Candidates seeking a teaching career must have a sincere desire to teach, show intellectual promise and display personal, professional and academic characteristics indicative of competent teachers.
The School of Education’s major goal, according to its conceptual framework, is to create effective practitioners who are committed to scholarship, lifelong inquiry, leadership and social responsibility. These enduring outcomes are developed and nurtured through the curriculum. Educators develop scholarship by acquiring a breadth and depth of knowledge in the field. As scholars, they develop lifelong inquiry by immersing themselves in a process of on-going questioning and reflection that results in informed thinking and decision-making. They assume leadership roles in a variety of venues where they can affect change and improve practice. Their leadership is guided by a sense of social responsibility to create fair and equitable environments that support and enhance learning in order to maximize each individual’s potential.
The student prepares for a degree in Elementary Education that leads to an Illinois teaching license by completing courses that satisfy general education and professional education requirements along with an 18 semester-hour concentration in Art, Language Arts, Mathematics, Computer Science, Science (Biology, Chemistry or Physics), History, Social Science or Spanish. This concentration satisfies the subject area requirements for a middle-grade endorsement. Students also receive a solid foundation in methodologies through the following experiences:
As candidates progress through their program, they will develop an understanding of the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards and the Content-Area Standards for Educators. In addition to successful completion of their coursework, they will also develop a professional portfolio that demonstrates their growth in teaching and service to education as well as their understanding of the Illinois standards. Their preparedness to teach will also be demonstrated through passage of the Test of Academic Performance (TAP), Content-Area Test and Assessment of Professional Teaching Test.
The program provides students with opportunities to develop strong interpersonal skills, effective communication practices and a dedicated commitment to children in an atmosphere of reflection and community.