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Licensure

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is responsible for the licensing of educators in the State of Illinois. The Goodwin College of Education is authorized to act on behalf of ISBE and serves as a support to students for the acquisition of licensure credentials. The GCOE Associate Dean leads this effort and serves as the Licensure Officer for the college.

Below is a variety of information that will help you to understand the licensure system and obtain ISBE licensure credentials. Please review the items that apply most precisely to your situation. If you have questions or need assistance, please reach out by email using the contact information provided below.

Programs

NEIU offers a wide variety of licensure programs that are authorized by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). View the official directory of NEIU’s approved licensure programs.

Licensure programs are divided into two categories. Generally speaking, initial licensure programs are focused on teaching and provide pathways to a Professional Educator License (PEL). Upon the completion of an initial licensure program, the PEL is endorsed for teaching in a particular age or grade range and subject matter. The ranges and subject matters of the endorsements that NEIU provides at initial licensure are listed in the official ISBE directory of approved programs.

Advanced programs are designed for students who seek to become school counselors and school social workers. They also consist of programs for licensed teachers who already have a PEL. These programs enable licensed teachers to advance into specialized roles such as principals, reading specialists, and behavior intervention specialists.

By design, the requirements of these different programs are rigorous and demanding. They also are frequently revised by ISBE to take account of changing circumstances in the educator preparation landscape. Consequently, as you enroll in and complete your chosen program of study, you should consult frequently with your advisor. Your advisor will be able to answer most questions or will be able to point you in the right direction.

How to Open an ELIS Account

If you do not already have an Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL), the first step is to open an ELIS account. This account will enable you to track all ISBE credentials that you earn over your career. Other important information also is recorded in your ELIS account, including your Illinois Educator Identification Number (IEIN). This unique number is required to obtain your PEL and will remain valid throughout your career.

Undergraduates in initial licensure programs should create their ELIS accounts prior to the achievement of candidacy. Candidacy is achieved when 60 credit hours of undergraduate coursework are completed and other requirements are met (e.g., at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA). Undergraduates receive an official letter from the Dean when they achieve candidacy.

Graduate and post-baccalaureate (non-degree) students seeking initial licensure should create their ELIS accounts upon admission to their programs.

View directions for opening an ELIS account.

Please note that a new form, “83-92B: Request for Temporary SSN for ELIS Account Creation” is now available for students who need to request a temporary Social Security number to create an ELIS account and, subsequently, obtain a Professional Educator License.

How to Apply for and Register a Professional Educator License: Degree Seeking Students

To qualify for a Professional Educator License, undergraduate and graduate degree seeking students in initial licensure programs need to successfully complete their programs and all ISBE requirements for licensure. Please consult with your advisor if you have any questions about when you will complete your program and whether or not you have met all ISBE requirements. 

Upon program completion, NEIU’s Licensure Officer will review your academic and licensure record to ensure that all requirements have been met. This review is called an entitlement process. The process begins the day after grades are submitted for the last semester of study (typically, the semester in which student teaching or internship occurs). The entitlement process takes four to eight weeks to complete (not including university holidays or closures). Degree seeking students do not need to do anything special to initiate the entitlement process, and information about the entitlement process will be communicated during student teaching or internship.

Degree seeking students can confirm that they have been approved (or “entitled”) for licensure by NEIU’s Licensure Officer by checking their ELIS accounts regularly during the four-to-eight-week period after the submission of final grades for the last semester of study. Once approved, you will see an "Apply Now" button in your ELIS account.

Before you click on the “Apply Now” button, it is very important that you confirm that the endorsements listed in your ELIS account, adjacent to the “Apply Now” button, are correct. The endorsements listed should align with the initial licensure program that you completed and any additional endorsements that you have applied for (see below). If you apply for and register your license without an additional endorsement that you have requested, you may have to pay extra to add the missing endorsement at a later date.

If you notice that any information entered into your ELIS account is incorrect or missing, please do not click on the “Apply Now” button. Instead, send an email describing the error or concern to GCOE-Endorsements@neiu.edu. Please include your name, program, IEIN, and NEIU ID in the email and CC your program advisor. 

Please note that graduate students in the MAT Program in Secondary Education who elect to earn their teaching licenses before completing all of their degree requirements will need to submit an Entitlement Application. If you fall into this category, please follow the directions provided below for non-degree students.

For more information about applying for and registering a PEL, please consult the document and video provided here.

How to Apply for and Register a Professional Educator License:
Non-Degree and Post-Baccalaureate Students

If you are a non-degree student in a TLP, Focus, or Endorsement Only program, or if you are an MAT in Secondary Education student who has elected to obtain licensure before completing your degree, you will need to complete an Entitlement Application before you can apply for and register a Professional Educator License. Your entitlement application should be submitted during the semester that you complete your the licensure requirements.

