Initial Teaching Certificates
What is an Initial teaching certificate?
Illinois has a three-tiered certification system: 1) Initial, 2) Standard and 3) Master teaching certificates. Initial teaching certificates are issued to teachers who have recently completed approved teacher preparation programs or to out-of-state certified applicants who have less than four years of teaching.
Initial certificate holders, whether employed in public or nonpublic schools, must meet the requirements to move from Initial to Standard certification. To do so, you must accrue four years of teaching and complete one of the professional development options.
What are my professional development options? (complete one)
- Advanced degree
- Approved Induction and Mentoring Program
- National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification/process
- 12 semester hours of graduate-level coursework
- a 12-hour, education-related professional development certificate
- Subsequent Illinois certificate or endorsement
- Requirements for becoming NCLB "highly qualified" in another teaching area
- Four semester hours of approved graduate-level coursework in either:
- Continuing Professional Development Units (CPDUs)
How do I move from Initial to Standard?
To learn important details, please review Procedures for Moving from Initial to Standard Certification (3/12)
What paperwork will I need?
Forms are in PDF format. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat software that enables you to read PDF files, click on the “Plug In” below for a free download. You may also submit forms electronically through Educator Certification System (ECS).
- Assurance Statement (73-97)
- Statement(s) verifying four years of teaching experience (no form)
- Application (73-03C)
- Registration Form (73-10)
You can use the online Educator Certification System (ECS) to submit your professional development option for a recommendation, apply for the Standard, pay registration, make name changes and order duplicate certificates, etc.
Regional Superintendents are locally elected officials who administer Regional Offices of Education, which serve one or more counties. Certificate registration, applications for state certificates and endorsements are processed through Regional Offices, which are not entities of the State Board. If you have questions or wish to submit certification documents, please contact the Regional Office that serves the county where you are employed or if you are not currently employed, the area where you live. (Educators who no longer live in Illinois register or apply through the Regional Office that last registered their certificates.) Contact information can be found in area phone books under local or county government or on our website.