Frequently Asked Questions

teacher reading to her class

Frequently Asked Questions about Wheaton and Teacher Licensure

You have questions, and we're here to help. If any of your questions are not answered here, please reach out to the Department of Education at

Wheaton College is a Christian liberal arts college. While we primarily offer programming at the undergraduate level, the Department of Education offers a  Master of Arts in Teaching at the graduate level. 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. 

Wheaton’s Department of Education is known as a department with faculty and staff who work diligently in assisting students in the licensure process required by the State of Illinois. Students gain classroom experience throughout the program with completing clinical experiences in partnership schools. Other unique features of the teacher education program at Wheaton are included in the  Distinctives section. 

The licensure programs at Wheaton College include:

  • Professional Educator License: Elementary Education Grades 1-6
  • Professional Educator License: Secondary Grades 6-12 
    • Secondary education students must complete a program in an approved major field of specialization. Majors approved for secondary education licensure by the State of Illinois are: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, English/Language Arts, History/Social Science, and Mathematics
  • Professional Educator License: Special Grades PK-12 in Music Education and World Language: Spanish, French, German

A middle-grade endorsement can be added to any of the Professional Educator Licenses: Elementary Education, Secondary Education, or Special PK-12 Education. These endorsements are available in the content areas of Language Arts, Mathematics, General Science, and Social Science. Requirements include: 18 hours of coursework, content general education courses, a specific middle-school methods course, and passing the middle-grade content test.

Teacher education coursework in the first two years is essentially the same regardless of content or grade-level interest. Practica experiences with students at different grade-levels and Wheaton's cross-disciplinary general education coursework both help in the discernment process. Decisions regarding grade-level placement for methods practica and student teaching happen throughout the spring of sophomore year and the fall of junior year. 

Christian schools vary with regard to their teacher licensure requirements. Some Christian schools require licensure only through the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) while others (including many private secular schools) may also require a state teaching license. It is recommended that teacher candidates verify a private school's licensure requirements. 

The  Department of Education determines what courses will be accepted and which Wheaton requirements they may meet. Required 300-400 level education courses must be completed through Wheaton College.  Teacher candidates transferring into Wheaton College should contact the Department of Education as soon as possible to discern if some previously completed foundational education courses may be accepted. 

Refer to the General Master of Arts in Teaching (GMAT) at Wheaton College. For specific questions, contact Dr. IL-Hee Kim, the Master of Arts in Teaching Coordinator, for more information.  

The Department of Education at Wheaton offers occasional evening courses but no weekend courses. Graduates and undergraduates are typically full-time students. 

Yes! We offer an Accelerated Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT) for current Undergraduate students. 

Wheaton College does not offer alternative routes to licensure. 

The word “accreditation” has to do with approval and oversight by an outside organization to ensure that programs being offered are held to a high standard of excellence.  Wheaton College and its institutional offerings are subject to a full review every ten years by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools to maintain accreditation. Moreover, the Department of Education and each of its programs sustain a separate layer of approvals from the Illinois State Board of Education annually and remain in compliance with their ongoing policies and procedures to ensure an additional standard of excellence.

Yes. Once all requirements are met by Wheaton College and the Illinois State Board of Education, candidates will be entitled with their Illinois Professional Educator License. Candidate's cannot transfer their license to another state until their Illinois Professional Educator License has been issued. Candidates should refer to our state reciprocity page for information on specific state licensure requirements, state reciprocity, and information on how to transfer one’s Illinois Professional Educator License to another state. The Department of Education's Licensure Officer and the Registrar's Office should be contacted about this process. 

We have a variety of placements through our partnerships with many public and private schools; all are within a thirty-minute drive of Wheaton College. In addition, we have a partnership with a K-8 school in Chicago that offers an urban setting for student teaching. Finally, we offer international student teaching to interested each year. These students apply for international placements three semesters prior to student teaching so they can be well prepared for these unique settings in international schools.