The TEACH Program combines a College of Science and Health (CSH) undergraduate Biology major or some other disciplinary major with a graduate level College of Education (COE) Master’s in Education Program. Students graduate with a BS in their CSH disciplinary major and a MEd in Education with a State of Illinois Secondary Biology Certification.
The Program features the integration of disciplinary content with educational foundations and pedagogical content knowledge. The Junior Year Experiential Course, Senior Capstone Course, and three double-counted undergraduate/graduate courses offer students a seamless transition from undergraduate to graduate studies and from major-field coursework to teacher-preparation coursework. For undergraduate disciplinary major requirements, please refer to the appropriate undergraduate program website.
The 5th-year Master’s level coursework builds on students’ undergraduate experiences through a series of integrated courses that include consistent and long-term field experiences culminating in a student-teaching experience during the Spring of students’ fifth year. Within the COE, the Junior Year Experiential Course, Capstone Course, and Master’s level coursework are part of the Department of Teacher Education. This coursework is designed to immerse students into the teaching profession by linking and integrating disciplinary content with an understanding of human development; diverse students; middle-school and secondary education, research on pedagogical content knowledge; the social and cultural contexts of education; and the development and assessment of content-area curricula. The Program engages teacher candidates in critical reflection on their teacher development and practice. It fosters engagement in schools through placement of students in field experiences in schools and community agencies. Upon completion of the TEACH Program, teacher candidates measure themselves against the values of the COE conceptual framework through the development 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 participate in a minimum of 140 hours of field experiences in schools and community sites. These field experience hours are completed in conjunction with coursework and are integral to successful completion of the Program. In addition, students must complete a minimum of 10 weeks of full-time student teaching in a designated middle or high school.
Illinois Professional Educator License with endorsement in Secondary Education Science-Biology (grades 9-12 or grades 6-12), an Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) approved program.