UW-L Career ServicesSelf Credentialing for Teacher Candidates

Letters of recommendation are managed by the candidate (thus the term "self credentialing") and are submitted directly to the employer in the initial screening process. In past years, all education majors were required to maintain official files in the Career Services Office. Upon request by the candidate, Career Services sent these files to employers for a fee, which could result in a substantial financial investment for candidates. After extensive consultation with school personnel administrators in the U.S., Career Services staff determined that education employers, in keeping with other professions, now accept credentials directly from the candidates for the initial screening process.

WHAT DOES A CREDENTIAL PACKET INCLUDE?

It is very important to recognize that every school district's application procedures are different. Follow their instructions precisely. Failure to follow directions may cause your application to be eliminated. Typically, a position vacancy specifies submission of some or all of the credential materials below:

  • A letter of application, often called a "cover letter".
  • A resume.
  • Copies of letters of recommendation (usually three letters).
  • A list of three to five professional references with titles, addresses and phone numbers. Newly certified candidates are most frequently asked for references and/or letters from their university student teaching supervisor and their school district cooperating teacher(s).
  • Transcripts (available from the Records & Registration Office at UW-L, (608) 785-8576); school districts will often accept copies of transcripts for the initial screening.
  • A separate application form (if required by the school district). Some can be completed on-line.
  • Copy of teaching license. If you do not have a license yet, contact Certification Officer, Sandy Keller (keller.sand@uwlax.edu), to request a "Completion Letter" that can be used until you receive your license. Please give 2 days to process this letter. Keep the original letter and send copies.

THE ADVANTAGES OF SELF CREDENTIALING:

  • Self credentialing allows candidates to take full responsibility for job search and career planning files.
  • Self credentialing promotes efficient and timely delivery of application materials directly from the candidate to the employer. Candidates may fax, mail or hand deliver materials without Career Services Office involvement.
  • Self credentialing saves the candidate a processing fee charged by UW-L per set of credentials.
  • Self credentialing allows each candidate to keep a collection of letters of recommendation and to select which letters are most appropriate to a particular vacancy.
Occasionally, a candidate may come in contact with an employer that is not familiar with the UW-L practice of self credentialing. If this occurs, a candidate should contact the Career Services Office immediately and we will provide whatever documentation is necessary to facilitate the employment of UW-La Crosse candidates.

Alumni that have open credential files at UW-L may ask to have their files released to them for use in their job search. Contact the Career Services Office for details at career@uwlax.edu or call 608.785.8514.