Dual Credit Teacher Requirements in Illinois

High schools may offer courses that count for both high school and college credit, but secondary school educators need to meet additional requirements to teach these courses. Read on to find out the requirements in Illinois. Schools offering Teaching & Learning degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Illinois Dual Credit Teacher Career Overview

High school students sometimes can take dual credit courses that count for both high school and college. The purpose of these classes is to allow students to get accustomed to college-level courses while still in high school. It also allows them to save money and time in college. To teach these classes, Illinois high school educators need to meet specific requirements, in addition to the usual, since these courses count for higher education credit. The following table provides general career information for high school teachers in Illinois.

Education/Experience Required Bachelor's degree and a state-approved teacher preparation program
Exams Required Basic skills test; edTPA; Illinois Licensure Testing System (ILTS) tests for specific grade level and content area
Dual Credit Teacher Requirements Master's degree with at least 18 graduate credit hours in subject area, or an approved professional development plan to meet that requirement
License Renewal Period Five years (professional educator license)
Credits Required for Renewal 120 hours of professional development
Mean Salary in IL (2018) $72,370 (high school teachers)*
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026, nationwide) 8% (high school teachers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Higher Learning Commission Education Requirements

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accredits colleges and universities in 19 states, including Illinois. It provides standards for high school educators who want to teach dual credit courses. According to the HLC, educators who teach dual credit courses need to have at least a master's degree in the subject they are teaching or a master's degree in a different area, with at least 18 graduate credit hours in the subject. The HLC also states that tested experience can qualify an educator to teach these classes, but that is up to the higher education institutions, which should have a policy in place and hold dual credit high school teachers to the same standards it would any of its teachers. However, Illinois provides other options for those who don't immediately meet those requirements.

Illinois Professional Development Plan Requirements

Under the Dual Credit Quality Act, high school teachers in Illinois can still teach dual credit courses if they have an approved plan for professional development to eventually meet the HLC requirements. However, teachers must meet the requirements to submit a professional development plan in the first place. They qualify to submit a professional development plan if they have a master's degree and at least 9 graduate credit hours in the subject they want to teach, or a bachelor's degree and 18 graduate credit hours in the subject they want to teach.

The college providing the credit needs to approve this plan, and the Illinois State Board of Education needs to see it as well. If a teacher's professional development plan is not approved, that educator can appeal to the Illinois Community College Board. The educator must meet the HLC requirements through this plan according to a stated timeline.

Master's Programs for Teaching Dual Credit

Some universities in Illinois offer master's programs to specifically help teachers who want to meet dual credit teaching requirements. The Illinois Board of Higher Education has a list of universities on its website.

Adding a Dual Credit Endorsement to a Teaching License

As of July 2019, the Illinois State Board of Education was working on a process to add a dual credit endorsement to teachers' professional educator licenses, once they qualify to teach dual credit courses. In general, the process to add an endorsement to an Illinois professional educator's license is online through the Educator Licensure Information System (ELIS), which can be found on the Illinois State Board of Education website.

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