SDE: Frequently Asked Questions Connecticut State Department of Education SDE: Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


Bureau of Educator Standards and Certification
 

Q: How do I log into the Connecticut Educator Certification System (CECS)?



Q: How do I submit an application online?

A: Log into your account on the CECS.  If you are applying for a certificate for the first time, click on the “Apply Online” button.  If you are renewing or advancing an existing certificate, or applying for an additional teaching endorsement, select “Choose” next to the corresponding certificate, and make selection from drop-down menu.


Q: If I graduated from an in-state college, can I submit my application online?

A: No. In-state graduates who are applying for their first certificate must submit a paper application.


Q: Can I submit a paper application?

A: While we strongly encourage applicants to apply on-line, you may print a paper application/form to complete and mail. Paper applications and other forms are available on our website.


Q: Which paper application form do I use?

A: If you choose to submit a paper form, please use the forms listed in our guide.


Q: Can I submit supporting documentation online?

A: No, official documents cannot be submitted through the CECS. Documents with original signatures must be mailed to the State Department of Education. Official transcripts must either be mailed or submitted electronically by the institution to teacher.etranscript@ct.gov.


Q: What address should I use to mail documentation?

A: Our mailing address is:
Bureau of Educator Standards and Certification
P.O. Box 150471
Hartford, CT 06115-0471

Q: What are the customer desk opening hours?

A: The street level customer desk is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Please note that our staff may be away from the desk for no more than 15 minutes, usually around 10 a.m. and around 3 p.m., but times may vary slightly.


Q: Can I deliver documentation in person?

A: Yes. Documentation may be delivered in person. Our office is open Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding holidays.


Q: Where can I go to deliver items in person?

A: Our street address is:
450 Columbus Boulevard
Hartford, CT 06103

Q: What documents may be submitted by fax or a photocopy of the original? 

A: The following are documents that can be submitted by fax or a photocopy of the original: copies of out-of-state certificates; copies of CPR and First Aid cards/certificates; copy of a driver’s license to confirm date of birth; copy of a high school diploma (not a transcript), copy of health license, copy of marriage certificate or divorce decree for name change, copy of CEU certificate for coaching module.


Q: How do I check the status of an application I’ve already submitted?

A: Log into your CECS account. Click on the “Check Status/Pay Now” button. In the Status column, it will indicate one of the following:
  • Submitted: Waiting First Review - this means the application has been received and assigned to a consultant, but it has not yet been reviewed.
  • Reviewed: Missing Credentials - this means the application has been reviewed and additional documentation and/or fees are needed to determine eligibility.  A status letter has been sent via email, and you can also view this letter online.
  • Waiting Review - this means additional documentation and/or fees have been received, and the file is pending further review.

Q: How do I pay a fee balance online?

A: Log into your CECS account. Click on “Check Status/Pay Now” button. In the Financial Summary column, click on “Pay Now” to access payment screen.


Q: Where can I find a list of approved certification programs in Connecticut?



Q: How can I determine whether an out-of-state program will make me eligible for certification in Connecticut?

A: The Connecticut Board of Education only approves Connecticut programs. Out-of-State programs must be approved by the appropriate approval authority in each state. Connecticut certification regulations require completion of general academic and professional education coursework at a regionally accredited college or university. The professional education must be part of a state-approved planned program, and lead to an institutional recommendation for certification.

Educators who choose to complete an out-of-state program should research the program very carefully.  First, ensure that the institution is regionally accredited. Only coursework/programs completed through a regionally accredited college or university can be accepted toward obtaining Connecticut certification. To determine whether an institution is regionally accredited, visit www.collegesource.org. Second, it is important to confirm that the program is a state-approved “certification” program. Some programs may result in a master’s degree, for example, but do not result in an institutional recommendation for certification. To determine whether a certification program is approved, contact the Department of Education in the state where the institution is located or based.


Q: What is Regional Accreditation?

A: There are six accrediting agencies in the United States, one in each region of the country. These agencies have developed criteria for evaluating postsecondary institutions to ensure they meet basic quality standards.  To obtain certification in Connecticut, all required credits must be awarded from institutions accredited by one of these six agencies. Additional information about regional accreditation is available on our website.


