CONCORD, NH – The Division of Educator Support and Higher Education at the New Hampshire Department of Education has implemented system enhancements that streamline processing for thousands of educator credentials across the state. The Bureau of Credentialing built a completely online process – the New Hampshire Educator Information System – which is now live at https://my.doe.nh.gov, for all teachers, support staff, and administrators. For a number of years, moving to an online process has been discussed but never executed.
Between March and June, the renewal season for educators, the bureau receives one or more large postal boxes full of paper documents from educators each weekday. The process of opening that mail, processing and scanning the submitted documents, shredding the documents, and then mailing back credentialing, licenses, and other information to educators was a time consuming procedure for both the department and educators.
The bureau processes about 13,000 credential applications annually including around 2,500 new educators. These teachers, staff, and administrators submit tens of thousands of documents as part of this process. The department endorses 75 different public school assignments – from paraprofessionals to the superintendent of a school district – and has about 126,000 files of current, past, and future educators who have yet to finish their preparation programs.
Stephen Appleby, the recently hired administrator of the Bureau of Credentialing who helped spearhead the changes, believes it will assist the bureau to better serve educators.
“These changes in the credentialing process will save us thousands of labor hours, postage, paper, and handling costs during the course of a year,” Appleby said. “It will also allow the bureau to provide a higher level of personal service to the education field when they have complex needs and questions.”
The new system also allows educators to re-enable their accounts online. In the past, educators had to call the bureau during the school day hours to reset a password.
In March, the bureau will be automating the process of “deficiency notifications” – requests for more information – streamlining the procedure of addressing problems with submissions by educators. Also, the process of creating digital license credentials will be automated in .pdf format. Teachers and administrators will be able download and print their credentials, eliminating the need to mail thousands of documents annually. Those licenses will also remain accessible in their online account – eliminating the $30 fee to educators for a replacement license.
“The modernization of this process is long overdue and another way our department is assisting educators to access services they need so they can focus on educating our children, not pushing paper,” said Frank Edelblut, the commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Education. “Stephen and I joke about the fact that these improvements have now moved us into the 20th century. We have more work to do to get us to the 21st century but our educators appreciate that we made this process easier and more accessible to them.”
Appleby and Edelblut have been speaking with educators around the state during the past few months about the changes and how it will make credentialing more efficient.
For a short walkthrough on how to utilize the Educator Information System, watch the video below: