North Central College - Naperville, IL

Highly Qualified

You may be asked on a teaching application or in an interview if you are "highly qualified". This is a specific term used by the State of Illinois to indicate that you have the appropriate education and training to be a teacher (see answer below).  Here is how the State articulates what it means to be "highly qualified":

State of Illinois Criteria to be Highly Qualified

Grades 1-5: General Education

A teacher who has primary responsibility for teaching content in core academic subjects will be considered "highly qualified" if he or she:

a) holds an elementary or a special K-12 certificate with an endorsement for self-contained general elementary education and has passed the Elementary/Middle Grades test; or

b) holds an elementary or a special K-12 certificate valid for the subjects taught and has passed the content-area test applicable to that endorsement; or

c) holds an early childhood certificate that is valid for the primary grades and has passed the Early Childhood test (applicable only through Grade 3); or

d) holds an elementary, an early childhood, or a special K-12 certificate valid for the subjects taught and qualifies with 100 points under the Illinois HOUSSE, if applicable.

Middle Grades (6-8): General Education

A teacher who has primary responsibility for teaching content in core academic subjects,
whether in a self-contained or a departmentalized setting, will be considered "highly qualified" if he or she holds an elementary, a special K-12, or a secondary certificate valid for the subjects taught and:

a) has passed the Elementary/Middle Grades test; or
b) for each core subject area of teaching responsibility:

1) has passed the content-area test specific to the subject taught, or

2) has completed a major or coursework equivalent to a major, or

3) holds a master's or higher degree in a field directly related to the area of
assignment, or

4) holds certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching
Standards (NBPTS) or an Illinois master certificate, or

5) qualifies with 100 points under the Illinois HOUSSE, if applicable.

Secondary Grades (9-12): General Education

A teacher who has primary responsibility for teaching content in core academic subjects will be considered "highly qualified" if he or she holds a secondary, a special K-12, or, for Grade 9 only, an elementary certificate valid for the subjects taught and, for each core subject area of teaching responsibility:

a) has passed the relevant content-area test; or

b) has completed a major or coursework equivalent to a major; or

c) holds a master's or higher degree in a field directly related to the area of
assignment; or

d) holds NBPTS certification or an Illinois master certificate; or

e) qualifies with 100 points under the Illinois HOUSSE, if applicable.

Here is how you answer the question, "Yes, I am "highly qualified" in my certification content area because my North Central College teacher preparation program provided me with all the State requirements and I passed my content area test."