IL Certification Requirements and Available Licenses

Illinois Certification Requirements and Available Licenses



Early Childhood Education, Birth-Grade 3

Elementary Education, Grades 1-6

Special Education: Learning Behavior Specialist I

Social Science – Economics, Grades 6-12

Social Science – Geography, Grades 6-12

Social Science – History, Grades 6-12

Social Science – Political Science, Grades 6-12

Social Science – Psychology, Grades 6-12

Social Science – Sociology and Anthropology, Grades 6-12

Mathematics, Grades 6-12

Science – Biology, Grades 6-12

Science – Chemistry, Grades 6-12

Science – Earth & Space Science, Grades 6-12

Science – Physics, Grades 6-12

English Language Arts, Grades 6-12

English as a Second Language, K-12

Principal, Pk-12

Illinois has the following requirements for all applicants for initial teacher certification who have completed an out-of-state approved teacher preparation program:


1. RECIPROCITY CERTIFICATION: Students in initial teacher preparation programs must first obtain a license in WGU's home-state of Utah and apply for an Illinois teaching license as an out-of-state license holder. As of July 2013, Illinois requires the completion of standards. Please see "8 Completion of Illinois Standards" for more information. 


2. DEGREE: A bachelor's degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution of higher education

3. PROGRAM: Completion of a teacher preparation program that is approved to lead to teacher certification in the home-state of the program and that includes student teaching and pre-student teaching field experiences.  Students in a Master of Arts in Teaching program must officially graduate to be eligible for certification; they cannot apply immediately after completing demonstration teaching as is the case in most states.

4. MAJOR: As part of the BA degree and/or the teacher preparation program, completion of a major or the equivalent in the content area for which teacher certification is sought. Beginning with applications received on or after February 1, 2012, all content-area course work leading to endorsements must have a grade of "C" or higher.  WGU students complete all coursework with the equivalent of a "B" grade.    
5. BASIC SKILLS EXAM: Passing scores on the required Illinois Certification Testing System basic skills exam

6. CONTENT EXAMS: Passing scores on the Utah Praxis exams and Illinois Licensure Testing System (ILTS) required content and Assessment of Professional Teaching (APT) exams. No ILTS exam may be attempted more than five times. The APT is not needed for students who complete Demonstration Teaching after Fall 2015, as the EdTPA may be used in lieu of the APT for certification.

7. TEACHING PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT: Completion of the Illinois Teaching Performance Assessment requirement.  Starting July 1, 2015, applicants who have completed out-of-state teacher preparation programs such as WGU must provide verification of an officially-scored, passing edTPA assessment. 


8. COMPLETION OF ILLINOIS STANDARDS:  Illinois requires all candidates applying for initial certification to meet Illinois standards addressing:

A. Methods of instruction of the exceptional child in cross-categorical special education

B. Methods of reading and reading in the content area 

C. Instructional strategies for English language learners


Graduates of WGU's Elementary Education and Bachelor of Arts in Special Education programs have met the standards. Graduates of all initial programs with 201708 and 201709 program catalog versions will also have met the standards. WGU graduates of the Secondary Mathematics, Secondary Science, Secondary Social Science, and Secondary English programs who were in program catalog versions that preceded 201708 and 201709 will have met all standards except the methods of reading and reading in the content area standard, and will need to satisfy this standard to be eligible for an Illinois Professional Educator License. 

For individuals who completed a program with a previous catalog version that did not meet all Illinois standards, Illinois will issue an Educator License with Stipulations (ELS). An ELS license allows the license-holder to teach for two years while working to satisfy the standards required to advance to a Professional Educator License (PEL).


9. OUT OF STATE LICENSE: Proof of a valid, comparable, out of state license





Article Number: 19581, 1765

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