Certification at NIU

Certification at NIU

  1. What teaching and other education certificates are offered at NIU?
  2. Does NIU offer Alternative Routes to Teacher Certification?
  3. What reading credentials are available through NIU?
  4. What social science designations are available through NIU?
  5. What science designations are available through NIU?
  6. What foreign language certification programs are offered by NIU?
  7. Are the Bilingual and ESL Endorsements offered at NIU?
  8. Does NIU provide any special programs to assist Provisional Bilingual Certificate holders earn full certification?
  9. Can community college students transfer into NIU certification programs?
  10. What is NIU's policy on transfer credit from another four year institution in Illinois ? From an institution outside of Illinois? From outside the United States ?
  11. How can I get information about admission to a teaching or other certification program at NIU? How can I learn what is required for certification?
  12. Is the Illinois Test of Basic Skills required for admission to a certification program?
  13. Does NIU have any teacher certification requirements in addition to those required by the State of Illinois?
  14. Why does NIU require coursework related to students with disabilities?
  15. I have a bachelor's degree. Will I need to earn another degree to earn a certificate at NIU?
  16. Will I be able to complete a teacher preparation program at NIU in four years?
  17. How do I make an appointment with an advisor?
  18. How can I get my transcripts evaluated to identify what is needed to obtain a subsequent teaching certificate through NIU?
  19. What advanced certificates provided by NIU require a teaching certificate?
  20. I thought the state required that a candidate hold or be eligible for a teaching certificate in order to become a school counselor. How was this changed? How are the new requirements being implemented at NIU?
  21. What is the "School Counselor Intern" Certificate?
  22. How much does it cost to attend NIU?
  23. Does NIU provide any financial aid for prospective teachers?
  24. Does NIU have job placement or similar services available to its education graduates?
  25. How does a person obtain verification of completion of a certification program at NIU?

1. What teaching and other education certificates are offered at NIU?

AThe university offers 35 educator preparation programs. For program options and advisors, see the NIU Teacher Certification Programs page, and choose from the programs listed by certificate.


2. Does NIU offer Alternative Routes to Teacher Certification?

NIU has been approved to offer alternative routes to teacher certification in several different areas. Because of budget and capacity problems, however, no alternative route programs are being offered at this time.


3. What reading credentials are available through NIU?

NIU offers a reading specialist certification program and can also recommend for the Reading Teacher endorsement any candidate who completes 24 specifically-identified hours of coursework within that program.

NIU does not offer a separate reading teacher endorsement program. Candidates for that endorsement are expected to enroll in a reading specialist program and earn the endorsement as described above.


4. What social science designations are available through NIU?

History, Economics, Geography, Political Science, Psychology and Sociology/Anthropology


5. What science designations are available through NIU?

Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, Environmental Science and Physics


6. What foreign language certification programs are offered by NIU?

French, German and Spanish


7. Are the Bilingual and ESL Endorsements offered at NIU?

Yes, through the Department of Literacy Education in the College of Education.


8. Does NIU provide any special programs to assist Provisional Bilingual Certificate holders earn full certification?

Yes, NIU works with a number of school districts in the region to help their Provisional Bilingual Certificate holders attain full certification. Typically, this is through a cohort of candidates who come from one district or area and who go through the program together. For more information, contact the Department of Literacy Education.


9. Can community college students transfer into NIU certification programs?

Yes. See the NIU web pages on transfer admissions and then consult with an advisor in the program of choice.


10. What is NIU's policy on transfer credit from another four year institution in Illinois ? From an institution outside of Illinois? From outside the United States ?

NIU welcomes candidates from other institutions and countries. Interested candidates should review the NIU web pages on transfer admissions and then consult with an advisor in the program of choice.


11. How can I get information about admission to a teaching or other certification program at NIU? How can I learn what is required for certification?

A: For program options and advisors, see the NIU Teacher Certification Programs page, and choose from the programs listed by certificate. For general questions, contact the University Office of Teacher Certification at TeacherCertification@niu.edu.


12. Is the Illinois Test of Basic Skills required for admission to a certification program?

Yes.


13. Does NIU have any teacher certification requirements in addition to those required by the State of Illinois?

NIU teacher certification candidates are required to successfully complete coursework which contributes directly to an awareness of cultural diversity. Additional requirements may be defined by the individual department or college.


14. Why does NIU require coursework related to students with disabilities?

This is a state law.


15. I have a bachelor's degree. Will I need to earn another degree to earn a certificate at NIU?

Not necessarily. Each certification program at NIU has specific requirements. However, certification can be earned by

  • completion of an approved program as a postgraduate earning a second bachelor's degree, or
  • completion of an approved program as a student-at-large without completing a second bachelor's degree, or
  • completion of an approved program through a master's degree.

