***Spring 2021 Letter to students from Dr. Aginah Muhammad***

January 19, 2021

Dear Teacher Preparation Students:

As you enter week two of the spring semester, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you back! We know that many of you are looking forward to completing the spring semester but are also experiencing a bit of anxiousness about what the future holds. The purpose of this communication is to provide an update regarding licensure requirements.

On Friday, January 15, 2021, ISBE adopted rules related to the edTPA. Like the past two previous semesters, ISBE has waived the edTPA requirements. Students who are completing student teaching during this term are not required to submit an edTPA portfolio to qualify for licensure during the Spring 2021 term. The edTPA requirements are waived for students completing their student teaching practicum this semester.

For individuals who are permitted to student teach without having passed the content test, ISBE has not set a deadline for when the content test must be passed. However, these individuals cannot be entitled to the teaching license until the content test has been passed and the passing results have been posted in ELIS. Individuals in this situation are encouraged to work on passing the content test as soon as possible, as program and state licensure requirements are likely to change over time.

We understand that many individuals continue to experience challenges with scheduling a date to complete the content exam. Please continue to monitor the Illinois Licensure Testing System (ILTS) website https://www.il.nesinc.com and access the seat availability tool, to determine whether a test site near you is open.

Our office will continue to work with program coordinators, school districts, and ISBE to monitor the state of teacher preparation during the pandemic. As such, we will continue to provide program coordinators with updates as new information is made available. Please continue to also monitor the CTE website for updates.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Council on Teacher Education via email: uic_cte@uic.edu.



Aginah M. Muhammad, PhD

Executive Director, Council on Teacher Education


***Letter to students from Dr. Aginah Muhammad***

December 16, 2020

Dear Teacher Preparation Students:

As the fall semester has come to an end, we know that many of you are looking forward to the much-needed break prior to the start of the spring term. We realize that this year has been incredibly stressful due to the pandemic and the social injustice that has transpired. However, through it all, each of you have continued to work hard, navigate numerous challenges, and simply persevere through it all.  This year has taught us all valuable lessons about extending grace, patience, understanding, and of course, gratitude.

Many of you have questions about next semester; specifically, related to student teaching and field experiences. Over the course of this semester, UIC’s Council on Teacher Education has worked tirelessly with other state stakeholders, such as the Council of Chicago Area Deans of Education (CCADE), Illinois Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (IACTE), and the Illinois Association of Deans of Public Education (IADPCE) to encourage the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to address many of the concerns that have been raised related to licensure requirements in the midst of the pandemic. As you know, ISBE waived the edTPA requirements for the Fall 2020 term and moved the requirement to pass content exams prior to licensure. At this time, licensure candidates will need to successfully pass required content exams prior to being entitled for licensure. In the past, passing content exam scores were required prior to beginning student teaching. We anticipate receiving an update regarding the edTPA soon. Once that information is made available, we will share it with you.

Many students have also experienced challenges with scheduling a date to complete the content exam. Some of you may have received notifications indicating that your test date has been canceled. According to ISBE, as of November 24, 2020, Pearson is not yet able to reschedule the educator licensure exams due to restrictions in Illinois that are limiting test centers to only offer “essential service” tests, which includes fields like nursing, EMT, and other medical-related fields. Due to the large number of unfilled educator positions in the state, ISBE is going to pursue having education tests added as an essential service designation in Illinois. I encourage you to monitor the Illinois Licensure Testing System (ILTS) website for updates regarding content test exams and available test dates. We will certainly share any updates that we receive regarding changes as well.

Our office will continue to work with program coordinators, school districts, and ISBE to monitor the state of teacher preparation during the pandemic. As we receive updates on policies and requirements, we will share information. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Council on Teacher Education.


Aginah M. Muhammad, PhD

Executive Director, Council on Teacher Education


**COVID-19 Office UPDATE

Starting from 12pm on Monday, 3/16/2020, the CTE office will be temporarily closed pending further coronavirus updates. Our staff members will be working remote during this time period. Please refer to the below section for a list of FAQ’s we have compiled regarding the teacher licensure process.

