If you already have a bachelor’s degree and have been in the work force for a number of years, but now wish to become an Illinois teacher, you may pursue alternative teacher certification options. Three types of alternative certification options exist: Alternative Teacher Certification, Alternative Route to Teacher Certification, and Resident Teacher Certification Programs. Completion of these programs leads to acquiring an Initial Teaching Certificate.
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Admission to all three types of alternative teacher certification programs requires at least a bachelor’s degree. For the Resident Teacher Certification Program, you must also have a 3.0 total grade point average on your college transcript.
After enrollment in a state-approved alternative certification program, you will receive intensive education in instructional methods, education theory, as well as have an opportunity to practice teaching. Further coursework will be tailored to your assessed deficiencies and needs. Resident Teacher Certification program participants will take graduate coursework in a master’s degree teacher preparation program.
At the end of your educational period, those in the Alternative Teacher Certification and Alternative Route to Teacher Certification programs will receive a Provisional Alternative Teaching Certificate, while those in the Resident Teacher Certification Program receive a Resident Teacher Certificate. Resident Teacher Certification graduates will also receive a Master’s Degree.
Prior to enrollment in any of the three types of alternative teacher certification programs, you must pass the ICTS Basic Skills Exam in reading comprehension, mathematics, and writing and grammar. After enrollment in the program, you must pass the ICTS Content Area Exam for the area in which you wish to become certified. The Assessment of Professional Teaching (APT) exam is also recommended but not required at the end of your program.
Admission into all three types of alternative teacher certification programs requires that you have at least five years of work experience.
Each program requires that you complete a paid internship in a participating school district. A complete listing of Illinois schools and school districts may be found here. The Alternative Teacher Certification and Alternative Route to Teacher Certification programs may require an internship that lasts up to one year, while the Resident Teacher Certification Program has an internship that lasts up to four years. Mentoring during the internship is required in all but the Alternative Teacher Certification program.
You do not have to submit to a criminal background check for admission to a college or university's alternative teacher certification program. However, once you are hired by an Illinois school district as part of your program, you must submit to a background check, which will include fingerprinting. You will be given instructions on how to proceed by your employing school system.
For more information on Illinois colleges and universities offering alternative certification programs, click here.
For more information on Alternative Certification Programs in Illinois, call 217-557-6763 or click here.