"Teaching is the only profession that creates all other professions, ours is a noble calling."

The UIS Future Ready Teachers and Leaders pipeline initiative aims to recruit, equip, and prepare educators who are critical thinkers. We seek to support diverse and community-connected individuals to become certified teachers as a way to improve the educational opportunities and outcomes for their students.

Tuition and fees will be paid for, and a laptop computer provided to students. Priority will be given to candidates seeking to teach in Springfield, IL or Decatur, IL, but it is not required.

Interested teacher candidates must be (1) accepted into UIS, (2) meet the following criteria, and (3) complete the Future Ready Teachers and Leaders application.

  • A current or former para-professional in schools or
  • An involved community member or
  • A parent of a student (s) who attends or attended a school in the Springfield or Decatur communities.

The applications will be reviewed by representatives of the consortium , and candidates will be notified of their acceptance.

*The Future Ready Teachers and Leaders program is funded through Illinois Grow Your Own and the Prairie Area Teaching Initiative.

Interested in Applying or Have Questions?

Candidates should apply to both the University of Illinois Springfield, and GYO Teacher Preparation Initiative.

Contact the program at GYO-IL@uis.edu or 217-206 -7516 if you have questions.

Some of the following wraparound supports will be provided to students in the program:

  1. Stipends – Each candidate will receive a stipend to assist with costs related to childcare, transportation, housing, and meals.
  2. Access to technology – If needed, candidates may borrow a laptop while enrolled in the program. Candidates will also have free access to a printer and photocopier located in the School of Education.
  3. Bridge program – Each summer, new students will participate in a bridge program that will orient them to campus and the program, assist them in developing a peer network, and allow students to establish relationships with key personnel in the School of Education.

Program Personnel:

Pamela Hoff

Program Director - 
Pamela Hoff, Ph.D.

Dr. Hoff is a Distinguished Professor of Policy and Equity at the University of Illinois at Springfield. Her areas of specializations are transformative education, African American education and socio-cultural aspects of education.

As the Program Director, her responsibilities will include the day-to-day leadership and facilitation of grant activities, serving as primary contact person for the consortium, conducting and managing cohort meetings, conducting meetings with academic counselors, meeting with program evaluators, coordinating tutorial support, monitoring academic progress of candidates, assisting the consortium by providing information regarding the anticipated completion dates of candidates to assist with placement where positions may be available, and attending consortium meetings.

Ryan Williams

Cohort Coordinator - 
Ryan Williams, MEd (EdLead)

Ms. Ryan Williams is the Assistant Director of Strategic Initiatives in the School of Education at the University of Illinois at Springfield. As the Assistant Director, her responsibilities include facilitating community partnerships and student supports.

As cohort coordinator her responsibilities will include providing direct support and counseling to candidates, including, but not limited to, assisting students with class schedules, helping candidates register and answer questions about registration, answering questions about UIS teacher education programs and entrance requirements, helping candidates solve individual problems related to their classes, basic skills tests and other college requirements.

Beth Hatt

Principal Investigator
Beth Hatt, Ph.D

Dr. Beth Hatt is Professor and Director of the School of Education at the University of Illinois, Springfield. Her professional background includes expertise related to developmental psychology and working with adults and youth with autism. She also has experience studying successful Comer School Development Programs in urban schools. She will be responsible for providing direction and oversight for the consortium including, but not limited to, submitting grant applications and annual reports, meeting with program evaluators, monitoring grant expenditures.