A message from Dean Laurie Elish-Piper

Laurie Elish-Piper
Laurie Elish-Piper

Hello from the NIU College of Education!

As autumn sets in, and as you’re well into your new school years, I hope that the excitement we all feel on the first day continues to resonate through your classrooms and hallways while your faculty and students get serious about teaching and learning.

We’re doing the same here, of course, and like you and your teams, we’re getting results. Our students posted a 100% pass rate on the Spring 2019 edTPA.

Meanwhile, our faculty are busy preparing the next generation of educators – and, take it from me, these Huskies are poised to become amazing teachers.

Our programs are rigorous, and we work to make them as impactful and cost-effective as possible in this time of teacher shortage and demand for teachers with specific skills.

NIU’s B.S.Ed. in Elementary Education, for example, gives students a choice of emphases (Bilingual/ESL, Elementary Mathematics Education, Reading Teacher and Special Education) with no extra time in school needed. The additional curriculum is embedded into the regular sequence of courses.

Furthermore, the NIU College of Education immerses our undergraduate teacher-candidates in a Progressive Growth Model for field experiences starting their first semester.

Their level of engagement and instructional delivery climbs as they move through their programs, culminating in a year-long, student-teaching experience. As the number of hours in the classroom rises, and the length of the experience expands, the result is total clinical experiences in our program areas that far exceed the state-mandated hours of participation.

What are our teacher candidates learning as a result?

Collaboration with colleagues, parents and the school community. Commitment to reflective practice. Comprehensive pedagogical knowledge. Data-informed instruction. Developmentally responsive practices. Respect for diversity among learners and within the community. Social justice and equity for all students.

Just ask the NIU alums in your buildings: Great things are going on here, and NIU is also prepared to support educators throughout their professional careers. We offer programs that lead to advanced degrees, and we can provide professional development in a location convenient to you. Please read the story below to learn more.

Best of luck for a wonderful school year!

Laurie Elish-Piper, Ph.D.
Dean, NIU College of Education
NIU Distinguished Teaching Professor
NIU Distinguished Engagement Professor

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