English Teacher Education Handbook

As an undergraduate or post baccalaureate seeking licensure 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 Maggie Morris Davis.

You are required to complete 100 clinical hours prior to student teaching, and 50 of these hours must be diverse.

Clinical hours are distributed through the sequence as follows:

You are required to have 50 diverse hours; you will have 70 diverse hours of the 120+hours listed below.

  • TCH 212: 20 hours
  • ENG 194: 10 hours
  • TCH 216: 50+ hours (not diverse)
  • ENG 296: 10 hours
  • ENG 297: 15 hours
  • EAF 228, 231, or 235: 15 hours

You may NOT enter a school classroom without active NCBC on file in the Lauby Teacher Education Center. Check the school site’s requirements for additional background checks that may be required before you may start clinical hours.

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

194, 296, 297 Expectations and Assessment

Clinical placements are completed and announced by the course instructor (Fall and Spring semesters for ENG 296 and ENG 297; ENG 194 will receive the self-placement procedure and forms). You are responsible for communicating promptly with the clinical host teacher and copying (cc) the email in which you initiate scheduling to the clinical coordinator. Be aware that public schools have a different school calendar of holidays, institutes, and testing dates, so you should schedule early to insure you will have the best possible participatory experience to gain teaching skills. In addition to the completion of hours with proficient demonstration of edDispositions (those applicable to all clinical experiences) verified by your clinical host teacher, your methods instructor will assign a related clinical experience project/paper (see syllabus for due date).

Incomplete clinical hours associated with English Education courses will result in a course grade of F. You must attend these clinical hours at the assigned location. Only ENG 194 teacher candidates are allowed to arrange a self-placement with the required documentation.

The clinical coordinator audits all clinical hours by contacting clinical host teachers and reviewing their submitted verification forms. Then, the clinical coordinator informs your methods instructor of completion status, and she will proceed to “Approve” the hours you submit in the “ONLINE CLINCAL DOCUMENTATION” form.


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. Clinical hours must be completed outside the meeting times of scheduled coursework. A dispositions concern will be filed for those who do not comply.

Most of the school partnerships are located outside Bloomington-Normal, so you will need to arrange transportation. The coordinator of clinical experiences places multiple teacher candidates at the same school sites to facilitate shared rides/carpools.

Placement Process

For clinical experiences associated with ENG 194: your methods instructors will provide information and documentation forms. Contact the clinical coordinator if you have questions or need assistance.

For clinical experiences associated with ENG 296 and ENG 297 your course schedule should have a 3-4 hour block of time during public school hours for the consecutive weeks of your field experience. The clinical hours are to be arranged at the teacher’s convenience, not yours, in consideration of your availability. Most clinical host teachers welcome your active participation in instructional assisting, micro-teaching, and small group work; however, you must be assertive rather than “observe passively.” It is not realistic to accommodate your clinical host teacher’s schedule by communicating that you have “only Friday” open.

If you have already been confirmed for student teaching, you may complete the clinicals for ENG 297 at that school. Notify the clinical coordinator for prior approval to do so. You are required to complete 100 clinical hours prior to student teaching.

Coordinator Contact:

Alan Lin: alin@ilstu.edu

The director monitors the progress of all teacher candidates admitted to the program through completion of student teaching. Four areas, or competencies, are tracked for proficient performance with input from faculty and staff:

  • Academic Competency-3.0 major GPA and 2.5 cumulative GPA must be maintained every semester
  • Communicative Competency-communication skills (oral and written; speaking, listening, lesson delivery, intrapersonal, interpersonal)
  • Affective Competency-resilience, maturity, emotional strength and stamina, self-awareness, ability to assess, adapt, and respond appropriately to the demands of an environment (off campus school sites included) and others
  • Behavioral Competency-the eight indicators of professionalism known as edDispositions : collaboration, honesty/integrity, respect, reverence for learning, emotional maturity, reflection, flexibility, and responsibility

Your continuance may be halted if you do not demonstrate acceptable performance in one or more of these four competencies.


These eight indicators (see above) address the attitudes, commitments, beliefs, and actions demonstrated by professional educators in their interactions with students, families, colleagues, administrators, and communities.

Each teacher candidate should regularly self-assess strengths and areas for growth and improvement.

A disposition concern signals to a teacher candidate that an unacceptable action or behavior occurred and was documented. The individual (university faculty/staff; clinical partner site faculty/staff) who files the disposition will meet and discuss the concern with you, explain if it is resolvable or unresolvable, and discuss the action steps needed to improve this aspect of professionalism. It is uncommon for a teacher candidate to accrue the total of three dispositions that results in removal from the program.

