Teacher Certification

Admission to the Teacher Certification Program

Admission to the teacher certification program is a process where students first express an interest in the program and then work toward official admission. 

While seeking admission, students may take many of the courses required for certification.  Students may only enroll in ILAS 201 First Clinical Observations by permission of the program after an application process.  Only those students then admitted into the program following their enrollment in ILAS 201 (and satisfactory completion) will be permitted to enroll in ILAS 301, ILAS 401 (Second and Third Clinical Observations, respectfully), HIST 496 Secondary Teaching Methods course (cross-listed in the other six departments as 496X), and HIST 400 Student Teaching.  Since enrollment in these courses is by permit only, students are encouraged to complete admission requirements as soon as possible.

To be officially admitted to the program, a student must have:

  • been admitted to the university
  • declared a major in one of the seven disciplines or been accepted into the graduate program in one of the seven disciplines or, if s/he already has a degree, the master's program or enrolled as a post-graduate or student-at-large 
  • attained at least junior standing
  • established either 1) an overall undergraduate GPA of 2.75 in courses at NIU (for undergraduates and post-graduates) or, 2) an overall NIU graduate GPA of 3.25 (for graduates and students at large) with, in both cases, a minimum of 12 semester hours at NIU
  • established an overall GPA of 3.0 in all major-discipline courses taken at the college level with at least 6 hours earned at NIU
  • earned at least a "C" in each of the general education communication skills courses (oral and written communication) required for certification 
  • earned a passing grade in the Illinois Certification Testing System “Basic Skills” test
  • earned a passing grade in an approved early clinical experience of at least 20 hours (ILAS 201 or an approved substitution)
  • cleared through the University-approved Criminal Background Check (CBC) process
  • obtained approval of the department's coordinator of teacher certification

Once admitted to the program, a student must maintain the GPA requirements for both their major and their overall GPA.  If, at any time, an admitted student falls below these requirements, s/he will be given one semester to bring the GPA up to required standards.  If s/he fails to do so within the one semester probation period, s/he will be dismissed from the program.  Furthermore, students are only permitted one probationary semester during their entire period of certification completion.  If a student’s performance falls below these standards for a second semester, s/he will be dismissed from the program for a minimum of three years.