Jul 16, 2020  
2013-2014 Graduate Catalog 

Teacher Certification in English

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The initial teacher certification program in English qualifies students for the Standard High School Certificate (6-12) issued by the state of Illinois and offers the opportunity for middle-grades endorsement. The state issues certificates upon the recommendation of the Department of English and Northern Illinois University. Admission to the program requires formal application by candidates to the department’s coordinator of initial teacher certification and formal approval by the department’s Committee on Initial Teacher Certification.

Also see “Teacher Certification Information.”

Admission Requirements

Application in writing to the coordinator.

A passing score on the Test of Academic Proficiency.

Submission of a portfolio demonstrating competence in several written genres. (Consult the coordinator for specific portfolio requirements.)

Completion of the courses in mathematics, speech, and writing required for general education core competency or courses at least equivalent to these.

One of the following

  • Admission to a graduate program in English at NIU.
  • A graduate or undergraduate degree in English with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 and a GPA in English of at least 3.00, and completion of at least 6 semester hours of graduate courses in English at NIU with a GPA of at least 3.00.
  • Completion of at least 12 semester hours of graduate courses in English at NIU with a GPA of at least 3.00.


Good academic standing.

GPA of 3.00 or higher in all work required for certification taken at NIU.

A grade of B or better in ENGL 647 and ENGL 648, and a GPA of 3.00 or higher in all English courses required for certification.

A satisfactory review of progress toward the certificate with the coordinator each semester.

Courses in English Required for Certification (42-45)

  • ENGL 207 - Fundamentals of English Grammar (3), unless exempted by examination
  • At least 6 semester hours of American literature, ordinarily to include work in American literature before 1865
  • At least 12 semester hours of English literature, ordinarily to include Shakespeare
  • At least 3 semester hours of linguistics
  • At least 3 semester hours of advanced writing or rhetoric
  • Twelve semester hours in student teaching (ENGL 649)

Additional information

Students who have not satisfied all requirements in English as part of their undergraduate programs may satisfy the remaining requirements, except for student teaching, with graduate-level courses. Upon the approval of the director of graduate studies in English, such courses may also be included in the program of studies for the graduate degree. Students seeking both a degree and certification should be careful to consult regularly with the director of graduate studies in English and with the coordinator of teacher certification about using courses to satisfy requirements in both programs.

Students are admitted to ENGL 649, Student Teaching (Secondary) in English, only after completing all other work required for the certificate and upon application to the coordinator. The methods course must be taken in the semester immediately preceding student teaching.

Courses Required outside Department

Clinical Experiences (100 clock hours)

The state of Illinois requires 100 clock hours of substantial, varied, and sequential clinical experience prior to student teaching. This requirement may be satisfied in a variety of ways; it will be met, in most instances, by successfully completing ILAS 201, ILAS 301, and ENGL 645.

Credit for clinical experiences may not be included in the program of studies for a graduate degree in English. Candidates should consult the coordinator of teacher certification in English about satisfying this requirement as soon as they have been admitted to the certification program.

Other State Certification Requirements

Other state requirements include educational psychology (including human growth and development), history and/or philosophy of education, and psychology of exceptional children. Students normally satisfy the requirement in educational psychology with EPS 406, Issues in Human Development and Learning in the Middle School and High School Years (3). Students should consult with the certification coordinator in English to determine which courses are approved for satisfying the additional requirements. Students must also pass the state of Illinois certification examination in English.

Foreign Language

Students must satisfy the foreign language requirement for the B.A. in English at NIU, or the equivalent.

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