Frequently Asked Questions

Licensure process

Clinicals and Student Teaching

Which districts work with NIU to place students for clinicals and student teaching?

We work with over 150 districts and over 200 schools to place candidates for clinicals and student teaching in the Northern Illinois area. For our introductory clinical (ILAS 201), we primarily work with local, partner districts, such as:

  • Sycamore CUSD #427,
  • Rochelle Township HSD #212,
  • Rochelle CCSD #231,
  • Kaneland CUSD #302,
  • Genoa-Kingston CUSD #424.

For our second clinical we work with:

  • Rockford SD #205,
  • Elgin CUSD #46,
  • East Aurora CUSD #131,
  • DeKalb CUSD #428.

We try to place clinical students within a 60 mile drive from where they intend to live during their clinical experiences and student teaching.

Does NIU provide transportation to schools?

No. Candidates are responsible for their own transportation to and from all clinical sites. Also, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences does not provide university loaner/rental vehicles to candidates.


What can I do to increase my chances of getting a job upon completion of the program?

It helps to become licensed in two or more areas, such as English and Social Studies. Additional endorsements, such as a middle grades endorsement, increases the types of school to which you can apply. Also, for English majors and those candidates planning to teach at the middle school level, it is helpful to get a reading endorsement. Lastly, proficiency in a second language - ideally Spanish - is also useful.


What is the difference between a license and an endorsement?

A "license" is required for an individual to teach in an Illinois public school. An "endorsement" is a descriptor that is placed on a license to identify and limit the specific areas in which the individual is qualified to teach in conjunction with that license. For example, a candidate who completes a secondary licensure program in biology will receive a Secondary license (Type 09) endorsed in biology. If that person later meets the requirements for an endorsement in chemistry, a chemistry endorsement would be added to the Secondary License.

What is a "highly-qualified" teacher in Illinois, and how does a teacher earn that status?

In response to the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, the State Board of Education has established criteria for teachers to be considered "highly-qualified." The state criteria are aligned with the federal requirements and are intended to provide educators and school districts with guidance for assuring that all teachers in core academic subject areas are "highly-qualified" in each area of teaching responsibility. To learn more, please refer to the Part 25, Appendix D of the State Board Administrative Rules.