Substitute Authorization

Substitute Authorization

This course is designed to meet the requirements for the Substitute Authorization Program. Receiving a Substitute Authorization will allow an individual who holds an associate’s degree or higher or has completed 60 semester hours through a regionally accredited institution to substitute in grades PK-12 for no more than ten consecutive days in a thirty-day period in one job assignment for a regularly assigned teacher who is absent, except in the driver’s education classroom. An individual who holds a paraeducator certificate without an associate’s degree and completes the Substitute Authorization course will be authorized to substitute in any classroom in grades pre-kindergarten through 12, except in a driver’s education classroom, according to Public Health Proclamation, Section 8 (this proclamation will expire on October 17, 2021).

A Substitute Authorization may be issued to an individual who:

  • Has successfully completed all the requirements of the approved Substitute Authorization course.
  • Has achieved at least one of the following:  (1) holds an associate’s degree or higher or has completed 60 semester hours through a regionally-accredited institution, OR (2) has completed an approved Paraeducator Certification Program and holds a Paraeducator Certificate from the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners.
  • Has attained a minimum age of 21 years.
  • Has successfully completed an Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation background check
  • Has successfully completed a national criminal history background check 

The course includes components on ethics, diversity, instructional strategies, and behavior management. 

Substitute Authorization Course Listings

How to apply for your Substitute Authorization license.  The process can be started as soon as you know the course you are taking is going to be held. It takes 4-6 weeks for you to get your license.

  • Visit BOEE License Site
  • Transcripts
    • PDF of your AEA Course Transcript showing you completed the Substitute Authorization course
    • PDF of your Official College Transcripts (paras will add this as an endorsement to a para license).  At this time you will need to verify an AA degree or 60+ hours of college credit
  • Fingerprint Cards 
    • Review the directions for fingerprinting from the BOEE
    • During the application process you will be asked how you want to receive the fingerprint packet; indicate you want one mailed to your home.
    • Complete at your local police station (fees range from $0 – 20)
  • Fees 
    • Payable to the BOEE; paid online during the application process: Total = $163
    • Background Check – $75 (Note: This needs to be completed even if your district or organization has done this in the past.) Waived only for those with a BOEE issued coaching authorization or Para License.
    • Application – $85 + $3 debit/credit card processing fee
  • License Term
    • Five years
  • Renewal Requirements
    • Earn two re-licensure credits within five years
    • Credits may be earned at the AEA or an accredited college/university

How to let districts know you are ready to substitute teach

  • AEA’s do not place substitute teachers
  • Having the license does not guarantee work
  • Contact your preferred school district and apply
    • A list of Mississippi Bend AEA school districts can be found on our Teach Iowa Job Board (you must follow district employment practices)
  • Visit for more opportunities in our area and around Iowa

Important contacts

Staff Directory


Jennifer Spray

Staff Development Specialist

Email Jennifer Spray