Jana Hunzicker

Associate Professor, William T. Kemper Fellow

Westlake Hall 237
(309) 677-3201

Ed.D., Curriculum and Instruction, Illinois State University 2006
M.A., Educational Administration, Bradley University 1994
B.S., Elementary Education, Bradley University 1989


Dr. Jana Hunzicker holds the rank of associate professor in Bradley’s Department of Teacher Education, serves as executive director for Bradley’s Center for Teaching Excellence and Learning (CTEL), and holds the position of Bradley’s William T. Kemper Fellow for Teaching Excellence in Bradley’s College of Education and Health Sciences. She holds a master’s degree in educational administration, a doctorate in curriculum and instruction, Illinois Type 75 administrative certification, and the Illinois superintendent endorsement. In addition to seven years of teaching experience at the middle school level, Dr. Hunzicker served for nine years as an elementary/middle school administrator before coming to Bradley in 2007.

As a teacher and principal, Dr. Hunzicker regularly planned, delivered, and arranged professional development at the team, school, and district levels, developing great interest in effective professional development over time.  In researching teacher learning during National Board candidacy, she developed a professional learning model called learning leverage, which consists of three dynamics: rigor, reward, and risk. Dr. Hunzicker believes that all three dynamics must be present and fairly balanced in order to maximize professional learning.  

At Bradley, Dr. Hunzicker continues to explore teacher learning and effective professional development through her teaching, research, and service. She has authored three book chapters, 23 scholarly journal articles, and 33 refereed presentations on teaching effectiveness, teacher leadership, scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), and effective professional development. In particular, “Effective Professional Development for Teachers: A Checklist” published in Professional Development in Education (2011) offers a practical tool that educators at all levels can use to plan, analyze, and assess professional development initiatives. Through her service to the Bradley PDS Partnership, she coordinates professional development for teachers and health sciences professionals including the annual Bradley PDS Partnership Spring Celebration.


Dr. Hunzicker teaches undergraduate courses in young adolescent development, human development, middle school instruction, and language arts methods. In addition, she teaches two graduate courses in teacher leadership. Her teaching style combines traditional instruction and active learning with emphasis on reflective practice. She tries to enliven her classes with meaningful discussion, activities, and projects to promote higher order thinking and provide opportunities for students to apply information and ideas. Toward this end, she connects each of her classes to actual students, teachers, and schools through field trips, guest speakers, and classroom projects with Bradley’s professional development schools.


    Dr. Hunzicker's research interests include effective teaching practices, teacher learning, professional development, professional development schools, and teacher leadership. She has experience with qualitative and mixed research methods, including ethnography, phenomenology, grounded theory, case study, and survey research. Current refereed publications include “Doing More with Less: How One Professional Development Schools Partnership Strategically Aligned Ideals and Resources” published in School-University Partnerships (2015), “Bradley University’s Kemper Project: An Integrated, Whole Child PDS Approach Since 1995” with Dr. Joan L. Sattler, published in Peoria’s InterBusiness Issues (2016), and a book chapter titled “Using a Literacy-based Classroom Partnership to Prepare Teacher Candidates for the edTPA” with Dr. Cecile Arquette, Dr. Peter Olson, and Douglas Atkins in D. Polly’s Evaluating Teacher Education Programs through Performance-based Assessments (2016). Currently, Dr. Hunzicker is working with Emerald Publishing on an edited book titled Teacher Leadership in Professional Development Schools. Publication is slated for January 2018. Please click on the link to view the book's Call for Teacher Leader Reflections.


      As the Kemper Fellow, Dr. Hunzicker coordinates the Bradley PDS Partnership, a long-standing school-university partnerships between Bradley’s College of Education and Health Sciences and eight Peoria schools. She serves on several university-level committees and reviews scholarly manuscripts for the Journal on Excellence on College Teaching, Learning Communities Journal, and Teacher Development. She is a member of the Illinois P-20 Council’s Teacher and Leadership Effectiveness Committee and serves as the E-mail Communication Sub-committee Chair for the National Association for Professional Development Schools (NAPDS) Communication Committee. Dr. Hunzicker is a recipient of the Joan L. Sattler Endowed Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching (2013), the College of Education and Health Sciences Faculty Research Award (2012), and the College of Education and Health Sciences Faculty Service Award (2011).