CS endorsement

This page is a resource for CPS teachers in the cohort(s) seeking a computer science endorsement via the joint ISU/NEIU TECS program.

The TECS home page has a lot more details about the program and should be your primary reference; look there if things aren't explained on this page.

Useful contacts
CPS: Andy Rasmussen (arasmussen [at] cps.edu)
General logistics questions (how do I join a cohort? whom do I ask about X?)
TECS / Illinois State: Profs. Kenton Machina and Anu Gokhale (kfmachin [at] ilstu.edu, aagokhale [at] ilstu.edu)
Questions about whether prior coursework counts toward the endorsement
Questions about Illinois State coursework
NEIU: Prof. Peter Kimmel (p-kimmel [at]  neiu.edu)
Questions about NEIU coursework (does my prior coursework place me out of course X?) 
registration@neiu.edu for questions about drop/add during a semester.

Resources for teachers currently in a cohort

How to Join A Cohort
If enough teachers (20+) are interested in going through the coursework for the endorsement at the same time, they form a cohort of teachers. Advantages to the cohort model are reduced tuition rates at NEIU, and the chance to take courses with your peers in specially contracted courses. You are also free to complete the TECS coursework independently at ISU/NEIU if this better fits your schedule.

Instructions related to joining a cohort and applying to NEIU are here (updated payment schedule is on NEIU's page). The next cohort will be starting coursework in spring 2018; get in touch with Andy Rasmussen (arasmussen [at] cps.edu) to be apprised of updates. NEIU's application deadline for spring 2018 is November 15, though they will accept transcripts and other materials until December 1.

The first cohort of teachers started coursework in January 2017, and the second cohort started in Fall 2017.

Expectations of participants
Those who join a CS endorsement cohort are expected to:
  • Maintain communication with CS4All and NEIU's department of computer science (via your NEIU email account),
  • Pay tuition to NEIU on time, and
  • Sign an agreement (forthcoming) with CPS regarding the tuition reimbursement program.
The agreement with CPS will be a modification of the standard CPS tuition reimbursement agreement. CPS teachers participating in TECS who pass courses at NEIU with a 'C' or better will be eligible for an $800 tuition reimbursement.

Obtaining the endorsement recommendation
ISBE currently requires 18/24 credits for the middle school/high school endorsement, plus a content-area test for the HS endorsement. In February 2018 the MS requirements will change to closely match those for the HS endorsement (see notes below). The content test must have been completed within 10 years of applying for the endorsement.

Illinois State will do the work of recommending teachers for the endorsement if they are participating in the TECS program. ISU will recommend for an endorsement if all coursework and the content test have been completed in the 10 years prior to the application for the endorsement.

Note that ISBE does not put a time limit on when coursework was taken, but ISU's registar does. If you have completed relevant coursework more than 10 years ago, you can apply directly to ISBE for the endorsement.

CS Master's Degree Programs
For those of you interested in furthering your CS education, we have compiled a list of CS Master's degree programs in the area and online, and point out those with a special focus for educators.

Notes about upcoming changes to the CS endorsement
Content test update
In September 2018, ETS will be releasing a new multi-state praxis for CS. Illinois may be one of the states using this new test, which is intended to align closely with the new CS K-12 Framework and CSTA standards.
For middle school teachers
The MS endorsement structure is changing after January 31, 2018. What this means for you is that the MS endorsement will much more closely resemble the HS endorsement, i.e. it will require 21 credit hours of content-area coursework, 3 credit hours of teaching methodology coursework, and completing the content test. The TECS pathway prepares MS teachers to meet these adjusted endorsement requirements.
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Andrew Rasmussen,
Nov 1, 2017, 10:11 AM
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