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.
In addition to completing the requirements for licensure in Illinois, and in aligning with a commitment to preparing students with a global mindset, teacher candidates will also complete the requirements to gain a certificate in Teaching and Learning from the International Baccalaureate Organization. The IB Certificate in Teaching and Learning for the Middle Years Program (MYP) and the Diploma Program (DP) provides teacher candidates the background and expertise to teach in an IB school. The IB Certificate in Teaching and Learning expands the opportunities for teacher candidates and training in IB open expands the vision of inquiry and reflective practice.
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. As students will be completing requirements to earn the IB Certificate, a majority of the 100-110 hours will be completed in International Baccalaureate Schools. 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.