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Alternative Teacher Certification Programs in Illinois

Illinois has offered alternative paths to teacher certification since 1999. It issued more than 600 such certificates in 2008-2009 alone, according to the National Center for Alternative Certification (NAAC).

The Illinois Department of Education lists three primary alternate routes to the classroom, two of which are nearly identical. Read on to find out more about these options, and when you're ready, request information from any of the schools listed on this page.

Featured Online Programs:

Online programs may not be available in all states

How to Become a Teacher in Illinois

Candidates for these programs must have a bachelor's degree and at least five years of professional work experience - although the work experience requirement is waived for programs run through the City of Chicago schools. They also must pass the Illinois basic skills and subject matter knowledge tests.

Successful applicants receive a one-year, nonrenewable provisional alternative teaching certificate and enroll in a compacted teaching methods and pedagogy course series. Upon completion, they teach full-time for one year. If their teaching is deemed satisfactory, participants are recommended for an initial alternative teaching certificate that is good for four years.

Candidates who don't have five years of professional work experience and/or are interested in a master's degree might consider the Resident Teacher Certification option. This program is offered through a partnership between non-profit organizations and accredited institutions with Master of Education programs. In lieu of work experience, aspiring teachers can participate in a one-year teaching internship program arranged by their higher education institution and approved by the state board. Resident teachers must enroll in an approved Master of Education degree program and complete a six-week summer training program before beginning teaching.

One option in this category is the Chicago Academy for Urban School Leadership, which prepares teachers to work in urban schools. Participants may be eligible for substantial financial assistance toward completing their master's degree, but they must commit to teaching for four years in a high-need school.

Top Online Schools for Alternative Teacher Certificates In Illinois

With regards to teachers, Illinois has a favorable environment. One key to that success is an annual wage for educators above $50,000 according to federal statistics. It has compelled some to gain teaching credentials through means that aren't traditional with the help of teaching colleges in the state.

  • Grand Canyon University Online If you're considering the online curriculum at Grand Canyon University, it helps to know that the college has a couple of components that make it stand out. One point of interest is their annual tuition cost which falls below that of some comparable schools. Another is the availability of online classes.
  • University Of Illinois The University of Illinois has a well-established online degree program, which includes a doctorate program for educators. There are also specialized course paths for those serving in the military.
  • Walden University Online Walden University is home to online degree programs for budding teachers. Currently, the school has over 40 programs available for education students for bachelor's and master's degrees. There are also unique certificate programs as well.
  • Chicago State University Chicago State University is primarily dedicated to distance learning and has earned notoriety as one of the top 50 schools for graduate studies in the nation. One attractive field of study for educators is their library science program.

Learning Outcomes for Alternative Certification Programs in Illinois

While there are a variety of Illinois alternative teacher certification programs for teachers, the majority have fairly similar learning outcomes. These outcomes are in line with the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards, which are meant to prepare students for their teacher certification exams. One of the most prominent goals of these programs is to graduate students that are ready to teach diverse students. This includes understanding different types of diversity, knowing how these differences can impact a student's learning, and being able to reach students regardless of what perspectives they hold. It's also essential for teaching students to develop a strong knowledge of their content area and, more specifically, how to teach that content to students in different ways.

Illinois teacher certification programs aim to teach students how to look out for student feedback as they work. These performance indicators may report how well students are learning, if they are engaged, and if students feel respected in their classroom. Using this input effectively involves tailoring content to students' needs and changing up teaching strategies as needed. Perhaps one of the most crucial learning outcomes of teacher certification programs is the ability to create a healthy, age-appropriate learning environment. Building an environment that plays to students' strengths, needs, interests, and experiences can lead to a more enriching educational experience. Learn more about alternative teaching certification in Illinois to turn your current bachelor's degree education into a career in the classroom.


Schools in Illinois:


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