Undergraduate Overview

Major in Elementary Education
Minor in Secondary Education
Additional options offered through TEP:
Prairie Area Teaching Initiative

Email: tep@uis.edu
Office Phone: (217) 206-6682
Office Location: BRK 330

Departmental Goals and Objectives

Persons interested in becoming teachers may prepare for licensure at the elementary or secondary level through the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS) Department of Teacher Education (TEP). The Elementary Education major is completed while concurrently completing a second major in an appropriate academic content area. Students wishing to teach at the secondary level will complete a minor in Secondary Teacher Education while concurrently completing a major in an appropriate academic content area (biology, chemistry, English, history, mathematics, political science, or sociology/anthropology). Those who have already completed baccalaureate degrees in appropriate academic content areas may also complete the sequence of TEP course work (for either elementary or secondary licensure). Individuals wishing to pursue teaching at the middle school level should consult with the TEP Program Advisor at the point of initial advising. All TEP programs are developed and maintained under the auspices of the College of Education and Human Services’ Council on Professional Education (COPE) and the four themes of the Conceptual Framework: quality teaching and professional practice, public engagement, technology, and diversity. Once a student is accepted into a program in the Department of Teacher Education, (s)he is referred to as a “candidate” (for licensure).

Information and policies that govern and direct a candidate’s progress through his/her Teacher Education program are provided at the point of initial advising, through orientation, during individual advising, on the TEP Students Blackboard, and on the Teacher Education website. Candidates are expected to work closely with their TEP advisor and their academic content advisor as well as utilizing other venues such as University email and the TEP website in addition to this catalog statement in order to track their progress accurately.


Students interested in applying to a program in the Department of Teacher Education first meet with the TEP Program Advisor. Students who are completing baccalaureate degrees also work with program and faculty advisors assigned to them by their academic content major departments.

Grading Policy

Once admitted to a TEP program, a student must maintain a grade point average of 3.0 in TEP course work, a grade point average of 2.75 in his/her major content area, and, for full admission, a grade point average of 2.75 for all college work. General education course work required by the TEP Department, professional course work that satisfies TEP requirements, or major course work that satisfies TEP requirements must be completed with a grade of C or higher.  Required courses that are completed with a grade of C- or lower must be repeated.

Retention in TEP Programs

Teacher candidates must maintain the grade point average requirements outlined in the Grading Policy section above. Additionally, they must also successfully complete the preclinical field experiences required for each methods course. Candidate progress is evaluated throughout programs in the Department of Teacher Education according to GPA, professional teaching standards, dispositions, and other factors. Candidates not meeting these criteria may be removed from or counseled out of their program or may be required to complete remediation at the discretion of the Department.

Preclinical Field Experiences and Clinical Practice (Student Teaching)

Methods courses required in all teacher licensure programs require preclinical field experiences to be completed in schools designated by the Department of Teacher Education. Each elementary methods course requires 30 hours of preclinical field experience and each secondary methods course requires 40 hours of preclinical field experience. At least one of the preclinical field experiences will be completed in a school that is considered diverse in ethnicity, race, or socioeconomic status, or other placements deemed appropriate by the Department. Per Department policy, candidates are not permitted to enroll in more than two methods courses per semester. School placements for preclinical field experience are assigned by the Department.

Clinical practice (student teaching) occurs during the final semester after all other course work and requirements have been satisfied. Candidates are assigned by the Department of Teacher Education to a school setting for this semester-long experience. Candidates must apply for clinical practice within a prescribed timeframe during the semester prior to the actual experience. At the time of application, candidates must meet the GPA requirements (3.0 in TEP course work;  2.75 GPA in major / area of concentration;  2.75 cumulative GPA).  All courses counting as general education course work, academic content major course work, and professional TEP course work must be completed with a grade of C or higher regardless of GPA).  Candidates must also have completed or be registered to complete all remaining course work.  The required test of basic skills (ACT Plus Writing or SAT with appropriate scores) and the appropriate Illinois Licensure Testing System content exam must be passed or the candidate must be registered for the exams at the time of application to student teaching.  In order to receive a school placement for the clinical practice semester, candidates must have passed both the test of basic skills and the appropriate content area exam, completed all course work, maintained all GPA requirements as outlined above, and passed a physical and TB test no earlier than 90 days prior to entering the school setting (submitting results to Campus Health Services).  The Department determines appropriate school placements for clinical practice;  university personnel and school based cooperating teachers supervise student teachers throughout the semester. The Illinois State Board of Education requires that candidates pass the edTPA performance assessment in order to be recommended for teacher licensure. The edTPA will be completed during clinical practice. 

General Education Requirements for All Candidates

Candidates in teacher education are expected to possess general education knowledge, including knowledge related to the arts, communications, history, literature, mathematics, philosophy, sciences, and the social sciences, from multicultural and global perspectives. Candidates in the Department of Teacher Education at UIS are required to meet general education requirements beyond those of the University and should consult with the TEP Program Advisor in order to fulfill these requirements.


The Department of Teacher Education recommends candidates to the Illinois State Educator Preparation and Licensure Board for a Professional Educator License upon completion of several criteria. These criteria include general education requirements set by the Department of Teacher Education, all other departmental requirements, passing scores on the required test of basic skills (ACT Plus Writing or SAT with appropriate scores) and the appropriate Illinois Licensure Testing System content exam, the edTPA performance assessment, and satisfaction of any additional requirements outlined by the Illinois State Educator Preparation and Licensure Board, which has sole authority for awarding or denying teacher licensure.

Subsequent Licenses/Endorsements and Professional Development

Illinois licensed teachers may complete course work toward additional/subsequent licenses/endorsements in a variety of content areas through the Department of Teacher Education.  The Department also offers a variety of courses appropriate for professional development for in-service teachers and other school personnel.