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For details of the requirements for the English Language Arts option for teacher certification, see the 2014-2015 Catalog Entry for English Language Arts. For a different way to view the same information, see the advising checklist for English Language Arts (2014-15 catalog). For information on requirements for earlier catalogs, consult your adviser

Departmental Approval to Student Teach:

Each major department approves its candidates differently. In the English Department, your advisor will help you with your course plan so that you will meet all curriculum requirements. The Director of English Education will guide you through your application for departmental approval to student teach. Make an appointment with the Director as soon as you have decided to follow the teacher certification option. Contact the director of English Education, Dr. Melissa Ames.

At the first meeting, the Director will set up your file and discuss the departmental approval process. This process is outlined below.

Requirements for Departmental Approval (Beyond the completion of coursework):

  • In order to be considered for approval to student teach, it is imperative that you have earned a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 and a minimum 2.75 in English at the close of the semester prior to seeking approval to student teach.
  • Each candidate must receive a C or better in every English course.
  • Each candidate must be a member of a professional organization.
  • Each candidate must attend a minimum of two professional conferences before gaining approval to student teach. Please note that candidates may also replace one of the two conferences with attendance at three one hour lectures, with the approval of the English Education Director.
  • Each candidate will prepare a professional portfolio prior to student teaching.
  • Each candidate must also earn positive evaluations from faculty on their reference forms.

Department Reference Form Process:

  • The Director of English Education will give you department reference forms that you will distribute to each English Department instructor with whom you are taking a course. Keep your file up to date by distributing forms to instructors in all English courses each semester. There must be a reference form in your file for each English course you have taken at Eastern.
  • The instructors will return the completed application forms to the Director. These forms are strictly confidential.

Approval to Student Teach Process:

  • The Director examines the reference forms. If all recommendations are positive, and you have met all other requirements to student teach, you will be approved.
  • If two or more faculty express reservations, the Director will discuss the evaluations/ recommendations with the instructors who submitted them.
  • If the Director determines there is some question about granting approval, the English Education Committee will meet to discuss the issues. The Director will act upon the Committee's advice.
  • In the event you are not granted approval, the Director will meet with you to discuss an appropriate course of action.
  • You may be granted probationary status. Such a designation indicates that you may be required to take additional courses or to seek help for some problem identified in comments by the faculty. If the English Education Committee agrees that you have met the additional requirements satisfactorily, you will receive department approval to student-teach, and the recommendation will be sent to the College of Education and Professional Studies.
  • If you wish to appeal the decision of the Committee, you may do so through the English Department Chair.

Remember to check with the Director each semester to determine the progress of your application.

Where can I get the reference form?

Right here.

What should students include in their Professional Portfolio?

  • Table of contents
  • Résumé
  • Completed "Checklist for English Language Arts Majors"
  • Comprehensive Teaching Philosophy
  • 3 writing samples -- one from a multicultural literature course and two from other English courses
  • Unit plans from ENG 3401, ENG 3420, and ENG 4801
  • Evidence of professional organization membership
  • Evidence of presentation at English Studies Student Conference (i.e., program)
  • Clinical experience essays from Eng 3401, Eng 3402, and Eng 4801

Are there other university requirements for Teacher Certification?

(Teacher Certification Programs: Admission, Retention and Completion)

I.A. Formal Application for University Admission to Teacher Education

All students interested in teacher education must attend the University Admission to Teacher Education meeting as announced in the Daily Eastern News. For students whose initial college entrance was at EIU, this meeting must be attended before completion of 29 semester hours; for transfer students and post-baccalaureate students, this must be done no later than 30 days after their initial enrollment at EIU. At this meeting formal application forms and important information will be provided.

I.B. Selection Process for Teacher Certification Programs

To be selected, a student must:

  • Submit a formal application for University Admission to Teacher Education
  • Complete at least 29 semester hours
  • Obtain and document passing scores on the Illinois Test of Basic Skills
  • Establish a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.65/4.0. Post-baccalaureate certification candidates must have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.65 or Have completed a Master's Degree with a GPA of at least 3.00. Transfer students may use a transfer GPA for the purpose of selection if they complete I.B.a-c no later than 30 days after their initial enrollment at EIU.

