The University Center of Lake County provides several options for students who wish to become licensed teachers. The paths to certification vary based on:
- whether the candidate has already earned a bachelor’s degree
- the subject the candidate wishes to teach
- the level (early childhood, elementary, middle school, high school) at which the candidate wishes to teach
In almost all cases, however, the prospective student should begin by taking and passing the Test of Academic Proficiency (formerly known as the Illinois Test of Basic Skills). However, a change was introduced July 1, 2012 (and updated in October 1, 2014) that allows the use of ACT and SAT test scores in place of the TAP test scores. For specifics about the scores needed, about how recent those scores must be, and about options for retaking the exams, please review the Educator licensure testing information page on the Illinois State Board of Education website.
Initial teaching licensure programs
National Louis University’s BA in Early Childhood Education/Early Childhood Practice for pre-kindergarten through third grade licensure. (Also available with a non-licensure option.)
Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s BS in Elementary Education for Grades 1 - 6 licensure and
BS in Special Education (with an LBS 1 licensure).
University of Illinois at Springfield now offers several online bachelor’s degree programs with secondary licensure. Majors include English, Mathematics, Science and Social Science.
Where to learn more about teaching certification
Prospective teachers who would like to learn more about certification requirements should visit the Illinois State Board of Education website. Those who wish to learn more about Lake County’s teacher hiring needs should visit the Lake County Regional Office of Education website. The ROE also certifies degree-holders to work as substitute teachers; career-changers might take advantage of that opportunity to explore their interest in becoming a teacher. The University Center’s Related Resources page also includes a number of resources useful to current or prospective teachers.