​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  165 hours of daytime internships/field experiences in early childhood programs and schools.  These school-based internships. Two internships (T&L 481, T&L 482) are aligned with curriculum and instruction theory courses, and require students to be in the field during the day time for 75 hours in a preschool classroom setting,  and 75 hours in a primary grade (K-2nd grade) classroom setting.  Students are also required to compete 15 hours of field experience in an infant-toddler classroom, and 15 hours in an early childhood special education classroom setting.  In addition, students must spend a minimum of 12 weeks in full-time student teaching.  

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 early childhood education 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.
 
In additions, students have options of acquiring the following endorsements and credentials:
•    Early Childhood Bilingual/ESL endorsement
•    Early Childhood Learning Behavior Specialist (special education) endorsement
•    Courses toward acquiring credentials in Developmental Therapy

Licensure

Illinois Professional Educator License with endorsement in Early Childhood Education (birth-grade 2) and Early Childhood Special Education Approval for Preschool (ages 3-6), an Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) approved program​.​​

Degree Requirements (MA) 64 hours
   Total hours required    64 hours

Degree Requirements (MEd) 60 hours
   Total hours required    60 hours