Certification and Licensure Overview
In Illinois, there are two regulatory agencies that provide credentials to speech-language pathologists. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is charged with determining who is qualified to work in the Illinois public schools. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulations (IDFPR) is charged with determining who is qualified to work in all other settings. In order to work within the state of Illinois, a speech-language pathologist must hold the appropriate credentials. All work settings within the state of Illinois require the speech-language pathologist to have credentials from ISBE or IDFPR. Most speech-language pathologists hold credentials from both regulatory agencies.
Illinois State Board of Education
Updated: September 2014
PLEASE NOTE: As changes continue to occur with ISBE, ISHA’s Division for Legislative & Regulatory Affairs and ISHA's School Affairs Committee have been working diligently to stay abreast of the information relevant to SLPs holding school credentials. We have apprised our membership of all of the information we presently have. Specific questions need to be pursued with regional offices of education, ISBE, your school administrators, your union representatives, or TRS.
The Division for Legislative & Regulatory Affairs and School Affairs Committee continue to monitor legislation presented by ISBE, in an effort to keep the ISHA membership informed.
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) provides credentials to individuals who work in the public schools. As of July 1, 2013, ISBE issues Educator Licenses to speech-language pathologists working in the public schools. Teaching certificates previously issued by ISBE to speech-language pathologists were automatically converted to Educator Licenses under the system. Speech-language pathologists should be aware that the Educator Licenses are now electronic; no paper licenses will be issued.
It is recommended that speech-language pathologists review their Educator License online to ensure it reflects all current certifications on the Educator License Information System (ELIS). Each person should have either the Teaching or Non-Teaching SLP endorsement listed. Please contact your Regional Office of Education or the ISBE Licensure Call Center at (217)557-6763 if you have questions or concerns about your credential exchange. For general questions relating to the Professional Educator Licenses, please check the Frequently Asked Questions Document prepared by ISBE.
The requirements for the Professional Educator License for out-of-state school service personnel applicants are now the same as those requirements for in-state applicants. The School Code, which is found in the Compiled Statutes section of the Illinois General Assembly website has the most current version of the requirements. In the School Code (Section 21B-35(a)), it states that out-of-state school service personnel applicants must meet the same requirements as in-state applicants concerning coursework in (1) methods of instruction of the exceptional child, (2) methods of reading and reading content, and (3) instructional strategies for the English language learners. There is no specific credit hour requirement mentioned within the School Code for out-of-state school service personnel applicants.
With regard to (1) methods of instruction of the exceptional child, the requirements are coursework addressing:
A) the psychology of, the identification of, and the methods of instruction for the exceptional child, including without limitation the learning disabled [105 ILCS 5/21B-20(1)], which shall focus on thecharacteristics and methods of instruction for cross-categorical special education students so that all teachers:
i) understand the impact that disabilities have on the cognitive, physical, emotional, social and communication development of an individual and provide opportunities that support the intellectual, social and personal development of all students;
ii) understand how students differ in their approaches to learning and create instructional opportunities that are adapted to diverse learners; and
iii) understand instructional planning and design instruction based on knowledge of the discipline, students, community and curriculum goal;
With regard to (2) methods of reading and reading content, the requirements are coursework to address each of the following standards:
i) understand how students acquire reading competency;
ii) understand reading deficits and reading levels, and how they contribute to a student's ability to succeed in kindergarten through grade 12;
iii) understand the correlation of behavior and classroom culture (discipline, management, control, influence on engagement) on reading development and reading acquisition; and
iv) use the skills and strategies specific to their school support personnel specialty to support or enhance reading skill development, as applicable.
The components for (3) instructional strategies for English language learners are typically covered in CAA-accredited speech-language pathology programs.
Illinois Division of Financial and Professional Regulation
The Illinois Division of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) issues licenses for individuals to work within the field of speech-language pathologist and audiologist in the state of Illinois. A license is required of all master’s degree speech-language pathologists, associate’s degree speech-language pathologist assistants, and audiologists. Bachelor’s degree speech-language paraprofessionals are ineligible for a license issued by IDFPR; therefore, they cannot work outside of the school setting or for a contract agency. While most speech-language pathologists working in the school setting hold a license issued by IDFPR, an unlicensed speech-language pathologist who has an Educator License issued by ISBE can work in the schools. A speech-language pathologist who does not hold a license issued by IDFPR cannot bill Medicaid or private insurance or supervise an assistant or paraprofessional. An audiologist or speech-language pathology assistant who does not hold a license issued by IDFPR is unable to work in any setting within the state of Illinois.
IDFPR requires that speech-language pathologists and audiologists complete 20 hours of continuing education for license renewal. Licenses are issued for two years and expire October 31st of odd numbered years. Speech-language pathologist assistants must complete 10 hours of continuing education for license renewal.
For more information regarding Illinois licensure by IDFPR, please see the IDFPR website.
The following articles provide information on supervision of SLPAs, SLPPs, Clinical Fellows and student clinicians: