Professor Todd D. Oberg
Assistant Professor Penny Haase Wittler
Assistant Professor Jaime Klein Director of Teacher Preparation
Instructor Suzanne Kell
Instructor Eric McClarey
Part-time Assistant Professor Jennifer Tygret
Part-time Instructor Kristine Bingham
Part-time Instructor Monica Dixon
Part-time Instructor Bridget English
Part-time Instructor Janean Mays
Part-time Instructor Erin Tighe

Students wishing to become teachers take courses in the Department of Education along with courses in the content area(s) in which they plan to teach. Most education courses include an experiential learning component so that students have many opportunities to work with K-12 students in order to become excellent teachers. Students interested in earning a teaching license should contact the Department of Education as soon as possible to construct a four-year plan.

Anyone interested in entering the Teacher Preparation Program should register for ED 101 during their first year or as soon as possible thereafter. This course will introduce prospective candidates to the requirements for entering and completing a licensure program and to the dispositions, skills, and competencies necessary for successful completion of an Illinois College teaching licensure program. ED 289 should be taken in the second semester of the sophomore year and includes application into the Teacher Preparation Program.

All courses that count toward teaching licensure must be completed with a grade of “C” (2.0) or above. A GPA of 2.75 or better must be earned to be admitted into the Teacher Preparation Program and must be retained throughout completion of the program.

Licensure of Non-Traditional Students

Anyone who already holds a bachelor’s degree and wishes to earn a teaching license should consult the Director of Teacher Preparation to devise an individualized program that takes into account their coursework and real-world experience.

Candidates Seeking Additional Teaching License Endorsement

After earning their initial teaching license, any educator may add subsequent endorsements in other content areas or grade bands. Most subsequent teaching endorsements require 18 credit hours in the specific subject area, along with passing the applicable content area test. Some endorsements require a specific distribution of coursework, including particular teaching methods courses. All candidates seeking to add additional content area or grade band endorsements should speak with Illinois College’s Licensure Officer.

Online Reading Teacher Endorsement

The PK-12 Reading Teacher Endorsement is designed to be added to an existing Professional Educator License (PEL) at any level. Reading teachers are generally responsible for working with students who would benefit from additional reading instruction and assessing students to determine their reading needs and strengths. These professionals collaborate with reading specialists and other professionals to improve instruction and to modify the physical and social environments as needed to meet the needs of all readers.

Online English as a Second Language Endorsement

This endorsement is in the process of being developed. Please refer to the website for the most up to date information.

Education Major Courses and Professional Education Courses

Students enrolled in education courses should expect additional costs due to professional memberships, licensure requirements, and/or transportation.

Majors & Programs


ED 4xx: Linguistics for ESL Learners

This course will examine and analyze the fundamental concepts of linguistics and connect this information to routine work in the ESL classroom. Students will study linguistics including phonology, orthography, morphology, and syntax, as well as the implications of all of these topics for teaching all students, including ESL learners. Over the course of the semester, students will be provided with readings, videos, and podcasts that complement the information in the textbook, and assists students in developing a solid understanding of the intricacies of studying and teaching language. Through engagement in online whole-class discussions, group, and individual assignments, students will be able to use their understanding of essential linguistic principles to inform instruction and assessment at all levels. This course will include a 15-hour ESL Practicum.

ED 4xx: Assessment and Evaluation in ESL Education

This course will focus on the assessment of ESL learners with an emphasis on alternative assessments. The course will examine key concepts and issues of assessment, principles of language assessment including reliability, validity, authenticity, etc.; different purposes of assessment such as English learner identification, placement, diagnostic, and reclassification; different types of assessment (standards-based assessment, classroom-based assessment, standardized testing including norm-referenced and criterion-referenced standardized testing, alternative assessment such as dynamic assessment); steps in designing classroom-based or standardized language assessments; assessment of oral language (listening, speaking) and literacy (reading, writing), and language of content areas; use of technology in assessment; assessment of special populations such as young dual language learners and children with learning disabilities, analysis, interpretation, and reporting of assessment results. This course will include a 30-hour ESL Practicum.

