May 29, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog 
2023-2024 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Licensure of Teachers and Other School Professionals

COE student at FDC

The following information is intended to serve as a general guide for candidates preparing to qualify for an Illinois teaching, school service, or school administration licensure. More information is available from the programs’ advisors and from detailed program information elsewhere in this catalog. All programs leading to the licensure of teachers and other school professionals are subject to change per ISBE requirements. Students seeking licensure outside the state of Illinois should follow information posted on the Professional Licensure or Certification  page of this catalog.

The Educational Preparation Provider Unit (EPPU) at Governors State University is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and is approved by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to offer programs of study leading to the licensures, endorsements, and designations as follows:

GSU Degree Program Licensure/Endorsement/Designation

Undergraduate - Initial Licensure Programs

Early Childhood

Early Childhood licensure in grade level Birth- Grade 2 with endorsements in English as a Second Language (ESL) and Approval in Early Childhood Special Education.


Elementary licensure in grade level KG- 6.

Secondary Education

Secondary licensure in grade level 9-12.


Program leading to a B.A. in Biology Teacher Education with licensure in high school biology and general science.


Program leading to a B.A. in Chemistry Teacher Education with licensure in high school chemistry and general science.


Program leading to a B.A. in Math Teacher Education with licensure in high school math.


Program leading to a B.A. in English Teacher Education with licensure in high school English.

Social Sciences

Program leading to a B.A. in Social Science Teacher Education with licensure in high social science with endorsements in at least one of the following:  civics/political science, economics, geography, history, sociology /anthropology.



Graduate and Post Bachelor Initial Licensure Programs

Early Childhood

Program leading to M.A. in Early Childhood with licensure in Early Childhood and an endorsement in Early Childhood Special Education.

Special Education

Program leading to M.A. in Multicategorical Special Education with licensure in Special Education (Grade Level K-22) and LBSI endorsement.


Program leading to M.S. in Math Teacher Education with licensure in grade level 9-12 Math.



Secondary Teacher Certificate Programs

Post Baccalaureate licensure (Grade Level 9-12) programs to prepare candidates who hold a bachelor’s degree in the content area.


Program leading to a GSU Certificate in Biology Teacher Education with licensure in grade level 9-12 Biology and General Science.


Program leading to a GSU Certificate in Chemistry Teacher Education with licensure in grade level 9-12 Chemistry.


Program leading to a GSU Certificate in Math Teacher Education with licensure in grade level 9-12 Math.


Program leading to a GSU Certificate in English Teacher Education with licensure in grade level 9-12 English.

Social Sciences

Program leading to a GSU Certificate in Social Science Teacher Education with licensure in grade level 9-12 in at least one of the following content areas: civics/political science, economics, geography, history, sociology /anthropology.



Subsequent Endorsements

Licensure added to teachers to hold a professional educator license

English as a Second Language Endorsement

Graduate Certificate leading to subsequent endorsement in ESL (K - Grade 12).

Bilingual Endorsement

Graduate course(s) leading to Bilingual endorsement (K - Grade 12)

Early Childhood Certificate

Graduate Certificate leading to endorsement in Early Childhood (Birth - Grade 2)

Middle Grades

Courses leading to Middle Grades endorsements (Grade Level 5-8) in the following content areas:  General Science, English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies.




Subsequent endorsement (Grade Level PK-12) added to teachers who hold a professional educator license and have requisite experience


Program leading to M.A. in Educational Administration with licensure for Principal.


Program leading to Ed.D. in Interdisciplinary Leadership with licensure for Superintendent.


Certificate for Superintendent.



School Support Personnel

Initial licensure (Grade Level PK-12) or subsequent endorsements for school support personnel

School Counseling

Program leading to post graduate M.A. degree in School Counseling with licensure in School Counseling.

School Psychology

Program leading to M. A. and Ed.S. Specialization in School Psychology with licensure for School Psychology.

School Social Work

Program leading to Master’s in Social Work (MSW) with Specialization in School Social Work.


Program leading to post-graduate Certificate and licensure in School Social Work for candidates who hold an MSW degree. 

Speech Pathologist

Program leading to M.S. in Communication Disorders with licensure in Speech Pathologist.

Middle Grades Endorsement

Candidates who are completing a program leading to the initial elementary or initial secondary license, or who currently hold an initial or standard elementary or secondary license, may earn an endorsement that qualifies them to teach in the middle grades (grades 5 - 8). Candidates who choose to pursue this endorsement are required to complete the content area middle grades methods course and pass the content test required for licensure. Details for Middle Grades Endorsement are included in the College of Education and Human Development, Elementary Education, B.A.   pages of this catalog.

