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EIU Program in Social Science Teaching

Step-by-Step Guide

Prior to your enrollment at Eastern Illinois University, there are a few things that you can take care of.

  • Work on study skills and habits of mind that will enable you to succeed in college and to juggle the demands of being a social science teaching major. Whether you major in History with Teacher Licensure or one of the Social Science Studies concentrations, you will have a lot on your plate during your time at EIU: coursework, studying for the content test, doing clinical experience, as well as whatever work and extracurricular involvement you choose. Organization and good study habits go a long way to helping you succeed.
  • Take—and pass!!—the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP). The TAP covers reading, language arts, writing, and math. Prep resources are available at and through the Center for Teacher Education Assessment and Certification Testing Support. Scores are reported within four weeks, and you must provide an official score report to EIU.
  • Or … consider taking (or re-taking) the ACT with Writing. (Note: It has to be the ACT with Writing). If you score a 22 or higher, you will be exempt from taking the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) that is required for admission to teacher education.
  • Attend an Admission to Teacher Education meeting. You must attend this meeting as part of your formal admission application for teacher education. Admission meetings are held each semester, and you are welcome to attend prior to your enrollment at EIU or within the first thirty days of enrollment. Meetings are held in 1501 Buzzard Hall. For a list of fall meetings, see

After you have been admitted to EIU, follow these steps in order to be formally admitted to teacher education.

  • Declare a major: History with Teacher Licensure, Social Science Studies—Geography, Social Science Studies—Political Science, Social Science Studies—Psychology, or Social Science Studies—Sociology-Anthropology. If you are being advised at the Undergraduate Advising Center at 9th Street Hall, speak with your advisor about declaring a major. If you are a transfer student and have declared your major you will be advised in the department. If you wish to change your major, go to the Registrar’s Office.
  • Attend an Admission to Teacher Education meeting.
  • Complete at least 29 semester hours, and maintain a minimum EIU GPA of 2.65. (These can be transfer hours.) One of these early courses should be SED 2000: Inquiry into Teaching. This class introduces you to the field of secondary education and offers you a chance to test out the degree. You must earn a grade of C or higher in SED 2000 for admission to teacher education. You are also required to have a C or better in ENG 1001G, 1002G, and CMN 1310G (transfer substitutions can be used), and a C or better in college-level math. IAI General Education Mathematics meets this requirement.
  • Purchase LiveText through the University Union Bookstore. This is required for all of your education courses, as well as SOS 3400.
  • Make sure that you have taken and passed the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) or that you have substituted your score of 22 or higher on the ACT with Writing. If you have already scored a 22 or above on the ACT with Writing, complete an EIU Request to Use ACT/SAT Scores and an ISBE form 73. The ISBE Code for ACT is 3001, and your score must be sent directly there. (Forms are available in the Dean’s Office, College of Education & Professional Studies, 1420 Buzzard Hall, or at you have not taken the ACT with Writing, take the ACT or TAP options and have your score sent to EIU. For more information, see
  • Submit a letter of intent to the Office of the Dean, CEPS. This is done through Livetext, and most students do it as part of SED 2000. If you have transferred in SED 2000 credits, see
  • Take your Speech & Hearing test at the EIU clinic. Call 217-581-2712 for an appointment.
  • Complete your first Fingerprint-based Criminal Background Investigation.
  • You will be formally admitted prior to your enrollment in SOS 3400.

Stay on track with your degree requirements, and think about ways to enhance your resume and experience.

  • 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 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
  • 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 For upcoming test dates, see For more information and links related to your particular Content Area Test, see
  • 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 for more information.

Click here to download a copy of this guide.

Related Pages

Contact Information

Brian Mann, Undergraduate Advisor,
Interim Social Science Teaching Program Coordinator

3721 - Coleman Hall

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