I.C. University Approval to Take Teacher Education Courses

Before a student can take SED 3330 or EDP 3331 or SED 3100 or SPE 3500 or ELE 3000 or ELE 3250 or MLE 3110 or SPE 4800/4820, s/he must:

  • Apply (I.A.) and be selected (I.B.)
  • Submit a letter of intent to Office of the Dean, College of Education and Professional Studies
  • Establish and maintain a cumulative EIU GPA of 2.65/4.0 (Post-Bac students are required to have an EIU GPA of 2.65 in undergraduate courses at EIU and 3.0 for courses #4760 and above taken at EIU).
  • Complete Speech and Hearing Clearance. Phone 217/581-2712, Speech, Language, Hearing Clinic for appointment. ($5 fee)
  • Document "C" or better in ENG 1001G, ENG 1002G, and SPC 1310G or their equivalents
  • Document "C" or better in 3 semester hours of college level math
  • Document "C" or better in ELE/MLE 2000 or ELE 2331; SPE 3201 or SPE 3225; SED 2000 or PED 1500 or MUS 2440 or CTE 2000 or CDS 3700
  • Complete the first required Criminal Background Investigation ($15 fee)
  • Document successful completion of the Technology Proficiency

II.A. Formal University Admission to Teacher Education Programs

To be formally admitted to Teacher Education Programs students must meet the criteria in I.A. and I.B. and I.C. above and successfully complete SED 3330/EDP 3331 or SED 3100 or ELE 3000 or ELE 3250 or MLE 3110 or SPE 4800/4820 with a grade of "C" or better and positive practicum evaluations thus demonstrating the knowledge, skills and dispositions of one desiring to enter the teaching profession.

II.B. Sequence of Courses and Prerequisites to Student Teach

Consult catalog for a detailed list of required courses.

III. Major Department & University Approval to Student Teach

Every student planning to student teach must formally apply at the Application to Student Teach Meeting (announced by the Office of Student Teaching). This Meeting is held during the Fall semester preceding the academic year in which the student plans to student teach. All application materials received at that meeting must be completed and turned in to the Office of Student Teaching, 2418 Buzzard Hall, by the announced deadline date. Failure to attend a meeting to apply to student teach or failure to complete the application materials by the deadline will result in a minimum of a one-year delay in student teaching.

Early each semester (excluding summer) the Office of the Dean, of the College of Education and Professional Studies will send a roster to each academic department identifying those individuals in their programs who have been granted University Approval to Take Teacher Education Courses, maintained a GPA of at least 2.65 and have applied to student teach the following semester. The major department will be asked to grant conditional (mid-term) departmental approval to students meeting the following conditions:

  • Submit departmental approval application to major department following departmental timelines and criteria.
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.65/4.0 or better [2.75 in English]
  • Complete courses in major with a minimum GPA of 2.65/4.0 (a program may require a higher GPA in the major)
  • Obtain "C" or better in each professional education course completed
  • Show evidence of recent participation in professional organizations, meetings and /or appropriate activities with youth ages 3-18
  • Secondary certification candidates ONLY: Complete SED 2000 (or department equivalent), SED 3100 or SED 3330 and EDP 3325/3331 and Departmental Methods course [English education majors take SED 2000]
  • Submit portfolio to major department (consult department for specifics)
  • Check major department office for other program criteria
  • Complete the second required Criminal Background Investigation ($15 fee)

At the close of the semester, each student's record will once again be reviewed by both the College of Education and Professional Studies and the student's major department for the purpose of granting final major department approval and university approval to student teach.

IV. Program Completion (Graduation) and Entitlement for Illinois Certificate

  • Complete the approved certification program and graduation requirements with a 2.65 cumulative GPA.
  • Complete all professional education courses with a grade of "C" or better.
  • Complete certification application that will be provided by your student teaching coordinator

While not required for graduation or entitlement, students must pass the appropriate Illinois Certification subject-matter knowledge test(s) that match(es) the certificate being sought in order to receive a certificate from the State of Illinois.

What related extracurricular activities are available?

  • Annually the English Department hosts an English Conference for Secondary School Teachers, at which pre-service teachers can interact with in-service teachers in a professional arena.
  • Candidates join professional organizations such as the National Education Association (NEA), the National Council of Teachers of English, (NCTE), the Illinois Association of Teachers of English (IATE), the International Reading Association (IRA), and the Illinois Philological Association (IPA). Announcements regarding upcoming conferences encourage students to make travel and room arrangements.
  • Participating in Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honor Society for majors with high academic standing (EIU was granted the national Superior Chapter Award for 1999-2000.)
  • Contributing to The Vehicle, a literary magazine of student work, edited by students
  • Joining the English Club, an organization that sponsors academic and social events throughout the year
  • Writing for The Daily Eastern News, the college newspaper
  • Competing on the Forensics team at colleges throughout the Midwest
  • Auditioning for roles in performances by the theater department