FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
U.S. Department of Education Teacher Quality Partnership Grant Will Create Chicago Teacher Pipeline Partnership
Funding from The Chicago Community Trust Will Support and Extend Initiative
CHICAGO, October 15, 2009 – Four universities which house Chicago’s largest elementary teacher preparation programs have received a Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grant from the U.S. Department of Education to create the Chicago Teacher Pipeline Partnership (CTPP) and develop a pipeline of high-quality teachers for Chicago Public Schools (CPS). The award to CTPP for its first year ($2,968,478.64) is the second largest made in the first round of TQP grants.
The College of Education at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) will serve as the fiscal agent and lead partner of CTPP, which will team UIC, Loyola University Chicago, National-Louis University (NLU) and Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) with CPS and 20 high-need CPS K-8 elementary schools.
Additionally, The Chicago Community Trust has made a grant totaling $750,000 to UIC to support the transformation of elementary school teacher education in these four institutions as well as to extend this work into their partner institutions in the Chicago region; the grant also supports the initiation of similar collaborative work among these institutions to strengthen the preparation of pre-school educators in the region. This work is supported in part by the Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust.
“We are thrilled to have received this grant because it enables us to build on our work to prepare educators for high-need CPS schools who can be critical thinkers and advocates, and who continue to develop the knowledge and skills that are necessary to prepare children to be productive citizens in the world,” says Victoria Chou, dean of the UIC College of Education and the grant’s principal investigator. “We know that successful learning outcomes for K-12 students depend first and foremost on the assurance of having high-quality teachers in every classroom and this grant has given us the unprecedented opportunity to move closer toward that goal.”
These four universities, which awarded 27 percent of the bachelor’s degrees earned by CPS elementary teachers in 2007, will draw on each other’s effective practices and intellectual resources to collaboratively transform teacher preparation programs at each institution.
“The achievement gap in urban schools deserves all of our attention and work,” says Alison Hilsabeck, dean of the National College of Education at NLU. “I am really heartened and impressed by this willingness to collaborate across institutions, and am especially grateful for the leadership UIC will provide.”
The universities’ research-based reforms will focus on recruiting and selecting academically strong and diverse teacher candidates, preparing teachers who have deep, relevant knowledge in math, science and reading and know how to help all students learn, and dramatically improving mentoring and professional development for teachers once they’re in a classroom.
“As a collaborative, each university has the opportunity to draw on each other’s strengths for the betterment of the students in our K-12 schools,” says David Prasse, dean of Loyola’s School of Education. “By increasing the content focus on math, science, and literacy in our professional preparation programs, we more directly address the needs of the students in the public schools. That is what teacher preparation programs need to do.”
The Chicago Community Trust has played a vital role in positioning UIC, NLU, Loyola and NEIU as a coalition of partners through the Council of Chicago Area Deans of Education (CCADE), an organization which fosters collaboration among 22 Chicago-area colleges of education. The Trust’s support has allowed these four institutions to amass cross-institutional data about their work and strengthen their readiness to develop and put forward a federal proposal.
“The work that TQP will allow us to do in collaboration with our partners will result in a complete transformation of our education programs to ensure that all teacher candidates are prepared with strong backgrounds in math, science and reading,” says Maureen Gillette, dean of the College of Education at Northeastern Illinois University. “It will also ensure that every candidate is well prepared to teach students with special needs and students who are English-language learners.”
With the TQP grant and the Trust’s additional support, Chou, Prasse, Gillette, and Hilsabeck can build upon an already close working relationship to create new or changed policies at the district level, and perhaps even statewide, by sharing what is learned through the partnership with colleagues in CCADE.
About University of Illinois at Chicago – www.uic.edu
The UIC College of Education prepares high-quality educators and researchers who can work effectively in Chicago neighborhood schools, institutions of higher education, and other urban educational and community agencies. Of primary importance is its work to improve schooling and educational processes in low-income, African American, and Latino communities.
UIC ranks among the nation’s top 50 universities in federal research funding and is Chicago’s largest university with 25,000 students, 12,000 faculty and staff, 15 colleges and the state’s major public medical center. A hallmark of the campus is the Great Cities Commitment, through which UIC faculty, students and staff engage with community, corporate, foundation and government partners in hundreds of programs to improve the quality of life in metropolitan areas around the world.
About Loyola University Chicago – LUC.edu
Committed to preparing people to lead extraordinary lives, Loyola University Chicago, founded in 1870, is the nation’s largest Jesuit, Catholic university. Enrollment is more than 15,600 students, which includes more than 10,000 undergraduates hailing from all 50 states and 82 countries. The University has four campuses: three in the greater Chicago area and one in Rome, Italy. Loyola also serves as the U.S. host university to The Beijing Center for Chinese Studies in Beijing, China. Loyola’s ten schools and colleges include arts and sciences, business administration, communication, education, graduate studies, law, medicine, nursing, continuing and professional studies, and social work. Loyola offers 71 undergraduate majors, 71 undergraduate minors, 85 master’s degrees, and 31 doctoral degrees. Loyola is consistently ranked among the “top national universities” by U.S.News & World Report, and the University was named a “best value” in their 2010 rankings. In addition, Loyola is among a select group of universities recognized for community service and engagement by prestigious national organizations like the Carnegie Foundation and the Corporation for National and Community Service.
About National-Louis University – www.nl.edu
National-Louis University (NLU) has been a force for change in American education since its founding in 1886. As one of Chicago’s oldest yet most innovative private universities, NLU prepares students to lead in classrooms, boardrooms and the community through undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the National College of Education, the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Management and Business.
The National College of Education (NCE) at NLU, which awards more graduate education degrees than any other university in Illinois, is nationally renowned for innovation in teacher preparation, urban school reform and educational leadership.