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In Illinois secondary schools in districts with enrollments between 3,000 and 5,999 students, the salary range for beginning teachers with bachelor's degrees is $40,032 to $47,694. Source: "Illinois Teacher Salary Study 2008-2009," Illinois State Board of Education  

Letter Perfect

English teachers guide their students into the world of words to explore the joys and struggles of life and humanity. 

Outstanding Preparation

At Governors State University, the undergraduate major in English with a teacher education concentration prepares you to teach 21st century language proficiency on the secondary school level. You can also obtain an endorsement for teaching middle school. In addition to a strong academic background, you gain the knowledge you will need to be a teacher who can discuss both classic and modern literature, passing on a love of language and writing skills to a new generation of learners. 

Teacher education at GSU is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and approved by the Illinois State Board of Education. It has also been recognized by the National Council of Teachers of English. 

To be recommended for an Illinois State Board of Education teaching license, 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 English and must meet other requirements for certification through approved programs in the Teacher Education and Certification section of the GSU catalog. 

Program Fact Sheet

Required Preparation

Teacher Licensure

This program is approved by the Illinois State Board of Education and leads to the initial secondary license in English. To be recommended for licensure by Governors State University, students must complete at least 42 hours in general education and 84 hours in required courses. General education courses may include both lower- and upper- division courses, resulting in a completed program of 123 credit-hours. Students must earn a grade of B or better in EDUC 499: Student Teaching: English.

To be recommended for an Illinois State Board of Education teaching license, 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 certification through approved programs listed in the licensure of teachers and other school professionals section in the GSU catalog.

Students who major in English with a concentration in secondary education 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. 

Admission to English Teacher Education

In addition to meeting all university admissions requirements for undergraduate students, applicants must meet the following requirements to continue in the program: 

  • have a cumulative average GPA of 2.75 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
  • 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 Service Proficiency Profile;
  • complete EDUC 2310 (or equivalent) with a grade of B or better
  • attend secondary education orientation.

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 Nov. 30 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 general education requirements with a GPA of 2.75 or higher
  • completed professional education course requirements, except student teaching, including 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 465, ENGL 4580, ENGL 4570 and ENGL 4575 with a grade of B or better
  • must have completed methods courses no more than two years prior to the commencement of student teaching
  • must have no more than 6 hours (at the discretion of the advisor) remaining to be completed in the major, with a GPA of 3.0 or higher and completing all courses with a grade of C or better
  • have met all state requirements applicable to areas of student teaching assignments as outlined in the "Illinois Program for Evaluation, Supervision and Recognition of Schools, Part I, Subject G: Staff Qualifications"
  • submit evidence of having passed the English content area examination of the Illinois Certification Testing System and receive a positive recommendation from the secondary education student progress committee.

Student Handbook

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

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements

Students must meet all university requirements for a bachelor's degree and must complete the general education requirement for teacher licensure initial secondary certificate listed below. Completion of this requirement meets the general education requirement. 

In addition, students must:

  • have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 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 English courses with a grade of C or better in each course
  • have a GPA of 3.0 or higher for EDUC 4440, EDCP 3101 and SPED 4100 with a grade of C or better in each course
  • earn a grade of B or better in EDUC 2310, EDUC 4465, ENGL 4100, ENGL 4205, ENGL 4580, ENGL 4570 and ENGL 4575
  • earn a grade of B or better in EDUC 4999: Student Teaching
  • complete a minimum of 100 clock-hours of supervised pre-student teaching experiences
  • provide evidence of successful completion of Illinois and U.S. Constitution examinations
  • complete at least one 3 hour course in non-western 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 the catalog
  • receive a positive recommendation for the secondary education student progress committee

I.  General Education Requirement for Teacher Licensure, Standard Secondary Certificate, English (42 Hours) 

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

Written communication (6)

Oral communication (3)

Humanities (English, foreign language, history and/or philosophy) (6)

Fine arts (art, music, and/or theatre) (3)

Non-western/developing nations' cultures (3)

Mathematics (3)

Biological and physical science (including one laboratory course) (7)

U.S. history (3)

U.S. government (3)

Introduction to psychology (3)

Health (2) 

II.  English Core (54 Hours)

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

English Literature I (3)

English Literature II (3)

Studies in Mythology (3)

American Literature I (3)

American Literature II (3) 

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

ENGL 3330 Studies in Literature (3)

ENGL 4200 Literary Criticism (3)

ENGL 4100 Advanced Composition (3)

ENGL 4205 Modern English Grammar (3)

ENGL 4505 Major English Authors (3)

ENGL 4515 Major Black Authors (3)

ENGL 4510 Major American Authors (3)

ENGL 4520 Contemporary Literature (3)

ENGL 4550 Shakespeare's Plays (3)

ENGL 4600 Rhetorical Theory and Practice (3) 

III.  Professional Education (27 Hours) 

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

EDUC  2310 Foundations of Education (3)

SPED  4100 Survey of Students with Exceptionalities (3) 

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

EDCP 3101  Intro to Educational Technology (3)

EDUC 4440  Educational Psychology in Action (3)

EDUC 4465  Methods of Teaching English (3)

ENGL 4570   Writing Theory and Practice (3)

ENGL 4575   Reading Theory and Practice  (3)

ENGL 4580   Read and Rap: Literature for Young Adult Readers (3)

EDUC 4999  Student Teaching (12) 

IV.  Total - 123 Hours

Graduation Requirements

Students must meet all university requirements for a bachelor's degree and must complete the general education requirement for teacher licensure initial secondary certificate listed below. Completion of this requirement meets the general education requirement.

In addition, students must:

  • have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 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 English courses with a grade of "C" or better in each course;
  • have a GPA of 3.0 or higher for EDUC 4440, EDCP 3101 and SPED 4100 with a grade of C or better in each course
  • earn a grade of B or better in EDUC 2310, EDUC 4465, ENGL 4100, ENGL 4205, ENG L4580, ENGL 4570 and ENGL 4575;
  • earn a grade of B or better in EDUC 4999: Student Teaching
  • complete a minimum of 100 clock-hours of supervised pre-student teaching experiences
  • provide evidence of successful completion of Illinois and U.S. Constitution examinations
  • complete at least one three-hour course in non-western 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 the catalog
  • receive a positive recommendation for the secondary education student progress committee.

Advisor Information

Rashidah Jaami' Muhammad
Professor
708.534.6974
rmuhammad@govst.edu

Cheryl Hague
Senior Lecturer
708.534.4587
chague@govst.edu

Duane Davis
Assistant Professor
708.235.7143
ddavis14@govst.edu