ILLINOIS: TOP 10 BACHELOR’S PROGRAMS

Illinois is home to some of the top universities in the United States and for this reason, it is no surprise that it has many quality options for future teachers. At the bachelor’s level, students can choose from programs at a wide range of public and private institutions. To help you begin the process of becoming a licensed Illinois teacher, we’ve compiled detailed program descriptions, ranking data and statistics on Illinois top 10 undergraduate programs in education. Read, investigate and start applying now to launch your career as an educator in the state of Illinois.

1.Chicago State University

A proven leader in teacher education, Chicago State University is known for its commitment to rigor, mentorship and engaging field placements, as well as job placement success. The College of Education offers bachelor’s programs leading to licensure in early childhood education, elementary education and physical education. Chicago State University’s teacher preparation programs also have history on their side. Chicago State University was founded in 1867 in Blue Island, Illinois as a teacher training school. Although it has evolved over time from a school dedicated to teacher training to a comprehensive university, teacher training remains a central part of CSU’s legacy and 21st-century mandate.

Program Facts

  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 36128
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 27499
  • Average state starting salary$ 37166
  • Student to Faculty Ratio 12 :1

Program Rankings

  • Expense Score 9.3
  • Acceptance Rate Score 8.7
  • Graduation Rate Score 2.22
  • ROI/Value Score 0.81
  • Student to Faculty Score 5.1

2.Eastern Illinois University

At Eastern Illinois University students can be assured that they will receive the training needed to tackle any challenge that come their way in the classroom. Bachelor’s degrees leading to teacher licensure are available in early childhood, elementary and middle level education, as well as secondary education. Field-based experiences are a critical part of EIU’s approach. Preparing students for today’s classroom and for the classrooms of tomorrow is also a critical part of the school’s approach—all students graduate prepared to teach in technologically advanced classrooms and with the skills needed to adapt over time and remain competitive on the job market.

Program Facts

  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 43144
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 23767
  • Average state starting salary$ 37166
  • Student to Faculty Ratio 14 :1

Program Rankings

  • Expense Score 9.1
  • Acceptance Rate Score 5.3
  • Graduation Rate Score 6.45
  • ROI/Value Score 7.1
  • Student to Faculty Score 3

3.Western Illinois University

Outstanding faculty and engaging field placements are just a start at Western Illinois University. Students can complete bachelor’s degrees leading to teacher certification in elementary, early childhood, and secondary education (endorsements at the high school level are available in agriculture education, English, mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics and social science/history). K-12 specializations include art, French, music, physical education, Spanish and special education (learning behavior specialist 1). Notably, Western Illinois University has tradition on its side—the university was established in 1899 as the Western Illinois Normal and Training School and opened its doors in 1902. While it is now a comprehensive university, teacher training remains a critical part of the university’s mandate and this is likely why Western Illinois University graduates also continue to see job market success.

Program Facts

  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 43816
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 24000
  • Average state starting salary$ 37166
  • Student to Faculty Ratio 15 :1

Program Rankings

  • Expense Score 8.9
  • Acceptance Rate Score 5.6
  • Graduation Rate Score 5.9
  • ROI/Value Score 6.9
  • Student to Faculty Score 2.2

4.Moody Bible Institute

If you’re looking to complete your teacher training on a faith-based campus in Illinois, look no further than Moody Bible Institute. In keeping with the school’s Christ-centered curriculum, Moody’s elementary education major helps students develop “a Christian philosophy of education and the skills needed for teaching in a Christian school (grades K–8).” Notably, while the program meets certification requirements for the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), an accrediting association representing nearly 4,000 Christian schools worldwide, it is not accredited by other agencies and therefore not a transferrable degree that will be recognized by most Illinois public schools. Nevertheless, graduates of the program do find work in Christian schools, missionary schools and international Christian schools worldwide.

Program Facts

  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 45424
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 0
  • Average state starting salary$ 37166
  • Student to Faculty Ratio 17 :1

Program Rankings

  • Expense Score 8.7
  • Acceptance Rate Score 4.7
  • Graduation Rate Score 7.97
  • ROI/Value Score 0
  • Student to Faculty Score 0.91

5.Northeastern Illinois University

At Northeastern Illinois University, aspiring Illinois teachers will find supportive faculty, engaging field placements and outstanding mentorship, including job search mentorship. At the bachelor’s level, students can pursue a B.A. in early childhood education, bilingual/bicultural elementary education or elementary education. Among the program’s strengths are its deep commitment to diversity and social justice. Indeed, community and professional experiences in the program focus on preparing candidates to teach students in today’s culturally and linguistically diverse classrooms and to bring a social justice orientation to everything from pedagogy to curriculum development to school leadership.

