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Teacher Leadership University of Illinois Springfield

Points of Pride

MTL Program receives 2010 Outstanding Online Program Award from Sloan Consortium.

The purpose of the Outstanding Online Program Award is to recognize an institution that offers the most outstanding individual online certificate, degree, or continuing education program. The idea recipient of this award would be an educational program that has a proven record of excellence, as demonstrated by its success in providing expanded access, learning effectiveness, and high levels of student and faculty satisfaction, in a cost-effective manner.

Award Criteria:

  • Access: The program has improved access to learning by expanding opportunities and/or reducing barriers.
  • Learning Effectiveness: The program demonstrates effectiveness in producing learning outcomes which are consistent with learner needs and representative of the distinctive quality of the institution.
  • Cost Effectiveness: The program is provided in a manner that is cost-effective for the institution and provides educational value for learners and other stakeholders.
  • Student Satisfaction: Learners who complete the program or substantial portion of it express satisfaction with their learning experience, including course rigor and fairness, instructor and peer interaction, and provision of support services.
  • Faculty Satisfaction: Faculty who teach in the program find the online teaching experience to be personally rewarding and professionally beneficial.

UIS press release:

The program has been interviewed by several newspapers in anticipation of stories being published in the upcoming days — including Chicago Tribune and US World News and Reports. Here is a link to the article from US World News and Reports:

The award will be official received at the Sloan Conference in Orlando, FL in early November – Dr. Day, the EDL Department Chair will be attending and receive the award on behalf of the program.



Correspondence from MTL graduate

Dear Chancellor Ringeisen,

As a new alum of UIS (MA in the MTL/EDL program), I wanted to extend my thanks to you and the UIS faculty and staff for providing an exceptional experience. With this degree, I am perhaps in a rare group of people who are alumni of all 3 University of Illinois campuses (I also attended UIUC many years ago, followed by attendance and graduation from UIC in a graduate program that I now head). In between the UIC and UIS years are many years of teaching (at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and UIC), heading my own business full-time for 15 years in biomedical visualization, and now focusing more on research in collaboration with other great universities like Stanford, UCSF, and private businesses. What UIS have given me are not only solid guidance in leading a premier educational program (we are one of only four accredited programs in the US and considered the top by many), but the graduate program helped me explore other areas of education that I hope to address relating to wellness and better methods of providing childhood health education to address the epidemic obesity, diabetes, and heart disease issues in America.

The UIS faculty are tremendous, and the online program made this a reality for me (I would not have been able to attend face to face classes because of my schedule). I shall pass along this wonderful experience at UIS to others, and perhaps someday we can collaborate on innovative projects that could help the people of Illinois, the country, and the world.

Best to you and the UIS community.


What Our Student’s Say About the MTL Program — Student Testimonials

In the spring of 2006, I began my journey through the MTL program.  At the time, I was a working mother of a small son and wondered if I could complete the program while giving my all to my family.  Three and a half years later, I have added a daughter to my family and also a master’s degree. The MTL program has helped me to grow professionally and personally.  My confidence in myself as a leader has grown at work and at home.

The online format of the program provided me with the flexibility and convenience I required to complete what I started.  Each class has given me opportunities to grow academically and technologically. The classes are well organized with clear objectives. In addition, the professional staff guided me through the program every step of the way.  I have increased my leadership skills as well as my confidence in solving problems.  During my classes I really felt a part of a learning community and in turn was inspired and learned from others in my classes.  The class discussions strengthened my higher level thinking skills. I will take the skills, strategies, and information that I learned in the MTL program and use them in my classroom and beyond.


Amy Crowdson

MTL graduate Fall 2009

Dear Ms. Kynion,

As I was working on some coursework today, I had to take the time to stop and drop you a quick line. I can’t get over how much I just LOVE this program. I am finding this to be, by far, the most beneficial learning I’ve been engaged in since high school. Never before have I taken courses that have been so directly applicable to my everyday work as a teacher. I was just telling a colleague the other day that this program is helping me grow as a professional and an educator with every chapter I read and every assignment I complete.

For years, I’ve worked hard all day as a teacher, gone home and worked hard all night as a mother, and the pile of professional reading just grew. All of my educational journals had post-it notes on them with articles that I wanted to read. But, when it came right down to it, my kids and my work responsibilities had to come first, so those got pushed aside. Besides the education and experience I was gathering from the day-to-day tasks of being an educator and the occasional workshop or summer class I’d take, I wasn’t feeling like I was growing as an educator.

Now, it is so different. I am able to sit down each night and read professionally to grow and develop as an educator and person because it is formally on my to-do list now that I am engaged in the MTL program. The instructors choose texts that make sense and are applicable to my teaching. The activities that we complete are engaging. My writing skills, thinking skills and problem-solving skills are stretched, which I love. All of my instructors, thus far, have been very involved, easily accessible when the need arises, and generally great people who design awesome curriculum.

The online aspect is, of course, an additional benefit. I can so easily maintain all of my responsibilities and pace my life accordingly. I don’t have to leave my kids at night to do their homework alone while I go to class. We do our work together sitting on the couch with laptops on our laps! J

I just love MTL at UIS, and I wanted you to know. I hope that you’ll pass my sentiments along to anyone who evaluates your program. Like I said before, this is, bar-none, the best program with which I’ve ever been involved. Thank you for your part in making it great!


Avra Wing

The format of the MTL program at UIS allowed for flexibility in learning without compromising educational standards. The program allowed me to collaborate with colleagues from across the country and to learn practices that I could use in my school and classroom. The professorstaught the core values of the program, while allowing students totailorprojects that metour own particular career needs.I would recommend the MTL program to any busy educator who wants to improve his or her leadership abilities. It is an outstanding program!

Jeanne Sarff

“I had my doubts about getting my masters online….I mean how much can you learn? How can you get to know your classmates and learn from one another? Well, my mind has been changed. You learn a ton AND you get to know your classmates…. all in the comfort of your own home. I highly recommend UIS’s graduate program. You won’t regret it.”

Kathi Rhodus

Michael Chitty, middle school principal at Mansfield Christian School in Ohio and a Teacher Leadership Program student, says the course has taught him techniques that have enhanced his abilities as a school administrator. He says that he has been able to balance his life as a principal, father of five, and graduate student because the program accommodates his schedule. “It’s an extremely efficient program—very user friendly,” Chitty says. “The communication with the professors is outstanding.”

US News and World Report Article