First Advisor

Urbach, Jennifer

First Committee Member

Pierce, Corey

Second Committee Member

Sileo, Nancy

Third Committee Member

Tsai, Chia-Lin

Document Type


Date Created



State teacher licensure renewal policies set standards for continued professional practice while promoting ongoing professional learning and growth. The purpose of this study was threefold: to describe the requirements related to students with disabilities (SWDs) in state teacher licensure renewal policies; to explore how states with high-performing SWDs relicensed teachers; and to investigate the relationship between the rigor of relicensure requirements and student achievement. This study investigated the extent to which current state licensure renewal policies encourage the development of expertise and skills that general and special education teachers need to effectively serve students with disabilities. In the first phase of the study, information about current state teacher licensure renewal policies was collected from state education agency websites. Thirteen states had content requirements related to SWDs in their licensure renewal policies, including content addressing special education and/or SWDs generally, reading instruction, dyslexia, behavior, and other disability-related topics. An analysis of the licensure renewal policies in high-performing states, as defined by student achievement and least restrictive environment outcomes for students with disabilities, revealed few commonalities across high-performing states. The second phase of the study investigated the relationship between the rigor of relicensure requirements and student achievement. Mirroring findings from previous research, there was no conclusive quantitative evidence linking state licensure renewal policies to reading and mathematics achievement for students with disabilities. Based on these findings, implications are presented for future research, policy, and practice related to teacher licensure renewal.

Abstract Format



192 pages

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Copyright is held by the author.