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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​
  • Pass the ​applicable content area test
  • 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 intensive session of methods/pedagogical coursework and be issued as part of the program an Educator Licensure with Stipulations endorsed for Alternative Educator - ELS(APE) once requirements of licensure program are met, and then:
    • Enter into first of a two-year residency, placed in classroom as paid, full time teacher of record, and assigned a Mentor teacher
    • Prior to second year of residency, complete any coursework required by program and be recommended by program for second year, and
    • ​Pass the edTPA performance based assessment during the first semester of the second year of teaching residency, and successfully complete year two of residency and any remaining program requirements
  • Upon program completion, the ELS(APE) is exchanged for the Professional Educator License (PEL) via entitlement​​. Entitlement is the process your institution of higher education will use to recommend you for licensure once all program requirements are met. ​

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