Before submitting your Entitlement Application, please consult with your advisor to ensure that all initial licensure program requirements have been completed.

To qualify for entitlement, applications need to be submitted by the following deadlines:

  • Fall Semester: Nov. 1
  • Summer Semester: Aug. 1
  • Spring Semester: April 1

Additional Endorsements

The Illinois State Board of Education allows licensed teachers to add endorsements to their Professional Educator Licenses. These “additional” or “subsequent” endorsements enable educators to engage in work and responsibilities beyond the grade range and subject matter authorized at initial licensure. For example, a teacher earning or possessing a PEL with an elementary education endorsement can add on a subsequent endorsement in special education or bilingual education and therefore can be assigned to work in these more specialized settings.

The broad requirements for additional or subsequent endorsements are listed on the ISBE website. To see the endorsements that NEIU offers, please visit our Majors, Minors, Graduate Programs, and Certificates webpage. This webpage provides helpful information about the variety of programs that students can take at NEIU to obtain additional or subsequent endorsements.

Should you have any questions, please consult with an advisor in the Goodwin College of Education.

How to Add Additional Endorsements: Initial Licensure Programs

If you wish to add one or more additional endorsements to the PEL that you will receive at the end of your initial licensure programs to your PEL, then you must complete an Endorsement Application Form.

Students enrolled in initial licensure programs should submit the Endorsement Application Form Submit your application during the semester in which they complete their program requirements. The deadlines for submission are as follows:

Term of anticipated program completion Deadline to submit
Fall Sept. 15-Oct. 15
Spring Feb. 1-March 1
Summer June 1-July 15

The Endorsement Application Form is accessible through TK20. Please see the links below to download directions about how to access the form and submit your packet.

Please note that students include copies of unofficial transcripts from NEIU and all other colleges and universities attended with their TK20 application. 

Students must highlight all classes on the transcripts that they want to be considered for the additional endorsement. Applications without transcripts attached and/or courses highlighted will be automatically denied.

The GCOE Licensure Officer will evaluate all endorsement applications and make a final decision regarding entitlement. The evaluation process will occur 4-8 weeks after grades are due for the semester. Students should check their ELIS account regularly; additional endorsements that are approved by the Licensure Officer will be listed(s) in ELIS. If you do not see your additional endorsement in ELIS after eight weeks, please send an email describing the missing endorsement to GCOE endorsements@neiu.edu. Please include your name, program, IEIN, and NEIU ID in the email.

In the event that your additional endorsement application is incomplete or submitted after the deadline, it will be denied. However, students who are denied can apply for additional endorsements through a Regional Office of Education. Alumni of NEIU also can use a Regional Office of Education to add additional or subsequent endorsements to their Professional Educator Licenses.

Please consult with your program advisor if you have any questions about additional endorsements or about the requirements for short-term approvals.

How to Add Additional Endorsements: Advanced Programs

If you are a licensed teacher with an existing PEL, and you wish to add one or more additional endorsements, then you must complete an Endorsement Application Form.

Students enrolled in advanced programs should submit the Endorsement Application Form during the semester in which they complete the requirements for their additional endorsement. The deadlines for submission are as follows:

Term of anticipated program completion Deadline to submit
Fall Sept. 15-Oct. 15
Spring Feb. 1-March 1
Summer June 1-July 15

The Endorsement Application Form is accessible through TK20. Please see the links below to download directions about how to access the form and submit your packet.

Please note that students include copies of unofficial transcripts from NEIU and all other colleges and universities attended with their TK20 application. 

Students must highlight all classes on the transcripts that they want to be considered for the additional endorsement. Applications without transcripts attached and/or courses highlighted will be automatically denied.

The GCOE Licensure Officer will evaluate all endorsement applications and make a final decision regarding entitlement. The evaluation process will occur 4-8 weeks after grades are due for the semester. Students should check their ELIS account regularly; additional endorsements that are approved by the Licensure Officer will be listed(s) in ELIS. If you do not see your additional endorsement in ELIS after eight weeks, please send an email describing the missing endorsement to GCOE endorsements@neiu.edu. Please include your name, program, IEIN, and NEIU ID in the email.

In the event that your additional endorsement application is incomplete or submitted after the deadline, it will be denied. However, students who are denied can apply for additional endorsements through a Regional Office of Education. Alumni of NEIU also can use a Regional Office of Education to add additional or subsequent endorsements to their Professional Educator Licenses.

Please consult with your program advisor if you have any questions about additional endorsements or about the requirements for short-term approvals.

