Council on Teacher Education

Overview of Licensure Phases and Processes

The Council on Teacher Education (CTE) is the professional education unit for the University of Illinois at Chicago responsible for coordinating Professional Educator Licensure (PEL)  programs and maintaining the State of Illinois Licensure requirements. 

Decisions about licensure are a joint effort of a candidate’s program, CTE, and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). The program coordinator and faculty have the main responsibility for ensuring that candidates are prepared to become licensed teachers and are, thus, entitled to apply for licensure. Program coordinators approve qualifications before the CTE evaluation process begins. The CTE’s licensure officer entitles an individual to apply for a license at the state level. The CTE checks that candidates have met state requirements, such as passing the required state-level tests and completing the course, assessment, and grade requirements stipulated by the program as addressing state objectives. ISBE makes the final decision about whether or not a candidate receives licensure based upon the information it receives from the institution and a candidate’s application.

The CTE serves programs in the College of Education, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the College of Nursing, and the Jane Addams College of Social Work.

Admission to Candidacy

To be eligible for candidacy, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  1. Completed specific course work per program requirements; earned a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA as specified by the program, including transfer credits; and completed professional education requirements.
  2. Completed the minimum number of clock hours of fieldwork specified by the program and as part of the professional education course work.
  3. Passed the Illinois Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP). a A minimum ACT Plus Writing composite score of 22 or higher and a Writing Score of 16 or higher or a SAT composite score of 1030 or higher (critical reading and mathematics) and a writing score of 450 or higher may be substituted in place of the TAP. Scores from the TAP or ACT & SAT (in lieu of TAP) are valid indefinitely.
  4. Completed all other requirements as specified by the program.

Admission to Student Teaching

To be eligible for student teaching, candidates must meet the following criteria:  

  1. Completed specific course work; earned a minimum cumulative GPA as specified by the program in all course work, including transfer credits; completed professional education requirements with a minimum as specified by the program; and completed course work in their teaching field with a GPA as specified by their program.
  2. Completed the minimum number of clock hours of fieldwork specified by the program and as part of the professional education course work.
  3. Passed the Illinois content area test in the teaching field if student teaching will occur.
  4. Submitted a student teaching application before the deadline during the spring term of the academic year preceding the student teaching experience.
  5. Completed the student teacher registration process for the school district where student teaching will occur, which typically includes a criminal background check and TB test.a
  6. Met any additional requirements as specified within each program.
a

Teacher candidates are responsible for bearing the expense of exams, licensure, TB test and criminal background checks.

Entitlement to Illinois State Licensure

To become licensed, candidates must have done the following:

  1. Met all requirements for graduation in their home college.
  2. Completed all early field experiences.
  3. Passed all assessments including all licensure exams and the Illinois content area test.
  4. Successfully completed student teaching.
  5. Completed the Teacher Safety Education Module.
  6. Completed and filed a licensure application and any related endorsement requests with the Council on Teacher Education.
  7. Passed the edTPA.
  8. Completed and submitted exit and tech surveys.

Illinois Licensure Test Requirements

Before the license is issued, the candidate must also pass a series of examinations required by ISBE. The TAP or a substitute test must be passed prior to applying for candidacy. The Illinois content area test must be passed before the candidate is allowed to student teach. Lastly, a teaching license is not issued until a student passes the final performance assessment, the edTPA.

ISBE occasionally changes the requirements for licensure. For current information, contact the academic advisor in the major field of study or the CTE.

Early Childhood and Special Education Programs

The College of Education also offers several graduate-level early childhood and special education programs. Students can earn an MEd in Instructional Leadership with a concentration in Early Childhood/Early Childhood Special Education, an MEd in Special Education: LBSI, or an MEd in Special Education: LBSII (which includes options for Assistive Technology Specialist, Behavior Intervention Specialist, Bilingual Specialist, Curriculum Adaptation Specialist, Multiple Disabilities Specialist, and Transition Specialist). These programs prepare students to apply for the ISBE Special Education PEL, grades P-21. For more information about these options, please contact the College of Education Office of Student Services, 3145 ETMSW, (312) 996-4532.

Middle School Endorsement (program will change after Summer 2017)

Teacher candidates wishing to teach in the middle grades (6–8) should take additional course work, even though the Standard Secondary License states eligibility for teaching in grades 6–12. Please note that the State of Illinois is in the process of revising middle school endorsement requirements and additional course work may be required. Be advised that changes may occur without notice and will be effective immediately. Additional information about the middle school endorsement program beginning Fall 2017 may be obtained from the College of Education Office of Student Services, 3145 ETMSW, (312) 996-4532.

Literacy, Language, & Culture Concentration within Instructional Leadership MEd Programs

The College of Education offers a Literacy, Language, and Culture concentration within the Instructional Leadership MEd program, which provides students with high-quality advanced training in literacy education that enables them to understand and foster children’s and adolescents’ language and literacy development. Strand A (Classroom Literacy Instruction) prepares students to apply for the ISBE Reading Teacher endorsement. Strand B (Reading Specialist certification) prepares students to apply for the ISBE Reading Specialist endorsement, grades K–12. For more information about these options, please contact the College of Education Office of Student Services, 3145 ETMSW, (312) 996-4532.

Secondary Education Programs

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) offers several graduate-level secondary teacher education programs. Through LAS, the student can study the Teaching of English, Teaching of History, Teaching of Mathematics, and Teaching of Spanish. The programs provide for the development of a major field of study with an emphasis on teaching.

Licensure in the teaching of biology, chemistry, physics, environmental science, or earth and space sciences is available through the College of Education in the MEd in Instructional Leadership: Science Education. 

Since each program is slightly different, contact the secondary program coordinators to learn more about requirements and ISBE licensure options.

Student Support Personnel and Administrative Programs

School Nurse Certificate

The School Nurse Certificate program is designed for those who have already earned an RN license with a BSN degree. The certification program prepares students to apply for the ISBE PEL with School Nurse endorsement. For more information about the certification program, contact the College of Nursing at: sncert@uic.edu.

School Social Worker Endorsement & Post-MSW PEL

The Jane Addams College of Social Work offers School Social Work Concentration curriculum, preparing students to become school social workers. The Post-MSW School Social Worker endorsement program is for those who have already earned an MSW degree. Both the MSW and Post-MSW programs prepare students to apply for the ISBE PEL with School Social Worker endorsement. For more information about the program and application process, contact the Jane Addams College of Social Work, (312) 996-0033.

Urban Education Leadership (EdD with P–12 Principal Endorsement Option)

The College of Education offers the EdD program in Urban Education Leadership. The EdD program is designed to prepare and develop principals who are able to lead significantly improved teaching and learning in urban schools. This program prepares outstanding teachers and assistant principals seeking to transition to school leadership positions, as well as principals interested in enhancing their leadership skills. Students have the option of completing the EdD program with Superintendent endorsement, P–12 Principal endorsement or a Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS). Contact the Center for Urban Education Leadership at (312) 355-0546. For more information about the program, contact the Center for Urban Education Leadership, (312) 355-0546.