Resources and Reminders for 2021 License Renewal

14 Apr 2021 10 min read
Brian Bates
Brian Bates
Associate Executive Director of Professional Learning, Learning Technology Center
Sam Fishel
Sam Fishel
Digital Content Manager, Learning Technology Center

With April now in full swing, many educators around Illinois are making plans to round out the school year on a high note. At the same time, Illinois’ teachers shouldn’t forget about another important professional process that they may need to take part in before the next school year begins – state license renewal.

The Illinois State Board of Education opened the window for this year’s license renewal cycle on April 1, 2021. While Illinois teachers are not required to renew every year, many will need to go through the process this year, depending on when they first earned or previously renewed their license. Educators looking to start the process can visit ISBE’s renewal portal for information on how to login and upload relevant credential materials.

As always, the Learning Technology Center is here to support Illinois educators as they work to maintain their certified status. Throughout the year, we offer a variety of in-person, virtual, and self-guided professional development options – many of which can be counted as licensure PD credit. Read on to learn about some of our current PD resources that can help you round out your license renewal application in no time.

Deadlines & Need-to-Knows

Here are a few of the deadlines and need-to-know details that you should keep in mind heading into this year’s teacher license renewal process:

  • Illinois educators may begin applying for licensure renewal on April 1, 2021
  • All Illinois Professional Educator Licenses (PEL) must be renewed by August 31, 2021
  • No license cycle extensions due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will be offered this year (as was offered in 2020)
  • PEL with teaching endorsement renewal still requires 120 hours of documented PD, as well a fee ($10 for one year or $50 for a five-year cycle)
  • PEL with administration endorsement renewal still requires 100 hours of documented PD, 1 Admin Academy (AA) credit per fiscal year, and a fee ($10 for one year or $50 for a five-year cycle)

Has Anything Changed for 2021?

In 2020, some one-time changes were made to the ISBE educator license renewal process (including license extensions) to account for education system disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. While that pandemic is still ongoing, ISBE is now transitioning back to its regular licensure renewal process for 2021.

As such, current educators should follow ISBE’s standard renewal process if they wish to remain certified by the state. Answers to specific questions pertaining to the 2021 renewal process can be found here.

Professional Development Resources for Educators

Professional development is a key part of Illinois’ educator license renewal process. Those seeking renewal can satisfy their licenses’ professional development requirements through a few different channels, including in-service learning, mentoring, online courses, webinars, and more.

In particular, many educators today are opting to make edtech part of their personal professional development plans. If you’re looking to learn more about the latest education-centered digital learning tools and earn some PD credit along the way, consider checking out some of these free LTC resources:

LTC Online Courses

Fitting PD into your busy schedule can be challenging, especially if you are balancing a remote or hybrid teaching schedule. Fortunately, the LTC offers a variety of free online courses that can easily slot into your schedule. With courses covering topics ranging from Google Forms and Google Drive to Microsoft Teams and Keynote for Mac, you’re sure to learn something new from these carefully curated, self-guided lessons.

All of the LTC’s online courses can be started at any time. However, current class offerings will close on May 31, 2021. Learn more about some of our most popular courses here.

LTC Webinar Series

Throughout the year, the LTC hosts webinars on some of the most popular and pertinent edtech topics. That includes sessions on everything from Jamboard and flipped classroom basics to 3D printing and Makerspaces. Live attendees at these webinars are often awarded PD credit, so don’t miss these chances to learn something new from the LTC’s team of edtech experts.

Customized In-District Professional Development

As a statewide leader in educational technology professional development, the LTC offers educational institutions across Illinois an opportunity to host workshops, courses, and more with the support of our team of regional coordinators. Schools and districts can choose from an existing catalogue of offered courses or work with our team to create a new training geared specifically toward your faculty’s needs.

The LTC’s in-district PD comes at a great bargain, too. As a program of the Illinois State Board of Education, many of our in-district PD opportunities are offered at little to no cost.

Interested in learning more? Visit our “In-District Workshops” page or contact your local Regional Educational Technology Coordinator.

Professional Development Resources for Administrators

In addition to professional development credit, those seeking to renew their Illinois educator license as an administrator will need to also obtain 1 Administrator Academy (AA) credit. AA courses are offered by a variety of organizations in Illinois and can help administrators learn new skills and knowledge relevant to their leadership position.

The LTC’s team of Regional Educational Technology Coordinators (RETCs) can help bring an Admin Academy course to your institution or local Regional Office of Education office. Contact your local RETC to learn more.

Admin Academies are also offered by several other prominent Illinois educational organizations, including the Illinois Principals Association (IPA) and the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools (IARSS). Check out their websites to learn more about their upcoming offerings.

More Resources for Illinois Educator License Renewal

The Illinois State Board of Education has also put together a collection of useful resources geared towards educators seeking license renewal support. You can also find many of these over on ISBE’s license renewal hub:

PEL Renewal Steps
2021 License Renewal FAQ
Administrator Academy Providers

ISBE has also created several video guides to help educators navigate the renewal process and associated online platform:

Your local Regional Office of Education (ROE) or Intermediate Service Center (ISC) can also be a great resource while working through your educator license renewal. To learn more about your local ROE or ISC’s services or to find your closest ROE or ISC, check out ISBE’s interactive ROE and ISC map.

Brian Bates
Brian Bates
Associate Executive Director of Professional Learning, Learning Technology Center

Brian leads and develops events, programs, and resources in support of digital learning, digital citizenship, emerging technologies, technology integration, and computer science.

Sam Fishel
Sam Fishel
Digital Content Manager, Learning Technology Center

Sam leads and supports the execution and growth of LTC services through the development and creation of innovative, impactful, and timely digital content.