Content Test Preparation

The Goodwin College of Education provides a comprehensive portfolio of resources to help teacher candidates pass the ILTS content exams that are required for teacher licensure. These resources are accessible from the moment that candidates declare their major and can be found in D2L, the learning management software used by course instructors and students. To access the GCOE Content Exam Prep site in D2L, take these two steps:

  1. Log onto D2L and find the GCOE–Content Exam Prep course under the heading of 'My NEIU Courses' Click on GCOE-Content Exam Prep to be directed to the Course Announcements Page. You will find valuable information in the “Course Announcements” regarding TEST DEADLINES.
  2. Next, click the 'Content' tab. This will bring you to a series of modules. Click the 'Start Here' tab. The 'Start Here' module will provide you with contact information for the Content Area Test Prep Coaches, their roles and responsibilities, and information regarding the other modules available to support you.

In addition to the resources available on D2L, the Goodwin College of Education provides free ILTS Content Exam workshops for enrolled students during the fall, spring and summer semesters. The workshops take place on Zoom and are designed to provide strategies and other supports for successfully completing the ILTS exams required for teacher licensure in Illinois. Sign-up takes place at the start of every semester. Sign up for the upcoming semester of workshops. For more information, email Dr. Jo Ann Karr at jkarr@neiu.edu.

If you have questions about NEIU content exam support, please reach out to our Content Test Coaches, Angie Maglaris at maglaris@neiu.edu and Mary Bortz at m-bortz@neiu.edu.

Internship Approvals for School Counseling Students

School Counseling Students who need to be evaluated for an "intern approval” must follow the directions below to earn approval.

  1. Through your ELIS account, apply for intern approval and pay the applicable fee (if required).
     
  2. Complete Section A of the ISBE Form 77-44 (Notification of School Support Personnel Intern Eligibility Status) and have the Department of Counselor Education check off that you have met the PEL course requirements.
     
  3. The Department of Counselor Education will submit the form to the NEIU licensure officer for signature and seal and will contact the student.
     
  4. Once Section A and B are complete, the student will give the form to the hiring school District.
     
  5. The District Superintendent or Director of Special Education must complete Section C and submit the completed form to Educator Effectiveness at licensureforms@isbe.net.

Continuing Professional Development Units (CPDUs)

In Illinois, teachers are required to engage in professional development as a condition for the renewal of their Professional Educator Licenses. A description of the requirements is available on the ISBE website. This ISBE Licensure Renewal FAQ also is a useful resource for understanding the renewal process.

Continuing Professional Development Units (CPDUs), are one way to receive credit for participation in professional development activities. One CPD, or Clock Hour, is earned for each hour of professional development activity. A wide variety of activities are eligible for credit, including workshops, seminars, and conferences.

The Goodwin College of Education offers Continuing Professional Development Units (CPDUs) in the form of Clock Hours to teachers. Our institution is approved as a provider by the Illinois State Board of Education. Refer to our CPDU policy for information about how to request credit before activities and how to submit the evidence needed to earn credit.

If you are ready to request credit, please do so using this ISBE CPDU form. Other forms that you will need as you go through the process are provided below. If you have any questions, please send an email to GCOE-Endorsements@neiu.edu. Please include your name, program, IEIN, and NEIU ID in the email.

Other Information and Resources

Typically students seeking licensure and endorsements must pass required content exams. You can sign up for the test by visiting the Illinois Licensure Testing System.

Please note that individuals for whom English is not a primary language may request an extension of testing time, up to one-and-a half times the standard test session length. Visit the Illinois Licensure Testing Center for more information.

Note for students earning Bilingual Education and Foreign Language Endorsements: An applicant who has obtained a Global Seal of Biliteracy shall be exempt from the target language proficiency test required for the bilingual or world language endorsement in the same language. To obtain this exemption, please complete and submit this form before student teaching: ISBE Form 83-91.

Per IL. School Code, student teachers may be compensated during student teaching. Please consult with your program advisor regarding the Compensated Student Teaching Policy.

If you graduated from an NEIU program without licensure, but have now met the licensure requirements, that previously were unmet, please contact your program advisor.

All Illinois educators and teacher candidates are expected to act in accordance with the Illinois Code of Ethics. Please familiarize yourself with this code as you pursue your license or endorsement.

The Jacob H. Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies (CCIS) offers fully accredited exams through Pearson Vue. In addition, the CCIS Testing Center prepares testing candidates with courseware, scenario-based labs, practice tests, and more. The CCICS Testing

Center is available to all Illinois residents eligible to take State Board Exams. Ready to take your exam? Contact the CCICS Testing Coordinator Wanda Dukes at (773) 256- 2034 or by email at w-dukes@neiu.edu or visit Pearson Vue. See the list of test offered.

Contact Information

Should you need assistance with any aspect of the licensure process, please send an email to GCOE-Endorsements@neiu.edu . Please include your name, program, IEIN, and NEIU ID in the email and CC your program advisor. You also can call (773) 442- 5505.

In person assistance is available through the Dean’s Office in Room LWH 4406. If possible, please call ahead to make an appointment.