Q: What if I completed some of my schooling outside of the United States?

A: You must have your credentials evaluated by one of the five agencies currently approved by the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) and meet current certification requirements, including coursework and assessments. Detailed information is available on the foreign credentials section of our website.


Q: How do I know which assessments will be required for a certificate/endorsement?

A: Testing requirements for each endorsement area are listed in the Guide to Assessments for Educator Certification in Connecticut.
Testing deferral or exemption may be applicable. Before registering to take a test, it is strongly recommended that you apply for certification. A consultant will determine the exact tests needed, as well as your eligibility for a testing deferral or exemption.


Q: I hold a valid Connecticut certificate and am not certain what steps to take to maintain or advance my certificate.



Q: When can I apply to renew or upgrade a certificate?

A: If you are renewing a certificate, you may submit an application within six months of the expiration of your current certificate. It is recommended that you apply at least 4-6 weeks prior to the expiration date to allow time for processing of the application. If you are advancing your certificate to a higher level, you may apply as soon as you meet the criteria for the higher certificate.


Q: If I already have a teaching certificate, what is required to add another endorsement area?

A: Generally, additional teaching endorsements require coursework and testing specific to the content area.  Some endorsements require a program leading to an institutional recommendation.  For more information on cross-endorsement requirements, please see “Adding an Additional Teaching Endorsement” on our website.


Q: I have applied for a cross-endorsement. How do I know whether a certain course will be accepted to meet requirements?

A: Once you have a pending application on file, you may submit specific course descriptions for approval. The course title and description may be submitted via email, regular mail, or fax. It is generally recommended that you obtain a course approval before enrolling in a class, to ensure it will be accepted.


Q: Why are some endorsements issued on a separate certificate instead of being added to the certificate I already hold?

A: As the requirement to obtain and advance each type of endorsement differs, separate certificates are issued for each type.  Once all endorsement types reach the professional level, they are then combined onto a single certificate.
Connecticut’s endorsements fall into five categories:
  • teaching endorsements, such as elementary, physical education, mathematics, etc;
  • special service endorsements, such as school counselor and school social worker;
  • vocational endorsements, such as culinary, carpentry, and hairdressing;
  • administrative endorsements, such as department chairperson and intermediate administration; and
  • adult education endorsements, which include high school credit diploma program, and non-English speaking adults.

Q: Can I pick up my certificate once is issued?

A: No. All certificates are mailed.


Q: What happens if I mail my application without the required processing fee?

A: Your application will be entered into our database as an incomplete application and you will receive an e-mail requesting the fee.


Q: Can I speak to an evaluator when I drop off my materials in person?

A: Certification evaluators are not available to speak to applicants on a walk-in basis.  You may call the certification hotline at 860-713-6969 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m.


Q: What is the turnaround time for processing applications?

A: Generally speaking, processing time is between 6 to 8 weeks during off-season (September through March) and 8 to 12 weeks during peak season (April through August).


Q: What is the best contact number to reach the certification office?

A: You can contact the certification office by calling our hotline at 860-713-6969 which is available on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m., or by e-mail at teacher.cert@ct.gov.


Q: Can an application be prioritized?

A: Applications cannot be prioritized. All applications are processed in the order they are received.

 
Contact Us:
 
Bureau of Educator Standards and Certification
Connecticut State Department of Education
P. O. Box 150471
Hartford, Connecticut 06115-0471

For express mail services:

Bureau of Educator Standards and Certification
Connecticut State Department of Education
450 Columbus Boulevard, Suite 503
Hartford, CT 06103-1841

Note: Requiring a signature for mail delivery may cause delays.

PHONE: (860) 713-6969 between the hours of 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday

FAX: (860) 713-7017

EMAIL: teacher.cert@ct.gov

ELECTRONIC TRANSCRIPTS: teacher.etranscript@ct.gov
Note: Electronic transcripts are not accepted from applicants. They must be delivered directly from the institution or via authorized companies such as Parchment or eSCRIP-SAFE.

OFFICE HOURS: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday - Friday

For drop off of materials only




Content Last Modified on 8/31/2017 2:12:13 PM