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Resident Teacher Certification in Illinois

Certification is a requirement by which educators can assure educational agencies that they are competent to carry out their duties and are in compliance with the given guidelines or standards. This article deals specifically with the option of being certified as a Resident Teacher in the state of Illinois.

How to Become a Resident Teacher in Illinois

Resident teacher certification is included in Illinois' Alternative Educator Certification programs. This type of certification is best for persons who would like to become an educator but do not have a degree in education or prior teaching experience. In order to attain the Resident Teacher certification, candidates must undertake certain exams and coursework as well as complete work experience. While this is detailed further in the article, the general criteria for becoming a resident teacher are summarized in the table below.

Education/Experience Required Bachelor's degree
Exam Requirements Coursework
TAP/ACT-SAT minimum scores
edTPA
Certification Renewal Period Not applicable
Requirements for Renewal Not applicable
Average Salary (2019) $58,755 (teachers in IL)*
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026) 8% (teachers nationally)**

Sources: *Salary.com; **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

General Requirements for Resident Teacher Certification

In order to qualify for resident teacher certification, the applicant must have a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution, with a GPA of 3.0 at a minimum. They must show evidence of basic skill mastery through either passing the Test of Academic Proficiency assessment (TAP) prior to June 2019 or achieving certain minimum scores on the ACT or SAT.

Entering the Resident Teacher Program

Once the initial requirements have been met, the interested candidate must now apply to enter the Alternative Educator Program that is offered by the Illinois State Board of Education. This entails an intensive six-week seminar that must be completed in the summer prior to starting work at the assigned school. The approved institutions that offer this program are listed on the Illinois State Board of Education website. Once the summer session has been satisfactorily completed, the candidate will be issued an Educator Licensure with Stipulations endorsed for Alternative Educator - ELS(APE). This temporary certificate allows the candidate to start a paid, full-time two-year residency at an assigned school while under the mentorship of another teacher.

Completing the Resident Teacher Program

During the first year of the residency, the candidate must perform satisfactorily and complete any assigned coursework deemed necessary in order to be recommended for the second year of residency. During the first semester of the second year of residency, the candidate must take and pass the edTPA assessment. The edTPA was formerly known as the Assessment of Professional Teachng (APT). It concentrates on the areas of planning, assessment, instruction, reflection, and academic language in order to ensure that candidates are capable of being effective teachers. It is also offered by the Illinois Licensure Testing System.

Having completed the assessments and the residency, the temporary ELS (APE) certificate will be replaced with the Professional Educator License (PEL) via what is known as entitlement. In entitlement, once the applicant has completed all aspects of the approved alternate education program, the university licensure officer will confirm that information in the applicant's ELIS account. This confirmation clears the way for the resident teacher to apply for their Professional Educator License.

Certificate Renewal

Since the certificate given to resident teachers is temporary, it cannot be renewed. Candidates must, therefore, ensure that they satisfy the requirements necessary to earn their Professional Educator License in order to continue teaching. The PEL is valid for five years.