Ethics codes are common to all professions as expectations for performance, often with their “clients” interests and well-being in mind (lawyers, doctors, nurses, counselors, teachers). During annual orientation sessions, the director will review: ISBE Code of Ethics ; Illinois Professional Teaching Standards ; ISU Site Code ; and the Ethics Code for English Teacher Education (a summary of the other codes).

Academic Probation

At the conclusion of each semester, the Director of English Education reviews the semester grades for all teacher candidates in English. Any teacher candidate whose GPA falls below minimum major and/or cumulative GPA requirements is placed on academic probation the subsequent semester.

The probationary period is one semester in duration with monitoring of candidate progress by Director and program faculty/staff. Candidates on probation are required to discuss their plan of study with the English Education Academic Advisor before their probationary semester begins.  Candidates on probation must also meet with the Director a minimum of two times during their probationary semester. *[Enrollment in ENG 296 during the probationary period is the director’s discretion.] A candidate who has failed to restore minimum academic requirements by the end of the probationary period is withdrawn from English Teacher Education and enrolled in English Studies. A major in English Studies does not fulfill requirements for teacher licensure.

If a teacher candidate is reinstated in English Teacher Education after a probationary semester and, in a subsequent semester, fails to maintain the required GPA, the teacher candidate will be removed from English Teacher Education permanently. 

Gateway 1 Deadline


Students are required to complete Gateway 1 during the semester they are enrolled in English 194: Introduction to English Education. Failure to complete all Gateway 1 items prior to the deadline set by the Program Director and Advisor will result in a disposition concern

Gateway Requirements

Readmission Policy

Students withdrawn from English Teacher Education may reapply after reestablishing a minimum 3.0 major GPA and 2.50 cumulative GPA. In all cases, withdrawal from the program results in delayed graduation. No exceptions will be made in course sequences or prerequisites to expedite program completion.

Any student interested in readmission should contact the Director of English Education to indicate his/her intent to re-apply. At that time, the Director will explain the formal application process, which includes the following:

  • A formal written statement,
  • A formal interview conducted by the Director with one additional staff or faculty member present,
  • One recommendation letter from an ISU staff or faculty member that addresses strengths relevant to the student’s future promise as a teacher.

Students who seek readmission should note that the application process takes place at the end of the semester (Fall or Spring) in which minimum academic requirements are met. Readmission is NOT automatic upon completion of the process. Applications are reviewed in the context of the limited cohort space (availability) and competitive pool of applicants (highly qualified=above the minimum requirements).

A student who anticipates meeting both major and cumulative GPA’s at the conclusion of Fall or Spring term will be asked to submit the personal statement and recommendation letter before the end of final examination week. The interview will be scheduled to take place after official grades are posted. Should the candidate NOT restore GPAs, the interview will be canceled, and the application will be withdrawn. Readmission status will be determined and announced before the start of the next semester. If readmitted, teacher candidates will be able to resume teacher preparation courses, based on availability at the time of registration in the cohort they join.

Program Staff

All program staff instuct courses in the English Department.

Director: Maggie Morris Davis

English Advisor/Sequence Admissions: Mark Vegter

English Education Advisor: Alan Lin

Clinical Instructor and Coordinator of Clinical Experiences: Jennifer Renchen

Program Faculty

Dr. Sarah Hochstetler

Dr. Danielle Lillge


Admission to the English Teacher Education sequence is limited and based on both the available space and the competitiveness of the applicant pool. Applicants MUST attend one of multiple scheduled group meetings announced and held in fall (for undeclared or internal transfers) and spring (for second semester freshmen, undeclared, or internal transfers). The application, a group interview, and a writing sample are all completed and submitted during the application meeting. The committee reviews applications and announces admissions before registration begins for the next semester.

MINIMUM qualifications to apply: ISU GPA of 3.0 major and 2.5 cumulative.

Please note: College of Education/Lauby Teacher Education Center policy requires that students admitted to the English Teacher Education program must declare English Teacher Education (secondary/grades 9-12 licensure) as their first major.


When you are admitted, you join a cohort based on the projected semester in which you will student teach. The sequence requires a minimum of five semesters to complete based on course pre-requisites; ENG 194, ENG 296, and ENG 297; the completion of TCH 212, TCH 216, TCH 219; additional Professional Teaching Sequence courses, and all requirements to complete the BA degree in English.

Candidates requesting to move cohorts must express this in writing to the English Education Academic Advisor and Director.  Requests will be reviewed at midterm and the end of semesters.  The capacity of each cohort is limited and requests may not be granted.  

