How To Apply - Science Teacher Education - Northern Illinois University

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Teacher Certification in Science Application Instructions

Application Period

Applications to the Teacher Certification Program in Science (Biology, Chemistry, Geology, or Physics) at NIU should be submitted during the spring semester. The recommended application period begins January 15th and extends through July 15th. The 2 year certification cycle of professional education courses begins in the fall. Certification candidates that have been accepted into the program begin their professional education coursework in the fall semester only. Certification candidates complete the program at the end of a spring semester when the majority of jobs are available.

Most students apply in the spring of their sophomore or junior year depending on how many courses they have remaining for their degree in the science discipline.  It is possible to take some courses outside of certification in the first 3 semesters of the certification sequence.  Meet with the Science Education Coordinator if you have questions regarding when to apply.

  • Complete the application page. Type directly on the form. Provide all the requested information above the line.  You will not be able to save the information.   Print the completed form and mail it to the address below. The Science Certification Coordinator will check off the items when the required information has been received.
  • Obtain and send copies of all your undergraduate transcripts from all accredited institutions you have attended to the Science Teacher Certification Coordinator. Transcripts need not be official at this time.
  • Complete the self evaluation page and mail it to the Science Teacher Certification Coordinator. Be honest. The purpose of the self evaluation is to force you to honestly examine whether teaching is a career in which you can be both successful and happy. Teaching is not for everyone. The Teacher Certification Program in Science would like you to avoid spending two years of your life and thousands of dollars only to find out that you are not a teacher or teaching is not for you.

    Send each of the three items described above to the Science Certification Program Coordinator at the address listed below.
  • Make four copies of the letter of recommendation page. Keep the original. Print your name on the line at the top of each of the pages. Circle your major (Biology, Chemistry, Geology or Physics). Select three people (not your spouse and mother) who you feel would honestly evaluate your teaching characteristics. It would obviously help if they had seen you in a setting in which you were doing something related to teaching. Examples of such settings would be working as a teacher’s assistant in middle school or high school, teaching in church or synagogue, volunteer work, tutoring, swimming lessons, or coaching sports, etc. If you honestly feel you would be a successful teacher, it can only be assumed that some evidence of a positive experience exists to support that idea.
    Give the three people the letter of recommendation form with your name on it and a self addressed stamped envelope. Instruct them to complete the form, write their signature across the seal on the back side of the envelope and mail it to:

Judy Boisen

Coordinator for Secondary Science Education Certification
Northern Illinois University
Chemistry Department
323 Faraday Hall
DeKalb, Illinois 60115

Please contact Judy Boisen, jboisen@niu.edu with any questions.

Quick Links:

Download the .pdfs, type into the forms, print, and mail in your completed forms.

Application to the Program

Self Evaluation Form

Letter of Recommendation Form

Secondary Science Education Certification Coordinator:

Photo of Judy Boisen

Judy Boisen

Coordinator for Secondary Science Education Certification
Northern Illinois University
Chemistry Department
323 Faraday Hall
DeKalb, Illinois 60115

jboisen@niu.edu
(815) 753 6819
Office: 323 Faraday