Beginning July 1, 2003 the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) moved to a certification program based upon a series of pre-professional standards in the disciplines, teaching, technology, and basic skills. As one component of this transformation, pre-service teacher candidates are required to complete a portfolio of their entire academic career as it relates to these standards in order to be approved for an initial teacher license.
The portfolio and the accompanying program exit interview are the final components of the History/Social Sciences Teacher Certification Program at Northern Illinois University. Upon completion of the student teaching experience pre-service teacher portfolios will be reviewed and will serve as the final basis for our recommendation regarding certification. A committee of professors and professional staff will look at each portfolio and assess whether it meets the standards set for initial certification.
The portfolio and exit interview exercises are essential, culminating parts of pre-professional development and are the first stage of professional development as a teacher. They are valuable tools for compiling your progress as a teacher, your efforts toward certification, and reflections upon both the discipline of history/social studies and teaching.
Below are the instructions for the format and the required contents for the portfolio and the exit interview. Both will take substantial effort to compile and submit. They are not optional; failure to submit a portfolio for review or failure to participate in the exit interview process will preclude the program from recommending a candidate for their initial teaching certificate. The committee will only review each portfolio once and will only conduct exit interviews one day per semester. Incomplete or inaccurate portfolios will be deemed insufficient and preclude your certification.