Teacher Professional Development in Wisconsin


Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction website on teacher education, professional development and licensing (TEPDL).

Teacher Education, Professional Development and Licensing (TEPDL)

(The following information is quoted from the TEPDL website above.)

The mission of the Teacher Education, Professional Development and Licensing Team is to serve and support the Wisconsin education community in meeting Wisconsin statutory and code requirements to ensure that there are high quality educators and strong leadership in every school.

Strategies used to accomplish this mission include:
  • Align teacher education, professional development programs, program approval and licensing to all components of PI 34.
  • Work to ensure that all Wisconsin educators are highly qualified licensed staff who have demonstrated the knowledge, skills, dispositions and performances that substantiate competence in the standards.
  • Coordinate and provide leadership in the program approval process for all institutions of higher education in the state offering programs that prepare educators.
  • Provide for continued professional growth among all educators using the licensing process for Initial, Professional, and Master Educators.

The New Wisconsin Promise (Elizabeth Burmaster, State Superintendent)

(The following information is quoted from the New Wisconsin Promise homepage.)

Our common ground is our New Wisconsin Promise—our commitment to ensure a quality education for every child. Raising achievement for all students and closing the achievement gap between economically disadvantaged students, students of color, and their peers is our No. 1 priority. A quality education system is the foundation of a strong democracy and healthy economy. Our New Wisconsin Promise is committed to ensuring that every child graduates with the knowledge and skills necessary for success in the 21st century global society by:
  • Ensuring quality teachers in every classroom and strong leadership in every school.
  • Improving student achievement with a focus on reading that has all students reading at or above grade level.
  • Investing in early learning opportunities through the four-year-old kindergarten, Preschool to Grade 5, and SAGE class-size reduction programs.
  • Sharing responsibility by increasing parental and community involvement in our schools and libraries to address teenage literacy, drop-outs, and truancy.
  • Advancing career, technical, and arts education to engage students in becoming active citizens by understanding their role in the family, society, and the world of work.
  • Providing effective pupil services, special education, and prevention programs to support learning and development for all students while preventing and reducing barriers to student success.

Informational brochures:

Our New Wisconsin Promise: A Quality Education for Every Child

Moving Wisconsin Forward with the Best Schools in the World: Fulfilling Our New Wisconsin Promise

Business Summit on 21st Century Skills


District Plans for Ensuring Highly Qualified Teachers (NCLB)

“DPI is required by the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act to monitor teachers of core academic subjects who do not meet the NCLB definition of highly qualified. As such, the department has developed a statewide strategy to identify such educators and ensure that they become highly qualified.”

For further information, contact Julie A. Hagen (608) 266-6794

Procedures for Obtaining an Educator License

(The following information is quoted from the Wisconsin DPI Educator License Application Forms website.)

Graduates of Wisconsin educator preparation programs only:
  • Apply for an Initial Educator teaching license.
  • Apply for a 5-year substitute teaching license only — applicants who never held a Wisconsin Initial Educator or 5-year teaching license but did complete an approved Wisconsin program.

Graduates of non-Wisconsin educator preparation programs:
  • Apply for a Wisconsin Educator License (Teaching, Substitute Teaching, Pupil Services, Administration).
  • Request fingerprint cards.
  • Send a completed Institutional Endorsement Form (PI-1612) to each college/university attended.

Important: If you completed your educator preparation program after 8/31/04, you are required to verify successful completion of Wisconsin's content area test(s).

Employment Note: If you were not employed in the teaching profession in the past five years, you are required to complete 6 semester credits or the equivalent of refresher work. Submit original transcripts or grade reports with your application.

Professional Growth Requirement

All applicants renewing a 5-year license must have completed continuing education of six semester credits, 180 equivalency clock hours earned before July 1, 2004, or a combination of the two. The credits or equivalent must be directly and substantively related to one or more of the licenses held by the applicant or to the applicant's professional competency.

For license applicants who hold a current license, all professional growth work must be completed during the 5-year period beginning on the July 1 effective date and ending on the June 30 expiration date of the license. For applicants who do not hold a current license because a previous license has expired, the professional growth work must be completed in the five year period immediately prior to the effective date of the license renewal (i.e. by June 30). Credits earned in one 5-year period may not be "banked" for use in a future period.

For information on options for meeting the Professional Growth Requirement see the Wisconsin DPI Professional Educator License Renewal page. (The material above was directly quoted from this page.)

Wisconsin Master Educator Assessment Process (WMEAP)/The Master Educator License

(The following information was quoted from the WMEAP page.)


Wisconsin has three license stages for all professional education areas that require the completion of a state approved program: initial educator license, professional educator license and master educator license. The third license stage, if an educator chooses to pursue it, is the master license stage. It is a totally voluntary license. A candidate who selects the master educator option must demonstrate an advanced level of proficiency on challenging and rigorous portfolio entries built on the framework of the Wisconsin Teaching, Pupil Services and Administrative Standards. Mastery is demonstrated through portfolio evidence and a video of exemplary practice related to one of the approved program licenses. It is important to understand that the expertise that is demonstrated in the portfolio requires years of practice to obtain; and the portfolio development, itself, requires significant time and resource commitment. The master license is a 10 year renewable license. In addition, any educator who achieves National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) Certification may be granted a Wisconsin Master Educator license in the area of her or his existing license that corresponds to the NBPTS certificate.

In addition to embarking on the process of obtaining a Master Educator License, successful educators may also apply to become an assessor who works with a team to evaluate candidates applying for the Master Educator License. The process to become an assessor is a form of professional development in itself.

The Professional Development Plan (PDP)

PI 34 requires the educators Initial Educators and Professional Educators who advanced from the Initial Educator license stage to complete a Professional Development Plan (PDP) in order to renew their license. Further information, resources, self-reflection tools, and support agencies may be found at the PDP webpage. For questions about this information, contact Mary J. Benzine (608) 266-0954

Professional Standards Council

“The Professional Standards Council was created to assist the State Superintendent in improving teacher preparation, licensure and regulation.” For questions about this information, contact Peggy A. Solberg (608) 266-2662

For additional information on renewal of Wisconsin teaching licenses, see the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction website.

Page content provided by Lisa Gruenhagen