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How to get an educator license when you didn't study education at a college or university

Licensure Options


What is an Associate Educator License (AEL)?

A temporary license in a specific license area and endorsement (as applicable) awarded by the Utah State Board of Education (USBE). This license qualifies you to teach in that subject area awarded while you complete professional licensure requirements.
An AEL can be earned in Elementary Education, Secondary Education with an endorsement in a specific content area, or Career and Technical Education (CTE) in a specific CTE area.

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What is the Alternate Pathway to Professional Educator License (APPEL)?

Each district/charter school who wants to hire non-professionally licensed teachers must have a USBE-approved APPEL educator preparation program. The program will provide the experiences, coursework, and support for the educator to earn a professional license in Elementary, Secondary or CTE areas. Educators teach in the content area while working through the APPEL program.  Please note: The Special Education license area is not a part of Canyons’ APPEL program. 

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What does USBE require for professional educator licensure?

The USBE has set certain requirements for pedagogy studies, content knowledge testing and studies, educator competencies, clinical experience competencies, educator dispositions, and teacher performance assessments. Each requirement set out in Board Rule must be met and/or demonstrated before the APPEL program can recommend the educator for a Professional Educator License.

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At A Glance

Earn an Associate Educator License
Apply for and get hired in a district teaching position
Complete all professional licensure requirements within three years and be recommended for a Professional Educator License

Canyons APPEL Program Outline

Click on the steps below to learn more about the APPEL Program

Have a University Degree OR Industry Certification.

    • You must have a minimum of either a university bachelor’s degree or you must have industry certification in a specific area to be eligible for an Associate Educator (AEL) license.


  • Your major does NOT have to be in the same content area in which you want to teach. However, your certification must be in the same CTE area as that which you want to teach.

Apply For An Associate Educator License Through The USBE.

    • There are several steps you must complete PRIOR to applying for an AEL. Please follow the directions in the listed order on the USBE AEL webpage.


  • Once the AEL is awarded, save a copy of the license letter to use in job applications.

Apply For A Job In The Canyons District.

    • You can apply for a job in Canyons District using your AEL. Please visit the Canyons Human Resources webpage for application information and job descriptions. During the AEL review waiting process, contact Shawnda Moss for information on how to move immediately forward with your hiring application.


  • You do not have to apply for a specific position/opening; you can apply anytime throughout the year to be screened and placed into the candidate pool for your desired content area.

Get Hired At Canyons And Enroll In The Canyons APPEL Program.

  • Once you are hired on an AEL, you will be accepted into the Canyons APPEL program. After a transcript review is conducted, you will have an initial consultation with the APPEL program director to review all program expectations and licensure requirements.
  • You will be assigned to work with an APPEL coach who will mentor, support, and be a part of your teacher training experience.
  • You will commit to making annual progress towards licensure.

Complete all professional licensure requirements within three years

USBE requires pedagogy studies in the following topics. Canyons offers these courses in-house as part of the APPEL Academy, but also has a partnership with Salt Lake Community College to provide these courses for our educators.

    • Classroom Management: Creating an Effective Learning Environment
    • Curriculum Development: Instruction, Planning, Technology, Assessment
    • Introduction to Special Education
    • Literacy in the Content Area
    • Working with Diverse Populations

USBE requires completion of all content requirements outlined by specific license area and endorsement. If your major/CTE area is what you plan to teach, there may be little additional content studies that you’ll need to complete.

    • Elementary Education requires specific studies in the Science of Reading and the Science of Mathematics as well as Child Development.
    • Secondary Education requires Methods of Teaching in the Content Area.
    • Some CTE areas require a Methods course; others do not.

APPEL educators must demonstrate specific competencies outlined in Board Rule for their own work as an educator, for clinical experiences in the classroom, and for dispositions of teaching. These competencies must be demonstrated constantly and consistently in order to be met.

To fulfill the license capstone requirement educators will complete a Pedagogical Performance Assessment (PPAT) conducted by Educational Testing Services. This is an opportunity for the educator to demonstrate their understanding and ability to create curriculum, execute instruction, adjust instruction as necessary, assess student learning, and reflect on the teaching process.

Receive Your Professional Educator License And Continue Working At Canyons!

  • An APPEL educator must complete all USBE Board Rule professional licensure requirements as well as successfully meet all district teacher evaluation requirements.
  • All APPEL stakeholders (including the educator, school administration, coaches, etc.) must all agree that the educator should be recommended for professional licensure.
  • The APPEL Program Director will recommend the educator to USBE for a Professional Educator License.

Additional References


Lucie Chamberlain

Alta View Elementary

If a movie about super teachers were ever made, Lucie Chamberlain would be a prime candidate for a leading role. Fortunately for her kindergarten students at Alta View Elementary, she already thrives in a supporting role for them. Parents thank her for being a “super teacher.” She is also described as an “amazing colleague.” Whether students need help in the classroom or from home while sick, Lucie goes above and beyond to help them learn, overcome fears, and feel important and cared for. Lucie is the reason a number of kids went from hating school to loving it, according to parents. The way she exudes patience, sweetness, positive energy, and love for her students with special needs melts is appreciated and admired. One parent noted: “Both my kids wish she could be their teacher forever.” Another added:  “She treats every student like their learning and their feelings are her priority.” Super teacher, indeed!

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