Are you interested in teaching mathematics to high-school students? Our department has a long tradition of preparing some of the state's best secondary-school mathematics teachers; we continue to be one of the largest sources of teachers for the schools, and are regularly contacted by school districts looking to hire mathematics teachers.
To teach in the public schools of the state of Illinois requires Licensure (a legal document separate from your NIU degree). You may obtain a licensure to teach mathematics in grades 9-12 by completing requirements comparable to the requirements for our bachelor's degree.
Those who hold or are seeking Illinois licensure in one academic area may also teach in another area if they obtain an Endorsement in the second area. You may obtain an endorsement to teach mathematics in grades 9-12 by completing requirements comparable to the requirements for the Minor in Mathematical Sciences; you may obtain an endorsement to teach in grades 6-8 by completing requirements comparable to the requirements for the Minor in Elementary Mathematics Teaching.
(Those whose Licensure is in Secondary-School Mathematics may also wish to obtain an Endorsement in a second area. There's plenty of demand for mathematics teachers, even without an Endorsement. But an Endorsement can, for example, increase your chances of being hired by one of the more competitive school districts.)
It is necessary to have a bachelor's degree (or higher) in order to obtain a Teaching License. It is not necessary to have a major in mathematics to obtain a license in seconday-school mathematics. However, we encourage students, in general, to obtain both the degree and the licensure because we believe this makes for better-prepared teachers. But we also welcome those who are only interested in the licensure or endorsement. In particular, we can work with Postgraduate Students, Graduate Students, and Students-at-Large to prepare them for licensure. Please consult with an advisor in our department for more information.
While all students in the department are urged to stay in regular contact with their faculty advisors, this is especially important for students who are planning to teach. Since the state government is involved, there is quite a bit of paperwork to handle, and extra hurdles to be jumped. We strongly urge you to complete the requirements as set out by NIU while you work closely with an advisor in our department. The program your advisor arranges with you will allow you to complete all the requirements in a timely fashion.
Please bookmark the department's main Teacher Licensure page so that you have a reference for all the Licensure program requirements for secondary-school mathematics teaching.
As noted above, there are two endorsements in mathematics for those with licensure in another area.
For those with primary licensure in another area but a strong background in mathematics, an endorsement in mathematics may be obtained either for grades 9-12 or for grades 6-8 while completing a Minor in Mathematical Sciences. Please note that these programs require approximately 18 credit hours of coursework after the three-semester calculus sequence.
If your licensure is or will be in grades K-9 and you are interested in the middle-school mathematics endorsement, please consult the 6-8 endorsement requirements. If you are currently completing an undergraduate degree at NIU you should also consult the requirements for the Minor in Elementary Mathematics Education.
Coordinators of Teacher Licensure:
Renee Olsen or
Alex Radosavljevic, PhD.
Further program information