ED 4xx: Second Language Methodology and Materials

This course will provide methodologies and techniques for teaching ESL learners, evaluation of ESL materials for various levels and instructional goals. This course will discuss second language methodology theoretical bases, approaches, strategies, materials, and techniques needed for effective teaching in ESL classrooms. Students will explore different pedagogical issues that relate to various ESL teaching strategies. They will have the opportunity to understand how language learning impacts content area learning and vice versa. Students will also have opportunities to reflect on teaching practices and how they impact ESL learners. Accordingly, students will learn to develop lessons and materials to put ESL theory and methods into practice, tailored to meet the needs of individual English language learners. This course will include a 30-hour ESL Practicum.

ED 101: Introduction to Education

This beginning level education course offers students philosophical, historical, and current views of teaching and education and encourages students to think more deeply about what teaching is, what teachers do, and whether teaching is an appropriate career choice for them. Through readings, class discussions, educational research, and field work in a K-12 classroom, students will reflect upon and articulate their own beliefs and values about teaching, learning, and schooling.

ED 203: Multicultural Issues and Social Justice in Education

This course explores different cultural and identity issues (such as socioeconomic status, gender, language, religion, sexual orientation, race ethnicity, age, and exceptionalities), and examines their influence on the teaching in today's classrooms. Participants will examine and develop culturally appropriate and responsive teaching techniques and skills to differentiate instruction and support the academic and social achievement of students from multiple identity groups. Participants will also become aware of their own social identities and how those identities inform their personal values, beliefs, and norms.

ED 217: Teaching Health and Physical Movement in the Elementary Schools

This course is designed to help the Elementary Education Teacher better understand and utilize brain research focusing on the relationship between movement and student's academic performance. Course content will emphasize the importance of health, dance and physical education and provide techniques to incorporate them within the elementary classroom.

ED 267: Foundational Literacy

Reading research over the last 20 years has identified the critical skills that students must acquire very early in reading development to ensure success in the later years and that may need to be reinforced in later years. These skills are in the areas of phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. The development of these skills is critical to getting a good start in reading and to flourishing in reading throughout the years. As a result, this course will lay the foundation in each of these five pillars of reading instruction so that teacher candidates understand the theory, research, and practice in order to empower themselves as true teachers of reading to children of all ages. Attention will be paid to foundational literacy as it occurs in multi-lingual households, in households where English is not spoken, and for children with special needs or talents. This course is part of the Elementary Education Program and should be completed prior to admission to the Teacher Preparation Program.

ED 276: Geography through Literature

This course provides an introductory overview of physical geography across regions. The academic discipline of geography features a rich heritage of investigating the relationship between people and the natural environment. Students will learn how geographers study the physical environment and the interconnected linkages between physical and human systems. Through gaining a deeper understanding of the physical processes that influence our planet, students will recognize how and why physical and human phenomena vary from place to place.

ED 289: Foundations of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

This course is part one of two courses in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment. Through both college classroom and field-based experiences, teacher candidates will begin looking at and practicing planning quality instruction by: a) setting strong, challenging, but achievable objectives based on Common Core standards and other state standards b) choosing, developing, and using teaching activities that are engaging, relevant, and designed to help the student successfully meet the intended objective; c) using assessment for learning that guides instruction for all students, and d) exploring the ideas of curriculum and instructional design, as well as research based best practice. At the end of this course, students will apply for admission to the teacher preparation program which is required for most 300-level education coursework.

ED 305: Teaching Diverse Learner

This course addresses two primary goals: 1) to examine and develop the skills regarding instruction, assessment, and adaptations necessary to teach diverse learners. 2) to learn what important issues are most relevant to instruction of diverse learners and how best to acquire proficiency in those areas. To this end, the course focuses on topics such as recent law and policy changes, cultural issues relevant to immigration, the process of acquiring a second language and the impact of that process on students' academic and social well-being, definitions of second-language acquisition, language difference and disability, and accommodations and modifications for students with special education needs or those in the process of second-language acquisition. Additionally, the course will explore strategies to improve achievement of diverse learners in specific content areas.