IATE and NCTE Professional Membership

As an ELA teacher candidate, you have access to state and national organizations of practicing English teachers and their resources for ongoing professional development:

IATE (Illinois Association of Teachers of English; free membership)

NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English; reduced student membership)

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 in each course. (For additional continuance requirements, see the Continuance Policy section of this handbook.)

There are NO exceptions to course prerequisites or to the sequence of the following courses:

Semester 1

TCH 212 - Issues in Secondary Education, C or higher required

PSY 215 - Educational Psychology, C or higher required

ENG 194 - Introduction to English Education, C or higher required; prerequisite for ENG 296

PSY 215 and TCH 212 may be taken concurrently and are prerequisites for TCH 216.

Semester 2

TCH 216 - Principles and Practices for Teaching and Learning in Secondary School, C or higher required

TCH 216.04 - Secondary Education University High Laboratory School, C or higher required

TCH 216 and TCH 216.04 are prerequisites for ENG 296 & TCH 219.

Semester 3

ENG 296 - the Teaching of Literature, C or higher required

TCH 219 - Integrating Multiple Literacies & Technology Across Secondary Curriculum, C or higher required.

ENG 296 and TCH 219 are taken concurrently and are prerequisites for ENG 297.

Note: Past students have communicated their readiness for the state Content Test early in the ENG 296 semester. They have also communicated the value of proactively taking the exam sooner than later so that, if necessary, they can retake the exam promptly without unnecessary added stress at the end of an academic semester.

To aid in your ability to pass the exam in a timely manner, you are expected to adhere to the following policy: By the 12th week of ENG 296 you must complete a first attempt of the state Content Test, a state requirement for licensure. Results must be communicated to the English Ed Advisor promptly (within two days of taking the exam) as you are provided with the pass/fail status of the exam immediately upon completion of the exam.

If it becomes necessary for you to retake the exam, it is strongly advised that you:

  1. Register for the exam immediately and that you complete subsequent attempts of the state Content Test far in advance of the Lauby Center deadline, July 15th for fall Student Teaching and December 15th for spring Student Teaching.
  2. Communicate with the English Ed Advisor about your subsequent registration and attempt(s) to take the exam.
  3. Make use of campus resources shared by the English Ed Advisor to study for the exam prior to any needed retakes.

Semester 4

ENG 297 – prerequisite for STT 399.09, Student Teaching in English, C or higher required

NOTE: With the exception of Student Teaching, all degree requirements must be completed and all major requirements must be completed with a C or higher by July 15th for fall Student Teaching and December 15th for spring Student Teaching. 

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.

Foreign Language (Bachelor of Arts in English)

All English Teacher Education majors MUST complete a foreign language at the 115 (second year part I) level. This course requirement may be completed at ISU or at a community college. Consult your English Education advisor on the articulation of any non-ISU foreign language course to verify that it will count toward your degree requirement.


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 specialized areas. Endorsements frequently earned by our graduates include 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 may be delayed.

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

Teacher Candidate Responsibility

It is each individual teacher candidate’s responsibility to follow the plan of study and to register for semester courses in a timely manner while seats are open/available. Teacher candidates must make consistent progress to degree to maintain good standing in the program and retain their cohort seat. 

We recommend that you meet with your advisor a minimum of once a year. Enrollment in ENG 296, ENG 297, and/or ENG 300 requires meeting with the English Education Advisor.

While specific questions can usually be addressed by email or phone, please use the advisor’s appointment link to request a meeting time when you need extended time: review, revise, update plans of study; discuss resources for academic success; seek more information on topics related to program continuance, graduation, and licensure.

Please arrive on time for scheduled advising appointments. If you cannot keep your appointment, please inform the advisor of your cancellation in advance.

Drop-ins are welcome if a scheduled advisee is not waiting.

Advisor's Appointment Scheduling Link:


Class and Field Work Attendance

Classroom communities benefit from the intentional preparations and active presence of all. Therefore, it is the expectation of the English Education Program that you will be present, on time, and engaged for every English Education class and all field work (ENG 194, 296, 297, 395, ST). Your colleagues will rely on your class contributions just as your learning is enriched by others.

Similar to what is expected of practicing teachers, you must contact your instructor in advance of missing class or field work as well as submit in advance of your absence any assignments due. Late arrival may be considered as an absence. Excused absences are rare, granted at the instructor’s discretion, and often reserved for emergencies as per University Policies. Unexcused and/or excessive absences will negatively impact course grades and may result in a Disposition Concern. In-class learning cannot be replicated, though it is your responsibility to confer with colleagues if you miss class.

