Teacher Professional Development in Utah

Utah State Office of Education website on professional development

High-Quality Professional Development (NCLB)

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) requires teacher participation in high-quality professional development.

Elementary and secondary teachers in the core subject areas of mathematics, science, fine arts, geography, government and civics, economics, and English/language arts (reading and writing) must meet the requirements for No Child Left Behind High Quality Teachers. Teachers who meet the requirements of EYE (description below) and qualify for a Level 2 License will generally meet the NCLB HQT requirements. For more information, see the USOE Educator Quality and Licensing website.

The Utah Professional Teacher Standards

The standards define high quality teaching as the core of a successful education for all students.

The standards are based on current research and expert advice pertaining to best teaching practice. Each standard contains specific elements of the teaching practice, but all of the standards are interrelated and work together to provide a complete picture of effective teaching practices to promote high quality student learning. The standards are designed to be used by teachers to:
  • to set professional goals to improve practice
  • to prompt reflection about student learning and teaching practice
  • guide and assess the progress of a teacher’s practice toward professional goals and student achievement.

Utah State Licensure Program

The Utah State Office of Education's licensure program is divided into three levels. New teachers begin with a level one license and must complete requirements that qualify them to upgrade to a level two license within three years. For each of these requirements points are awarded and one hundred points are needed to upgrade to a level two license. For example, a teacher can earn 18 points for every credit hour taken from a university, or one point for every clock hour spent in an in-service class or at an educational conference. (This information may be located on the USOE website, under the tab on the left hand side of the screen labeled "Educator Quality Services".)

EYE – Entry Years Enhancement Program for Level 1 Teachers in Utah

The Entry Years Enhancement (EYE), a structured support and enhancement program for Level 1 teachers, provides the novice teacher with school, district, and state support for a three-year period. The goal of EYE is to encourage Level 1 teachers to develop successful teaching skills and strategies, as described in the Utah Professional Teacher Standards and Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) Beginning Teacher Standards, with assistance from experienced colleagues.

Who is required to complete the EYE?

Administrative Rule R277-522-3. Required Entry Year Enhancements for Level 1 Teacher to Advance to a Level 2 License: All teachers with a Level 1 License (with fewer than three years of successful experience as a licensed teacher in a Utah public school or accredited private school) whose employment or reemployment in the Utah public schools began after January 1, 2003 are required to complete the EYE to qualify for a Level 2 License.

Alternative Routes to Licensure (ARL) participants do not begin EYE requirements until after they have earned a Level I License. To qualify for a Level 2 License, they must complete all EYE requirements and teach with a Level I License for a minimum of three years.

What is required?

All Level 1 teachers must complete the following requirements during a three-year period:
  • work with a trained mentor for three years
  • complete a portfolio review
  • successfully satisfy district/school evaluations for three years in a Utah Public or accredited private school
  • achieve a score of 160 or higher on the Praxis II – Principles of Learning and Teaching test (#0521, #0522, #0523, or #0524) in their area of educational preparation and assignment

Upon the Level 1 teacher's successful completion of EYE requirements, the district will recommend the teacher to the State Board of Education for a Level 2 Utah Professional Educator License.

Out-of-State Applicants

Educators applying for a Utah Educator License who have a license from another state and fulfill Utah's requirements will be granted an initial Level 1 License. A teacher with a minimum of three years experience, after a year of service in Utah, may be recommended for a Level 2 License by his/her employing district. For complete information on out-of-state licensure, visit the website for out-of-state educator license applications.

For additional information about renewal of teaching licenses in Utah, see the State of Utah Office of Education website.

Page content provided by Joelle Lien & Isaac Bickmore
Edited by Stacey C. Kolthammer