Department of English at Illinois State University

English Teacher Education Handbook

As a major in the English Education sequence, you are required to be knowledgable about all of the information contained in this handbook. All requirements are subject to change by the Illinois State Board of Education.

For more information, please contact Tara Hjalmquist


The English Teacher Education program at Illinois State University prepares candidates to become successful secondary English language arts teachers in diverse classrooms. It also provides on-going professional development for certified classroom teachers. Our students learn how research and theory support best practices in the teaching of English and gain valuable experiences in applying these ideas in rural, urban, and suburban classrooms. The program provides hands-on experiences through numerous partnerships with communities, schools, and teachers. The program enhances professional growth for teachers at every stage of their careers.

The program emphasizes five core areas of theoretical and practical knowledge.

  • Teaching and learning for democracy
  • Respect for the diversity of learners in literacy learning environments
  • Teaching an expanding canon through multiple pedagogical approaches
  • Composition emphasizing writing as a rhetorical process
  • Classroom research and reflective practice

English Education Information

Important information (deadlines, events, procedures, etc.) is sent out on a regular basis to your ISU Email account. You should check your ISU email account on a weekly basis, at the very least. You may also redirect ISU email to a personal email account, or email us to have a different email address added to the English Education Listserv. You are held responsible for any failure to notice and/or respond to e-mails from faculty and staff.  Failure to respond may result in disciplinary action.

Admission to the English Teacher Education sequence is limited and is based on space availability and the competitiveness of the applicant pool. Please note: College of Education policy requires that students admitted to the English Teacher Education program must have English Teacher Certification as their first major.

Continuance Requirements
A student whose major GPA falls below 3.0 will be removed from the English Education program and enrolled in the English Studies major. A formal application will be required of any student who achieves minimum GPA requirements and wishes to re-enroll.

Educational Teacher Education Performance Assessment (edTPA)
Teacher candidates are required to submit a student teaching portfolio that includes lesson plans, video clips, and student work samples. The portfolio should explain your work behind each of these tasks:

Planning for Instruction and Assessment
Instructing and Engaging Students in Learning
Assessing Student Learning

State law mandates that student teachers complete an external portfolio assessment submitted online according to deadlines set by the Center for Teacher Education. The portfolio is considered an evidence-based assessment of candidates' capacity to plan, instruct and assess. Between Fall 2013 - Spring 2015, submission of the edTPA is a Gateway 3 (graduation) requirement. Beginning Fall 2015, achieving a passing score on the edTPA will constitute a licensure requirement.

More information

Sequence of Coursework

Course Sequence

A sequence of Professional Studies (TCH) and English methods courses must be followed. Continuance in the sequence requires a grade of C or higher. There are NO exceptions to course pre-requisites or to the sequence of the following courses:

Semester 1
TCH 212
& PSY 215 – may be taken concurrently, pre-req’s for TCH 216
TCH 212 is Issues in Secondary Education, C or higher required
PSY 215, Educational Psychology, C or higher required

Semester 2
TCH 216
& 216.04 – pre-req’s for ENG 296 & TCH 219
TCH 216 is Principles and Practices for Teaching and Learning in Secondary School, C or higher required
TCH 216.04 is Secondary Education University Lab School, C or higher required

Semester 3
ENG 296 & TCH 219 – are taken concurrently, pre-req’s for ENG 297
Eng 296 is the Teaching of Literature, C or higher required
TCH 219 is Integrating Multiple Literacies & Technology Across Secondary Curriculum, C or higher required.
Note Notice of a passing score on the state Content Test must be received before enrollment in ENG 297

Semester 4
ENG 297 – pre-req for STT 399.09, Student Teaching in English, C or higher required

Semester 5
STT 399.09
– Student Teaching in English
This sequence takes 5 semesters to complete. Candidates participating in the Professional Development School program (PDS) will have a slightly adjusted sequence of courses.

Gateway Requirements
Completion of Gateway 1 is required prior to enrollment in TCH 216 and 219. Gateway 1 includes the Basic Skills Test. This test should be taken by the end of the fall semester of your sophomore year. If you are a transfer student, you should take it as soon as possible during your first semester at ISU.

Completion of Gateway 2 is required prior to enrollment in student teaching. The State Content Test in Language Arts, required in Gateway 2, must be completed and passed before you can enroll in English 297.

Gateway Requirements


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Clinical Placements
Incomplete clinical hours associated with English Education courses will result in a course grade of F and halted continuance. You must attend these clinical hours at the assigned location. Not all of the locations are in Bloomington-Normal, so you will need to arrange transportation. For clinical experiences associated with English 296 and 297, leave open a 3-4 hour block of time at least two days per week for your clinical observations.

