State Certification Requirements

All certification programs provided by Northern Illinois University are designed to assure that candidates meet relevant state laws and regulations. This section of the NIU certification website provides a guide to selected aspects of those state requirements.

Please note: this unofficial information is provided as a convenience for current and future education candidates. It does not address all aspects of the state certification requirements, nor does it include the timelines for full transition from the old rules to the new ones (see below). For additional information, please refer to the Guide to Requirements for Certification, Endorsement and Assignment of Teachers, School Service Personnel, and Administrators, or contact the Illinois State Board of Education and/or your local Regional Office of Education PDF document.

In June, 2004, the state rules for certification of teachers, administrators, school service personnel, and other education specialists were significantly changed. Adoption of the new requirements was the last step in a multi-year process of creating a standards-based system for teaching and learning in Illinois. The new certification requirements generally, though not exclusively, eliminate specific course requirements in favor of candidate completion of cohesive standards-based programs at an Illinois college or university.

The new state certification requirements reflect state and national standards for educator preparation institutions and for each certificate and subject area. These standards define what an educator should know and be able to do in his or her area of specialization. In addition, the new requirements reflect the federal requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. In general , a teacher candidate in the core academic areas who meets the new state certification requirements will be considered "highly qualified" in the area of certification/endorsement.