- Follow the checklist and/or Four Year Plan for your major, and meet every semester with your academic advisor. If you are an SOS major or a post-bac student, consider also meeting with Dr. Laughlin-Schultz, coordinator of Social Science Teaching. Checksheets can be found at http://www.eiu.edu/socsci/advising.php. Make sure to plan your course schedule wisely.
- Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.65 and a major GPA (that is, GPA in all social science courses) of 3.0. In order to enroll in SOS 3400 and Practicum, you must have a minimum major GPA of 3.0 and a cumulative GPA of 2.75.
- Apply for student teaching the fall PRIOR to the year in which you plan to student teach. You must apply the Fall semester the academic year prior to the year you plan to student teach. For example, if you plan to student teach Fall 2014 or Spring 2015, you must attend a meeting, apply, and turn in all required paperwork during the Fall 2013 semester. For more information about the student teaching experience, see http://eiu.edu/clinical/docs/STGHandbook078x11.pdf.
- Join a professional organization (or two!), attend conferences such as the History and Social Science Teachers’ conference held every October at EIU, and consider doing some kind of work (volunteer or paid) with kids and/or schools.
- Work on your resume. Meet with Career Services.
- Enroll in SOS 3400 the semester before you intend to take SED 3330/Practicum.
- Complete a second Fingerprint-based Criminal Background Investigation during the semester prior to student teaching. There is a $30 fee, and you need to make an appointment with the Department of Student Teaching and Clinical Experiences\.
- Take—and pass!!—the Content Area Test during SOS 3400 or Practicum. You must have a passing score report in order to be approved to student teach, so it is important to take the test in time to have the report sent (and to have time to re-take if necessary). You are required to take and pass the Content Test in your area of concentration prior to student teaching. For information about registration and the testing process, see the Illinois Licensure Testing System website at http://www.il.nesinc.com/. For upcoming test dates, see http://www.il.nesinc.com/IL17_testdates.asp. For more information and links related to your particular Content Area Test, see http://www.eiu.edu/socsci/testing.php.
- Apply for graduation after you have completed 60 hours and at least one semester before Practicum. You apply for graduation through PAWS, and there is a one-time fee of $25.
- Apply for Department Approval for Student Teaching the semester prior to student teaching. You will get an email from Dr. Laughlin-Schultz describing the portfolio contents and giving you a deadline.
- Complete your student teaching, and take—and pass!!—edTPA.
- Get your teaching license. You will be licensed to teach all regular social science courses and AP and honors courses in your specialization (whether it is history, political science, geography, etc.), grades 9-12. It is very important that you follow the instructions that you receive from your Student Teaching Coordinator very carefully and send all of your completed materials to Teacher Licensure Officer, Eastern Illinois University, 600 Lincoln Avenue, Charleston, IL 61920. At the end of the semester, after grades are posted, your completed licensure paperwork will be returned to you after your grades, graduation, and other requirements have been verified. Please contact Ms. Jan Hickox at 217-581-2200 if you have not received your completed paperwork within 4-6 weeks after grades are posted. “Holds” on your record as well as name and address problems can cause delays, so it is important to contact Ms. Hickox if you have a name or address change that is different than the one initially submitted.
- Consider adding to your expertise and increasing your chances of finding a good job upon graduation by adding to your areas of licensure. See http://eiu.edu/ceps/teached/Certification_Additional_Endorsements-Spring_2012.pdf for more information.