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How to Become a Teacher in Illinois: Teacher Certification

This is a general guide to the steps a person might take to become certified to teach in the state of Illinois. Please check with your state to make sure you have the most up-to-date information about the certification process.

You can find data on teaching salaries in Illinois here.

Traditional Approach for the Illinois Teacher Certification

  1. Earn your bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited college.
  2. Gain some teaching experience -- student teaching is acceptable, but other teacher prep courses can also provide this.
  3. Pass the Illinois Test of Basic Skills, Illinois Content Test (Subject Area), and the Assessment of Professional Teaching. Click here to learn more.
  4. Submit the following:
    • Apply Online
    • $30 check/money order payable to Department of Education’s Certification Office
    • Call here for more information
      • Springfield - (866) 262-6663
      • Chicago - (312) 814-2220
  5. Do you want to renew your Illinois Teacher Certification?

Alternative Approach for the Illinois Teacher Certification

Alternatively, there is another path to take to get certified to teach in IL. It allows you to start your teaching career before you complete the teacher education program.

  1. Earn your bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited college.
  2. A minimum of 5 years experience in a related occupation.
  3. Pass the ICTS testing requirements.
  4. You’ll receive the Alternative Certification Program certification which is valid for 1 year. During this time, you’ll be mentored and participate in various activities to be judged and reviewed on your progress. After completing this successfully, you can receive the Initial Illinois Teaching Certification.

Resident Teacher Certification

This route doesn’t require any time spent with teacher preparation work. After fulfilling the requirements, you can earn your Master’s Degree and possibly be recommended for the Standard Illinois Certification. Call (866) 262-6663 or (312) 814-2220 for more details.

Sources:

  1. Illinois Licensure Testing System, http://www.il.nesinc.com/
  2. ECS - Online Teacher Information System, Illinois State Board of Education, https://sec1.isbe.net/ecs

Teaching Schools in Illinois

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B.S. in Educational Studies (Does Not Lead to Teacher Licensure)
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MS in Education (for Existing Teachers Grades K-12)

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