FAQs for Prospective Students

For those wanting to know more about teacher licensure at Wheaton College


What type of college is Wheaton College?

Wheaton College is a Christian liberal arts college. While we primarily offer programming at the undergraduate level, the department of education does offer a Master of Arts in Teaching at the graduate level in selected secondary majors. Students who enroll at Wheaton College affirm a belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and agree to adhere to certain lifestyle expectations. The integration of our Christian faith with learning is stressed in all of our classes. For further information, please read Wheaton College's Mission Statement and the Education Department's Conceptual Framework.

What are the distinctions of the teacher education program at Wheaton College?

Wheaton’s Department of Education is known as a department with faculty and staff who work diligently in assisting students in the licensure process. The faculty members collaborate with each other, with students in field placements and research and are involved with state board of education initiatives and issues. Students are expected to gain classroom experience throughout the program. With national accreditation (see later question) and active participation in state and national professional organizations, Wheaton graduates are well prepared for the demands of the 21st century classroom. Other specific unique strengths of the teacher education program at Wheaton are included in the Distinctives section of the Overview of Education at Wheaton.

What licensure programs are offered at Wheaton College?

Wheaton offers three different teaching licenses:

  • Initial Elementary License, for elementary education students for Kindergarten through grade 9.

  • Initial Secondary License, for secondary education students from grades 6-12. Secondary education students must complete a program in an approved major field of specialization. Currently majors approved for secondary education licensure by the State of Illinois are: Biology, English/Language Arts, French, German, History, Mathematics, Physical Science, Social Science, and Spanish. The Initial Secondary License can be earned as a traditional undergraduate student or in conjunction with the Master of Arts in Teaching.

  • Initial Special License, for Music for Kindergarten through grade 12.

What about a teaching license for the middle school grades?

At this time, Illinois does not offer a Middle School teaching license. Those interested in teaching in the middle grades may do so with either an Initial Elementary License or Initial Secondary License, but in both cases must have also obtained a Middle Grade Endorsement.

What if I transfer to Wheaton College and seek teaching license? Will all my previous coursework and field work be accepted?

The Registrar of Wheaton College determines what courses will be accepted and which Wheaton requirements they may meet. Transfer students seeking licensure must enroll in and successfully complete a Wheaton College education course and practicum prior to acceptance into the Wheaton Teacher Education Program.

I already have a bachelor's degree and want to earn an Illinois teaching license. What do I have to do?

This is a fairly complex question since so much depends on the major of your bachelor's degree and where you completed the degree. In order to earn your first license in Illinois, you must complete an approved program of study at an Illinois institution of higher education. You can see the program requirements we have at Wheaton College by referring to the Overview of Education at Wheaton.

However, candidates who have completed a degree from an institution approved for teacher education will be considered to have met all general education requirements. All candidates (both M.A.T. and special/license only) will still have to meet the Wheaton Graduate School competencies/requirements in Bible and Theology.

Candidates who have completed a degree from an institution not approved for teacher education will be required to complete the teacher education program at Wheaton College in its entirety, including all general education requirements specified for undergraduate candidates.

I have already gone to see my regional superintendent and was told that I only have a few courses I need to take to become licensed. Can I complete those classes at Wheaton College?

Probably not. Most likely you will need classes in methodology and student teaching. In order to be admitted to those classes at Wheaton College, you have to be enrolled in our full program and complete our full program of study.

I am working full time and would like to complete my licensure in the evenings. What classes do you offer at night or on weekends?

The Department of Education at Wheaton does not currently offer any evening or weekend classes. Graduates and undergraduates are typically full-time students. 

Do you offer any summer programs?

We offer Learning and Development at HoneyRock - Outdoor Center for Leadership and Development of Wheaton College (in Wisconsin). In order to be able to participate in this class, students must commit to participation in the camp program for the entire summer since some requirements for the classes are met through work with campers. In addition, several graduate classes are offered each summer on Wheaton's main campus for M.A.T. students.

Can I earn a master's degree and licensure at the same time?

We offer an M.A.T. degree. Non Wheaton College students who have completed a major in a applicable secondary education area can apply to be admitted to the M.A.T. program. To complete this degree and license usually takes students approximately two years of full-time work. Our M.A.T. has some undergraduate education prerequisites and competency must be shown in Bible and Theology. In addition to the classes in Education leading to licensure, M.A.T. candidates complete an additional 12 semester hours in their major, additional advanced classes in Education, 6 semester hours in Bible and Theology, and an Action Research Paper.

Does Wheaton College offer any alternative routes to licensure?

Not at this time. There are, however, a number of other area institutions that do offer alternative routes. We suggest that you contact the Illinois State Board of Education >> for information on what colleges or universities in your area offer these alternative routes.

I've heard a little about national accreditation. Is Wheaton College nationally accredited and what does this mean?

In addition to being approved by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) >>, Wheaton College is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) >>. The approval by ISBE means that when an individual completes our approved program, he/she is eligible for licensure in Illinois provided that the state examinations have been passed. The CAEP accreditation means that the institution has successfully completed a rigorous national accrediting process. The CAEP accreditation makes it relatively easier for our graduates to become licensed in other states.

Do you offer independent study classes?

Like any college or university, we do have an independent study class listed. However, independent study classes are reserved for our majors who need additional courses. We do not conduct independent study classes for students who are not completing their degrees at Wheaton College.

Do you do placements or supervision for student teaching for student teachers from other schools? I live in the Chicago area but am going to a school that does not place its student teachers in the Chicago area.

We do not place or supervise student teachers from other colleges. The student teaching placement and supervision arena is both intense and competitive. We do not feel that it is appropriate for us to use College resources for students from other colleges and we do not place students who have not completed our preclinical experiences and our approved program.

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