Future Students

Teaching Certification


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 that allows the use of ACT and SAT test scores in place of the TAP test scores under certain conditions.  These conditions are as follows:
• Composite ACT plus Writing score of at least 22; or a composite (mathematics and critical reading) SAT score of 1030.  Note that the writing subtest must have been taken for each test.
• Applicant cannot have failed the TAP five times.
• The official score report cannot be more than five years old at the time of this application.

Prospective teachers without a bachelor’s degree

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.  Learn more about the Transitioning Paraprofessionals into Teachers of English Learners (TPTEL) program by calling Sabah Hassan at (847) 665-4113.

Northern Illinois University’s BS in Early Childhood Studies for pre-kindergarten through third grade licensure (with special education approval).

Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s BS in Elementary Education for Grades 1 - 6 licensure.

Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s 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, History, Liberal Studies, and Mathematics. 

Prospective teachers with a bachelor’s degree

All programs described above can also accept students who already hold degrees.  Click on the links in the section above for more information.

Dominican University offers an MA in Teaching program (with Elementary, Secondary, or K-12 endorsement on an IL Educator License).

Dominican University also offers a program for prospective special education teachers MS in Special Education that leads to LBS 1 certification.  It can admit students in Fall, Spring, or Summer.

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.