To schedule a virtual appointment with CTE, please visit the Contact Us page of the CTE website. For any other questions, please email us at uic_cte@uic.edu and be sure to include a call back number so that we can easily reach out to you. We apologize for any slight delays and we thank you for your patience. 

Fall 2020 COVID-19 and Teacher Licensure

As we all continue to navigate these unprecedented times, The Council on Teacher Education is in direct and constant communication with the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE), and other state leadership groups as policies and mandates are considered and shifted in response to the continued impact of COVID-19 and educator preparation programs. Please know that we are also directly communicating any new information with your preparation program coordinator/faculty. We understand there is a heightened level of anxiety as it relates to this semester and beyond. Please know that every effort is being made to ensure that you do not experience any disruption to your program. Below are some FAQs and very important reminders about upcoming deadlines.

Below are updates from ISBE’s Educator Effectiveness department.

Executive Order:  The COVID-19 licensure executive order expired August 22 and is not renewed.  However, some of the waivers are still in place because they have either been written into permanent law OR they likely will continue to be effective when new permanent rules are in place. Below is the status of the COVID-19 licensure laws and rules.

Part 25 Emergency rules– effective April 27; expiring September 24

Part 25 Permanent Rules (outline some exemptions that will occur anytime the state is under a public health emergency): Public comment due September 7.

*Please be advised that higher education stakeholders are preparing public comment, recommending the extension of waivers related to public health emergency Section 7 of the Illinois Management Agency Act and Subpart L, Part 25.1000 for a period of one semester following the expiration of the public health emergency. While there is no guarantee that this recommendation will be approved, institutions of higher education from across the state believe this is a measure that will alleviate some of the issues candidates are currently experiencing with completing content test requirements for licensure. The requested extension will allow teacher candidates time to fulfill their curricular requirements for licensure and graduation without delay.

Public Act 101-0643 (formerly known as SB 1569):  Effective June 18, 2020. Provides exemption for edTPA anytime there is a public health emergency.

Part 1 Emergency rules- (bilingual education assignability)- effective July 31, expires December 17.

Below are important deadlines and updates for undergraduate and graduate students across all teacher preparation programs.


Application to Candidacy

Fall deadline for Spring: March 1

Spring deadline for Fall: October 1

Urban Education – April 1


Application to Candidacy

Within first two weeks of student’s first semester

Science MEd one-year program, by the 1st day of Summer Session I

Permit to Register for ED 425/432

For Fall semester: March 15

For Spring semester: October 15


Application for Student Teaching

Fall 2021 CTE Student Teaching Application Period: Nov.15th – Feb 15th

Link to CTE Student Teaching Application

Spring 2022 CTE Student Teaching Application Period: March 15th – June 15th

Link to CTE Student Teaching Application

What about edTPA?

As of today, 8/17/2020, we have received notice from ISBE that the edTPA will be waived this fall. ISBE recognizes the difficulty of completing components of the edTPA in a virtual or blended setting. 105 ILCS 5/21B-110 provides that the edTPA shall be waived anytime the Governor has declared a public health emergency. As we enter the 2020-2021 academic year under a public health emergency, the agency has taken the position that the edTPA is waived for the fall 2020 semester. Should the state emerge from its public health emergency status part way through the semester, ISBE will work with the general assembly to continue the waiver through December 31, 2020.

Please know we are here to help and assist you with any questions or concerns you have.  Please email uic_cte@uic.edu or call us at (312) 355-0714.


Welcome to the Council on Teacher Education at UIC

The Council on Teacher Education (CTE) within the Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs supports students and faculty in over twenty Illinois educator and school personnel preparation programs at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). CTE oversees the programs that prepare students for licensure in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade school settings by the Illinois State Board of Education.