ED 320: Teaching K-12 Foreign Language

This course is generally met through participation in the Tandem Education Semester in Madrid, Spain, where teacher candidates will take the “Teaching Methodology for Teachers of Spanish and Bilingual Educators" course, along with appropriate Spanish language courses.

ED 330: Teaching Language Arts and Literacy in the Elementary Schools

In this literacy course, prospective educators acquire necessary skills for teaching English Language Arts at the elementary level. Emphasis is placed on the interrelatedness of reading, writing, speaking, and listening as guided by our Common Core State Standards. This methods course integrates models such as co-teaching for differentiation of skill levels within the literacy classroom. This course includes assignments on lesson planning, utilizing assessment in order to drive instruction, and reflecting upon instructor efficacy.

ED 335: Disciplinary Literacy in the Content Areas

A study of the disciplinary literacy with an emphasis on understanding the academic language of subj ect matter across the curriculum. Teacher candidates will study the interrelatedness of reading, writing, speaking and listening, and will develop the ability to use these processes to help students learn subject matter in different content areas. Candidates will explore effective ways of creating active learning environments and strategies to support learning in knowing how, when, and why to use all modes of language to learn with texts. This course is part of the Secondary and K-12 Education Programs.

ED 340: Teaching Social Science in the Elementary Schools

This course explores various theories and practices designed to teach social science to diverse learners in the elementary classroom in general and specifically through disciplinary literacy. Students will learn to create engaging instruction, encompassing the five strands of social science, by utilizing practices and resources such as case studies and primary sources while implementing Common Core standards. Special focus will be placed on using technology to enhance learning in the social sciences.

ED 342: Teaching Science in the Elementary Schools

A study of current theory, research, and best practices in the learning and teaching of science for all elementary school children, with a focus on student-centered inquiry and science and engineering practices. The course includes unit and lesson planning, assessment, task selection, design, and evaluation.

ED 343: Teaching Math in the Elementary Schools

This course is a study of the specific theories, practices and resources utilized by elementary school teachers to create effective and engaging learning environments for the study of mathematics. A particular focus will be on the Common Core State Standards, the eight Mathematical Practices, use of literacy and meeting the mathematical needs of English Language Learners. Candidates will learn to write lesson and unit plans, to analyze student work, to provide effective feedback and to use technology to enhance learning.

ED 360: Teaching Disciplinary Literacy

In this literacy course, prospective educators acquire necessary skills for helping students successfully navigate through texts with strategies that apply to many content areas. Emphasis is placed on the interrelatedness of reading, writing, talking, and listening and the ability to use generalized processes to learn subject matter across the curriculum. Candidates will explore effective ways to create active learning environments in which learners know how, when, and why to use all modes of language to learn with texts. This course is part of the Elementary Education Program.

ED 366: Teaching Math in the Middle Grades

This course is a study of the specific theories, practices, and resources utilized by middle grade teachers to create effective and engaging learning environments for the study of mathematics. A particular focus will be on the IL Learning Standards (Common Core State Standards), the eight Mathematical Practices, use of literacy and academic language, and meeting the mathematical needs of diverse adolescent learners. Candidates will learn about the ideal middle school, to write (integrated) lesson and unit plans, to analyze student work, to provide effective feedback, and to use technology to enhance learning.

ED 385: Creating and Managing Classroom Environments

This course will explore research, theory, and best practices related to effective classroom management. Topics will include establishing an environment for learning, organizing and managing instruction, coping with the challenges, and developing relationships with students, staff, and parents. This course includes an off-campus field experience in a classroom for 36-50 clock hours.

ED 389: Advanced Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

This course is an advanced course in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment focusing most specifically on curriculum and the application of assessment. In the context of their field placement, students will complete a full cycle of assessment, including formative assessment, summative assessment and feedback. Students will devise a variety of assessments in their teaching area.

ED 431: Organizing Content Knowledge for Student Learning

This student teaching course focuses on how teachers use their understanding of the community, the school, the students and subject matter to decide on learning goals, to design or select appropriate activities and instructional materials, to sequence instruction in ways that will help students to meet short- and long-term goals, and to design or select informative evaluation strategies.

