College of Education & Human Services

Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) - Alternative Licensure

The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) - Alternative Licensure is a two year residency program wherein candidates are hired by a school district on a provisional teaching license, are paid a beginning teacher salary, and take courses over a two year period. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates will receive an Illinois Professional Educator License in one of the following areas:

  • Early Childhood (Birth-Grade 2)
  • Elementary Education (Grades 1-6)
  • Secondary English (Grades 9-12)
  • Secondary Mathematics (Grades 9-12)
  • Secondary Science (Grades 9-12): Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Earth & Space Science, Environmental Science
  • Special Education (K-Age 22) - Learning Behavioral Specialist (LBS1)
  • For the early childhood, elementary, or special education licensure areas - applicants must have a bachelors degree from an accredited university with 32 semester hours combined in language arts, math, science, and social studies coursework. A minimum of 9 semester hours is needed to start the program. 
  • For secondary language arts, math, or science licensure areas - applicants must have a bachelors degree from an accredited university in the content area of licensure sought; or a bachelors degree with 32 semester hours in the content area sought. 
Procedures for Applying to WIU
  • To seek admission, you must formally apply to the School of Graduate Studies declaring Master of Arts in Teaching - AlternativeLicensure as your area of study. You must meet the general admission requirements of the School of Graduate Studies and have a minimum cumulative GPA for all undergraduate work of 2.75.
  • Contact our Teacher Licensure Officer (Tammy Wilson,; 309/298-2117) who will review your transcripts for eligibility into the program. 
Procedures for the Provisional License
  • Complete a background check if not currently working in the schools.
  • Document time spent in a school setting. Those without experience in schools take 2 credit hours of EDS 592: Field Experience.
  • Complete online training modules in lesson planning, assessment, ESL and classroom management OR program coursework with equivalent content.
  • Pass applicable Content Tests (
  • Work with the WIU Licensure Officer to receive your Educator License with Stipulations endorsed for Alternative Educator (ELS - APE).
Once Accepted to WIU and Receiving the Provisional License
  • Apply for open teaching positions via IASA Illinois Education Job Bank and Unfilled Positions.
  • Begin a two year residency program as a paid teacher of record with the support of a mentor teacher and a WIU supervisor while completing coursework (see Program Degree Requirements).
  • Complete required coursework in the MAT program for the licensure area sought. 
  • To qualify for a full Professional Educator License, students must complete a total of 32 semester hours in the area of licensure sought (for secondary programs); or 32 hours combined of language arts, math, science, and social science coursework (for early childhood, elementary, and special education) by the end of the program, and pass the  edTPA .
Financial Aid Available MAT Financial Aid.pdf
Information for International  Students

Enrollment in the  MAT  requires a mandatory internship period served in an Illinois School District institution.  Employment authorization for  international  students after one school year of enrollment in the program utilizing Curricular Practical Training is presumptively approved. This program engages synchronous learning. All courses in this program are face to face though they may be accessed intermittently in whole or in part via live stream or other synchronous delivery mechanism.

Apply Now


For information, please contact

Karston Cole 


WIU Teacher Licensure Officer

Tammy Wilson

Tammy Wilson
Phone: 309-298-1434
Office: Horrabin Hall 40

In The News!

Tamika Causley, a Master of Arts in Teaching in Special Education student, is in the news!

Click here for the full article by Peoria 25 NEWS (Mar. 15, 2022). Excerpts from the article read: "A longtime Peoria Public Schools employee is seeing her dream of becoming a teacher come true. After years working in various positions at PPS, Tamika Causley will become a PPS teacher next Fall, after making a strong impact on her coworkers and her bosses over the last eight years.

Since 2014, she has worked as a substitute clerk, in the curriculum department and in district communications, among other roles. During her time at PPS, she’s had one main goal. “I need to be a teacher,” Causley said. “This is what I need to do.”

While working at PPS, she went back to school, first receiving her bachelor’s degree. Now, she is working on her master’s degree in Special Education from Western Illinois University.