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 2006 NCATE/ACEI accreditation. NCATE provides a list of the teacher education programs >> that have this distinction.

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

Middle Grade Endorsements, for Art, English Language Arts, French, General Science, German, Linguistics (ESL or Bilingual Education), Mathematics, Music, Social Science, Spanish, Speech, and Speech/Theater are also offered.

Presently the State of Illinois does not require a separate teaching license for middle schools. A middle grade endorsement can be added to any of the three initial teaching licenses listed above. This is likely to change due to legislation passed in 2013.


Wheaton College offers endorsements for undergraduate and graduate students in ESL and in Bilingual Education. Find more information >

Wheaton College also offers a Master of Arts in Teaching.

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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