Department Update from the Chair
February 21, 2011
Greetings from the Department of Teacher Education and welcome to the second annual issue of the Department of Teacher Education eNewsletter. I intentionally selected this photo of myself at the starting line of the 2010 Jingle Bell 5K Run because it is representative of the purpose our newsletter is to serve – i.e., to formally report-out on the accomplishments of the department during the past academic year, while also providing an official start/introduction to the current academic year, providing some insight as to what is on the horizon for 2011.
To be sure, academic year 2009-2010 was one of the most productive on record. Indeed, the department made tremendous strides this past year in achieving a record number of goals and objectives in our strategic plan – some of which we have been attempting to bring to fruition since 2006. Some of the major accomplishments of the Department of Teacher Education this past academic year include:
- The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) notified us that our history/social studies education program has received national recognition from the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS). The program received a near perfect evaluation, with 11 of 13 standards receiving the highest evaluation score possible.
- The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) notified us that our English education program has received national recognition from the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). The program received a near perfect evaluation, with 23 of 24 standards receiving the highest evaluation score possible.
- The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) granted us approval for a teacher leader endorsement for both the Professional Master of Arts Degree Program in Environmental Science (ENS) and the Professional Master of Arts Degree Program in Elementary Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education.
- In spring 2010 several faculty members and numerous teacher education students attended the Education Symposium at the Peoria Civic Center to hear U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan speak about education policy development that will directly affect teachers, other school personnel and other community professionals who work to transform public education.
- The Illinois State Certification Board granted us approval for a new Early Childhood / Elementary Education program, which will be implemented in fall 2011.
- A new reading teacher endorsement cohort at the graduate level began its course of study in summer 2010.
- A revised special education (LBS I) and elementary education program, which includes concentration areas in fine arts, foreign language, science, and social studies, was implemented in fall 2009.
- The department welcomed a new tenure-track faculty member, Dr. Peter Olson (Ph.D., Education, University of California, Los Angeles), who joined the faculty this fall as an assistant professor in elementary education.
- Department faculty and staff successfully transitioned to our temporary/interim facility in Campustown, while the renovation and expansion of Westlake Hall is underway.
- The department expanded and created new online communications networks to include an expanded blog, Twitter page, and initial work on the redesign of the Department of Teacher Education website.
- The department actively participated in the campus “B green” initiative by digitizing the publication/distribution process of Student Handbooks for all programs and by converting the Department of Teacher Education Newsletter publication/mailing process to online, html format.
- Department faculty continued to provide education majors with study abroad opportunities, including the inaugural spring break 2010 study abroad experience in China and summer 2010 study abroad experience in Australia.
- Finally, the department played a key role in the founding of the Center for STEM Education in fall 2009.
While these initiatives, reforms, and updates have yielded tremendous gains for our programs and, most importantly, for our teacher candidates, we look to 2012 when we will celebrate another critical milestone: the completion of the expansion and renovation of Westlake Hall. This seminal event will help the department realize its fullest potential and allow us to complete our efforts to become a nationally recognized teacher preparation program.
In the interim, we will continue to keep you updated on department activities and accomplishments on our blog at http://blogs.bradley.edu/teachered/. In closing, I want to encourage you to send us any updates or story ideas you may have for our next issue of the eNewsletter, and best wishes to you and yours for a happy and healthy 2011.
D. Antonio Cantù, Ph.D.