Our staff handles all matters related to state certification for teachers and leaders. In addition, the staff monitors admission, retention, and completion requirements for all programs that lead to state licensure. They are knowledgeable about current programs and provide academic advising services for students seeking initial certification to be teachers through our undergraduate and alternative master’s degree routes.

Certification Applications

Current students will be prompted to apply for certification during their last term of enrollment.

Applications for certification must be submitted within 5 years of the date of graduation. Those who do not apply for professional licensure within 60 months will be required to meet current program requirements. Individuals must also meet requirements in effect on the date the certification application and fee are received by the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE).

Out-of-state students should carefully check the requirements of their respective states. Applicants must apply for and receive Alabama certification before seeking reciprocity in another state.

A completed application packet includes:

  • ALSDE certification application (NAL form)
  • ALSDE supplemental CIT form; proof of citizenship
  • Proof of payment
  • Original signatures

Unless evidence of passing scores on all Praxis tests and edTPA are available, Samford University will not process a certification application.

Until final grades/degrees are verified on the official transcript, Samford University will not process a certification application.

Applications will be submitted in a batch at the conclusion of each academic term. Please allow 3 weeks after the end of each term for processing. Applications received after the batch submission will be processed as time permits but may be held for the next end-of-term batch submission.

Check your certification status with the Alabama State Department of Education.

Types of Alabama Certificates

While Samford University recommends graduates for state licensure, only the Alabama Department of Education has the authority to issue certificates. The following labels are among those used in our state to indicate certificate types and levels.

Traditional Approaches to Certification

(available through Samford)

Class B Professional Educator Certificate

Upon completion of an undergraduate degree and a state-approved educator preparation program, an individual may be recommended by Samford to receive a Class B Professional Educator Certificate in one or more fields of preparation. The Class B certificate is reserved for initial licensure.

Alternative Class A Professional Educator Certificate

Upon completion of an alternative master’s degree and a state-approved educator preparation program, an individual may be recommended by Samford to receive a Class A Professional Educator Certificate in a teaching field. In this case, the Class A certificate also represents initial licensure.

Traditional Class A Professional Educator Certificate

Upon completion of a traditional master’s degree and a state-approved educator preparation program, an individual who holds a valid Class B certificate in a teaching field may be recommended by Samford to receive a Class A Professional Educator Certificate in the same teaching field. In this case, the Class A certificate represents advanced licensure. Completion of an approved 18-hour “add-on” certificate is available in limited teaching fields.

Class A Professional Leadership Certificate

Upon completion of a traditional master’s degree and a state-approved instructional leadership program, an individual who holds a valid Class B certificate in a teaching field may be recommended by Samford to receive a Class A Professional Leadership Certificate. In this case, the Class A certificate represents advanced licensure. Completion of an approved 18-hour “add-on” certificate is available in instructional leadership.

Class AA Professional Educator (or Leadership) Certificate

Upon completion of a planned and state-approved sixth-year program of study, which results in an education specialist (Ed.S.) degree, an individual may be recommended by Samford to receive a Class AA Professional Educator or Leadership Certificate. In both cases, the Class AA certificate represents advanced licensure.

Alternative Approaches to Certification

(available through school districts)

Certification Based on Test

An individual may seek additional certification in selected teaching field(s) if he/she:

  1. Holds a valid Alabama Professional Educator Certificate in a teaching field; and
  2. Verifies appropriate experience; and
  3. Passes the appropriate Alabama prescribed Praxis II subject area test.

Conditional Certificate in a Teaching Field (CCTF)

Individuals who have met eligibility and admission requirements for Alabama’s pilot Teachers of Tomorrow approach may be employed with an Alabama school system on a CCTF. Individuals who have met eligibility and admission requirements at an Alabama college or university approved to offer this approach may be employed with an Alabama school system on a CCTF. The Professional Educator Certificate may be issued after all CCTF requirements are met.

Interim Employment Certificate (IEC)

Formerly known as the SAC or Special Alternative Certificate approach, certification based on the IEC approach may only be requested by and employing Alabama county/city superintendent or eligible nonpublic/private school administrator. An individual is allowed to teach on an IEC for up to three years, but each year requires a new request. The IEC may be requested for the following categories of applicants:

  1. Those unconditionally admitted to an Alternative Class A Program provided by an Alabama college or university; or
  2. Those unconditionally admitted to a Traditional Class A Program provided by an Alabama college or university in an area of special education, English for Speakers of Other Languages, Instructional Leadership, Library Media, School Counseling, and Reading Specialist

Provisional Certificate in a Teaching Field (PCTF)

Formerly known as the ABC or Alternative Baccalaureate Certificate approach, the PCTF approach is for K-12, 6-12, and 4-8 teaching fields. Certification based on the PCTF Approach may ONLY be requested by an employing Alabama county/city superintendent or eligible nonpublic/private school administrator. An individual should contact the school system or eligible nonpublic/private school in which employment is desired for information concerning certificate eligibility. An individual is allowed to teach on a PCTF in the same teaching field for up to three years, but each year requires a new request. An individual who has completed the requirements of the PCTF may apply for the Professional Educator Certificate in the same teaching field.

Other Certificates

(available through school districts)

Substitute License

The Substitute License cannot be requested by an individual or an institution of higher education. A substitute license may ONLY be requested by an employing Alabama county/city superintendent or eligible nonpublic/private school administrator for an individual who has graduated from high school or completed an Alabama State Department of Education approved equivalent.

Emergency Certificate

The Emergency Certificate cannot be requested by an individual or an institution of higher education. The Emergency Certificate may only be requested by an employing Alabama county/city superintendent or eligible nonpublic/private school administrator for an individual who has earned at least a bachelor’s degree from a senior institution that was regionally accredited at the time the degree was earned. This is a two-year certificate that can be reissued once if renewal requirements are met. This certificate does not lead to Alabama professional certification.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I renew my Alabama certificate?

Individuals are responsible for seeking certificate renewal.
Learn More

How do I obtain a copy of my Praxis scores?

Individuals must contact Educational Testing Service (ETS) to request copies of Praxis scores. A fee may be required.
Learn More

How do I order an official Samford transcript?

Individuals should contact the Registrar’s Office at Samford University.
Learn More

How do I review my Alabama background check?

Check the status of a background check.

How do I check the status of my application for an Alabama certificate?

Once an application is processed by Samford, it takes 4-8 weeks before individuals will receive a teaching certificate from the State of Alabama.

Applications for certification must be submitted within 5 years of the date of graduation. Those who do not apply for professional licensure within 60 months will be required to meet current program requirements. Individuals must also meet requirements in effect on the date the certification application and fee are received by the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE).
Check the Status of an Application

Who can complete forms that verify admission to a Samford degree program, completion of a degree program, or recommendation for licensure?

Contact: Mrs. Brooke Karr at kbgilrea@samford.edu or 205-726-2566.