For program options and advisors, see the NIU Teacher Certification Programs page, and choose from the programs listed by certificate.


16. Will I be able to complete a teacher preparation program at NIU in four years?

NIU is committed to working with undergraduate students to design their course of study so they will be able to complete their degree and certification work in four years. However, individual circumstances vary so greatly that it is impossible to guarantee the length of time each person will need to complete their program. Candidates are encouraged to work with their advisors to plan the most efficient course of study.


17. How do I make an appointment with an advisor?

A: For program advisors, see the NIU Teacher Certification Programs page, and choose from the programs listed by certificate.


18. How can I get my transcripts evaluated to identify what is needed to obtain a subsequent teaching certificate through NIU?

Candidates who wish to obtain a subsequent certificate will need to submit (1) official transcripts from accredited institutions of higher education where the individual has taken coursework or clinical experiences, (2) evidence of prior teaching experience and teaching performance, and (3) evidence of other relevant professional experiences. There is a modest fee for the review of these materials. For more information, prospective candidates should read NIU's policy on subsequent certificates pdf document and contact advisors in the program of choice.


19. What advanced certificates provided by NIU require a teaching certificate?

Applicants for the following advanced certificates MUST hold a valid Illinois teaching certificate: principal/general administration and superintendent, both Type 75 certificates, and the reading and media specialists, Type 10 Certificates.

The following advanced certificates DO NOT require a teaching certificate: school psychologist, speech-language pathologist, and school counselor, all Type 73 certificates; and chief school business official, Type 75 certificate.


20. I thought the state required that a candidate hold or be eligible for a teaching certificate in order to become a school counselor. How was this changed? How are the new requirements being implemented at NIU?

The law requiring that a school counselor hold a teaching certificate has been modified, and school counselor programs can now accept candidates with or without a teaching background. As a result, individuals are now enrolling in school counseling programs directly after finishing a baccalaureate program, or after working in another counseling field, or while they are teaching.

However, institutions providing school counselor programs must assure that each candidate's program is designed so that, regardless of background, he or she will be well prepared to work in the schools. State Board rules identify four areas of focus to address these educational expectations and also require an intensive internship.

As a result of these changes in state law and regulation, NIU now accepts candidates with a variety of educational and experiential backgrounds and designs courses of study that respond to their individual circumstances. The Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education has identified four courses that will provide the educational focus needed by candidates without a teaching background. Although these courses may be taken during the regular school terms, NIU will also provide them through a summer forum. This strategy is intended to make it possible for non-traditional candidates to accelerate their progress toward certification as a school counselor.

To learn more about these requirements and options, NIU students and candidates are advised to talk with an advisor in the school counseling program.


21. What is the "School Counselor Intern" Certificate?

This certificate was adopted by the State Board of Education to allow a district to employ a school counseling student while he or she is completing the internship requirements. NIU students and candidates should talk about this option with an advisor in the school counseling program.


22. How much does it cost to attend NIU?

The cost of a college education includes tuition, fees, housing and/or travel, and many other variables. Specific information about these costs can be obtained from the Office of the Bursar.

State law requires that Illinois residents enrolling for the first time at NIU (or other state university) as degree-seeking undergraduate students in or after the fall semester, 2004, be charged a fixed tuition rate schedule for four continuous years, beginning with their initial enrollment. This will help candidates plan for the costs of obtaining a certificate through NIU.


23. Does NIU provide any financial aid for prospective teachers?

Northern Illinois University assists students in obtaining financial aid through a variety of financial aid programs and provides financial aid for students through a variety of scholarship and loans. Individuals who want specific information should review the financial aid website or contact the Financial Aid Office in person or by email. Prospective teachers may consult with advisors in their departments and/or contact the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.


24. Does NIU have job placement or similar services available to its education graduates?

NIU maintains a very active Career Planning and Placement Center whose services include an annual educators job fair and a job search handbook. For educator employment resources, visit the Educator Services page of the Career Planning and Placement Center Web site.

In addition to these formal programs and services, most educator candidates are able to obtain information about job opportunities from their departments. School districts and other employers in Illinois and surrounding states frequently contact NIU to advertise their need for certain kinds of candidates. However, because NIU is known for the quality of its educators, the colleges also receive job announcements from across the nation and the world.

The State Board of Education hosts a portal with links to educator employment opportunities such as the Illinois Education Job Bank, the Recruit Illinois program, and the National Teacher Recruitment Clearinghouse.


25. How does a person obtain verification of completion of a certification program at NIU?

Persons needing verification that they have completed an educator preparation program at NIU can request a completed State-Approved Program Verification Form from the Office of Registration and Records, Williston #214, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb , IL 60115 . The phone number for this office is 815-753-0846 or 753-0847.