How to Become a Teacher in Rhode Island

Though Rhode Island is smaller than many other states, it still has more than 300 public schools, and to teach in those schools, a prospective educator needs a Rhode Island teaching license. More than 14,000 educators have received a Rhode Island teaching license in the state, serving more than 140,000 students each year. Becoming a teacher in Rhode Island requires significant educational attainment, including at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, but can be rewarding and pays fairly well. Read on for more information regarding Rhode Island teacher certification, salary, and opportunities in other states for a Rhode Island certified teacher.

Education Requirements

Those who hope to become a teacher in Rhode Island must complete an approved preparation program in Rhode Island or in another state, which will result in a bachelor’s or higher degree or alternative certification. Rhode Island has eight schools with approved educator preparation programs. A bachelor’s degree is required for all teachers. Twelve weeks of student teaching is required in the state, and prospective teachers must meet certification testing requirements.

Rhode Island Teaching Certification

To be certified, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and graduate from an approved educator preparation program. They must also pass tests in basic skills and the content area or areas in which they wish to be certified. The types of teaching certificates available in Rhode Island are the Initial Certificate, the Professional Certificate, and the Advanced Certificate, which are valid for three, five, and seven years, respectively. For people who have a bachelor’s degree in something other than education, alternative certification is available and requires one year of teaching while going through the program before being eligible to earn a Professional Certificate.

Required Tests

Rhode Island requires teachers to pass Praxis tests to be certified. This includes the basic skills test – the Praxis I Pre-Professional Skills Test – as well as tests in the teachers’ chosen content areas. The Praxis Series website provides information on which tests must be completed for certification in each area.

State Certification Reciprocity

Rhode Island has an interstate agreement with most U.S. states that allows teachers certified in member states to become certified in Rhode Island. The states that are not part of the agreement are Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Applicants for Rhode Island certification through the Reciprocity Route must meet all Rhode Island certification assessment requirements and must satisfy dependent certification requirements, which hold that certain certificate areas require the applicant to also have the corresponding independent certification.

Helpful Resources