Illinois Teacher Certification

If you’re considering earning an Illinois teacher certification, there are some incentives you should be aware of. To retain good teachers, Illinois offers scholarship, grants, and tuition waiver programs.

Why To Get Illinois Teacher Certification

If you’re feeling the call to teach, you’re probably aware of the personal rewards of teaching. But there are practical rewards, too. Teaching is among the nation’s steadiest career paths: students always needs teachers. In order to make sure it has a steady supply of trained teachers, Illinois offers a number of scholarship programs to help future teachers pay for school:

  • Minority Teachers of Illinois Scholarship Program: Scholarships of up to $5,000 per year for eligible minority students who commit to teach in Illinois upon graduation
  • Illinois Future Teachers Corps Program: Up to $10,000 for students at Illinois public colleges who agree to teach in under-served areas or subjects in Illinois
  • Illinois Special Education Teacher Tuition Waiver: Tuition waiver for students studying special education at state colleges in Illinois who agree to work in the state after graduation
  • Golden Apple Scholars Program: Full tuition at any state college for students who agree to teach for at least five years in Chicago public schools

Teachers in Illinois are well-paid, in addition. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage for secondary-school teachers in Illinois were the second-highest in the nation at $67,960 in 2009.

How to Get Illinois Teacher Certification

Getting certified as a teacher in Illinois requires the completion of a state-approved certificate program (or out-of-state certificate). Illinois offers an alternative certification program for those with bachelor’s degrees and related work experience. For this, you’ll need to take an intensive education course, complete a school year of full-time teaching, and have a comprehensive assessment of your teaching performance.

If you’re a teacher from out of state, don’t fret. Getting certified as a teacher in Illinois is not difficult for those with valid out-of-state certifications. You’ll begin with a Provisional Teaching Certificate, which is valid for two years. To advance beyond this, you must pass Illinois certification exams.

Renewing Illinois Teacher Certification

Upon successful completion of your certification program and exams, you’ll be eligible for the Initial Certificate. This is for teachers with less than four years teaching experience; they are valid for four years with a possible one-year extension.

With four or more years’ experience, you can earn a Standard Certificate, which must be renewed every four years. Master Certificates are reserved for National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certificate holders; these certificates do not need to be renewed for ten years.