Chicago Teacher Residency™ FAQ

Application Qualifications

What grade levels or subjects can I teach?

Depending on what degree program you choose as part of your residency, you can select grades anywhere from K-12.

As for subject (content area), Residents must have completed college-level coursework in the subject area(s) they wish to teach, in accordance with the Illinois State Board of Education standards for licensure.

It is okay to apply even if you identify missing coursework in the credit hours you have, especially if they amount to 6 or fewer semester hours. After you pass the initial screening, we will contact you to discuss options for addressing your missing coursework.

Can I apply to if I'm already a licensed teacher?

Yes, our program is appropriate if you have two or fewer years of full-time teaching experience as a licensed teacher. The Residency program will also allow you to earn a Master’s degree in one year and you will receive a year of full-time, and highly individualized mentoring and guided practice in the classroom.

I am (or will be) licensed to teach in another state, not Illinois. Can I still apply?

Yes! You will, however, need to contact the Illinois State Board of Education to request a transfer of your license to Illinois. Depending on the state you are coming from, this process may require you to pass one or more tests and you may also need additional coursework to meet Illinois requirements for your grade level or content area. Please call our Admissions office at (773) 534-0397 after you submit your online application to discuss whether you need to do anything further to meet Illinois licensure requirements.

Can I enroll to become licensed in another subject or grade-level?

No. We strongly advise against this, as you would be required to enroll in the non-licensed track, resulting in a duplication of previous courses already taken. It would be an easier and less costly option for you to contact Illinois Board of Education directly and ask about your options.

Application Process

What is the application process?

  1. Application
  2. Online Interview
  3. Acceptance
  4. University Admittance
  5. Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) exam (or waive it with your ACT/SAT score) — for non-licensed candidates only
  6. Enrollment

What is the application deadline?

With rolling admissions, we review applications as they come in. However, to be considered for the 2018 cohort, you will need to complete your by one of the following deadlines:

Early Movers: Oct. 27, 2017
Priority: Dec. 9, 2017
Advantage: Jan. 19, 2018
Preferred: Feb. 17, 2018
Regular: Mar. 16, 2018
Final: Apr. 13, 2018
Early Movers for 2019-2020 Cohort: Sept. 21, 2018

If I am not accepted to the program, can I apply again?

You may apply once for each program year, but you must submit an entirely new online application. We encourage you to find ways to strengthen your application (for example, complete missing coursework, obtain work or volunteer experience with urban children, etc.) when reapplying.

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Which tests do I take?

All residents must pass the Illinois Licensure Testing System tests required for their content area before the start of the program:

Grade Level/Content Area Test Codes Test Names
Early Childhood (K-2) 400
Test of Academic Proficiency AND
Early Childhood Education (Final test 1/21/2018) OR
Early Childhood Education (Available starting 1/22/2018)
Elementary (3-5) 400
Test of Academic Proficiency AND
Elementary Education
Middle (6-8) Language Arts 400
Test of Academic Proficiency AND
Middle Grades Language Arts
Middle (6-8) Mathematics 400
Test of Academic Proficiency AND
Middle Grades Mathematics
Middle (6-8) Science 400
Test of Academic Proficiency AND
Middle Grades Science
Special Education (K-12)  400 Test of Academic Proficiency
(Special Education tests are taken during the training year.)

We advise that you choose and register for your tests as early as possible. Applicants who take tests in by February have an advantage, because they may re-test (if necessary) to complete testing requirements in time to join the program in late June or early July.

Test Registration >

How do I register for the tests?

Tests are administered by the Illinois Licensure Testing System (ILTS) in accordance with the requirements for teacher licensure established by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). Register online.

Tests are computer-based and can be scheduled Monday through Saturday at one of over 4,400 Pearson VUE locations worldwide. The total registration fee for all 4 subtests of the Test of Academic Proficiency is $113. If taken separately (for example if you need to retake one part of the test), the registration for each subtest is $68. The registration fee for most content area tests is $122.

Send AUSL a copy of the unofficial score report that you receive upon exiting the testing center. Final scores are reported 2-4 weeks after the test date, also send AUSL a copy as soon as you receive them. (It is not necessary to request that a score report be sent to AUSL or our university partners when you register for your tests.)

Note: Fees and fee policies are established by ILTS and subject to change. AUSL does not represent that this information is guaranteed to be accurate.

Are there any study guides for the tests?

Preparing for the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) is critical. Fewer than one-third of test-takers pass all four sections of the TAP on the first attempt. The more you study and prepare, the greater your chances of doing well on the test.

If you need to retake a test, you must wait 30 days before retaking the same test. You will need to take the test by the end of May for the late June Residency year start. You must pass all required tests before the start of the program.

See below for information about available test preparation resources, many of which are free.

