The School of Education at UIS offers a major in education that leads to licensure at the elementary level when combined with an appropriate academic major, fulfillment of general education requirements, and fulfillment of campus requirements. Candidates seeking the elementary baccalaureate degree and concurrent academic content major should expect that their total program of study can usually be completed within the four year time frame but may exceed the minimum number of hours required for graduation. The Initial Program Advisor can recommend appropriate majors. (See Curriculum for the Elementary Major in Teacher Education for further information.)

Our Student Teaching & Clinical Experiences

University of Illinois Springfield’s Field Experience Coordinator places Elementary Education student teachers in school districts, with about half placed in rural schools. The student teachers complete a semester (approximately 14 weeks) of student teaching and it consists of four phases: 1. Orientation, 2. Transition activities, 3. Full-time (expected 7 weeks solo teaching), 4. Reverse transition. During student teaching the candidates are provided with opportunities for direct experience as teachers in the classroom, school, and community under the guidance of their cooperating teacher and other personnel in the school. The program provides the candidates with the opportunity to apply knowledge, skills, and strategies acquired through the university coursework and previous field experiences in a variety of settings. The experience is realistic, and the candidates have the opportunity to demonstrate their proficiency in meeting the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards (IPTS).

How We Prepare for the Classroom

Candidates take a series of foundational and methods courses, themed throughout by principles of social justice. Course work and field experiences prepare future teachers in an inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning, where our goal is to develop professionals who meet the needs of diverse learners, who are guided by the principles of social justice, and are committed to collaborating and serving schools and communities. Graduates are prepared to view all individuals through asset perspectives. The Teacher Education Programs (TEP) use an online application, the TEP Student Portal, that connects TEP candidates with their advisors. Candidates are able to see their status towards progress of TEP requirements, request TEP-restricted courses, preclinical placements, and student teaching requests. Candidates engage in three semesters of field experiences that culminate in a one-semester student teaching experience in a K-12 classroom coupled with a professional teaching seminar.


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