Illinois Teachers Get Your ESL/Bilingual Endorsement

ESL Endorsement Program Illinois

Advance your teaching career by earning your

ESL/Bilingual Endorsement

The ESL and Bilingual endorsement programs are pre-approved by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) through our partnership with Calumet College of St. Joseph

In Partnership with

Calumet College
Calumet College

Reach Your Fullest Potential

Earn Your ESL or Bilingual Endorsement Online

The fastest growing population in education is English learners, regardless of the grade level you teach. Which also means that ESL teachers are in high demand right now. You can get a master's degree if you are looking to pay more money, but that costs more money. That's why we're offering a more budget friendly option.

The most affordable ESL or Bilingual endorsement program in the state of Illinois is now available for you. We've partnered with Calumet College of St. Joseph (CCSJ) AND Andrews University (AU) to help you meet the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) requirements, allowing you to add to your teaching certificate. Certified teachers in Illinois can now take the required courses provided by Midwest Teachers Institute (MTI) to meet your career goals. Choose either university, and know that your endorsement program is pre-approved by ISBE.

If you hold an Illinois teaching license and you want to get ESL approval, you'll need to take 18 credit hours (or semester hours) that meet specific requirements. That's it.

Looking for your bilingual education endorsement? Still only 18 hours (5 classes are the same, the methods class is different for the bilingual program). The bilingual endorsement does currently require you to pass the appropriate Target Language Proficiency or English Language Proficiency test.

Currently the ESL endorsement does not require a test to work with English language learners.

When We Say Affordable, We Mean It.

As fellow teachers, we know these are 2 of the biggest factors. That's why our endorsement courses are priced the lowest on the market. And our courses have the most flexible scheduling of any program available.

Total tuition cost for either endorsement: $3,600. That's 18 hours at $200 per credit hour. No hidden application fees, book fees, technology fees, library fees, or anything else. Total transparency for your piece of mind.

As fellow teachers, we also know the limits of your time. That's why all of our endorsement courses are added to our online programs. This means each of your classes is only 5 weeks long and is delivered in an asynchronous format, meaning you can log in and complete assignments when you have time in your busy schedule. Multiple classes run at the same time, meaning you have choices in the speed you move through our program.

And unlike almost all of the other schools, we allow you to choose the order of the courses you want to take. There are no prerequisites, meaning you can jump in and start taking classes at any time.

We believe you should take classes when you are ready, therefore we're always ready to help you get started. No waiting lists here.

You also get to choose the speed of the program. Take 2 classes at a time and finish in as fast as 18 weeks, or space them out and take longer. We realize not everyone has the same schedule, or the same ability to pay. So we leave it up to you to decide how fast you want to go.

Courses and Competencies

Whether you are looking for an ESL or bilingual endorsement, you'll have to take 6 specific courses. These courses are almost the same, with 1 slight variation.

Regardless of the endorsement, these 5 classes are the same:

If you are getting your ESL endorsement, you will also take:

If you are getting your bilingual endorsement, you will also take:

There is also a requirement with this endorsement to have 100 clock hours field experience in applicable settings. All hours must be in a setting where ESL students are receiving services. To help satisfy this, we've built 100 hours into our courses. However, there is another option.

In lieu of documenting 100 hours, teachers can provide an administrator’s letter saying they are working with English learners in their classroom.

Technically speaking, clock hours may be waived if the educator has at least 3 months of teaching experience in an ESL setting, in which case a school district may submit an employment verification letter (not clock hours) to verify the educator’s teaching experience in an ESL setting.

To earn the bilingual endorsement, teachers must also pass the appropriate language proficiency test administered by the Illinois Licensure Testing System. (The ESL endorsement does not require an exam as of this date).

A different way to learn: ENDORSEMENT programs designed to fit your life—and all the demands on your time, resources and budget.

We understand that you have professional responsibilities, family obligations, and personal commitments. That’s why we offer a personalized, flexible and cost-effective approach to earn your ESL or Bilingual Endorsement. Our programs are developed “By ACTUAL Teachers for Teachers” and are personalized, career-focused and built to fit your life. Complete your ESL or Bilingual endorsement coursework using asynchronous online courses anytime and anywhere your schedule allows, and move through your studies and assessments as quickly as you are able.

  • Each course takes only a short 5 weeks to complete.
  • They run continuously through the year so take them in any order.
  • Finish in less than 6 months or take your time.
  • Pay as you go for each course or use our PayPal Later for monthly tuition payments.
  • The additional 100 clock hours required is built into the courses.
  • No applications to fill out, simply register for a course to begin.

To qualify for an evaluation, the applicant must meet the following criteria:

  1. View the requirements for Illinois licensure to determine what endorsements and grade levels are available so you apply appropriately.
  2. Create an account in the Educator Licensure Information System (ELIS). Once you create an account you can apply for the desired credential. View screen-by-screen tutorials under \"ELIS How-To Demonstrations\" for assistance.
  3. Have your regionally accredited institution send official* transcripts directly to ONE of the following addresses:

    Please send other documentation that pertains to the license for which you applied to [email protected].

*Note: Official transcripts must be sent directly from the institution. If sent by educator, official transcripts must be in the sealed (unopened) envelope from the institution addressed to the educator.

Once your license has been issued, you must register your license in your ELIS account and pay applicable registration fees. The license is not valid for employment until these fees are paid.

If you need further assistance from ISBE (or have more questions), the licensure staff at your local ROE. A complete list can be found on their website by clicking this link.