Substitute Authorization

Substitute Authorization

The Substitute Authorization course addresses the four components required by the Iowa Board of Educational Examiner on ethics, diversity, classroom management, and strategies for learning. 


A Substitute Authorization may be issued to an individual who:

  • Has attained a minimum age of 21
  • 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 bachelor’s degree or has completed 60 semester hours through a regionally accredited institution or (2) hold a Paraeducator Certification from the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners.
  • Has successfully completed an Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and National Criminal history background check

Receiving a Substitute Authorization will allow an individual 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.  

Paraeducators who hold a Paraeducator Certificate without an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree or 60 semester hours of credit and complete the Substitute Authorization course will be authorized to substitute only in the special education classroom to which they are assigned for no more than 10 consecutive days in a 30-day period.

Applying for a license
The Iowa Board of Educational Examiners’ (BoEE) application directions will be provided during the course,  fees include a $75.00 background check (waived only for those with a coaching authorization or Paraeducator certification), and the $85.00 application fee. The process can take up to 4 - 6 weeks to approve. Once the application has been approved the Substitute Authorization will be valid for five years. During the five years, two re-licensure credits must be completed along with Mandatory Reporter certification.

Employment Opportunities
AEA’s do not place substitute teachers and having the license does not guarantee work.  Reach out to your preferred district administration office for details, a list of Mississippi Bend AEA school partners can be found here. You may also visit for more opportunities.

Statewide Substitute Authorization remote courses are available across the state, view a current listing here.

Important contacts

Staff Directory


Jennifer Spray

Staff Development Specialist

Email Jennifer Spray