The Department of Teacher Education prepares Urban Professional Multicultural Educators through an integrated program of courses and field experiences. Programs offered are designed for the preparation of future educators. The programs of study center around our commitment to excellence in teaching in today’s diverse society through the investigation of significant educational issues, inquiry into student learning and effective teaching practices, and the use of technology in teaching and learning. We engage teacher candidates in critical reflection upon their practice throughout the program. We foster engagement in schools through our Partnership Schools and other school and agency affiliations. Upon completion of the program, teacher candidates measure themselves against the values of our guiding conceptual framework through the completion of professional portfolios. Values that are part of this framework include: commitment to social justice, critical pedagogy, and positive educational transformation within the context of a Vincentian personalism that honors the dignity of each person.
Students entering the program must be able and willing to devote themselves to a program requiring a minimum of 145 hours of daytime field experiences in schools. These school-based clinical hours are completed in conjunction with curriculum and theory courses that require students to spend a half-day each week in a child care center or school; some of the field experience can be completed in worksite locations. Twenty-five the hours that apply to working with families may be completed in evenings or weekends. In addition, the student must spend a minimum of 12 weeks in full-time student teaching.
The program includes five distinctive features: 1) Becoming a teacher is viewed as a developmental process continuing at least through the first year of teaching; 2) Multiculturalism is infused throughout the curriculum; 3) Field experiences are an integral part of the curriculum; 4) Students are exposed to a variety of educational theories; 5) The program includes a research component as a basis for further professional development.
The program in early childhood education prepares students to teach children in a variety of urban and suburban educational settings, including public and private elementary schools and child care centers. Graduates earn the Master of Arts or Master of Education degree and are entitled to apply for the Illinois Professional Educator License. In addition, teacher candidates meet IL Approval for Teaching Young Children with Special Needs, ages 3-6. All of these elements are built into the required curriculum.
An additional Early Childhood Bilingual/ESL endorsement option of seven courses including a practicum is available.
Illinois Professional Educator License with endorsement in Early Childhood Education (birth-grade 3) and Early Childhood Special Education Approval for Preschool (ages 3-6), an Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) approved program.