Teachers who serve as Gifted Intervention Specialists (GIS) in a district must hold an intervention specialist license, valid in the state of Ohio. Currently there are two paths to licensure for gifted in Ohio: endorsement and initial licensure. The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) maintains a current list of all approved teacher education programs. For more information on the approval process, please see the guidelines page and scroll down to Endorsement-Gifted for the application filed by the universities.
Endorsement Programs in Gifted Education
An endorsement in gifted may be applied to a current Ohio teaching license. All programs listed in the link above have been approved by the ODE Office of Educator Licensure. Programs on a semester schedule will offer 18 credits and those on quarters will offer 21-24 credits. Please check with the specific college or university to determine if the program is currently active and accepting new students.
Initial Licensure Programs in Gifted Education
Initial licensure in gifted may be obtained at the undergraduate or graduate level. Each university has specific entrance and program requirements. Listed in the link above are the approved programs in the state of Ohio that offer initial licensure in gifted education. Note that while most programs are at the graduate level, two programs have been approved at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Please check with the specific college or university to determine if the program is currently active and accepting new students.
How do I know which is right for me?
The first consideration when deciding between endorsement or initial is whether or not you have (or are eligible for) a current Ohio teaching license. Next, you must determine if you would be considered a highly qualified teacher (HQT) for the area you are going to teach. If your assignment is only with gifted students, either the endorsement or the licensure is appropriate for all grades. If, however, you will be teaching regular education students, your initial licensure will dictate your HQT status. For more information on the differences, please see the ODE Gifted HQT fact sheet. Generally the initial licensure in gifted is recommended for those who have no undergraduate teaching degree but wish to be hired as a GIS or gifted coordinator.
When you have completed your courses, the university you attend will assist you with the application process for licensure. The institution must certify to the state that you have completed the appropriate course of study. Your advisor will help you with the process but you may find the necessary applications on the ODE web site. When on the Educator Licensure Applications page, select the Initial Licensure link for the application to add a teaching field to an existing license. The directions for completing the application are on the forms provided.
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