Requirements for Licensure through Approved Programs

To be recommended by Governors State University for any of the above ISBE credentials, an applicant must:

  1. have earned the required degree from an institution recognized by ISBE for teacher education;
  2. have acquired requisite professional experience where stipulated for admission or completion of any of the listed programs;
  3. have completed a Governors State University state-approved program leading to the desired credential;
  4. be at least 19 years of age;
  5. be a citizen of the United States or legally present and authorized for employment;
  6. possess good character; and
  7. present evidence of having passed all examinations required by ISBE. (See an academic advisor for more information about examinations and requirements for specific programs.).

Candidates should have created their Educator Licensure Information System (ELIS) documentation while in their professional education program ( Upon completion of the program, Governors State University will notify the Illinois State Board of Education via ELIS that the candidate qualifies for a license and/or endorsement. This process is called “entitlement.” By entering this notification, GSU is confirming you have completed all coursework and testing requirements needed for the license/endorsement per current Illinois rules and regulations. After GSU enters the notification, you will receive notification from GSU’s Licensure Officer with steps to complete your Professional Educator Licensure application and registration. It is recommended that you complete this process within 3-months of notification. Delay in completing this process could result in additional requirements and fees should state regulations or program requirements change.

Criminal Background Checks

All candidates for Illinois teacher licensure at Governors State University are required to submit to a program approved criminal background check prior to their initial field experience placement in schools.

Consult with your advisor for information concerning the related GSU policies and procedures.

General Education Requirements for Teacher Licensure

Course work for meeting the general education requirements of teacher preparation programs must be college-level work and may not include remedial courses even if college credit is granted. In general, this course work must be at the 1000-level or higher and applicable toward a degree at the institution providing the instruction. No course with a grade below “C” will be applied toward program general education requirements, even if the course was used for a prior degree. Candidates in teacher preparation programs must maintain a G.P.A. of 2.75 or higher in general education courses taken at Governors State University.

Candidates seeking the Professional Educator License for the levels of Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary (with specialization in Biology, Chemistry, English, Mathematics, or Social Sciences) must complete the general education requirements for their program as described under the specific Program Area found in this catalog.

Professional Education Requirements

Candidates who are working toward the Initial Early Childhood, Elementary or Secondary Licenses must maintain a G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher in their professional education requirements, exclusive of student teaching. They must complete all professional courses with a grade of “B-” or better. These requirements will include at least 100 clock-hours of pre-student teaching field experiences. To be recommended for licensure, a student must achieve a grade of “B-” or better in student teaching.

Candidates pursuing Initial Licensure Early Childhood, Elementary Education, or Secondary Education must complete the professional education requirements listed among the degree requirements for the associated programs elsewhere in this catalog.

Admission to Student Teaching

Candidates must apply for admission to student teaching before enrolling in any of the university’s student teaching courses (e.g., EDEC-4999 , EMED-4999  , EDUC-4999 ). An application for admission to student teaching must be submitted to the Coordinator of Field Experiences in the Division of Education. The application must be submitted in accordance to the Student Teaching Application Schedule for placement in desired term. This application for student teaching will certify that the candidate has or will have met the following requirements:

  1. 36-72 hours of general education requirements completed with a G.P.A. of 2.75 or higher in courses taken at Governors State University
  2. all professional education course requirements completed, except student teaching, including a minimum of 100 clock-hours of field experiences with a G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher (see specific program information elsewhere in this catalog for other grade and G.P.A. requirements appropriate to specific programs);
  3. no more than nine approved general education credit- hours remaining to be completed in the major in which he/she is enrolled;
  4. has met all Illinois State Board of Education requirements applicable to the subject matter area(s) in which the student will student teach; and
  5. has received a positive recommendation from program faculty.

All student teaching placements are provisional pending final verification that the candidate has met all eligibility requirements listed above and in program-specific sections else- where in this catalog as well as pass the required content test. Final determination of eligibility will not be established until after final grades have been posted at the end of the term immediately preceding student teaching. Should any requirements remain unmet at that time, a candidate’s placement may be cancelled by the Director of Field Experiences in consultation with the coordinator of the program in which the candidate is enrolled.

Candidate Knowledge, Skills, and Professional Dispositions

The Educator Preparation Provider (EPP) consists of all courses and programs that prepare P-22 school personnel and are primarily under the organization and administration of the College of Education and Human Development .