Do note that to successfully complete course requirements you must also complete all clinical hours required at the assigned school site by the deadlines established within each course.


Important information regarding program deadlines and procedures is sent on a regular basis to your ISU email account.

Please check your ISU email account on a daily basis OR redirect your ISU email to a personal email account. Failure to acknowledge and respond promptly to email communications from program faculty/staff may result in disciplinary action. Use your ilstu email account for all professional communications; compose and edit email content to demonstrate the quality writing skills expected of a future English teacher.

In addition, the English Education Listserv distributes important notifications regarding events, leadership opportunities, scholarships, and advance notice of upcoming deadlines. Read these emails before deleting them; you are responsible for knowledge of and actions related to the information distributed on the listserv.

Student Access and Accomodation Services

Any student needing to arrange a reasonable accommodation for a documented disability and/or medical/mental health condition should contact Student Access and Accommodation Services at 350 Fell Hall, (309) 438-5853, or visit StudentAccess.IllinoisState.edu .

Mental Health Resources

Life at college can get very complicated. Students sometimes feel overwhelmed, lost, experience anxiety or depression, struggle with relationship difficulties or diminished self-esteem. However, many of these issues can be effectively addressed with a little help. Student Counseling Services (SCS) helps students cope with difficult emotions and life stressors. Student Counseling Services is staffed by experienced, professional psychologists and counselors, who are attuned to the needs of college students. The services are FREE and completely confidential. Find out more at counseling.illinoisstate.edu or by calling (309) 438-3655.

Application Meeting

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 application meeting, you must show proof of enrollment in or credit for TCH 216.

Applicants may still be halted from continuance after the student teaching application has been submitted. A delay in the student teaching semester and graduation will result. (see handbook on Continuance)

  • Director approval is required if you plan to apply into the Professional Development School (PDS) program.
  • If you plan to apply for the University High School internship experience (deadline end of January), please notify the Coordinator of Student Teaching.

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.

Overview of the Experience

You will be enrolled in STT399 Student Teaching for 12 credit hours that are earned between the official start and end dates of the 13 week experience. You will be placed in a high school English classroom with a licensed teacher who will be your cooperating teacher and mentor.

A university supervisor oversees your progress by: responding to weekly LiveText journals, observing and evaluating your lesson planning and lesson delivery skills, serving as the liaison between the cooperating teacher and the ETE program, and coaching you to become an effective and reflective teacher.

The student teaching grade consists of two 6 hour blocks; you will receive one letter grade for each segment. The final student teaching grade represents evaluation and input from your cooperating teacher, university supervisor, coordinator of student teaching , and the program’s director. See the student teaching course syllabus for more information on the assignments and assessments included in the final student teaching grade(s).

edTPA (Educational Teacher Performance Assessment)

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 completing each of these tasks:

  • Task 1 - Planning for Instruction and Assessment
  • Task 2 - Instructing and Engaging Students in Learning
  • Task 3 - 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 (CTE). The portfolio is considered an evidence-based assessment of candidates' capacity to plan, instruct and assess. Beginning Fall 2015, achieving a passing score on the edTPA is both a licensure and graduation requirement.

The score is determined by 15 rubrics (5 point scale) with a 75 point total.(Passing Scores for 2016-17: 35; 2017-18: 37; 2018-19: 39; 2019-20: 39).

Many resource supports are available throughout the sequence and during student teaching to develop the skill sets assessed by the edTPA and to offer appropriate assistance (as defined by SCALE/edTPA) in preparing the portfolio for submission. For more information go to the Lauby Teacher Education Center website .


Attendance at the following is mandatory: a two-day Professional Issues Seminar at the beginning of the student teaching experience, the edTPA workshop, and a one-day Exit Seminar at the end of the student teaching experience. These meetings are held on campus.

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

See the student teaching syllabus for additional information.

Contact the Coordinator of Student Teaching: Jennifer Renchen


Completion of the English Teacher Education Sequence, including a pass score on the edTPA and a C or better for the student teaching grade, fulfills the state licensure requirements for a grades 9 – 12 English Language Arts teacher. Licensure requirements are subject to change according to mandates of the State Teacher Licensure Board or the Illinois Legislature. The advising information you receive will reflect new or revised mandates, that may, with little notice, necessitate changes in a teacher candidate’s course of study.

The English Education Advisor will present information to student teachers at the Professional Issues Seminar and the Exit Seminar.

Contact the English Education Advisor: Alan Lin