Teacher Licensure Programs

Under the authority and with the approval of the Illinois State Board of Education, the Wheaton College undergraduate programs offer licensure in a number of areas.


The Wheaton Teacher Education Program (WheTEP) requires any interested student seeking a teaching license to complete all WheTEP prerequisites before applying to the licensure program offered by Wheaton College. Acceptance for enrollment in Wheaton College is necessary but not sufficient for acceptance into WheTEP.

After being accepted into WheTEP, students complete the appropriate content methods courses and are required to student teach in a school classroom for 12 weeks. Throughout this practicum, students will be supported and evaluated by a faculty member of the education department. Listen to one student’s reflections on her student teaching experience as she shares her story during a recent education department chapel.

Initial Elementary License

For elementary education majors planning to teach in first grade through sixth grade

Elementary education majors also work toward completing additional endorsements, such as ESL or Bilingual, Middle School English/Language Arts, Middle School Mathematics, Middle School Science, Middle School Social Science, and Special Education. Our Education Forms provide more information about requirements for each of these endorsements. The Initial Elementary License can be earned as a traditional undergraduate student or in conjunction with the Master of Arts in Teaching.

The Elementary Education program of Wheaton College has been nationally recognized and has achieved this honor through the 2015 NCATE/CAEP accreditation visit. This accreditation continues through 2022.

Initial Secondary License

For secondary education majors planning to teach grades 6-12 (The new High School program will be limited to grades 9-12)

Secondary education majors must complete a program in an approved major field of specialization. Currently majors approved for a secondary education license by the State of Illinois are: English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science (Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Space, or Physics designation), and Social Science (History designation). Secondary education majors will also earn a Middle Grade Endorsement for their field. The Initial Secondary License can be earned as a traditional undergraduate student or in conjunction with the Master of Arts in Teaching.

Initial Special K-12 License

For Foreign Language and candidates planning to teach in Music for Kindergarten through grade 12

Wheaton offers two grades K-12 licenses, one in teaching a foreign language (Spanish, French, or German) and one through the Wheaton College Conservatory in Music Education. Other endorsements, such as ESL/Bilingual or Special Education can be added to these initial licenses. The initial K-12 license in a foreign language can be earned as an undergraduate student or in conjunction with the Master of Arts in Teaching.

Middle Grade Focus Program

For Elementary or Secondary/High School majors who plan to teach in the middle grade levels

Wheaton College offers a Middle Grade Focus Program that can result in adding a middle grade endorsement in English Language Arts, General Science, Mathematics, or Social Science to an initial elementary or a secondary/high school license. Specific requirements for these endorsements can be found in the Education Forms section of this webpage.

Graduate Programs and Endorsements

Wheaton College offers endorsements for undergraduate and graduate students in ESL, Bilingual and Special Education

Wheaton College also offers a Master of Arts in Teaching, leading to an initial elementary, secondary, or K-12 license.

Earning an initial Illinois teaching license as a special student through a post baccalaureate program is also possible, but is not supported by financial aid. Contact the Chair of Wheaton's Education Department for more information.

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