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Substitute authorizations are issued to candidates who have completed a bachelor’s degree but have not completed a teacher preparation program.  They must complete a substitute authorization course and apply for the authorization. They may serve up to 5 consecutive days and no more than 10 days in a 30-day period in one job assignment in any classroom PK-12. An individual who holds a Paraeducator certificate, completes the substitute authorization course, and obtains the authorization may serve as a substitute only in the special education classroom in which they are employed.  

Substitute Authorization Requirements

The Iowa Board of Educational Examiners may issue a substitute authorization to an individual who:

Click here for the complete rules 282-22.2(272) Substitute Authorization

  • Has successfully completed all the requirements of the approved Substitute Authorization course.
  • Holds a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institute, or has completed an approved Paraeducator Certification program and holds a Paraeducator Certificate.
  • Is at least 21 years of age.
  • Has successfully completed an Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation background check
  • Has successfully completed a national criminal history background check

A background check and fingerprinting are required for all new applicants for Iowa licensure. This is performed by the Board of Educational Examiners when the application is submitted. The BOEE has a fee of $85 for the Substitute Authorization and a fee of $75 for the background check.

To find upcoming classes and to register, please visit our course catalog.

Classes are generally offered in the fall(September/October) and Spring(March/April) in Burlington and/or Ottumwa.  

Substitute Authorization Renewal

The Substitute Authorization is good for five years and may be renewed by taking two semester hours of AEA relicensure or college credit.  Click here to find the renewal form on the BOEE website.

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