Undergraduate programs include: Early Childhood Education, B.A. , Elementary Education, B.A.  , and Secondary Education (English, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Social Sciences).

Graduate programs include: Communication Disorders, M.H.S.  - Speech-Language Pathology; Counseling, M.A.  - School Counseling sequence; Educational Administration, M.A.  - including Principal Leadership and the Superintendency (doctoral level only through the Interdisciplinary Leadership, Ed.D. ); Mathematics, M.S.  - Teacher Education Concentration;  School Psychology Educational Specialist, Ed.S. ; Secondary Content area post-BA Certification Programs (Biology Education Certificate Chemistry Education Certificate English Education Certificate Mathematics, Secondary Education Certificate , Social Sciences Education Certificate ); Early Childhood Education, M.A. ; Early Childhood Education for Currently Licensed Teachers Certificate Multicategorical Special Education, M.A.  ; Post-Bachelor’s Certificate in Early Childhood Education SPED Approval  ; and Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Bilingual/English as a Second Language Education .

The secondary programs are housed in the College of Arts and Sciences ; Communication Disorders and School Social Work are located in the College of Health and Human Services ; all other programs are housed within the College of Education and Human Development .

Consistent with the University’s mission, the EPP is committed to preparing individuals to be successful in the fields of teaching, school administration, school counseling, psychology and social work, and speech-language pathology.

The EPP’s primary mission is to prepare real-world school professionals through programs of the highest academic quality. Continual assessment of practices and performance insures maintenance and improvement of program quality.

As outlined in its Conceptual Framework, the EPP’s programs emphasize research-based best practices and engage candidates in processes of guided inquiry and reflective analysis in order to bring about candidates’ conceptual development and growth of their professional selves. This emphasis and these processes foster a reasoned eclectic approach, which empowers teachers and other school personnel to make the contextual adjustments necessary for optimizing student learning.

Based on this shared vision, the faculty, staff, and administration of GSU’s Educator Preparation Provider apply the following principles:

  • maintain state approval and national accreditation of the unit and all of its programs.
  • enhance existing programs as well as creating new programs, including doctoral studies.
  • integrate wide-spread use of technology into curricula and into content and modes of instruction.
  • maintain a current knowledge base and high ethical and academic standards.
  • create and maintain a learning environment that is safe, supportive, and challenging.
  • respond to civic and professional responsibilities, including providing access to traditionally underserved candidates in the region.
  • foster an understanding and appreciation of the significance of human diversity in ethnicity, socio-economic status, gender, and learning styles.

Governors State University is strongly committed to rigorous assessment and evaluation of its candidates preparing for professional positions in the public schools. This includes rigorous assessment of each candidate’s knowledge, skills and dispositions.*

* “Disposition” as used here refers to “a tendency to exhibit frequently, consciously, and voluntarily a pattern of behavior that is directed to a broad goal” (Lillian Katz, Dispositions as Educational Goals, ERIC Digest (September, 1993), Urbana, IL: Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education).

The faculty evaluates each candidate’s performance in both academic and practical settings and assesses the dispositions displayed as the candidate encounters challenges, works with children and other adults, and pursues his/her own development. The standards and processes established for evaluation of candidate performance are outlined in the appropriate program section of this catalog or in other program-related materials such as candidate program handbooks and the EPP’s System of Assessment.

At the undergraduate level, the programs expect that candidates will:

  • seek to stimulate and expand student learning as well as their own
  • practice inquiry in the area of their subject matters;
  • select and use a variety of professional strategies in a way reflective of reasoned eclecticism;
  • believe that all children can learn and use strategies to support learning;
  • are dedicated lifelong learners, especially in the area of their profession;
  • seek, support, and celebrate diversity;
  • exhibit academic integrity and high ethical standards;
  • employ technology as a tool for teaching and learning;
  • practice inquiry in the area of research-based best practices and innovations;
  • seek to understand and interact with their communities;
  • value and engage in reflection and self-assessment;
  • work independently and collaboratively to find solutions to educational challenges; and
  • take a reasoned eclectic approach to analyze educational settings and students’ needs in making immediate and long-term professional decisions.

Along with the dispositions identified above, the EPP’s advanced programs expect that their candidates will:

  • provide leadership in communicating information about research-based best practices in their school and their professions;
  • provide leadership in collaborative efforts to solve educational challenges;
  • provide mentoring and support for professional colleagues;
  • practice reasoned eclecticism in evaluating and implementing new interventions; and
  • understand, value, and implement their own classroom and school research to discover solutions for age-old and contemporary challenges.