Accelerated Teacher Certification Programs in Illinois

Accelerated teacher certification programs in Illinois are designed to fast-track educational careers while serving the region's high-shortage areas. Find out how to get involved! Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Accelerated Certification Program Overview

In Illinois, teachers may pursue certification through an accelerated program designed to fast-track educators' careers so they may teach in the region's most under-served areas. This program only accepts up to 260 participants each year and results in a one-year, nonrenewable provisional teaching certificate if all educational and program requirements are met. Because of the exclusive nature of the program, prospective participants must possess certain qualifications in order to be considered.

Education/Experience Required Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university; a minimum of five years' employment requiring use of specific skills gained through participant's education
Exams Required Illinois Certification Testing System (ICTS)
Basic Skills Test,
Subject-Area Test, and
Professional Teaching Test
License Validity Period Provisional teaching certificate valid for one year;
Initial teaching certificate valid for four years;
standard teaching certificate valid for five years
Certification Renewal Process Provisional and initial teaching certificates are nonrenewable after indicated period of validity;
Standard certificate renewable after five years
CEU Credits Required for Renewal CEU credits not required, but teachers must submit a Certificate Renewal Plan for approval by a Local Professional Development Committee
Average Salary in Illinois (2018) $62,140 (elementary school); $63,860 (middle school); $72,370 (high school)*
Estimated Job Growth 2016 – 2026 7% (elementary school); 8% (middle and high school)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Special Skills & Characteristics

Because program participants are typically limited to internships in under-served regions, possessing certain skills and characteristics can help educators be more successful as they work to complete the program:

  • Strong organizational and planning skills
  • Ability to manage and engage with large classroom sizes
  • Patience, enthusiasm, and desire to help others

High school teacher shortage areas typically serve students coming from low-income families where there is a stronger need for high-quality education. For this reason, those who come to the program must have exceptionally strong communication skills and the ability to convey difficult concepts effectively in a variety of classroom settings.

Professional & Educational Requirements

Those entering the accelerated teacher certification program in Illinois must possess at least a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university. In addition, program participants must have at least five years of documented employment during which they were required to utilize the skills learned through their educational program. Depending on the accredited university, college, or nonprofit organization offering the alternative teacher certification program, participants may be expected to have held a certain GPA during their time as a student.

Exam Requirements

All teachers seeking certification in Illinois must pass the ICTS Basic Skills Test, Subject-Area Test, and Professional Teaching Test. Teachers are expected to complete the ICTS Basic Skills Test when either entering or exiting the accelerated program. A minimum passing score of 240 is acceptable under the following conditions:

  • Reading 50% Correct
  • Language Arts 50% Correct
  • Mathematics 50% Correct
  • Writing 5/12 Correct

Teachers must also earn a minimum passing score of 70 on the Subject-Area Test, and a minimum passing score of 240 on the Professional Teaching Test.

Certification Requirements

In order to earn a teaching certificate from an accelerated program, participants must meet the following requirements:

  • Possess at least a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Be employed for at least five years in a profession requiring the use of skills learned through participant's education
  • Passed the required ICTS Basic Skills Test, Subject-Area Test, and Professional Teaching Test
  • Successfully complete an accelerated teaching certification program from an approved institution that provides a baccalaureate degree and master's degree program

Program participants are issued a one-year provisional teaching certificate, during which time candidates will have nine months to successfully complete all required tests in order to convert the license to an initial certificate. The initial certificate will remain valid for four years as long as participants remain active within their program, possess at least a bachelor's degree, and pass all required tests. After this is complete, teachers are required to convert their initial certificate to a standard professional license which remains valid for five years.

Certification Renewal

Provisional and initial teaching certifications are nonrenewable in the state of Illinois. Once teachers are issued a standard professional license, they may renew their certificate once every five years with the following:

  • A mailed or digitally submitted certification renewal application
  • Committee-approved Certificate Renewal Plan documenting personal improvement goals, proposed activities, and projected timelines

Teachers may also pursue their master certificate by earning certification through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Master certificates are renewable every 10 years and apply the same requirements for renewal as the standard professional license.

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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