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Alternative (non-traditional) teacher licensure is an option for those who have not completed traditional teacher preparation programs, but have an interest in changing careers and becoming teachers. If you hold at least a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution and wish to pursue a teaching license, alternative licensure may be the right fit for you.  To locate alternative route programs in the Directory of Approved Programs, click “Alternative” under Program Format at the top of the directory page. Click individual provider logos to discern their alternative licensure program offerings.​

 Components of Alternative Licensure Programs

Instead of completing a traditional route to educator licensure, individuals may complete an approved alternative licensure program in the state of Illinois.

Admission Requirements

  • Hold a Bachelor's degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution​
  • Have completed an undergraduate major, or at least 9 semester hours of coursework, in the licensure content area sought (e.g. Mathematics)​

As part of the program, individuals:

Complete an intensive course of study consisting of methods/pedagogical coursework (and any remaining content coursework) and complete a one- or two-year residency while serving as a teacher of record. During the program, candidates will:

  • Pass the applicable content test prior to beginning residency.
  • Receive an Educator Licensure with Stipulations endorsed for Alternative Provisional Educator (ELS-APE) that will allow them to work as a teacher of record during the residency.
  • Be assigned a mentor teacher and placed into a classroom as a paid teacher of record or co-teacher.
  • Complete the edTPA and remaining coursework during the program.
  • Be evaluated by the educator preparation program coordinator and the school principal after the first year of residency to determine if a second year of residency is needed.
  • Complete a second year of residency (if needed) or be recommended by their preparation program for the Professional Educator License (PEL).
  • Apply for PEL entitlement in the Educator Licensure Information System (ELIS) after being directed to do so by the preparation program.
  • Receive additional mentoring form the school while continuing to teach if the PEL is earned after only one year of residency.​

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