Professional Development (CPDUs) for Teachers in Illinois

Illinois teachers are required to complete professional development training in order to renew their teaching licenses every five years. This article covers the requirements for professional development hours and how to fulfill them. Schools offering Accounting & Human Resources degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Illinois Teacher Career Overview

Teachers in Illinois need a professional educator license in teaching, which is valid for five years. To renew the license after five years, educators need to complete 120 hours of professional development approved by the state. There are various options for teachers to complete the professional development hours (which were formerly called CPDUs).

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 specific to a teacher's grade level and content area
License Renewal Period Five years
Credits Required for Renewal 120 hours of professional development
Mean Salary (2018) $31,500 (preschool teachers); $55,660 (kindergarten teachers); $62,140 (elementary school teachers); $63,860 (middle school teachers); $72,370 (high school teachers)*
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026, nationwide) 10 percent (preschool teachers); 7 percent (elementary school teachers); 8 percent (kindergarten, middle and high school teachers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Illinois Teacher Licenses

To get certified as a teacher in Illinois in the first place, candidates need to have a bachelor's degree and have completed a state-approved teacher preparation program. The state also requires student teaching experience and specific coursework related to teaching students with disabilities, English language learners, and more. Then, ILTS licensing exams must be completed based on the grade level and subject area a candidate is seeking to teach. If someone already holds a teaching certification in another state, Illinois will offer reciprocity as long as the candidate also has a bachelor's degree. The professional educator license must be registered, which costs $10 per year, and it is valid for five years.

Professional Development Requirements

Professional development hours can be gained through college coursework, seminars, workshops, conferences, webinars and more. They can be completed either online or in person. However, the providers have to be approved by the state.

Approved Professional Development Providers

Approved providers include Illinois charter schools, community and city colleges, public schools, universities and colleges with approved educator programs and more. (For college coursework, one semester hour counts as 15 hours of professional development, and one quarter hour counts as 10.) Teacher associations and councils in specific subject areas (like the Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics or Illinois Music Educators Association, for example) also offer professional development.

Here are some providers that host professional development training across the state:

  • Illinois Education Association: This group hosts events, in person and online, that count for professional development hours.
  • Illinois Virtual School: The state government offers online courses for teacher professional development.
  • Illinois Federation of Teachers: This union offers weekend seminars and other professional development training.

How to Find Professional Development Opportunities

The Illinois State Board of Education offers a list of approved continuing education providers in the state on its website. Teachers can find providers near them and then go to the providers' websites to find opportunities. The state board also offers a list of upcoming professional development activities on its website.

Recording Professional Development

Teachers record professional development hours in the Educator Licensure Information System (ELIS), which is also used to apply for and register teaching licenses. Teachers must input their hours and submit a specific form signed by providers saying they completed the professional development. These hours can be submitted between April 1 and August 31 of the year that the license needs to be renewed. If a teacher has extra professional development hours that were completed from April through June in the last year their license was valid, they can roll them over to the next five-year license period.

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