Quick! Catch! Two words that you’ve probably heard ad nauseum if you’re one for contact sports. However, if you’re in the field of education, it’s almost customary to your life. Week after week, you’re constantly bombarded with shifting policies, requirement checks, and yards and yards of red tape. It’s madness, but it’s life. That’s why it’s key to stay on top of your game…and know your resources.
By attending DePaul University’s School of Education (SOE), you’ve been instructed to stay alert and keep your eyes open. More importantly, you’ve been conditioned to utilize your resources. (We hope so!) You know about our up-to-date SOE website, you’ve printed off the Get the Facts! sheets, and you’re a constant subscriber to our weekly updates. (We hope so!) But what about outside DePaul? Where do you go from there?
“Uh, not so fast, pal! What’s ISBE?” To answer your question, ISBE is the acronym for the Illinois State Board of Education. Bottom line: You’re going to want to know this one. We’re not saying you need to etch it into your notebooks or run and get a tattoo of the four letters on your arm, but if someone says it, your bell should ring. And loud.
On the topic of resources, ISBE is your overflowing oasis in a desert of confusion – that is, if you plan on being an educator in the state of Illinois. Their website is comprehensive and should be your bookmark; as in, you-need-to-put-this-on-your-internet-browser-tool-bar-sort of bookmark. It contains all the necessary information surrounding certification; as a current student, this is incredibly valuable as it’s where you can download application forms to receive your certificate. That’s a big deal, right?
Because it’s so comprehensive, there’s a lot available. We’re not kidding when we say it’s overflowing. There’s much to discover and much to use. Fortunately, the site’s provided an easy-to-use A-Z certification index, where you can readily navigate the areas you’re looking for in alphabetical order. Looking for information on types of certificates? Go to C and you’ll find “Certificate Types”. How about some literature on the process of Renewing an Administrative Certificate? Scroll down (or click “R”) and you’ll find it under…okay, you got the point. Want all the requirements to certification all tied up with a bow? How about a .pdf, instead? You can sigh in relief now.
Before you do, though, there’s more. You can also consult the Educator’s Certification System (ECS). This is an online database that allows both educators and district administrators to access certification data from ISBE’s Teacher Certification Information System (TCIS). This comes in handy if you’re applying for your certificate, recording your Continuing Professional Development Units (CPDU), or if you want to see if your own test results (including whether or not you passed) are appended to your own profile.
Speaking of which, you’ll want to create an account. In fact, all future educators are strongly encouraged to use ECS. The good news is that registration is simple. You just need to be able to find it. At the homepage for ISBE, you’ll see ECS in the top toolbar, just underneath the header, which you’ll want to click. From there, you can click on “Click here to access your private certification account.” After this, you’ll be taken to a new screen. If you scroll down, you’ll see a button that reads: “Create New Account”. Click that and you’ll be taken through a 14 step process. Once you’ve created the account, you’ll be able to use the ECS. If you need help, ISBE has provided several documents that will help you; from creating an account to the many uses of the ECS. Those are available here.
More than anything, you should really just take a look around. Outside of DePaul, this is going to be your ultimate resource – again, if you plan on teaching within Illinois – so you should ideally be familiar with the site. There’s a lot there and you’ll want to be a pro with the website come game time. What are you waiting for? Go. Play ball!
Links to Bookmark:
- ISBE: The whole thing. You’ll want this.
- A-Z Index: Easy to find information.
- ECS: Check on your profile and certification status.
- Requirements for Certification: It’s a .pdf to save.
- Professional Development and Renewal of Certificates: This says it all.