Certification FAQs | Office of Professional Experiences


There are a few different application options so please find your program below to determine which one you complete. 
Teacher Resident (TR) applications apply to teacher candidates enrolled in a Louisiana BESE-approved undergraduate teacher preparation program or an alternative preparation program for which the candidate is not acting as teacher of record. Candidates must hold a valid resident teacher certificate to be placed in a one-year residency pursuant to Bulletin 996. Resident teacher certificates are valid for one year, are renewable with continued enrollment in the program and successful completion of the required content knowledge Praxis exam and may be held a maximum of three years while the holder pursues certification through a BESE-approved preparation program.   
Practitioner License (PL) is issued to a teacher candidate enrolled in one of Louisiana’s BESE-approved alternate teacher preparation programs, permitting the teacher candidate to teach in a Louisiana school system while completing the program including licensure exam(s) and residency under the guidance of a certified mentor teacher.   
Initial Certification (IN) Recommendation Application is used for recommending a teacher candidate for Level certification following the successful completion of a Louisiana BESE-approved teacher preparation program.    
The applications were updated on October 1, 2023, and it is important to use the correct version. Submission of incorrect documentation can result in a delay of certification. The applications will be provided to you from the Certification Coordinator during the semester before your residency. 

The Practitioner License (PL1, PL2, and PL3) and the Initial Certification are $50 each. The payment for the Practitioner License cannot be used towards the Initial Certification. There is no cost for the Teacher Resident certification. All certification processing fees are nonrefundable. The processing fee does not guarantee issuance or renewal of certification, or addition of endorsements. For additional certification processing fees, check the Teach Louisiana page found here

Certification processing fees are only required for the Practitioner License and the Initial Certification. Certification processing fee payments are done through the Teach Live! Portal. If it is your first time, you will have to create an account. The next step is to select the payment portal on the dashboard. You will be asked to complete your personal information and payment details prior to processing. A copy of the payment should be kept for your records and application submission. 

Each application requires a distinct set of paperwork. Once you have identified which application you will be submitting, you will be responsible for collecting the documents and submitting them to the Certification Coordinator. 
These documents are: 
Teacher Resident Application--(1) State Reporting Information Form, (2) Resident Application (completed in full), (3) a copy of your Social Security card, (4) a copy of your Driver’s License/State Issued ID, (5) a copy of your current transcripts, and (5) a copy of your PRAXIS exams, if renewing. 
Practitioner License--(1) State Reporting Information Form, (2) Practitioner License Application (completed in full), (3) a copy of your Social Security card, (4) a copy of your Driver’s License/State Issued ID, (5) your Program of Study, (6) a copy of your Online Payment Confirmation, (7) a copy of your PRAXIS exams, and (8) a copy of your official transcripts, if renewing. 
Initial Certification--(1) Check Out Information Form, (2) Initial Certification Application (completed in full), (3) a copy of your Social Security Card, (4) a copy of your Driver’s License/State Issued ID, (5) your official final LSU transcript, (6) a copy of your Online Payment Confirmation, and (7) a copy of your PRAXIS exams. 
Each application must be signed and dated upon submission. The date on the application must be within 90 days of the date submitted to Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE). If the date does not fall within that period, you will have to resubmit the application. 

Handwritten documents and applications are not accepted for the certification processing. When you receive your application, it will be a fillable pdf and all information should be typed into the spaces provided. Completed applications should be submitted in pdf format.  

The semester before your residency, you will be enrolled in the “School of Education Teacher Resident Applications” Moodle page. This page will include valuable information for submitting your applications, including videos to walk you through the process. The documentation and application should be uploaded into the appropriate areas. Emailed documentation and applications will not be accepted.


The Praxis exam depends on your program of study. The Louisiana Praxis exams and required scores can be found here. Contact your Program Lead or the Certification Coordinator for clarification. 

Log in to the Praxis Test Louisiana site to register for the appropriate test(s) required for Louisiana licensure. You will have to create an account to sign up for the tests. You will be asked to provide your personal information (i.e., social security number and date of birth) so your scores can be matched to your application.  

