Department update from the chair

May 4, 2010

Welcome to the inaugural issue of the Department of Teacher Education eNewsletter. Indeed, the year 2010 marks our entry into the digital and environmentally-friendly world of newsletter publishing. Our objective is quite simple: to facilitate communication between the Department of Teacher Education and our alumni, P-12 stakeholders, and other constituents.

You will find the Department of Teacher Education eNewsletter is truly a collaborative effort, with input from faculty, staff, and students from across all of our teacher education programs. I want to take a moment to thank the editor of our newsletter, Ms. Susie Stear, advising coordinator, whose efforts have made the launching of this inaugural issue of our eNewsletter possible. On behalf of the department, Susie and I want to extend a special invitation to our alumni to send us updates and possible story ideas for the next issue of the eNewsletter.

I also want to thank the faculty, staff, and students in the Department of Teacher Education for an incredibly rewarding and productive end to the decade. To be sure, this past year the department initiated and shepherded through the approval process a record number of course, program, and unit-related initiatives, updates, modifications, and revisions. These accomplishments have not only helped the department to achieve its annual goals and objectives, but also have served to help the department prepare our students in an even more efficacious manner to meet the demands of the twenty-first century.

The major accomplishments of the Department of Teacher Education this past year include the following:

  • Continued work with our Professional Development Schools in Peoria School District 150 and added St. Mark’s Catholic School as a Professional Development School and strategic partner;
  • Celebrated the graduation of the first student, Lydia Branch, from the Peoria Grow Your Own Teachers (PGYO) program in spring semester 2009; 
  • Formalized a partnership with SEAPCO that affords our students with authentic on-site learning experiences in special education classrooms;
  • Implemented the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Professional Master of Arts (PMA) degree program in Environmental Science in collaboration with Bradley faculty participating in the Illinois Math and Science Partnership;
  • Created ways of communicating Department activities and accomplishments by developing the following Web 2.0 platforms: Teacher Education Blog, RSS feed, Synchronous chat room advising, Teacher Education Research Brief; and Teacher Education Twitter Page;
  • Continued pursuing further geographic expansions in study abroad for ETE students in China and Central America;
  • Assisted in the establishment of the Center for STEM Education;
  • Developed a new marketing campaign for the graduate (Curriculum and Instruction) degree program; and
  • Developed and approved a Department of Teacher Education Strategic Plan, 2009-2015, in alignment with the EHS College Strategic Goals.

While these initiatives, reforms, and updates have yielded tremendous gains for our programs and, most importantly, for our students, we look rather impatiently to achieving yet another critical milestone, the expansion and renovation of Westlake Hall. The new Westlake Hall is one major step closer to becoming a reality, as witnessed by the groundbreaking ceremony that took place this past fall semester. This seminal event will truly serve to help the Department realize its fullest potential and allow us 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 Finally, please remember to send us any updates or story ideas you may have for our fall issue of the eNewsletter, and best wishes to you and yours for a happy and healthy 2010.

D. Antonio Cantù, Ph.D.