National College of Education

National College of Education (NCE) faculty and candidates use scholarly habits of mind and methods of inquiry in order to affect pre-kindergarten through 12th grade student learning by:

  • Envisioning, articulating and modeling democratic and progressive education
  • Designing powerful learning environments that:
    • Integrate appropriate technologies
    • Utilize multiple meaningful assessments
    • Enable self-directed learning
  • Working collaboratively in diverse communities and with diverse learners to achieve learning goals
  • Advocating for democratic values, equity, access and resources to assure educational success for all

NCE Faculty and candidates continuously demonstrate a high standard of professional ethics by:

  • Cultivating curiosity and excitement for learning in themselves and others
  • Respecting and learning from other peoples, cultures and points of view
  • Demonstrating a caring attitude in recognizing the needs of others and acting to promote their growth
  • Acting with confidence and self-knowledge to assume professional leadership roles and responsibilities
  • Using information from self and others to continuously improve


National College of Education of National Louis University is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Educators (NCATE). Selected programs are recognized by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and approved by the Wisconsin Educational Approval Board. Selected programs are also recognized by the Florida Department of Education.


Students will demonstrate behaviors that maintain academic, professional and ethical standards and avoid behaviors that are detrimental to either the pre-service student or the classroom students. Professional behavior is expected inside and outside the University classroom, when using email and in all field placement experiences. The following may constitute a basis for denial of admission to a practicum placement or student teaching, removal from a teacher education program or a remediation process prior to continuing the program:

  • Conduct unbecoming a professional educator
  • Conviction on a felony charge
  • Any other behavior that interferes with professionalism

Teacher Certification

NCE teacher certification programs may meet certification requirements for states other than Illinois. Since specific requirements vary, students should obtain information from the state in which they plan to teach.

Students seeking certification by entitlement may obtain applications for certification at

Illinois law prohibits the certification and/or employment of persons convicted of specific crimes. Students seeking an endorsement for professional certification through NCE who have been convicted of one of the offenses identified by Illinois law may be ineligible for certification or employment as a school professional.

Field Experience Requirements (Observations, Practica, Internships, Student Teaching) 

NLU requires all candidates in programs that include time spent in an Illinois school to have an Illinois State Police and FBI criminal background fingerprint check, a TB test and a Certificate of Completion with the Department of Children and Family Services Mandated Reporter Training.

A candidate with “no record,” a negative TB test and a Certificate of Completion may be placed in a school. Some school districts require an additional background check prior to student teaching. NLU will not accept criminal background check reports from sources other than Accurate Biometrics.

  • Criminal background checks must be completed after registering and within the first week of classes at NLU. Please use the NLU UCIA Criminal Background Check form and the FBI form that is located at the link Candidates cannot begin any field experience without a “passed” background check. Locations and fingerprinting times for Accurate Biometrics are posted on their website Candidates are responsible for all fees and the results must be sent to the students’ email or home address.
  • By the second week of classes, copies of the background check, TB test (Mantoux Method), and Certificate of Completion must be submitted to the student’s academic advisor by email or fax. Students should carry all originals when visiting schools.
  • A candidate may not be placed in any school if the background check determines that he or she has been convicted of criminal behavior that, by law, automatically prohibits him or her from attaining Illinois certification. The offenses that automatically prohibit certification include first degree murder, any Class X felony, juvenile pimping, soliciting a juvenile prostitute, exploitation of a child, obscenity, child pornography, criminal sexual assault, aggravated sexual criminal assault, criminal sexual abuse, aggravated criminal sexual abuse, some offenses set forth in the Cannabis Control Act and some crimes defined in the Illinois Controlled Substances Act.
  • In the event that no district will accept a student because of his or her criminal history, NCE will assist

    the student in choosing an alternative course of study.

Candidates for Illinois state educational credentials must pass the applicable content test(s) before student teaching or entering an internship or residency.

Professional Development Facilities

Center for Learning

The Center for Learning functions as both a training facility for graduate students in School Psychology and Special Education and as a community resource. Under the professional supervision of NLU faculty and staff, student clinicians provide to children, adolescents, parents and adults assessment or intervention services designed to focus on their needs and concerns. A major goal of the Center is to link theory and research to practice in the field. The Center for Learning is located on the North Shore campus.

National College of Education Center for Professional Development

The National College of Education Center for Professional Development offers a wide range of learning opportunities for individuals to expand their interests, enhance their professional development and pursue their academic and professional goals. The Center’s courses, seminars and workshops address the most current topics in the field of education.

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) requires certified teachers to engage in professional development activities during the period of their certificates’ validity in order to renew those certificates. NLU is an approved provider of these activities, offering continuing education units (CEUs) and continuing professional development units (CPDUs). The Center for Professional Development assists in the coordination of the workshops, seminars and conferences and follows the ISBE specified procedures in documentation and archival of the events.

For more information, visit

Reading Center

The Reading Center provides a setting for supervised practicum experiences in reading instruction for both graduate and undergraduate students. Student and staff tutors provide one-on-one tutoring and diagnosis for children with reading problems. Curriculum materials are available for inspection in the Center, and consultation for districts, schools, teachers and parents is also provided. Reading Centers are located on the North Shore campus and Lisle campus.

For more information, visit

Reading Recovery™ Program

A Reading Recovery Teacher Leader training program is offered at NLU with the support of the Illinois State Board of Education. This program is open only to post-master’s applicants through special district-based arrangement with the Reading Recover Program. Five of the nine Reading Recovery semester hours may be applied to a master’s degree in Reading. All nine semester hours may be applied to a CAS in Reading or Language and Literacy Education. 

Middle Level Curriculum and Instruction Center

The Middle Level Curriculum and Instruction Center seeks to advance curriculum practice, theories, policies and research for individuals teaching or working at the middle education level or working with young adolescents.

The MLCIC has materials and resources available for use by middle level educators and NLU students. It also provides workshops for students, educators, parents and community members on important middle level issues and strategies.

The MLCIC has a very active advisory board that comprises district superintendents, middle level principals, middle level educators, Chicago Public School leaders, national middle level consultants, technology specialists, NLU faculty members, museum educators, American Indian Center educators and NLU graduate students.