Required Documentation for All Levels of Education and Foreign Education

Important:  Copies of all results are to be maintained in the DSP's personnel or training file or location accessible to Department staff.

Responsibility for Documentation of Education

  • Job candidates are responsible for verifying their education credentials.
  • Candidates with foreign high school diplomas or college degrees are responsible for having the diplomas or degrees evaluated for grade equivalency and their transcripts translated into English by qualified vendors.
  • Providers should advise candidates with foreign education of the requirements for documenting their education and provide them with information about grade equivalency and translation services to obtain this documentation on their own.

  1. Documenting Completion of 8th Grade

    • Diploma or transcripts from elementary school recognized by the State where the education credentials are earned.
    • Diploma or transcripts recognized by an accrediting body approved by the State where the education credentials are earned.
    • 8th grade reading level determined by the Test for Adult Basic Education (TABE), Adult Basic Literacy Examination (ABLE) or Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS).  The original test score sheet must be properly completed and document an 8th grade or higher reading score.
    • Online TABE, ABLE or CASAS reading tests are also acceptable verification of 8th grade education or functional literacy if the following conditions are met:
      • Online testing is supervised and test results are documented in the DSP's personnel or training file or other location accessible to Department staff.
      • Reading scores are printed from their respective web sites (TABE, ABLE or CASAS).
      • The printed test score is accompanied by a signed statement from a supervisor of the online test verifying the person for whom the score is printed actually the person who completed the test.
      • The signed statement identifies supervisor's position in the agency that employs the person or supervisor's relationship to the organization.
  2. Documenting Completion of High School

    • High school diploma granted by a school recognized by the state government agency responsible for ensuring students meet the high school graduation requirements of the state where the school is located or granted by a school approved by an accrediting body recognized by the state where the school is located.
      • No online high school diplomas are recognized by the Illinois State Board of Education.
      • The only high school diploma from a correspondence school recognized by the Illinois State Board of Education is one from the American School of Correspondence in Lansing, Illinois.
      • Other states recognize some online high school diplomas.  Such diplomas from these online high schools would meet the DSP education requirements for completion of 8th grade and a high school diploma.  Providers are responsible for ensuring education credentials are verified and documentation is maintained in their records.
    • General Education Diploma (GED) certificates granted by a GED program recognized by the state government agency responsible for ensuring students meet high school graduation requirements set by the state where the GED program is located or granted by a GED program approved by an accrediting body recognized by the state where the GED is located.
    • Private home schooling diplomas.  Under Illinois law, it is solely the parent or guardian who determines whether the child has met the graduation requirements of the state-authorized, private home school and are entitled to receive a high school diploma. A diploma or other document signed by a parent or guardian authorized by the state to conduct home schooling satisfies the high school diploma requirement.
    • For persons who are unable to provide a high school diploma, a 2 or 4 year college degree from a U.S. Department of Education accredited college or university or who has had their foreign education determined by a qualified vendor to be equivalent to a 2 or 4 year college degree is deemed by the Division of Developmental Disabilities to have met the requirement for a high school diploma.  Enrollment in college or completing college coursework without earning a college degree would not meet the high school diploma requirement.  If you have questions about a high school diploma, contact the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) office at:  866-262-6663.
  3. Documenting Completion of College

    Completion of college degree is documented by a diploma and transcripts from an accredited university or college. Providers can check the accreditation of postsecondary institutions and programs on the U.S. Department of Education web site.  To start, click on the desired option from the list below:

  4. Documenting Foreign Education

    Degrees or transcripts issued by a foreign educational institution must be evaluated for U.S. grade or degree equivalence by a vendor qualified to make such evaluations. Transcripts can be verified by a vendor that is a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) or other association qualified to make these determinations. Contact information for NACES vendors is: Email: or web site:

  5. Documenting Untranslated Foreign Education Credentials

    Transcripts in a foreign language must be translated into English and evaluated for U.S. grade or degree equivalency.  The following is contact information for international transcript and education credential evaluators:

University of Language Services
15 Maiden Lane, Suite 300
New York, NY 10038
Phone: (800) 419-4601
Outside US:  (212) 766-4111

World Education Services
Bowling Green Station, P.O. Box 5087
New York, NY  10274-5087
New York Phone:  (212) 966-6311
Chicago Phone: (312) 222-0882

Educational Credentials Evaluators
P.O. Box 514070
Milwaukee, WI  53203-3470
Phone: (414) 289-3400

Educational Perspectives
P.O. Box 618056
Chicago, IL  60661-8056
Phone:  (312) 421-9300
Fax: (312) 421-9353

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