Important Credentials Update

January 27, 2014

Illinois moved from a certification to a licensure system on July 1, 2013, and all school certificates were exchanged for Professional Educator Licenses.  Prior to this, speech-language pathologists working in schools held either a Type 10 teaching certificate, a Type 03/09 teaching certificate, or a Type 73 School Service Personnel Certificate.  The Type 10 and the Type 03/09 certificates should have been exchanged for a Professional Educator License with an endorsement reading Speech Language Pathologist (Teaching).  The Type 73 certificates should have been exchanged for a Professional Educator License with an endorsement reading Speech Language Pathologist (Non-teaching).  

ISHA urges all speech language pathologists with school credentials to check their new endorsements through the ELIS system and review for accuracy.  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.

After you have ensured that your credentials were appropriately exchanged, you have the choice that was described in the last ISHA newsletter:  

“Beginning on January 1, 2014, and ending on April 30, 2014, a person holding a Professional Educator License with a school speech language pathologist (teaching) may exchange his or her school speech language pathologist (teaching) endorsement for a school speech language pathologist (non-teaching) endorsement through application to the State Board of Education.  There shall be no cost for this exchange.”

The reason that this choice has been given is the difference in the continuing education requirements mandated for the teaching vs. non-teaching speech language pathologist endorsement:

For SLP (teaching) endorsements“Each licensee shall complete a total of 120 hours of professional development per 5-year renewal cycle in order to renew the license, except as otherwise provided in this section.”

For SLP (non-teaching) endorsements: “Beginning July 1, 2014, any professional educator licensee endorsed for school support personnel who is employed and performing services in Illinois public schools and who holds an active and current professional license issued by the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation related to the endorsement areas on the Professional Educator License shall be deemed to have satisfied the continuing professional development requirements provided for in this Section. Such individuals shall be required to pay only registration fees to renew the Professional Educator License. An individual who does not hold a license issued by the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation shall complete professional development requirements for the renewal of a Professional Educator License provided for in this section.”  

Each individual who holds a Professional Educator License with an endorsement in Speech Language Pathology (Teaching) needs to decide whether or not to exchange for the endorsement in Speech Language Pathology (Non-teaching).  ISHA urges individuals to have conversations with their employers about present and future roles and responsibilities, and the credentials that are required for those.  In addition, consider future goals.  For example, if you wish to become a principal, you cannot enter an Illinois Principal Preparation program without a current teaching endorsement.  ISBE has indicated additional teaching endorsements on a Professional Educator License will not be impacted by exchanging a Speech Language Pathology (teaching) endorsement for a Speech Language Pathology (non-teaching) endorsement.  ISHA does not have information about the possible impact a change may have on the evaluation process for SLPs, union status, or retirement; please contact your union representatives or TRS if you have questions about those issues.  

If an individual wishes to exchange her Professional Educator License, the procedures are as follows:

  1. Go to the Illinois State Board of Education Website:
  2. Click on “Forms” at the top of the page below the State Seal.
  3. Click on the second choice Educator Licensure (Please use this link for accessing Licensure Forms!).
  4. Scroll down to Form# 73-77 “Request for the Exchange of a Speech Language Pathologist (Teaching) Endorsement for a Speech Language Pathologist (Non-Teaching) Endorsement”.
  5. Complete the form and follow the directions for mailing it to ISBE.  

On a related topic: The ISHA Legislative Committee gets frequent questions about the requirements for a Professional Educator License with an endorsement in Speech Language Pathology (Non-teaching) for those who have completed approved programs outside of Illinois.  ISBE has clarified the answer to this:  coursework (noted by credit hour) in the instruction of exceptional learners, reading, English Language Learners and reading in the content area is required.  This coursework will not be required if the content was embedded in the approved program.  Institutions will complete the ISBE State Approved Program Verification form for School Support Personnel indicating that standards in the areas mentioned above were included in their approved program.  If, however, those standards were not met in the approved program, then an applicant will have to complete coursework in the area of deficiency. ISHA will post the information for out-of-state applicants on the website as soon as we have information about how to access the form.

Since these ISBE changes were made in July, ISHA’s Legislative and Regulatory Affairs and School Affairs have been working hard 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 that we cannot answer will have to be pursued with regional offices of education, ISBE, your school administrators, your union representatives, or TRS.  
Please share this information with all speech-language pathologists in Illinois.