Special Pre-K Certificate (IL Type 10 Grade K-12)

The special K-12 certificate qualifies candidates to teach at all grades; however, to teach in a departmentalized middle grades setting, the certificate holder must also meet the special requirements for teaching in grades 5-8.

NIU offers the following special K-12 certificate programs.

Art Education

The School of Art in the College of Visual and Performing Arts offers undergraduate and graduate programs in Art Education that lead to a special K-12 endorsed for art. The holder may teach any area of art.

The NIU Art Education program is one of the largest in the country and certifies more K-12 art teachers than any other program in the state. Admission is highly competitive, and students seeking admission to the art education certification program must submit an "art entrance portfolio" consisting of studio work and appropriate art education materials. Candidates must also submit an exit portfolio prior to student teaching.

Contact the program advisor for more information.

Foreign Languages

Foreign languages have traditionally been offered at NIU as either a secondary (6-12) or special program (K-12), to be taken at the choice of the candidate. Changes in state law and expectations have now focused the program at the K-12 level.

A special K-12 certificate with an endorsement in a foreign language may be earned through a completion of an approved foreign language program in a specific language and passage of the relevant content-area test. NIU is authorized to provide foreign language programs in French, Spanish and German.

For more information, contact the program advisors in the Foreign Languages and Literatures Department, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Music Education

The School of Music in the College of Visual and Performing Arts offers a Bachelor of Music (B.M.) degree with an emphasis in music education, performance, and composition, as well as a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree for students whose interests lie in acquiring a broad liberal education. The music education program leads to a K-12 special certificate that authorizes the holder to teach all aspects of music in grades K-12.

Admission to the School of Music requires successful completion of an audition, interview, and basic musicianship screening. Admission to the program is highly competitive.

Contact the program advisor for more information.

Physical Education

Certification in physical education is available for teaching at the K-12 level (Special certificate) or the 6-12 level (secondary certificate). For more information, contact the advisor for this program.