For Those Inquiring about Teacher Certification 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 under graduate 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, a link is provided to Wheaton College's Mission Statement and our 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 certification 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 of Education at Wheaton section of the Overview of this web site.
What certificate programs are offered at Wheaton College?
Wheaton offers three different certificates:
Initial Elementary Certificate, for elementary education students for Kindergarten through grade 9.
Initial Secondary Certificate, 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 certification by the State of Illinois are: Biology, English/Language Arts, French, German, History, Mathematics, Physical Science, Social Science, and Spanish. The Initial Secondary Certificate can be earned as a traditional undergraduate student or in conjunction with the Master of Arts in Teaching.
Initial Special Certificate, for Music for Kindergarten through grade 12.
What about a teaching certificate for the middle school grades?
At this time, Illinois does not offer a Middle School teaching certificate. Those interested in teaching in the middle grades may do so with either an Initial Elementary Certificate or Initial Secondary Certificate, but in both cases must have also obtained a Middle Grade Endorsement.
What if I transfer to Wheaton College and seek teaching certification? 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 certification 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 Illinois certification. 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 certification 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 section in this web site.
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/certification 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 certified. 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 certification 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 Wheaton's Northwoods Campus (HoneyRock in northern 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 certification at the same time?
We offer an M.A.T. degree. Non Wheaton College students who have completed a major in a certifiable secondary education area can apply to be admitted to the M.A.T. program. To complete this degree and certification 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 certification, 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 certification?
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 certified and what does this mean?
In addition to being approved by the Illinois State Board of Education >> (ISBE), Wheaton College is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education >> (NCATE). The approval by ISBE means that when an individual completes our approved program, he/she is eligible for certification in Illinois provided that the state examinations have been passes. The NCATE accreditation means that the institution has successfully completed a rigorous national accrediting process. The NCATE accreditation makes it relatively easier for our graduates to become certified 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.