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The Illinois Educator Preparation Profiles (IEPP), called a “continuous improvement and accountability system,” aims to strengthen the state’s more than 700 approved teacher-licensure programs statewide by improving how the ISBE collects, shares and reports data from 52 colleges and universities.
NIU offers 35 nationally recognized educator-licensure programs in four colleges – Education; Health and Human Sciences; Liberal Arts and Sciences; and Visual and Performing Arts – and each of the NIU programs that received a rating is categorized as either “Exemplary” or “Commendable.”
Earning the “Exemplary” designation are Foreign Language-Spanish, Library Information Specialist, Mathematics 9-12, Reading Specialist and Technology Specialist.
“The high scores received by NIU educator-licensure programs are a credit to our faculty and staff who provide quality experiences for our candidates,” said Jenny Parker, associate vice provost for Educator Licensure and Preparation. “We welcome and appreciate this additional validation from the state board, and we are committed to meeting and exceeding these standards in the coming years as this report develops.”
Developed with the support of the Partnership for Educator Preparation, a committee of diverse stakeholders that represents educators, principals, district administrators and higher education institutions as well as other experts throughout the state, the IEPP is intended to provide a holistic view of a program’s ability to recruit and train effective educators aligned to state needs.
Information was organized across four scored domains: Candidate Selection and Completion; Knowledge and Skills for Teaching; Performance as Classroom Teachers; and Contribution to State Needs. A domain can have up to four indicators, each of which has a minimum standard and a state target on a 100-point scale.
Scores from each domain then were tabulated to determine the overall ratings, which also include “Developing” or “Needs Improvement.” None of NIU’s rated programs fell into those lower categories.
Beth Ingram, NIU’s executive vice president and provost, is proud of the high ratings received by the university’s educator licensure programs.
“NIU began as a Normal School to prepare educators, and in this, our 125th year, it is wonderful to see the sustained quality of our programs reflected in this report,” Ingram said. “We always commit ourselves to continuous improvement, and to remaining flexible, responsive and proactive to the needs of our students and the profession, which has kept us as a university on the cutting edge of educator preparation.”
This year’s inaugural Illinois Educator Preparation Profiles is for informational purposes only, but the 2021 IEPP report and those that follow it will have formal regulatory consequences for the renewal and continued approval of teacher-preparation programs.
For that reason, Parker said, leaders of four Illinois education associations – the Illinois Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, the Illinois Association of Deans of Public Colleges of Education, the Illinois Association of Teacher Education in Private College and Chicago Area Deans Association – will continue to meet with ISBE representatives.
“We are urging further refining of the metrics and domains contained within the report,” she said. “When the report is linked to program re-authorization, it is critical that the data included, and the metrics used to calculate scores, fairly and comprehensively represent all preparation programs statewide.”
NIU is one of the largest educator-preparation providers in the Land of Lincoln, enrolling more than 1,600 students and recommending around 400 candidates for licensure each year.
Equipped with intensive preparation in their content fields and effective pedagogy, more than 25,000 NIU graduates with Professional Educator Licenses are currently teaching or serving in other positions in Illinois elementary and secondary schools.
Media Contact: Mark McGowan
Northern Illinois University is a student-centered, nationally recognized public research university, with expertise that benefits its region and spans the globe in a wide variety of fields, including the sciences, humanities, arts, business, engineering, education, health and law. Through its main campus in DeKalb, Illinois, and education centers for students and working professionals in Chicago, Hoffman Estates, Naperville, Oregon and Rockford, NIU offers more than 100 areas of study while serving a diverse and international student body.