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How to Become a Teacher in Illinois

It's a good time to become a teacher, whether you're just starting your career or changing fields. Get started by following the steps listed below.

Steps to Illinois Teaching Licensure

  1. Read the teaching licensure requirements in Illinois. Make sure you understand what you need to do to become a teacher before you choose and begin an education degree program.
  2. Fulfill the teacher requirements by starting a teacher preparation program at an accredited college or university. You can apply to a school such as National Louis University (NLU) to prepare for the exams and other steps you have to take.
  3. Graduate from your teacher preparation program. Make sure you submit all necessary documentation including your degree finalization form by the appropriate deadlines in order to receive your diploma.
  4. Apply for licensure. After all of the teaching requirements have been met, you can apply for your teaching license by submitting application materials for an evaluation.

After you evaluate the teaching licensure requirements in Illinois, the next step is fulfilling those requirements through an approved teacher preparation program. Learn how to become a teacher in Illinois by following our teacher preparation checklist below.

Teacher Preparation Checklist

When you're ready to start the process of becoming a teacher, follow the steps below.

  1. Get step-by-step assistance from an NLU Enrollment Specialist by calling (888) 658-8632.
  2. Apply for admission to an NLU bachelor's in education or master's in teaching program. It's free to apply online.
  3. Apply for financial aid and search for NLU scholarship opportunities.
  4. Explore helpful TAP preparation options at NLU and then register and take the TAP (prior to admission if you're a graduate student).
  5. Pass the content test for your area of endorsement before you begin your student teaching (prior to admission if you're a Secondary Education applicant).
  6. Pass the Assessment of Professional Teaching (APT) test after you've completed your student teaching.
  7. Apply for your state of Illinois teaching license.

Take the Next Step Toward Becoming a Teacher

Here's what you need to know about applying to National Louis University:

  • There are no application deadlines.
  • You can begin your teacher preparation program in any term.
  • Your first step should be to apply to NLU as soon as you're ready to get started.
  • Our enrollment specialists will help you through the entire process, including TAP preparation, transcripts and test scores evaluation.

Ready to get started? Connect with an enrollment specialist.


    NLU’s Chicago campus on South Michigan Avenue occupies five floors of the historic Peoples Gas Building. This landmark building, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago and Grant Park, is easily accessible by train, bus and car and is surrounded by restaurants, parking lots/garages and shops.

    122 S. Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60603
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Conveniently located in a fast-growing business district off I-90 and Route 31, NLU Elgin features 10 classrooms with high-tech media equipment; a computer lab with high-speed Internet access; two conference rooms; and comfortable student lounges. Parking is free at this recently remodeled and upgraded teaching site, which now includes wireless Internet access.

    620 Tollgate Road
    Elgin, IL 60123
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Opened in the summer of 2006, NLU North Shore at Skokie is a state-of-the-art modern campus located just off the Edens Expressway near the Old Orchard Shopping Center. The campus includes 44 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a walk-in lab in the library; six conference rooms; a public café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; and multiple, comfortable student lounge areas.

    5202 Old Orchard Road
    Skokie, IL 60077
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Located just minutes from the East-West Tollway (I-88), NLU Lisle features 42 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a separate walk-in lab in the library; a café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; conference rooms; and six comfortable student lounge areas with wireless access.

    850 Warrenville Road
    Lisle, IL 60532
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Located in one of Chicago's major northwest suburbs, the newly renovated NLU Wheeling includes 20 classrooms with high-tech media equipment, four conference rooms, four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, large student lounge areas with wireless capabilities and interactive video capabilities, and an extensive research library. The site also houses the university library research collection.

    1000 Capitol Drive
    Wheeling, IL 60090
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Established in 1988 and located in one of Tampa's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to its classrooms, the National Louis University Tampa Regional Center features a computer lab, student lounges, and conference room.

    5110 Sunforest Drive, Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634
    (800) 366.6581
    Info » | Directions »