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, the Council on Teacher Education (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. They approve qualifications before the CTE begins its process of evaluation. 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.

CTE serves programs in the College of Education, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts, 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 General Education course work; earned a minimum cumulative 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 an Illinois-approved test of basic skills.  Approved tests consist of the  ACT or SAT with approved scores.  
    1. To use an ACT score, the following criteria must be met:
      1. ACT composite score must be at least 22; and
      2. ACT combined English/Writing score must be at least 19 for tests prior to September 2015; or
      3. ACT writing score must be at least 16 for tests taken September 2015 to September 8, 2016; or
      4. ACT writing score must be at least 6 for tests taken September 9, 2016 or after.​
    2. ​To use an SAT score, the following criteria must be met:
      1. SAT combined score (critical reading and math) of at least 1030 and SAT writing score of at least 450 for tests taken prior to March 5, 2016.
      2. SAT combined score (evidence-based reading and writing plus mathematics) of at least 1110 and a minimum score of 26 on writing and language tests for tests taken on or after March 5, 2016.  
    3. Note: As identified in the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE's) Teach Illinois: Strong Teachers, Strong Classrooms report, beginning  June 30, 2019, the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP 400) will be put on hold indefinitely while ISBE conducts a study of alternative basic skills assessments.  The last day to register for the TAP is June 27, 2019.  TAP tests passed prior to June 30, 2019, will continue to be accepted to meet the Illinois basic skills requirement past June 30, 2019.  ISBE will continue to require specific scores on the ACT or SAT as a test of basic skills for the issuance of a Professional Educator License as referenced above. 
  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 General Education 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 in 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. Submitted verification of a negative TB test.a This test must be taken early enough to submit the results with the application (it may take up to four weeks to get the results).
  6. Completed the Chicago Public Schools registration process, which includes a criminal background check.a
  7. Met any additional requirements as specified within each program.

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. Completed and passed all assessments including all licensure exams and the Illinois Content Test.
  4. Successfully completed student teaching.
  5. Completed and filed a licensure application and any related endorsement requests with the Council on Teacher Education.
  6. Passed the edTPA.
  7. Completed and submitted an exit survey.

Illinois Licensure Test Requirements

Before the license is issued, the candidate must also pass a series of examinations required by the Illinois State Board of Education. The ACT or SAT and any alternative test of basic skills as defined by the Illinois State Board of Education, must be passed prior to gaining full admission to candidacy with the Council on Teacher Education. b

All tests are valid indefinitely.  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.

For information on application procedures, contact the Council on Teacher Education located at 1333 S. Halsted, Suite 205.

Effective March 2003, Illinois "Approved Program Verification" forms and applications for Illinois teaching licenses will no longer be signed based solely on completion of a teacher education program if that program was completed more that three years prior to the verification request. The faculty in relevant colleges and departments will evaluate the records of program completers based on UIC’s current program requirements and make recommendations regarding licensure.

The Illinois State Board of Education occasionally changes the requirements for licensure. For current information, contact the academic advisor in the major field of study or the Council on Teacher Education.

Secondary Education Program

The University of Illinois at Chicago offers several secondary teacher education programs located in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS). Through LAS, the student can study the Teaching of English, Teaching of French, Teaching of German, 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. Please consult the home college for more information about these degree requirements.

At the undergraduate level, the College of Education offers the BA in Urban Education leading to the State of Illinois Professional Educator Licensure in grades 1-6 with the option of adding grades 5-8 only. 

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. 

Contact the appropriate department for more information on content specific programs.