University Center of Lake County Elementary Ed Cohort | C&I | SIU

Southern Illinois University



Curriculum and Instruction

University Center of Lake County Elementary Education Cohort

Students participate in an off-campus version of the Elementary Education program developed by SIU in response to a call from the Illinois State Board of Education for new models in preparing elementary school teachers. The program prepares graduates to earn an Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL) in Elementary Education. State tests must be passed and state requirements must be met.


Those who wish to teach in grades 1-6 in public or private schools.


An earned AA or AS degree or at least 45 credit hours of completed coursework. In addition, student are required to have completed basic Elementary Education coursework such as:

  • Intro to Teaching (with grades of C or better)
  • English Composition I and II (with grades of C or better)
  • Math for Elem. Teachers I and II (with grades of C or better)
  • Overall GPA of 2.75 or higher
  • Pass the Illinois Test of Academic Proficiency
  • Other liberal arts and education courses required for the degree must be completed prior to enrolling or while enrolled in the cohort program.



Each semester up to 25 students are admitted into the Lake County Elementary Education Program in cohort groups. Class size is limited to maximize interaction.

  • Students progress through the program with peers, forming a tight support system and professional network.
  • Cohort groups foster collaboration that can transfer to teaching roles.
  • Cohort groups help build a solid educational foundation that will prove invaluable to students as they progress through their careers.


Students may transfer in their core and education classes from community colleges to complete the degree.  The degree completion program is at the University Center at the College of Lake County.


  • Take, and pass, the Illinois Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) prior to application.  (Formerly the Illinois Basic Skills Test)
  • Submit completed SIU application to SIU Admission Office.
  • Submit completed Teacher Education Program (TEP) Application to Lake County Coordinator by Sept 1 for a spring semester or February 1 or June 1 for a fall semester start.
  • Commit to taking classes over a two-year period as they are sequenced in blocks.
  • Submit a plan for completion of required liberal arts and concentration courses to Lake County Coordinator by Sept 1 for a spring semester start or February 1 or June 1 for a fall semester start (students will be assisted with this by an SIU Education Advisor and the UCLC Coordinator).
  • Participate fully in school-based field experiences.
  • Earn a C or better in all courses.
  • Maintain an overall GPA (including community college as well as SIU grades) of 2.75 and a major GPA (includes C&I cohort coursework) of at least 2.75.