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EMS in Illinois

Teachers discussing best practices.

In 2015, researchers from the University of Illinois joined a cross-university project team funded by the CME Group Foundation focused on developing a set of courses to better prepare Illinois elementary school teachers to teach mathematics. In addition, this project team began meeting with the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to explore the potential for the creation of an EMS endorsement in Illinois.

With encouragement from ISBE, the project was extended in 2019 to include conducting a landscape study of Illinois school districts and higher education institutions to document the need for EMS credentials in Illinois. Here are links to the full report or to a brief summary of the results.

As of September 2023, teachers in Illinois who hold a Professional Educator’s License (PEL) for Grades 1-6 may add an Elementary Mathematics Specialist endorsement to their PEL by completing an approved program.