Reviewed and/or Updated on: September 12, 2014


Certification in the Wisconsin Technical College System ("WTCS") is the approval process for district educational personnel. Certification is governed by Wisconsin State Statute (Wis. Stat. §38.04(4)) and Wisconsin Administrative Code (Wis. Admin. Code Chapter TCS 3).  These authorities establish the minimum academic, occupational and teaching requirements for district education personnel.  Certification is an effort to insure quality education by establishing the minimum statewide standards at WTCS 16 technical college districts.

Unlike certification processes in other educational systems, the WTCS certification process begins after a district has hired an individual.  Certification covers many positions within the technical college including instructors, librarians, counselors, etc.  The most common are instructors.  WTCS has two different types of instructors; occupational and academic

An occupational instructor is a person employed by a district to teach one or more courses that are vocational or technical in nature. Many individuals employed by business and industry can be considered for employment as instructors. The recognition of occupational experience allows individuals to be employed as occupational program instructors regardless of their level of education. Instructors are not required to complete a teaching degree prior to employment.

An academic instructor is a person teaching one or more courses in academic subjects such as mathematics, social science, English, communications, and science. Completion of a college degree with a specific major or a required number of credits toward a major has been traditionally recognized as a measure of academic competence when certification is granted for academic instructors. This method is followed in the technical college system for certification of academic instructors.

Much of the work involving certification is performed by the hiring technical college district. Most of the initial decisions involving certification are also made at the district level. Great efforts have been made to insure that district staff has the understanding necessary to make those decisions in a manner that can be supported by state staff.

For more information and an overview of the certification process, the PowerPoint presentation below is available for your reference.