The Illinois State Board of Education’s State Educator Preparation and Licensure Board has officially recognized Lindenwood University-Belleville as a state institution and educational unit, streamlining the process for future graduates of the institution to obtain teacher and school counseling licensure in the state of Illinois.
“Starting this fall, incoming freshmen will be directly licensed to teach in Illinois,” said Dr. Steven Suess, chair of the Division of Education and Counseling. “This is a great advantage to graduates of the program because with automatic licensure in Illinois, students will no longer have to apply to transfer their Missouri certification to Illinois.”
Suess said because Lindenwood Belleville was originally created as an extension location of the Lindenwood University campus in St. Charles, Mo., education students in Belleville earned certification to teach in the state of Missouri upon graduation.
Provost Dr. Renee Porter said Lindenwood Belleville leaders were honored and gratified to hear the news, saying she feels the board’s decision validates the quality of Lindenwood Belleville’s curriculum.
“We are elated to be an additional Illinois approved teacher education and school counseling provider to the region,” Porter said. “We’ve always had a very rigorous education and counseling curriculum, and now with this certification, our students will have one less step to find employment. I think this speaks to the university’s commitment to its students and graduates, and we’re very proud of it.”
The change affects students in Lindenwood Belleville’s elementary education and K-12 physical education programs in addition to the graduate program in school counseling.
Another advantage to graduates earning automatic Illinois licensure is that Missouri offers reciprocity to Illinois licensed educators. Suess said that the Lindenwood system Chief Certification Officer Dr. Tammy Moore also works individually with students who choose to pursue out-of-state certification beyond Missouri.
To learn more, contact Suess at SSuess@lindenwood.edu or 618-239-6092.