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Saint Xavier University Chicago Campus Residence Halls

Alternative Licensure Secondary Education

The alternative licensure path is an option for prospective Secondary Education teachers who need to earn a salary while pursuing a teaching license. This Secondary Education Alternative Licensure Program enables candidates to hold a paid position as the teacher of record while pursuing an Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL).

The Illinois Administrative Code (23 Illinois Administrative Code 25, Section 25.60) provides an alternate route for non-licensed college graduates to obtain a PEL in Illinois. Similar to any other licensure program, alternative licensure programs follow rigorous guidelines that include accelerated coursework, field experiences, teaching experiences, and licensure testing. Candidates enroll in seven semesters of program coursework including two summer sessions as they complete 43 credit hour program leading to a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT).

The Secondary Education alternative licensure program simultaneously combines accelerated coursework with classroom experiences and one-to-one mentoring. Candidates in this program will have the guidance and support of a mentor teacher, a University coordinator and a site coach throughout the two years of required provisional teaching.

This program is designed for those who already hold a bachelor's degree in one of the following specifically approved content areas: biology, chemistry, computer science, English/language arts, history, mathematics, music, physics, political science, Spanish or visual arts. Potential candidates who do not hold a bachelor's degree in one of these approved content areas will be required to submit transcripts to the state superintendent to be reviewed for equivalency.

Program Benchmarks




Year 1

Year 2

GPA: Minimum 3.0

Maintain 3.0 or above

Maintain 3.0 or above C

GPA: Minimum 3.0

Bachelor's Degree (or equivalent of a degree 32 credit hours) in biology, chemistry computer science, ELA, history, mathematics, music, physics, political science, Spanish, or visual arts.

Admission Interview

Pass one of the Senior High School Content Area Tests (Grades 9-12): Computer Science (038) test, English Language Arts (207) test, Mathematics (208) test, Science - Biology (105) test, Science - Chemistry (106) test, Science - Physics (116) test, Social Science - History (246) test, and Social Science - Political Science (247) test.

Or, pass one of the following ILTS content area tests:

Music (212) test, Foreign Language: Spanish (260) or Visual Arts (145) test.

Complete the Professional Dispositions Pre Self-Assessment

Complete course of study that includes:

  • Instructional planning
  • Instructional strategies
  • Special education
  • Reading
  • English language learning (ELL)
  • Classroom management
  • Assessment of students
  • Use of data to drive instruction
  • 30 hours of field experiences

Complete additional coursework relative to the standards set forth in 23 Ill. Adm. Code 24, Standards for all Illinois Teachers, the national SPA and the State Board of Education's Social and Emotional Learning Standards.

Satisfactory instructor assessments of professional dispositions

Successful completion of all program coursework.

Professional Dispositions Post Self-Assessment

Apply for Provisional Alternative Educator License

Complete VIRTUS Training

Pass Criminal Background Check/ Fingerprinting

Maintain GPA of 3.0 or above

Satisfactory instructor assessments of professional dispositions

Pass the edTPA by the end of fall II semester

Maintain GPA of 3.0 or above


Target performance on the formative Danielson evaluation

Curriculum competency evaluation rating of 3 or above in the specific content area.

Recommended for second year of residency by principal of school and program coordinator.

Target performance on the summative Danielson evaluation.

Curriculum competency evaluation rating of 3 or above in the specific content area.

Completion of SXU graduation requirements.

Rating of "proficient" or higher at the conclusion of the comprehensive assessment required under subsection (c)(7) by which candidates are recommended for the PEL.

Sequence of Professional Education Courses

Courses are designed for hybrid/blended delivery; all face-to-face class meetings are scheduled for evenings. Total of 43 credit hours.

Spring 1

  • Education Orientation (online) (0)
  • Cycle of Effective Teaching (2)
  • Methods of Teaching English as a Second Language (3)
  • Pre-residency Field Experience Block (1)

Summer 1

  • Methods of Reading and Reading in the Content Area (3)
  • Survey of Students with Exceptionalities (3)

Fall 1

  • Content Specific Methods (mathematics, ELA, history, biology, chemistry, physics, political science, computer science, music, visual arts, or foreign language: Spanish) (2)
  • Adolescent Development (3)
  • Residency 1 (2)

Spring 2

  • Reading and Writing in the Content Area (2)
  • edTPA Seminar (2)
  • Residency 1 (2)

Summer 2

  • Data Driven Instruction (3)
  • Historical Trends and Contemporary Issues in Education (3)

Fall 2

  • Secondary Classroom Environment: Supporting College/Career Readiness (2)
  • Integrating Technology and Instructional Strategies (2)
  • Residency 2 (2)

Spring 3

  • Capstone/Research Seminar (4)
  • Residency 2 (2)

Requirements in this program are subject to change within the time span of one's University career due to changing requirements at national, state and local levels.