTE program is not approved as an ARL program on its own, but rather is a pathway to meet requirements for individuals already accepted into USBE’s ARL Program. Any such candidate must meet all the ARL requirements in order to be eligible for licensure. The completion of a Bachelor’s degree and content eligibility requirements prior to admission to ARL is considered demonstration of prior academic performance. Competency can be demonstrated in some subject areas by completing requirements through Utah Board of Education approved content and pedagogical tests.

It is expected that all Utah ABCTE participants meet all ARL eligibility requirements. ABCTE assists their participants in doing a preliminary content eligibility review and advises them so they can proactively take content coursework to become eligible, but it is not considered a formal binding review by USBE’s ARL Program. Individuals can apply to ARL before entering ABCTE or while in the program if they wish to have an official review done. Our ARL application period is March – July each year, but ABCTE can contact ARL directly requesting ARL accept an application for review for one of ARL’s approved areas any time during the year as well with standard application fees applying. This process would then give the candidate an official content eligibility review that is valid for 18 months. Individuals that have completed ABCTE may apply to the ARL program at any time to determine content eligibility and do not have to wait for the open window application period.

Additional requirements, if participating in ABCTE for Utah licensure are:

  1. Apply and be accepted to Utah Alternative Routes to Licensure. See requirements for eligibility on ARL eligibility page.
  2. Submit or request ABCTE release official results of ABCTE score reports and ABCTE completion certificate to the Utah State Board of Education.
    Each content subject area includes at least an ABCTE Content Test (approximately 4 hours) and an ABCTE Professional Teacher Knowledge Test (approximately 3.5 hours long). All ABCTE testing must be completed in full to be accepted in lieu of specific ARL requirements. Please note that the ABCTE PTK Test is NOT a substitution/replacement for the Early Years Enhancement (EYE) Program requirements. Once a person has earned a Level 1 license and wishes to move to a Level 2 license, they will need to still take the Praxis II Principles of Learning & Teaching PLT test.
  3. Be hired to teach in an approved Utah teaching assignment in their approved subject area, and receive a Professional Growth Plan from an ARL advisor. Some content subject areas have additional content & methods items that are still required in a plan even after passing the ABCTE testing. For example:
    a. History has 2 Content Tests plus the PTK Professional Teacher Knowledge Test.
    b. Kindergarten teachers must also pass the Praxis Test 5025 Early Childhood test as part of the Kindergarten content course competency testing route.
    c. Mathematics teachers must have completed all the coursework for Math endorsement eligibility prior to having ABCTE accepted in ARL for Mathematics Level 3 and must also successfully complete a Methods of Teaching Secondary Mathematics course from a Utah University in addition to ABCTE tests. Individuals wishing to earn a Math Level 4, must have all endorsement coursework completed for the Mathematics Level 4 endorsement in full including the Methods of Teaching Secondary Mathematics.
    d. Science teachers must complete the Science Safety Certification as well.
    e. Special Education has 3 ABCTE tests which must all be passed: Elementary Education Subject Content Knowledge, PTK Professional Teaching Knowledge, and the Special Education specific testing.
  4. Teach successfully full time in a qualified Utah teaching position full time for at least 1 year (or 2 years if less than full time) in the eligible subject area consecutively in the same school. Once all the ARL requirements have been completed, a formal recommendation for licensure is required from both the Principal and USOE ARL advisor.
  5. All program participants must demonstrate competency in four areas. The four levels of competency are:
    Content Knowledge, Pedagogical Knowledge, Classroom Performance Skills, Dispositions for Teaching. Further information can be found under the Utah Effective Teaching Standards.