The College of Education is pleased to announce that innovative and comprehensive changes to its undergraduate and graduate-level initial teacher preparation programs have been approved by the faculty. The redesigned programs are scheduled for implementation in Fall 2018.

The changes are a proactive response to a well-documented teacher shortage in Illinois and an increased awareness nationally that clinical practice is a central component of high quality teacher preparation programs. Creating more visible connections to Roosevelt’s mission and core values was another goal of the redesign.

Important changes include:

  • A new sequence of undergraduate coursework during the first two years of study that provides enhanced experiential learning in Chicagoland schools; greater understanding of diverse learners and their communities; better alignment with community college curriculums; and increased awareness of the multiple options and pathways available for becoming a social justice educator.
  • A new and highly distinctive three semester sequence of individualized coaching that is intentionally designed to provide more support to undergraduate and graduate students as they complete increasingly complex and demanding field experiences in partnership schools and agencies in preparation for a fifteen-week student teaching or practicum experience.
  • Redesigned course requirements that create more opportunities for integrated learning—for example, exploring connections between science and math teaching, and reading and social studies learning—and greater flexibility to earn additional endorsements in high need fields (e.g., bilingual education) and adjacent age bands (e.g., adding on the early childhood endorsement to an elementary endorsement).

As part of the redesign, an undergraduate concentration in Early Care and Education will shift from the Educational Studies major to the Early Childhood Education major—the curriculum with which it most closely aligns. The Early Care and Education concentration will continue to entitle students to the Gateways to Opportunity Level 5 ECE and Infant/Toddler Credentials.

In addition, the current Educational Studies major will be renamed Education and Youth Studies. The re-titled major will focus explicitly on youth development, programming, policy, and advocacy. In the next academic year, the College of Education will apply for approval to entitle students enrolled in this undergraduate program to the Gateways to Opportunity School Age Youth and Development Credential, a widely recognized indicator of high quality preparation for work with school age youth in community settings.

Finally, as a result of the redesign effort, the graduate program in Elementary Education will begin to accept part-time students and working adults in addition to full-time students. Full-time students at both the Chicago and Schaumburg campuses will have greater flexibility to add on endorsements in high need areas like special education and reading.

Collaboration with the national organization, Deans For Impact, has fueled the redesign effort. Tom Philion, dean of the College of Education, is a member dean of this organization, and his participation in a year-long fellowship generated a visit two years ago by Deans For Impact to Roosevelt for the purpose of inquiry and providing feedback on programs. Earlier this year, a team of four College of Education faculty participated in a Building Blocks workshop that has provided useful support for the incorporation of more modeling, practice, feedback and alignment within and across Roosevelt’s teacher preparation programs. Future collaborations are being discussed with an eye toward further strengthening the capacity of faculty and staff to deliver more complex and focused instruction and field experiences.

Details about the specific changes to each program will be released soon. Current applicants and individuals interested in Fall 2018 admission to Roosevelt’s teacher preparation programs should contact Lilibeth Castillo for more information.

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