Official Study Guides and Practice Tests

  • Visit the Illinois Licensure Testing System’s preparation resources. ILTS provides free study guides and practice tests, as well as a Computer-Based Testing Tutorial Preview.
  • The Teacher Prep: Basic Skills mobile app may help prepare by offering a review of reading, writing, and mathematics content.
  • An expanded study guide for the TAP is available for $19.95; full-length practice tests are available for the Reading Comprehension, Language Arts/Writing, and Mathematics subtests for $17.95 per practice test or $29.95 for the set.

University Resources

Online Resources

Books and Other Resources

  • Look for books and flash cards at your local library or bookseller.
  • AUSL has a library of resources available for checkout by accepted residents. Contact AUSL Admissions (773-534-0397 or to set up a time to pick up items from our office.
  • GRE or SAT study guides from major test preparation providers (Barrons, The College Board, Kaplan, Princeton Review, etc.) can be helpful in preparing for the Test of Academic Proficiency.
  • Study guides and resources for Praxis tests can also be helpful in studying for the ILTS tests.

I took and passed my Test of Academic Proficiency and/or Content Area tests a few years ago. Can I use those scores?

The ILTS Test of Academic Proficiency (formerly the Basic Skills Test) scores are valid indefinitely. All versions of the Test of Academic Proficiency/Basic Skills test (096, 300, or 400) are acceptable.

Content Area test scores are valid for 10 years from the date of application for educator licensure. Since you will apply for your license in June 2019, only passing scores dated after July 2009 are eligible.

What if I don’t pass the Test of Academic Proficiency or content area test on the first attempt?

You may re-take the Test of Academic Proficiency and/or your content area test(s) if you don’t pass the first time. The best strategy is to invest some time to study the required knowledge before you take the test so you will pass everything on the first attempt.

May I submit an application before I register for or receive my test scores?

Yes! We will review your application before you register for your tests. Upon acceptance into the program, you will be required to register for your tests and pass them before the start of the program.

Financial Aid

Do I get paid?

All Residents receive a $20,000 stipend during their training year deposited directly to you to be used as needed (for tuition, living expenses, etc.).

During The Residency Year

When does the Residency program start and end?

It’s a full academic year, which runs June to June. Courses will be in full-swing after the Fourth of July holiday, and student teaching will begin with the start of the new school year in September.

What will my schedule look like during the Residency year?

  • Summer: Full-time university coursework, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday at the university campus. Half of the graduate coursework for the Master’s degree is delivered during the summer; it is an intense academic experience and a full-time commitment (or more). Classes are held from July to early August.
  • School year: Residents work in classrooms with their mentor teacher Monday-Thursday, whenever school is in session. Fridays are dedicated to university classes.
  • Summer: In mid-July, following the Residency year and Master’s degree graduation, residents who will be teaching at AUSL-network schools attend professional development and planning to prepare for the first day of class.

Does the program provide housing?

The Chicago Teacher Residency does not provide housing. You are able to choose where you live. Many residents use the class Facebook group to find roommates.

What is the tuition cost for the Master’s degree?

Our university partners offer attractive tuition rates for residents and financial aid is available. For the one-year Master’s degree, tuition rates range from $18,250 to $19,999.

After Graduation

What salary will I earn after the Residency year?

Most graduating residents will be employed as Chicago Public School (CPS) teachers beginning in fall. As of 2018-19, the starting salary for a CPS teacher at a master’s degree level will be $$54,161, plus pension and other benefits for a 41.6 week school year. This is more than $3,500 higher than the starting salary for a CPS teacher without a Master’s degree.

What is my commitment required following graduation from the Residency program?

The Chicago Teacher Residency is designed to create a pipeline of talented, specially-trained teachers to fill positions in AUSL-network Chicago Public Schools. When you join our program, you will sign an agreement committing to teach in an AUSL school for a minimum of four years after graduation.

If you are unable to meet your commitment, you will be required to repay all or a portion of the scholarship you received during your training year ($20,000 for most residents). If a resident is not placed in an AUSL school upon graduation, becomes disabled, or if there are other special circumstances, AUSL will be flexible about repayment expectations on a case-by-case basis. (Moving out of Chicago is not considered a special circumstance.)

Am I guaranteed to have a teaching job after graduating from this program?

Placing Chicago Teacher Residency graduates in AUSL-managed schools is part of AUSL’s mission. Each spring, AUSL principals observe residents in the classroom and select new teachers for their schools. However, AUSL does not force any principal to hire a teacher, so placement is not guaranteed.

For the small number of Residency graduates who are not placed in AUSL schools, AUSL provides assistance to find other positions in schools in high-needs Chicago neighborhoods. Historically, over 95 percent of our graduates are teaching somewhere in Chicago during the school year immediately following graduation.

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