Teacher Approvals and Endorsements

Approvals and endorsements are additions to an Illinois early childhood, elementary, secondary, or K–12 teaching license that permit a teacher to expand and develop his or her career in an area of specialty.

The School of Education offers these specific programs, which can be completed at both an undergraduate or graduate course level:

Your education advisor can help you choose the approval or endorsement that is best suited for your professional teaching goals.

ESL Endorsement for Early Childhood Education

All candidates seeking the early childhood education license will complete the 18-semester hour (sh) endorsement in English as a Second Language (ESL). This is excellent preparation for future work in our nation’s increasingly diverse learning communities. More and more school districts are requiring teachers to obtain this endorsement.

This program will give you practical experience in an ESL school setting along with specific courses in teaching and assessment of ESL students. The program includes:

  • ESL Practicum (0 or 1 sh)
  • Introduction to Linguistics (3 sh)
  • Sociolinguists and Cross Cultural Differences (4 sh)
  • Theoretical Foundations of Teaching ESL and Foreign Languages (3 sh)
  • Assessment of ESL Students (4 sh)
  • Method and Materials for Teaching ESL and Foreign Languages (4 sh)

Other education majors may choose to complete this endorsement, in consultation with their advisor. Learn more about this endorsement.

Elementary Education Concentrations

If you are seeking an elementary education license, you must complete 18 semester hours in a concentration or endorsement area. This is one way to focus your education to meet your professional teaching goals. You can choose an academic area of concentration from the following:

For undergraduate students, your advisor in the School of Education and an advisor from your chosen concentration area will help you choose appropriate courses to meet your goals. 

Graduate students may meet this requirements previous work, or may complete additional courses as part of their program to fulfill this concentration requirement. Your advisor will assist you in selecting the best option for your goals.

Secondary Education Content Area Majors

As an undergraduate secondary education major, you’ll complete a second major in a content area that is certified by the Illinois State Board of Education. As a graduate student seeking the secondary education license, you may meet this requirement with your undergraduate degree or complete additional coursework to meet the requirement. At either level, you’ll take a state content area test to verify you reach the appropriate level of mastery for the state standards. You can review the state standards on the Illinois State Board of Education website. Choose from these content areas for your second major:

Undergraduate students should review their intended majors for requirements, including additional comprehensive exams or internships.

Professor Nancy Berggren