If you have already been confirmed for student teaching, you may complete the clinicals for ENG 297 at that school.
You are required to complete over 100 hours of clinicals prior to student teaching. Clinical Hours are distributed as follows:

TCH 212: 20 Hours
TCH 216: 50 Hours
TCH 219: 20 Hours
English 289.30: 10 Hours

English 296: 10 Hours
English 297: 15 Hours
EAF 228, 231, or 235: 10 Hours

It is the student’s responsibility to arrange transportation to and from clinical sites. You are not to skip any class to take part in a clinical experience. Clinicals must be done out side of scheduled coursework.

Please refer to the College of Education's policies on clinical expereinces and criminal background checks.

Class Attendance
Because attendance is an essential aspect of teacher professionalism, you are expected to attend class and to arrive promptly. If you are to be absent from English 296 or 297, alert your instructor prior to the class you will miss. You are responsible for all material covered in class during the period of absence. At the instructor's discretion, unexcused absences may result in a meeting with the Director of English Education and a disposition concern. A teacher candidate’s first disposition concern initiates the director’s continued monitoring of his or her readiness to student teach. Note that achieving a passing grade (C or above) requires that in addition to meeting course requirements you complete all clinical hours in your assigned school site.

In the event you experience the death of an immediate family member or relative, as defined by the university’s bereavement policy (, you must communicate your absence to the Dean of Students Office (309.438.2008) and provide appropriate documentation to that office. With prior notification, students are eligible for up to 5 consecutive days of excused absence (1 week).

Student Teaching
You will apply for student teaching three semesters prior to the student teaching semester. You will be notified about a mandatory application meeting that you MUST attend. Failure to attend this meeting will make you ineligible to apply for student teaching. Failure to attend this meeting will result in a meeting with the Director of English Education and a disposition concern. To be admitted to this meeting, you must show proof of enrollment in or credit for TCH216 .

If you plan to do the Professional Development School exeprience , you must have either passed the Test of Academic Proficiency or achieved the required ACT score in order to apply.

When you apply to student teach, you may indicate preferences for your placement. These preferences in no way guarantee placement at these schools. If you turn down the first placement offered to you, we are not required to arrange another. You will NOT be placed at any high school you attended.

It is recommended that you have grades of "B" or better in all English courses. As an example, if you received a "C" in American Literature, but still have a 3.0 GPA, you should consider retaking an American Literature course. Be aware that school administrators and staff frequently reject student teaching applicants who don't meet this GPA requirement. Be aware that principals and other school personnel review academic transcripts in their entirety as they consider student teaching applicants. The weaker your academic record, the more likely your placement will be rejected by reviewers, thus requiring an extended review period as your application travels from one school to the next. Student teaching is not an entitlement and depends on the degree to which your application persuades reviewers that you possess the content and pedagogical knowledge essential to effective teaching.

All major and general education requirements must be completed prior to student teaching. In order to student teach, all English major courses and Professional Education courses must be completed with a "C" or better. Students are not allowed to take any other classes while they are student teaching.

The time commitment required for student teaching is so great, that you should not be working part time while you are student teaching.

It is the student’s responsibility to provide his/her transportation to and from the school site.

Completion of English Teacher Education program requirements fulfills state requirements for certification as a 9 – 12 Language Arts teacher, an Illinois Type – 09 certificate. This certificate enables you to teach English, Speech, and Journalism.

Be advised that certification requirements can change at any time according to mandates of the State Teacher Certification Board or the Illinois Legislature. Advising you receive will reflect these mandates and may, with little notice, necessitate changes in a student’s course of study.

In addition to your required course of study, you may choose to fulfill requirements for additional state endorsements, which allow you to teach in other areas. Endorsements frequently earned by our graduates include the following: foreign language, theater, and Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL). Satisfying requirements for endorsements includes either completion of a minor or completion of select courses. In addition, a student must pass the state Content Test associated with the endorsement. Realize that if you choose to fulfill requirements for a state endorsement, your graduation date will be delayed.

If you have any questions on the endorsements, contact the English Education Academic Advisor.

Foreign Language Requirement
All English Education majors MUST complete a foreign language at the 115 (second year part I) level. This can be done either at ISU or at a community college.

Career Fair, Professional Issues Seminar
You are required to attend the Career Fair during your senior year. Prior to student teaching, you must return to ISU for 2-3 days to attend the Professional Issues Seminar.

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