Teacher Education at Illinois State University is a clinical-based program. While the state office requires 100 hours of clinical experiences, most degree programs at ISU provide many more opportunities than mandated. These clinical experiences are integrated in courses offered by the music education program and the College of Education. Our highly regarded laboratory schools, Metcalf Elementary School (grades K-8) and University High School offer our music education majors continuous access for observation and teaching experiences throughout their undergraduate studies. In addition, our students regularly receive clinical experiences in the Normal and Bloomington school districts, which provides insight and experience with traditional public school music programs.
Student Teaching Internship
Upon completion of required course work, the music education major is eligible to enter into student teaching. The internship is 16 weeks divided into two placements. Because of the K-12 teachers license, music education majors must student teach in two of the three grade levels (elementary, middle school, and high school). In addition, one of the placements must be in the music education area of their degree sequence (i.e. Choral/General/Vocal majors must student teach in choir and/or general music). In most situations, the teacher candidate may choose the geographic location of their student teaching. The placement is with veteran teachers who provide mentorship throughout the internship. In addition, the student teacher is supervised and evaluated by master teachers recently retired from the teaching profession.
Teacher Licensure in Illinois
Upon completion of all degree requirements, referred to as the Gateway System of the College of Education the successful undergraduate teacher candidate is eligible for the K-12 Music teacher’s license from the Illinois State Board of Education. In addition to course work, proficiencies, and student teaching, teacher candidates must also pass the state content examination and complete the edTPA to attain a Professional Educator License (PEL).
Some ISU graduates seek employment outside of Illinois. Most states allow teachers certified in Illinois to transfer that certification without imposing additional course requirements. However, most states require these individuals to take some state-mandated licensure examination.