Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a Professional Educator License (PEL)?
A: A PEL is the credential that allows you to work as a teacher, school support personnel, or administrator in a public school in Illinois. Please note that after issuance, all licenses must be registered in your Educator License Information System (ELIS) account to be valid for teaching.
Q. What is an endorsement?
A: The term endorsement is used to describe a credential listed on a professional educator license. A teaching endorsement may be a grade-level endorsement (i.e. early childhood, elementary, secondary, or special) or a content/subject-area endorsement (i.e. middle school language arts, senior high school mathematics).
Administrative endorsements through SIU include superintendent and principal. School support personnel endorsements through SIU include school counselor, school social worker, and speech language pathologist (non-teaching).
Q: What endorsements can be added to my PEL through SIU?
A: The following endorsements can be added to a professional educator license:
- Early Childhood Education (Birth-grade 3)*
- Elementary Education (K-9)*
- Secondary Education (9-12, endorsed in a subject area) *
- Special (K-12, endorsed in art, music or PE)*
- Special Education (PK- Age 21)*
- School Counselor (PK- Age 21)*
- School Social Worker (PK- Age 21)*
- Speech Language Pathologist (non-teaching) (PK-Age 21)*
- Principal (PK-12)*
- Superintendent (PK-12)*
- Reading Specialist (K-12)*
- Content/Subject Areas (Grade range varies)**
*Requires completion of a state-approved educator preparation program
**Can only be added within the grade range of your current credentials
Q: How can I qualify to teach special education in pre-kindergarten?
A: To teach special education in pre-kindergarten, you must hold an early childhood special education approval. This approval can ONLY be obtained if you already hold an early childhood education (birth-grade 3) endorsement, or a special (LBSI PK-21) endorsement. The Early Childhood Special Education approval is granted when an educator has completed the specific sequence of courses.
Although the grade range of the special (LBSI PK-21) endorsement encompasses pre-kindergarten, educators with this endorsement are not qualified to teach pre-kindergarten special education until they hold the early childhood special education approval.
Q: What is entitlement?
A: Entitlement is the process SIU uses when recommending a candidate for a particular endorsement or license. When you have completed one of our state-approved programs for a PEL or an additional endorsement, we enter a notification for entitlement in your ELIS account. By entering this notification, we are confirming you have completed all coursework and testing requirements required for the endorsement/license per current Illinois rules and regulations. The pending credential will be listed on your ELIS home page. You can apply for this credential on your ELIS home page.
Q: When do I apply for entitlement/educator license?
A: You apply for entitlement/educator license after you have completed all of your program requirements: 1) your Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIU) degree is awarded; 2) you have earned a qualifying edTPA score and the score is posted to your ELIS account; and 3) you have received an email from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) stating that you have been entitled by your institution and that you may apply.
You must make sure your ELIS account has all correct personal contact information or you will not receive the notification from ISBE.
Note: The online educator licensure process is completed by the student using a major credit card.
Q: What are the required licensure tests?
A: The Illinois Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) is taken prior to admission to the Teacher Education Program (TEP); the Content Area Test is taken prior to student teaching; and the edTPA is taken prior to licensure.
Please refer to the Illinois State Board of Education website for information on what is required for licensure: http://www.isbe.net/licensure/
All test study guides are available on-line at the Illinois Licensure Testing System (ILTS) website:
Q: When do I take the tests required for my license or endorsement?
A: Passing scores on the Illinois Test of Academic Proficiency are a requirement for admission in the Teacher Education Program (TEP). A passing score on the appropriate Content Area test is required prior to student teaching. A passing score on the edTPA is required in order to qualify for entitlement through the Teacher Education Program. Any Content Area Tests required for additional endorsements must be passed prior to entitlement to add the endorsement to the PEL.
Q: If I don’t pass a test the first time, can I retake the test?
A: Yes. The retake policy for all ILTS tests can be found here:
Q: What is the cost of a test?
A: Information about test fees can be found here:
Q: How will I know that I’ve met all of the requirements for my PEL?
A: Your academic advisor will complete a licensure check for you prior to your student teaching semester to verify that you have met degree and educator license requirements.
Q: How do I request transcripts to be sent to the Illinois State Board of Education for educator license purposes?
A: Students can order their electronic transcripts online http://registrar.siu.edu/alumni/transcripts.php
Electronic transcripts are available for SIUC students who attended Fall 1990 and after. You need to choose the PDF delivery option and supply an email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. The electronic transcripts are considered official unless the student emails it to themselves and prints it out.
Q: Where can I go for information on job opportunities, state standards, recent legislative issues, and other educator license issues?
A: Online at https://www.isbe.net/Pages/Home.aspx
Q: For how many years is my PEL valid?
A: A newly-issued PEL is valid for five full fiscal years and renewable if professional development requirements are met.
Q: What is an IEIN?
A: An IEIN (Illinois Educator Identification Number) is a unique number assigned to each individual when his/her ELIS account is created.
Q: How do I change my personal information posted on ELIS?
A: You may change your email address, mailing address, or phone number by logging in to your ELIS account and clicking the edit link in your contact information section.
- To change your name or update your degree information, complete form 73-71 Licensure Update Request and bring the form and other necessary documents to your regional office of education (ROE) so they may upload the materials to ISBE. Alternatively, you may email the materials to ISBE at email@example.com. Official transcripts verifying a degree must be sent directly from the institution or mailed to ISBE in an envelope that was sealed by the institution.
- If your social security number is listed incorrectly, your ROE can upload a copy of your social security card to ISBE, or you may mail or fax a copy of your card directly to ISBE.
- If your birth date is listed incorrectly, your ROE can upload a copy of your birth certificate or driver’s license to ISBE, or you may mail or fax a copy directly to ISBE.
- Incorrect gender listings may be corrected by having your ROE upload a copy of your driver’s license or birth certificate. You may also mail or fax a copy directly to ISBE.
Q: I have two ELIS accounts and need the accounts merged. What should I do?
A: Please email (firstname.lastname@example.org) a copy of your social security card and a note indicating you have two ELIS accounts that need to be merged. The note should include your name and IEINs for both accounts.