Where Can I Earn My Illinois Teaching Certification?

Find out which Illinois schools offer teacher certification programs. Get information about requirements, prerequisites, and school information to make an informed decision about your education. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Are you interested in earning your teacher certification in Illinois? This article provides useful information about four schools that offer teacher degree programs to help you in your research.

What You Need to Know

You can prepare for teacher certification through a bachelor's or master's degree program. Some undergraduate programs require you to major in education and minor in your particular subject area. Others offer the reverse - your degree is in your chosen subject area, and teacher certification can be pursued once you complete a minor in education. All programs include student teaching requirements, and some offer additional internship opportunities. If you hold a bachelor's degree in an area outside education, you can sometimes earn a certification after completing 1-4 semesters of coursework, plus student teaching. Some programs are offered online.

Graduate programs are often designed for those who already hold bachelor's degrees in non-education fields and seek initial teaching certification. Just like bachelor's programs, student-teaching experiences are a central component of the master's-level curriculum.

Undergraduate Teacher Certification Programs in Illinois

Bradley University

Students in Bradley University's elementary and early childhood education programs choose an additional concentration area, such as English, science, the fine arts or math, while candidates for secondary certification major in the subject area they want to teach. Regardless of your field, you'll study teaching methods, assessment measures, and human development before heading out to area schools for observations and student teaching experiences. Bradley University also offers special education and K-12 programs for students interested in teaching a foreign language, art, or music.

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science
  • Specialization Areas: Early childhood education, elementary education, secondary education
  • Program Length: Minimum 124-127 credit hours
  • Tuition and Fees: $31,480 (2015-2016)
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit; 5,300 students (4,588 undergraduates)

Northern Illinois University

Northern Illinois University offers 26 certification programs in 5 areas to students looking to earn their initial teaching credentials. These include an interdisciplinary early childhood studies major that covers topics in play development and child assessment as well as an elementary education major with an optional middle school endorsement. Secondary teacher certification is also available to students who major in such subjects as family and consumer sciences, health education, biology, history, and psychology. If you'd like to teach special education, a degree program is available in this area as well.

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Science in Education
  • Specialization Areas: Early childhood studies, elementary education
  • Program Length: 90-105 credit hours
  • Tuition and Fees: $14,295 for in-state students, $23,761 for out-of-state students (2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: Around 33-37 credit hours of prerequisite coursework
  • Admission Requirements: Passing scores on Test of Academic Proficiency; criminal background check required for early childhood studies program
  • School Type: 4-year, public; 20,611 students (15,435 undergraduates)

Northwestern University

This secondary education program combines courses in your chosen subject area with instruction in education theory and teaching methods. In addition to classroom work, you'll spend time completing an internship in a community organization. A clinical observation and student teaching experience at a local school are also required. Additionally, Northwestern offers an alternative education program for individuals who already hold a bachelor's degree in a subject other than education. Through this program, called NU-TEACH, you can earn certification after completing a summer session of coursework and a year of supervised work experience in a Chicago elementary, middle, or high school.

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Education and Social Policy
  • Specialization Areas: Art, biology, chemistry, English, economics, French, Latin, German, mathematics, history, Spanish, sociology, political science, physics
  • Program Length: 45 quarter credit hours
  • Tuition and Fees: $49,047 (2015-2016)
  • Admissions Requirements: Passing scores on Test of Academic Proficiency, minimum of 25 hours of relevant work experience
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit; 21,554 students (9,048 undergraduates)

University of Illinois at Springfield

Candidates for teacher certification at UIS major in an academic subject and minor in elementary or secondary education. It could take you more than 4 years to complete these program requirements, which include a semester of student teaching. You'll also need to complete between 30 and 40 hours of field experience in your elementary or secondary methods courses. If you already have a bachelor's degree, the post-baccalaureate teacher certification program can be completed in about 4 semesters. This program is available in both on-campus and online formats.

  • Program Name: Elementary or secondary minor in teacher education
  • Specialization Areas: English, mathematics, social science, science (for secondary education students)
  • Program Length: Minimum of 4 years
  • Tuition and Fees: $11,413 for in-state students, $20,938 for out-of-state students (2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: 3 prerequisite courses
  • Admissions Requirements: Passing scores on Test of Academic Proficiency, minimum 30 hours of work experience with children, criminal background check
  • School Type: 4-year, public; 5,431 students (3,038 undergraduates)

Graduate Teacher Certification Programs in Illinois

Northern Illinois University

NIU offers several degree options to students who want to earn initial teaching certification at the post-baccalaureate level. Its Master of Science in Education programs include courses and seminars covering educational theories and child development. The special education program also requires an internship. If you'd rather pursue certification in another area, NIU offers several graduate certificate and degree programs to students interested in initial certification as secondary school teachers. A 42-credit-hour Master or Arts in Teaching program with a specialization in elementary education is available as well.

  • Program Name: Master of Science in Education
  • Specialization Areas: Special education, early childhood education
  • Program Length: Minimum of 33-36 credit hours
  • Tuition: $8,176 for in-state students, $16,352 for out-of-state students (2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree
  • Admissions Requirements: GRE scores, statement of purpose, letters of recommendation; special education program requires passing scores on the Test of Academic Proficiency
  • School Type: 4-year, public; 20,611 students (5,176 graduate students)

Northwestern University

If you already have a bachelor's degree in a field other than education, this graduate program's 10-week practicum and 15 credit hours of coursework can prepare you for initial teaching certification. Topics of study for both elementary and secondary specializations include education philosophy and techniques for educating exceptional students. You can also study child and adolescent development, language acquisition, and elementary or secondary teaching methods.

  • Program Name: Master of Science in Education
  • Specialization Areas: Elementary teaching, secondary teaching
  • Program Length: 1 year, full-time
  • Tuition: $48,624 (2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree
  • Admissions Requirements: GRE scores, essay, resume, two letters of recommendation, passing scores on the Test of Academic Proficiency
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit; 21,554 students (12,506 graduate students)

There are many schools in Illinois that offer teaching degree programs, including bachelor's degrees at Bradley University, Northern Illinois University, Northwestern University and University of Illinois at Springfield and master's degrees at Northern Illinois University and Northwestern University.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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