Program Facts

  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 31852
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 15000
  • Average state starting salary$ 37166
  • Student to Faculty Ratio 16 :1

Program Rankings

  • Expense Score 9.7
  • Acceptance Rate Score 5.6
  • Graduation Rate Score 2.21
  • ROI/Value Score 9.9
  • Student to Faculty Score 1.5

6.Northern Illinois University

When it comes to teacher preparation, Northern Illinois University has a strong reputation statewide. At the bachelor’s level, students can pursue degrees in preschool, elementary, or middle school education, as well as special education and physical education. There are many reasons for aspiring teachers to choose Northern Illinois University’s teacher preparation program. First, the program has been producing Illinois teachers since 1899. Second, it continues to rank as one of the very best teacher preparation programs in the state today. This no doubt reflects its commitment to hiring outstanding faculty (it currently has over 90 tenured and tenure-track faculty on staff). Finally, the school is committed to ensuring that all qualified candidates can afford to attend. In 2016-2017, the school distributed nearly $175,000 in scholarships to incoming students. Successful job placement is another hallmark of Northern Illinois University’s success.

Program Facts

  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 49384
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 23500
  • Average state starting salary$ 37166
  • Student to Faculty Ratio 15 :1

Program Rankings

  • Expense Score 8.2
  • Acceptance Rate Score 5.9
  • Graduation Rate Score 5.64
  • ROI/Value Score 7.3
  • Student to Faculty Score 2.2

7.University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

With tradition on its side, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has a lot to offer aspiring Illinois teachers, including a long track record of producing some of the state’s most esteemed educators and a high level of job placement for graduates. At the bachelor’s level, students have four options: early childhood education, elementary education, middle grade education, and special education. There is also a secondary education minor, which is a component of the teaching option within the following majors: biology, chemistry, English, geology, history, mathematics, and physics. For anyone looking for an affordable school with a solid reputation in Illinois and nationwide, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is highly recommended.

Program Facts

  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 64840
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 20950
  • Average state starting salary$ 37166
  • Student to Faculty Ratio 20 :1

Program Rankings

  • Expense Score 7.8
  • Acceptance Rate Score 5.3
  • Graduation Rate Score 8.97
  • ROI/Value Score 8.9
  • Student to Faculty Score 0.1

8.Illinois State University

At Illinois State University, future teachers will discover supportive faculty, great mentorship and a program focused on preparing teachers to obtain jobs in the classroom of the future. Bachelor’s degree programs leading to teacher licensure are available in early childhood education, elementary education, bilingual/bicultural education, middle school education, and K-12 education (with endorsements in everything from agriculture to biology to communications to art, dance and music). Best of all, the school is committed to ensuring that no outstanding future teachers get left behind due to financial constraints. For information about the school’s available scholarships, visit their education scholarship page.

Program Facts

  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 49352
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 22500
  • Average state starting salary$ 37166
  • Student to Faculty Ratio 18 :1

Program Rankings

  • Expense Score 8.4
  • Acceptance Rate Score 4.6
  • Graduation Rate Score 7.63
  • ROI/Value Score 7.9
  • Student to Faculty Score 0.51

9.Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville

At Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville future teachers receive the education and training needed to excel in the 21st-century classroom. Bachelor’s degrees leading to teacher licensure are available in early childhood education, elementary education, several subject areas at the secondary and K-12 levels, and special education. In all, the school offers over two dozen undergraduate degrees in education and aspiring teachers can work with different Southern Illinois University programs to become teachers in areas of specialization ranging from mathematics to music to agricultural education. With a strong track record statewide among employers, aspiring Illinois teachers can’t go wrong when they choose to complete their education degree at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.

Program Facts

  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 35752
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 22500
  • Average state starting salary$ 37166
  • Student to Faculty Ratio 18 :1

Program Rankings

  • Expense Score 9.5
  • Acceptance Rate Score 3.1
  • Graduation Rate Score 5.46
  • ROI/Value Score 7.9
  • Student to Faculty Score 0.51

10.Eureka College

At Eureka College, future Illinois teachers will find supportive faculty, rigorous course work, engaging field placements and job placement support. Prospective teacher candidates combine a core liberal arts education with advanced courses in education and engaging field placements. Notably, students who graduate from Eureka’s Teacher Education Program meet all the Professional Teaching Standards established by the Illinois State Teacher Licensure Board; these standards include professionalism, assessment and classroom management. At the bachelor’s level, students can pursue degrees leading to teacher licensure in elementary education (grades 1-6); middle-grade language arts, mathematics, science, or social Sciences; English (grades 9–12); mathematics (grades 9–12) social science (grades 9–12); special education; and vocal music (grades K-12).

Program Facts

  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 80240
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 25500
  • Average state starting salary$ 37166
  • Student to Faculty Ratio 12 :1

Program Rankings

  • Expense Score 6.8
  • Acceptance Rate Score 4.8
  • Graduation Rate Score 6.23
  • ROI/Value Score 3.4
  • Student to Faculty Score 5.1

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