Teacher Education

Educator Preparation

Educator Licensure Information

Individuals interested in receiving an initial Illinois teaching license or current teachers seeking to add a subsequent endorsement to their current license should contact the Licensure Officer (309) 298-2117.

Initial Professional Educator License (PEL)

A PEL is the credential that allows a person to work as a teacher in a public school in Illinois. An Illinois teaching license requires a bachelor’s degree or higher. All candidates for licensure are required to pass state-mandated exams before licensure is granted. Candidates must pass the content area exam for the area they are seeking licensure. The edTPA (Teacher Performance Assessment) must be completed during student teaching or teaching residency. Individuals who have already earned a bachelor's degree in a non-teaching major and are interested in seeking an initial teaching license in Illinois, may apply for an evaluation through the WIU Licensure Office. The Licensure Officer will evaluate your transcripts and provide guidance on licensure opportunities and appropriate licensure programs. Course work and/or field experiences may be required at the undergraduate or graduate level, depending on the program sought. Individuals seeking an evaluation of transcripts should contact the Licensure Office.

Western Illinois University provides a Master of Arts in Teaching alternative licensure program for numerous licensure areas. For more information on this program, contact Dr. Jim LaPrad (JG-LAPRAD@WIU.EDU) and/or find more information here.

Subsequent Endorsements

An individual who holds an Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL) in a teaching field can add additional content area endorsements. These endorsements can be added at any grade level, even if the underlying teaching endorsement on the PEL is within a different grade range. In general, subsequent endorsements require 18 semester hours and passing of the required content exam. Some subsequent endorsements require additional specific courses. The Licensure Officer will evaluate your transcripts and provide guidance on the required coursework to earn the desired endorsement.

Substitute Teaching License

To be eligible for a substitute teaching license, an individual must meet one of the following:

1. Hold a bachelor's degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution of higher education;


2. Be enrolled in an approved Illinois Educator Preparation program and have completed at least 90 semester hours of coursework.

A substitute license is valid for substitute teaching in all grades of the public schools, prekindergarten through grade 12. To obtain your Substitute Teaching License, complete the checklist.

If you hold a valid professional educator license, you are qualified to be a substitute teacher.

Licensure Contact Information

Tammy WilsonTammy Wilson

Licensure Officer
(309) 298-2117
Horrabin Hall 40

Nancy StonekingNancy Stoneking

Staff Clerk - Licensure
(309) 298-1434
Horrabin Hall 40

Please see our Frequently Asked Questions page for helpful information.

Licensure Quick Links