Some programs designate when you need to take the Praxis and others do not. For those in the Holmes program, the content area exams should be taken before you are admitted into the program. Those outside this area must take their content area before or during their first semester of teacher residency. The Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) should be taken during the second semester of residency. Louisiana no longer requires the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators/Pre-Professional Skills Tests (PRAXIS I) for certification. Please note that both the content and PLT must be passed before Initial Certification can be obtained.  

Fee waivers are available for the Praxis exams. You are eligible for a fee waiver only once during a testing year, and there are a limited number of waivers available per test date and per institution. All requests are on a first-come, first-served basis. If you qualify for a fee waiver, the test fees for one Praxis Subject Test may be waived.  
To be eligible, you need to meet the following eligibility criteria: 
1. You are receiving financial aid. 
2. You are enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program and can provide a current Enrollment Verification Certification. You are ineligible if you have a master’s or a doctoral degree. 
3. You can provide your current FAFSA Student Aid Report (SAR) that shows an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $3000 or less. 
4. You are required to take a PRAXIS test by an authorized score recipient. 
The Fee Waiver Request form can be found here. Once you have completed the form, you need to obtain a current Enrollment Verification Certificate from your institution (it must have a school seal, National Student Clearinghouse watermark or the signature of the registrar), your current year FAFSA SAR, and submit the documentation before the deadline by email (PraxisFeeWaiver@ets.org) or mail (ETS-PRAXIS, PO Box 6051, Princeton, NJ 08541-6051).  

Scores should be sent to LSU and the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE).  
The codes for these institutions are: 
LSU  RA6373 
LDOE  R7330 
A full list of institution codes can be found here

Initial Certification and Future Plans 

Yes, you still need to apply for your Initial Certification in Louisiana. You must hold a valid teaching certificate from your state’s program to teach in another state. There are numerous states that have a reciprocity agreement with Louisiana. These agreements provide individuals the opportunity to teach in another state and validate the teacher preparation program.  

Each state has their own requirements and methods for obtaining certification. This will have to be determined by looking at that state’s Department of Education’s page. However, the most common routes are (1) You must hold a current teaching certification issued by another state, or (2) You must hold a current National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification. Once you have been hired for a teaching position, the state’s Department of Education needs to send the Certification Coordinator paperwork to verify that you have completed a state approved Teacher Preparation Program and are certified in Louisiana. The Certification Coordinator will send that documentation back with signatures and proof of completion. Please note that each state may require additional courses and tests.  

All teacher residents are encouraged, and it is highly recommended to apply for your Initial Certification. While this is not required for graduation, the process is much more cumbersome once you leave LSU. The LSU Office of Professional Experiences and the Certification Coordinator suggest that those that do not have intentions of teaching in future still apply and place their certification in a “non-practicing status.” 

Teachers not serving/employed or serving in another state/country should place their Louisiana teaching certification into non-practicing status. Doing so preserves the validity of the certificate since renewal of a Louisiana teaching certificate requires the educator to earn effective teacher evaluations in Louisiana. This would become effective the first date of certificate’s validity. To place a certificate back into a practicing status, the individual must obtain a teaching position in Louisiana and the hiring school district will request an update to the certification.

During an Initial Certification, an individual can add-on one certification area. The appropriate box will be checked on the application before submission. It is also required for the applicant to submit the self-evaluation form that designates that all areas for the add-on have been completed. These add-on self-evaluation forms can be found here.  
Add-on certification areas can be done by completing the courses listed in the self-evaluation forms, taking the appropriate Praxis exams, and/or obtaining 30 hours of content courses. Acceptable courses for adding certification areas can be found here. To request add-on areas beyond the Initial Certification must be done by completing the Evaluation, Add-on, Course Approval and Name Change Application, or the EV Application.  

For an individual to obtain a certification in a different grade level, the appropriate tests and courses approved by the Louisiana Department of Education. These requirements can be found on the Teach Louisiana page or here.  


Contact Jennifer Cook, PhD
Certification Coordinator
221H Peabody Hall
Email Dr. Cook