The University Center of Lake County provides several options for students who wish to become certified 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
- school level (early childhood, elementary, middle school, high school).
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 visit the Educator licensure testing page on the Illinois State Board of Education website.
Initial teaching licensure programs
Illinois State University’s BA in Elementary Education with a bilingual endorsement. Please note that this is a grant-funded program with a specific target audience and it has already filled all of its slots. However, you can learn more about the Transitioning Paraprofessionals into Teachers of English Learners (TPTEL) program by calling Sabah Hassan at (847) 665-4113.
Kendall College’s BA in Early Childhood Education 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). (The special ed degree has not yet fielded its first cohort.)
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.