During your coursework at Illinois State, you may participate in opportunities to prepare you to live, teach, and be agents of individual and social transformation in low-income and under-served communities throughout Illinois, particularly in Chicago and other urban settings. As stated in the university's conceptual framework for teacher education, "Illinois State graduates aspire to teach everyone, especially those on the margins, those who have been or are in danger of being excluded" (Realizing the Democratic Ideal, 2000).
To be effectively prepared for urban and high need schools, you will need to:
There are many opportunities at Illinois State for you to expand your knowledge and skills for teaching in urban schools.
Download an urban teacher preparation checklist (pdf) of all opportunities for preparation to teach in urban schools. We recommend that you keep track of the experiences you have and include them as a supplement to your application for a teaching position.
Urban Needs in Teacher Education, UNITE, a registered student organization, offers students opportunities to learn about urban education through hands-on experience and introductions to education's most influential professionals.
Minor in a program that relates to urban communities and schools.
Working with your academic advisor, you can select the educational options most appropriate for your needs and interests. Specific information is available on the urban teacher preparation checklist (pdf).
Chicago Teacher Education Pipeline™
Since 2004, the Chicago Teacher Education Pipeline™ has been working to reform urban teacher recruitment and preparation by providing unique, culturally relevant and contextually-situated opportunities for both ISU and Chicago public school students to engage, explore, and hone their interest in urban teaching. The Pipeline’s mission is to help create a new generation of teachers who are committed to urban teaching and vested in serving the diverse communities of Chicago.
TEACHER+PLUS Project is a unique continuum of programs starting in high school and extending through college and into the first three years of teaching. The Project's objective is to create highly effective teachers for Chicago Public Schools. Students and in-service CPS teachers can join TEACHER+PLUS and any of its programs. Enroll now at http://teacherpipeline.illinoisstate.edu/.
Multicultural Mentorship Program
Be partnered with child who is growing up in the Chicago Public Schools and learn more about teaching in diverse settings. Learn more about the Multicultural Mentorship Program.
Urban Bus Trips
- Get first-hand experience in urban education through a one-day trip to the Chicago Public Schools. One trip is offered each semester. Learn about the Chicago Urban Bus Trip.
- Secondary education majors can get first-hand experience in urban education through a one-day trip to Springfield public schools. Learn more about the Springfield Urban Bus Trip.
Service agencies in Bloomington-Normal
Tutor students from high needs neighborhoods. Volunteer and paid positions are available. Specific information is available on the urban teacher preparation checklist (pdf).
Join a Urban Teacher Preparation e-mail list to stay informed of opportunities to help you explore teaching in an urban setting. Subscribe to the e-mail list. (Change your preferences or unsubscribe.)
As you make choices for enhancing your preparation for teaching in urban schools, you are encouraged to document those experiences and describe how they have impacted your knowledge, skills, and dispositions for teaching. Suggestions are provided to assist you in presenting your preparation for future employers. Learn how to describe and articulate your preparation for teaching in urban schools.
Urban educational experiences at Illinois State are provided by the work of the Urban Teacher Preparation Initiative. This interdisciplinary faculty group works to develop additional opportunities for preparing teachers for urban schools.