At NLU, we have a proud and renowned history of teacher preparation. We're glad you're joining us and below are some helpful links and tips to use from the beginning to the end of your studies. You can also upload handbooks, appraisal forms and checklists on the National College of Education Tools homepage.
State Exam Preparation
All teacher licensure candidates must complete the Illinois state exams required for their desired license. All licensure candidates must pass the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) to enter the National College of Education. To prepare to take the TAP or other state exams, take advantage of the Illinois licensure test preparation resources brought to you by the Learning and Library Support team. They also offer an intensive prep course and workshops to help students prepare for the TAP test. The TAP Prep Course has been added for August/September so speak with your academic advisor or enrollment specialist to register now! You can also find Library guides geared towards preparing for the TAP test or ACT, Content Area tests, APT and other test-taking strategies.
Students can also take the ACT with Writing in lieu of the TAP test. A score of 22 or higher can be used for admission to the National College of Education.
To register or view test dates to take a state exams, see the Illinois Certification Testing website. Please note that registration deadlines are often well in advance of test dates, and test scores can take up to 5 weeks to reach NLU after you take your exam.
Criminal Checks, TB Tests and Mandated Reporting
NLU requires all candidates in programs that include time spent in an Illinois school to have an Illinois State Police and FBI criminal background fingerprint check, a TB test, and a Certificate of Completion with the Department of Children and Family Services Mandated Reporter Training. NLU will not accept criminal background check reports from sources other than Accurate Biometrics. There is a separate form for students placed in the Chicago Public School System. Please also view the NCE Tools page to find the most up to date form.
**If you are taking any on-ramp courses such as ELE500, FND510, SPE500, CIL500, or ESR514, observation hours are included in the class and students must have Mandated Reporter and TB tests on file with the Office of Field Experience.
Student Teaching Application Process
Every NCE degree program goes through the Student Teaching Application process at different points in their program. Each student will work with their academic or faculty advisor regarding submission deadlines. A current copy of the mandated reporter form and TB test must be on file with the Office of Field Experience (OFE). You can view checklists and applications for your program on the NCE Student Materials page.
Professional Educator Licensure and Endorsements
If you are seeking a Professional Educator License (PEL) or endorsement on an existing license, you will need to submit an official request using the link available through your NLU student portal. More information and instructions can be found on the licensure Web site. Please visit ISBE's FAQ's website for answers to some of your licensure and endorsement questions.