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Educator Licensure


Visiting International Educator Endorsement


(Updated 12/11/13)

School districts participating in teacher exchange programs and in other programs that recruit foreign teachers to teach in their districts may choose to require a Visiting International Educator endorsement (valid for three years and non-renewable) if the district wants to ensure the employee meets NCLB requirements for highly qualified teachers. This endorsement will be issued for early childhood, elementary, secondary and special (K-12) grade levels. To qualify for this endorsement, the district must be certain the teacher meets the following criteria:
  1. holds the equivalent of a United States bachelor's degree;
  2. has been prepared as a teacher at the grade level for which he or she will be employed;
  3. has adequate content knowledge in the subject matter to be taught, through possession of a major in the content area to be taught or by passing one or more examinations in the content area;
  4. has an adequate command of the English language; and
  5. does not have a criminal history that would bar the individual from employment as specified in Section 10-21.9(c) of the School Code.

To ascertain the degree equivalence, grade-level equivalence and knowledge of the subject matter, the district may initially utilize published analyses of foreign education systems from the National Association of Foreign Student Affairs and from the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.  An initial determination of English language competence will be made through administration of the Nelson-Denny reading examination requiring a passing score in English equivalent to grade level 10.7 and an oral proficiency interview in the English language described by the American Council on Teachers of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) with an oral proficiency rating of 2+. The recruiting district will also provide a description of the background check done for each teacher and assure that each teacher had such a review performed with results indicating that the applicant has no disqualifying criminal violation described in the statutes.

The applicant will apply for the Visiting International Educator endorsement appropriate to the grade level or subject matter to be taught. To provide substantiation of the conclusions reached by the district in its initial review, the application and fee must be forwarded with the district's own determination of the applicant's qualifications and the evaluation of the applicant's foreign credentials. The foreign credentials evaluation must be completed by one of the acceptable sources listed on the ISBE web site. We also require diplomas, degrees, professional titles and examination results from the terminal or periodic examinations required by the applicant's degree-granting institution, and English language translations of those documents.

Applicants for this endorsement will not be required to pass the examinations of the Illinois Licensure Testing System. Applicants will receive endorsements in their major field of study, foreign language (medium of instruction of the university from which they graduated), and bilingual education. All endorsements will be issued for the grade range of the applicant’s educational preparation.

Individuals wishing to apply for this endorsement must file form ISBE 73-03F, "Application for Visiting International Teacher Endorsement," (11/13) with the appropriate regional superintendent of schools and submit an application and fee online in the Educator Licensure Information System (ELIS).