Dean: Lemuel W. Watson, Ph.D.
Associate Dean: Connie Fox, Ed.D.
Associate Dean: Jeffrey B. Hecht, Ph.D.
Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education
Department of Educational Technology, Research and Assessment
Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education
Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations
Department of Literacy Education
Department of Teaching and Learning
Specific admission requirements are described in the departmental and program sections in the following pages. To be assured of consideration for admission, a prospective student must submit an application to the Graduate School no later than June 1 for the fall semester, November 1 for the spring semester, and April 1 for the summer session. Only complete applications containing all required data (application forms, official transcripts, GRE General Test Scores, and letters of recommendation) are considered.
Applicants denied admission may request reconsideration on the basis of additional evidence and/or information not previously submitted. Such requests shall be in writing and directed to the appropriate program admissions committee. Decisions of program admissions committees may be appealed to the Admissions, Retention, and Professional Standards Committee of the department. Such appeals shall be in writing and should explain the basis for the appeal.
Students are responsible for meeting the professional standards of the College of Education and its respective departments and programs of study. The following requirements apply to all students.
Students must remain in good academic standing in the Graduate School, are required to maintain high ethical standards, and must demonstrate evidence of functional competency in fulfilling the professional roles required by the discipline.
Doctoral students must pass a candidacy examination which requires an ability to deal with more than individual course content. Satisfactory completion of comprehensive examinations requires analysis, synthesis, and integration of the content within a discipline. Doctoral students must also develop, complete, and defend an acceptable dissertation following the guidelines of the Graduate School and the program in which they are enrolled.
Consult specific program sections of this catalog for additional requirements.
Basic Skills Testing
Successful completion of the Illinois Certification Testing System (ICTS) Basic Skills Test is required for entry into most teacher certification programs and is listed as a prerequisite for many professional courses. The PPST and Praxis I bulletins and applications are available at the Office of Testing Services. Students who intend to enter a teacher certification program and need to take this test should register for and take the ICTS Basic Skills Test as soon as possible.
In order to be certified to teach or supervise in the public schools of the state of Illinois, a person must be of good character, in sound health, a citizen of the United States, and at least 19 years of age. The Illinois certification law also requires that an individual complete an approved teacher preparation program at a recognized institution.
The dean of the College of Education, as the university’s certification officer, is responsible for reviewing the record of each graduate of an approved teacher education program and for recommending or withholding recommendation of that individual for certification by entitlement and endorsement. Certification is not an automatic procedure. In order to qualify for certification, each student in an entitlement program must complete an application for certification and provide evidence of having completed the general requirements; courses in professional education appropriate to the program being followed, including a minimum of 100 clock hours of approved pre-student-teaching clinical experience prior to student teaching; and a teacher education approved field of study: early childhood, elementary, special education, secondary (6-12), or special (K-12–art, music, physical education).
The following certification and endorsement programs are available at the graduate level only and are approved by the Illinois State Board of Education.
- Special K-12
- School Service Personnel
- General Administrative
- Chief School Business Official
Questions about these endorsement programs should be addressed to the appropriate department.
Also see “Teacher Certification Information.”
Student Teaching in the College of Education
Regulations Governing Student Teaching Assignments
All assignments are limited by the programs and facilities available in the cooperating schools, and the amount of credit given is determined by the type of assignment. Students must be recommended for an assignment by the chair of their department or the designated departmental representative. Graduate applicants must be approved by the department offering their graduate degree and the department in which they will be doing their student teaching.
Graduate students must have been admitted to the Graduate School, have earned a minimum of 12 semester hours at NIU, and have an overall NIU minimum 3.00 GPA.
A student must have been admitted to teacher education, have satisfactorily completed pre-student-teaching clinical experiences, and apply for a student teaching assignment in advance. A student must also have met the specific requirements in the subject matter department and maintained the required departmental GPA or better.
A student may not request a change once an assignment is confirmed by the cooperating school.
Admission to the program does not guarantee continued acceptance unless the student maintains satisfactory grades and other qualifications. In recognition of its responsibility to the schools in which its graduates teach, the university maintains a program of selective retention of candidates for the teaching profession. Thus, the university seeks to avoid recommending a candidate for a student teaching assignment or certification unless the candidate has good character, sound mental and physical health, and academic competence in his or her overall studies, teaching field(s), and professional studies. Instructors involved in any of the professional sequence of courses may request that a student be dropped from teacher education for deficiencies in grades, attitudes, or professional skill.
Retention in a student teaching assignment depends on the student teacher’s ability to demonstrate those competencies associated with effective teaching, including factors such as organization of materials, motivational techniques, classroom management, interpersonal relationships, and professional ethics. Assessment will be made by the student teacher’s supervisors through observation and conferences with the student teacher in a clinical situation.