External Coursework

The office of Curriculum and Assessment accepts numerous external programs and classes as potential avenues of professional development. Course Approval Form is required for every individual course. An approved program of study is not an approval of every course within that program.

Online coursework must be in the content area of the faculty member, or in an area of identified district need, such as instructional technology, assessment, reading across the curriculum, or differentiated instruction. Course Approval Forms must be submitted no later than two weeks before the start of the proposed course.


What type of coursework will be eligible for tuition reimbursement?

Graduate level coursework will be eligible for tuition reimbursement as long as the course is approved, a grade of "B" or higher is earned, and the teacher has not yet acquired a 1st master's degree.  Tuition will be reimbursed at [a rate up to $350 per credit hour].  The rate established in the current negotiated teacher's contract.  After a teacher acquires a master's degree the teacher becomes ineligible for tuition reimbursement of any kind. 

Will my coursework be honored for credit toward salary lane advancement?

All approved courses are eligible for credit hours toward salary lane advancement.

What is the course approval process? How does it work?

Teachers will print the Course Approval Form  from Google Drive and complete the necessary information. Teachers should check to make sure the course is not on the list of Denied External Courses before submitting the approval form to their division leader (DL).  Teachers should also check the list of Approved External Courses.  Any courses on this list will be approved pending review by the teacher's DL leading to a determination that the course applies to the teacher's assignment.  If the course is not on the list, teachers MUST attach a syllabus to the course approval form for review purposes and then submit the course approval form to their DL for initial review.  If the DL approves, it will be forwarded to the district curriculum and assessment office so paperwork completion can be verified and logged.  The form will then be sent to the building principal for further review.  The building principal will issue approval or denial for the course.  If the course is denied a rationale for the decision will be provided with  the response from the principal.

What is the difference between a "program approval" and "course approval"?

Program approval is awarded by the district to indicate that the certified faculty member's focus of study is aligned with the certified staff member's professional practice, content area, or an area of need within the district.  Course approvals are granted individually and independently from program approvals.  Just because a program is approved does not mean that each course within the program will be approved. Program approvals are only required for certified staff member's seeking their first Master's degree.

I've heard there's an appeal process if a course approval request is denied. How does the appeal process work?

If a teacher's course approval request is denied by the principal the teacher can appeal the ruling if the course is a post-master's course.  This is accomplished by completing the appeal section on the back of the course approval form and filing it with the Director of Curriculum & Assessment. The appeal request will be reviewed by an appeals committee composed of four administrators and four Association members.  The decision of the appeals committee is final and non-grievable.  The appeals committee will meet on the 2nd Monday of each month to review all pertinent requests.​

Instructions for Advanced Credit and Reimbursement of Approve Course

Advancement on the salary schedule will be given for approved courses upon receipt of an official transcript from the college or university.  Please remember lane movement occurs in September of each  academic year. 

Reimbursement for tuition for each course requires official transcript and proof that you have paid the college or university in full for the course.  A detailed statement from the college or university showing the amount paid for tuition and fees and that you have a balance of zero must be submitted on official letterhead of the institution.  If the university generates the statement electronically, it must also include  your name, date, semester (e.g. Fall 2014), the course name, price breakdown of the fees for the semester, and show a zero balance at the university.

Contact Us

Matt Timmerman
Director of Curriculum and Assessment 
Phone: (815) 455-8500 ext. 1043
Email: mtimmerman@d155.org

Terri Reineck
Administrative Assistant 
Phone: (815) 455-8500 ext. 1031
Email: treineck@d155.org

  • Course selection guide
  • ISBE reporting
  • New teacher orientation communication 
  • Staff conference registration
  • Staff course approvals