Education Major Requirements
Every education major intending to transfer into an Illinois college/university must:
- Pass the Test of Academic Proficiency. It is best if this test is taken approximately one year before you wish to transfer. For fall transfer, please take the test by the previous November. Registration information and study guides are available at www.icts.nesinc.com.
- Pass a criminal background check. More information about this requirement can be found at www.isbe.net.
- Have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5. Many education programs require an even higher GPA for admission to a specific area of teaching: i.e. elementary education. All coursework for education majors must be completed with a grade of 'C' or better.
- Begin documenting all opportunities you have had to work with school-aged children/adolescents. The hours documented become part of a portfolio of experience required by the state of Illinois. Retain copies of class projects related to working with children as part of your portfolio, also.
- Decide as soon as possible which transfer institution will be your school of choice. This is important since not all education programs have the same course requirements and you want to be sure you are choosing the most appropriate courses during your first two years of study.
- Find out if your transfer institution requires a separate application into the education program. Become aware of application deadlines and be sure to apply early so that your application receives the greatest consideration.
- Realize that students interested in teaching at the secondary level (grades 6-12) must major in the subject they wish to teach. Be aware that many of these subject areas are found within a college of liberal arts and sciences at a university and you must meet the graduation requirements of this college. Often that means including a foreign language competency.
- Become aware of teacher shortage areas and the scholarships/grants attached to these programs. Consult http://www.collegezone.com for more information.
Differences in Teaching Certificates
- Early childhood education prepares teachers for pre-school through 3rd grade.
- Elementary education prepares teachers for kindergarten through middle school.
- Secondary education prepares teachers for high school teaching and middle school. The emphasis in this program is on the subject area the person will teach.
- Special certificates are awarded in areas of art education, music education, physical education, and special education. These certificates allow individuals to teach kindergarten through high school.
- Bilingual/bicultural education prepares teachers to work with students, kindergarten through high school, whose primary language is not English.