ED 432: Creating a Classroom Environment for Student Learning

This student teaching course addresses issues of fairness and rapport, of helping students to believe that they can learn and can meet challenges and the issues of establishing and maintaining constructive standards for behavior in the classroom. It enables candidates to consider all environmental factors that impact student learning, ranging from the physical setting to the subgroups and learning needs of individual students.

ED 433: Teaching for Student Learning

This student teaching course focuses on the act of teaching and its overall goal: helping students to learn. Candidates are expected to make learning goals and instructional procedures clear to students, encourage students to extend their thinking, monitor students' understanding of content through various forms of assessments, design and implement effective instruction, and use time effectively.

ED 434: Teacher Professionalism

In this student teaching course, candidates are assessed on their abilities to reflect on and analyze the extent to which learning goals were met, their demonstration of a sense of efficacy, their professional relationships with colleagues, their communication with parents, and their ability to develop plans for self-improvement. Participation in weekly seminars augments these skills. This student teaching course serves as the Senior Capstone for education majors seeking licensure.

ED 441: Problems and Solutions in Education

This course serves as an alternative Senior Capstone for education majors who choose not to seek licensure, and therefore choose not to complete student teaching. In the course, students develop a proposal to address a problem in education.

ED 451: Theoretical Foundations: Second Language Acquisition

This course will give students of all levels an understanding of the main linguistic theories; first and second acquisition; cognitive, affective, and cultural factors in teaching ESL learners. This course will discuss how theoretical foundations of second language acquisition can be applied to their work in the ESL classroom. Major discussion topics in this course include language acquisition theories, language policy, models of ESL education, as well as information regarding the teaching of academic language to native English speakers and English language learners. This course will include a 10-hour ESL Practicum.

ED 454: Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teaching in ESL Classroom

This course prepares ESL teacher candidates to engage in culturally and linguistically responsive research-based practices to support diverse learners in PreK-12 classrooms. This course examines the relationships between language, culture, and cultural awareness in the learning and teaching of ESL. This course also explores many ways in which school teachers may build the capacities for cultural and linguistic diversity in the classroom. Emphasizes readiness for mutually accommodative professional practices with culturally and linguistically diverse learners and families. This course includes a 15-hour ESL Practicum

ED 470: Foundations in Reading

This course will lay the foundation in each of the five pillars of reading instruction (phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension) so that teachers understand the theory, research, and practices needed to empower themselves as teachers of reading. Attention will be paid to foundational literacy development as it pertains to the needs of diverse learners. This course includes an 8-10-hour Reading Practicum.

ED 471: Reading Skills and Strategies in the Content Area

In this course, students will acquire the necessary skills for helping students successfully navigate through texts with strategies that apply to many content areas. Specifically, students will learn about, develop, and apply teaching methods for reading, writing, speaking, and listening that are relevant to multiple content areas, including academic vocabulary common to various content areas. This course includes an 8-10-hour Reading Practicum.

ED 472: Assessment and Diagnosis of Reading Problems

This course will introduce teachers to the various types and causes of reading difficulty. Teachers will learn how to administer and interpret literacy assessments and use other diagnostic techniques with diverse populations. The information teachers obtain will assist in their identification of students' areas of reading difficulty and guide their instructional recommendations. This course includes an 8-10-hour Reading Practicum.

ED 473: Developmental and Remedial Instruction, Materials and Support

This course builds on knowledge gained in ED 472 as students learn to use diagnostic information as a basis for planning remedial instruction in reading. Prospective and licensed teachers will be introduced to various practices, procedures and materials which are useful for remediation of reading problems. This course includes an 8-10-hour Reading Practicum.

ED 475: Literature for Children and Adolescents

This course will examine the scope and nature of literature written specifically for children and adolescents. It will examine a variety of genres as well as include literature representing a range of diversities including ethnicities, culture, ability, gender, and sexual orientation. Emphasis will be on the identification, selection, and evaluation of high-quality literature as appropriate for children's developmental level and interest.