The United States Department of Education, for the last six years, has pointed out a national shortage of science teachers, including biology teachers. Source: "Designated Teacher Shortage Areas," Illinois State Board of Education

Outstanding Preparation

At Governors State University, the Biology Education certificate program leads to a post-baccalaureate certificate that prepares students who already have an undergraduate degree in biology for a rewarding career as a teacher at the secondary level.

The sequence of course work is approved by the Illinois State Board of Education and leads to an initial secondary license in Biology. You can also obtain an endorsement for teaching in middle school.

To be recommended for an Illinois State Board of Education teaching certificate, you must present evidence of having passed the Test of Academic Proficiency (formerly Basic Skills), Subject Matter Knowledge and Assessment of Professional Teaching examinations of the Illinois Certification Testing System.

You must complete a student teaching requirement in biology and must meet other requirements for licensure through approved programs in the Teacher Education and Certification section of the GSU catalog.

Program Fact Sheet 

Required Preparation

Admission to the Biology Education Certificate

In addition to meeting all university admissions requirements for certificate students, applicants must meet the following requirements to be admitted to the Biology Education certificate:

  • have a bachelor's degree or higher in biology from a regionally accredited college or university
  • have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher in all lower division courses applied to the degree program
  • submit a word-processed essay not to exceed 300 words explaining why the applicant wishes to be a teacher.

Certificate Requirements

This is a post-baccalaureate certificate to prepare graduates of biology programs for teacher licensure in biology at the secondary education level.

Teacher Licensure

This sequence of courses is approved by the Illinois State Board of Education and leads to the initial secondary high school license in biology. To be recommended for licensure by Governors State University, students must earn a grade of B or better in EDUC 4999 Student Teaching: Biology.

To be recommended for an Illinois State Board of Education teaching certificate, the student must present evidence of having passed the Test of Academic Proficiency (formerly Basic Skills), Subject Matter Knowledge and Assessment of Professional Teaching examinations of the Illinois Certification Testing System.

Students must meet other requirements for licensure through approved programs listed in the licensure of teachers and other school professionals section in the catalog. This requirement is likely to include additional general education, education and content courses.

Students may obtain an endorsement that prepares them for teaching in the middle school. Students choosing to pursue the middle school endorsement must take 3 hours in early adolescent educational psychology and 3 hours in curriculum methods for middle school. Students should contact the office of secondary education for specific course numbers.

Continuation in the Certificate

In order to continue in the certificate after the first term of enrollment, students must meet the following requirements:

  • complete EDUC 2310 (or equivalent) with a grade of B or better
  • submit evidence of having passed the Test of Academic Proficiency (formerly Basic Skills) of the Illinois Certification Testing System
  • submit scores from the Educational Testing System Proficiency Profile.

Some schools and/or school districts require criminal background checks in advance of any field experience undertaken by teacher preparation candidates in school settings. Candidates may be required to comply with these requirements. Consult with your advisor for information concerning the related GSU policies and procedures.

Admission to Student Teaching

Before enrolling in EDUC 4999: Student Teaching, an application for admission to student teaching must be submitted to the director of field experiences in the College of Education. The application must be submitted by Dec. 1 for the fall term and Jan. 31 for the spring term preceding the academic year in which the student intends to teach (student teaching is not offered in the summer term). This application for student teaching will certify that the student applying has or will have met the following requirements:

  • completed at least 48 hours of general education requirements with a GPA of 2.75 or higher in courses taken at Governors State University
  • completed professional education course requirements, except student teaching, including a minimum of 100 clock-hours of field experience with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, with a grade of C or better in each course and EDUC 6330 and EDUC 6340 with a grade of B or better
  • must have completed methods courses no more than two years prior to the commencement of student teaching
  • have no more than 6 hours remaining to be completed in the major in which the student is enrolled with a GPA of 3.0 or higher and completed all courses with a grade of C or better
  • met all state requirements applicable to the subject matter area(s) in which the student will teach as outlined in "Section IX, Staff Qualifications" of the Illinois State Board of Education publication, "Minimum Requirements for State Certificates"
  • submitted evidence of having passed the biology content area exam of the Illinois Certification Testing System
  • received a positive recommendation from the secondary education student progress committee.

Student Handbook

Please see the Student Handbook in Secondary Education for additional information.

Certificate  Requirements

Students must meet all university requirements for a certificate. In addition, students must complete the general education requirement for teacher licensure initial high school license listed in the teacher education section of the catalog.

In addition, students must:

  • have a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher
  • earn a grade of C or better in all general education courses
  • have a GPA of 2.75 or higher for all general education courses
  • have a GPA of 3.0 or higher in all biology, chemistry and physics courses
  • have a GPA of 3.0 or higher for EDCP 6101, EDUC 4440 and SPED 6101, with a grade of C or better in each course
  • earn a grade of B or better in EDUC 2310, EDUC 6330 and EDUC 6340
  • earn a grade of B or better in EDUC 4999
  • complete a minimum of 100 clock-hours of supervised pre-student teaching experiences
  • provide evidence of successful completion of the Illinois and U.S. Constitution examinations
  • complete at least one 3-hour course in nonwestern or developing nations' cultures
  • show evidence of having passed the Assessment of Professional Teaching
  • meet any additional requirements listed in the teacher licensure section of this catalog
  • receive a positive recommendation from the secondary education student progress committee.

I.   Professional Education (minimum of 24 Hrs at GSU)

The following courses can be taken at either the lower-division or upper-division level:

EDUC 2310 Foundations of Education (3)

SPED 6101 Survey of Students with Exceptionalities (3)

The following courses must be taken at the upper-division level:

EDUC  4440 Educational Psychology in Action (3)

EDUC  4999 Student Teaching (12)

EDUC  6330 Principles of Science Education (3)

EDUC  6340 Teaching Secondary School Science (3)

 EDCP 6101  Intro to Educational Technology (3)

II.   Additional Requirements

Students may need to complete additional general education or biology courses if their bachelor's degree requirements do not meet the requirements of the approved Governors State University program for the endorsement in biology education.

III.  Minimum Total - 24 Hours

Completion Requirements

In addition to any certificate specific requirements, students must meet the university requirements for a certificate found in the GSU catalog. Please meet with your faculty or academic advisor after admission to complete your study plan.

Advisor Information

Pamela Guimond
Associate Professor
Coordinator of Secondary Science Education Programs