The State Board of Education authorizes higher education institutions with approved teacher preparation programs to provide streamlined or "focused certification programs" for candidates who already hold at least one teaching certificate. Institutions that take advantage of this authorization are required to make public their policies for administration of their "focused certification programs." Following is a summary of the NIU policies on focused programs.
Eligibility for participation in focused programs at NIU will be determined on a case-by-case basis, following an individualized review of candidate information.
Each academic department housing one or more of the state-approved certification programs has designated at least one advisor or faculty member responsible for focused programs administration. These "focused program advisors" are responsible for coordinating the review of candidate credentials and providing written documentation of the requirements to be met by the candidate in order to earn the subsequent certificate.
Potential candidates for a "focused certification program" must submit for review
The review of the potential candidate's documentation will take into consideration his or her prior academic performance, the age and grade ranges of students with which the individual has previously worked, the currency of coursework, the currency of teaching and other professional experiences.
Following a comparison of the individual's application with the standards for certification in that area, advisors will help students develop an individualized plan indicating the coursework and/or experiences that must be completed to obtain a certificate in the selected area.
These individualized focused programs are subject to change during the course of the program. If assessments of the candidate's performance suggest that the program plan should have additional or fewer requirements, the program advisor will modify the program accordingly.
A candidate who successfully completes a focused program will be considered to have completed the NIU approved program for the certificate sought, and he or she will be recommended for the certificate by entitlement.
NIU will charge a modest fee to review transcripts and other records to determine eligibility for and the potential requirements of an individualized focused program. Individuals who are interested in learning more about the specific requirements and procedures for subsequent certification programs should contact the appropriate department.
Potential candidates for subsequent certification through a focused certification program are cautioned that although review and identification of requirements may be completed, this does not guarantee access to the required courses and experiences at Northern Illinois University . A candidate's ability to pursue subsequent certification through NIU is contingent on program capacity and availability of resources. Therefore, potential candidates should contact the individual departments to ascertain possible program availability.