Keystone Area Education Agency logo

Substitute Authorization

sub authorization teacher with student


Take the Online 
sub authorization course 

Iowa's AEAs are offering the required training course for the Iowa Substitute Authorization online

Receiving a Substitute Authorization will allow an individual who holds a four-year college degree to substitute in grades PK-12 for no more than five consecutive days in one job assignment. See temporary 

An individual who holds a Paraeducator Certificate and completes this course will be authorized to substitute ONLY in the special education classroom (not preschool or ELL) in which the individual is employed, for no more than five consecutive days. Only paraeducators may elect the Paraeducator Credit.

The four core components of the course are Classroom Management, Strategies for Learning, Diversity, and Ethics. Upon successful completion of the program the participant may apply to the Board of Educational Examiners for a license, ($85 issuance fee). A state and federal background check is required ($75 background fee) (also a $3.00 credit card user fee).

Local districts have the option of hiring individuals with the Substitute Authorization. It does not guarantee employment. Please check with your local district.

Anyone who meets the following five criteria is eligible to receive this new authorization:
1. Has achieved  the following: (1) holds a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution, (2) holds an associate's degree or has completed 60 semester hours through an accredited university approved by U.S. Department of Education ,OR holds an approved Paraeducator Certification Program and holds a Paraeducator Certificate.
2. Has attained a minimum age of 21 years.
3. Has successfully completed an Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation background check.
4. Has successfully completed a National Criminal History background check.
5. Has successfully completed all the requirements of an approved Substitute Authorization course.

Renewal of Authorization
The period of renewal for this authorization is once every five years. At the time of renewal you will need to submit verification of two 15 contact hour courses taken within the five year period from the date your Authorization was issued, the renewal application form, documentation of Mandatory Child and Dependent Adult Abuse training and the renewal fee.

Once you have successfully completed the Substitute Authorization class an online application must be submitted to the Board of Educational Examiners.  

Certified Paraeducators must also have a substitution authorization license to serve as a substitute teacher. 

  • If the certified paraeducator holds a regular substitute authorization, they may serve as a substitute teacher in any classroom except driver’s ed (this is not a change). 
  • If the certified paraeducator holds the limited substitute authorization to serve as a substitute teacher only in their own special education classroom, they may substitute in any classroom during this proclamation. 

Holders of a career and technical authorization with at least on year of experience may serve as a substitute in any classroom (except driver’s ed) as long as they hold the substitute authorization license. 

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

This course will take place viz Zoom (online and 15 hours) with additional assignments outside of the Zoom time (5 hours).

The application for this license is online. The process can be started as soon as you know the course you are taking is going to be held. Visit: BOEE Applitrack License Site

To start your online application to apply for the license, you will need: 

  • Transcript showing completion of this Substitute Authorization course
  • PDF of your Official College Transcripts (paras will add this as an endorsement to a para license)
  • Fingerprint Cards - once you start the online application, the cards will be sent to you. Complete at your local police station (fees range from $0 – 20)
  • Fees payable to the BOEE; paid online during the application process:
  • Background Check – $75 You will need this even if you had one done for another organization or school. Waived only for those with a BOEE issued coaching authorization or Para License.
  • Application Fees of $85 + $3 debit/credit card processing fee. (Fee total is $163)

If you have taken this course in the past and have an EXPIRED substitute authorization license, you DO NOT need to take this course again - you can renew an expired license at any time. There are no penalties for letting your license expire.

Help with Registration

Visit the AEA Professional Learning Registration System. If you’re a first time user, select ‘Create Account’.  Fill in the information as requested.  When it asks for your BoEE folder number—select NA.  (The system updates new accounts during the night. This means you'll need to register for the course the following day.) Once you’re logged in, select 'Courses' on the menu bar. In the Course Search box, enter the course section number noted above.  You'll see the Substitute Authorization course listed, select the ‘Register’ button for the appropriate date and location. 


For more information contact:

Michelle Gregerson
Office: 800-632-5918
Fax: 563-245-1484