BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Illinois Wesleyan’s elementary education program has been designated “exemplary” by the Illinois State Board of Education — the board’s highest ranking — placing
IWU’s program among the top-35% across the state.
The board looks for programs which recruit diverse and accomplished teachers, equip
students the skills for success in the classroom, show strong student performance
after graduation and bring educators to “high-needs” public schools in Illinois.
“A placement among the top-35% of Elementary Education programs in the state is a
testament to content taught by experts in their field, early teaching experiences
and excellent classroom performance evaluations of program completers,” said Assistant
Director for Teacher Licensure and Assessment Colleen Herald.
Ben and Susan Rhodes Professor of Peace and Social Justice Irv Epstein, who chairs
the Department of Educational Studies, added: “IWU’s elementary education program
stands out with regard to its social justice orientation and the depth of engagement
students experience with respect to curricular and pedagogical study and field experience
Students are able to apply their knowledge and skills from their coursework through
classroom observations and field placements, which begin during their very first education
course. Students also have the opportunity to engage in research, internships and
study abroad opportunities. Thanks to these experiences, the job placement rate for
graduates in many years has been 100%.
“IWU’s general education program provides our elementary education majors with breadth
of knowledge in multiple areas,” said Epstein. “Such breadth is crucial in order to
teach a variety of subject areas at the elementary level.”
Regarding Illinois Wesleyan’s secondary education program, Epstein explained that
the IEPP only reports on programs that meet a certain threshold of enrollment.
“Our secondary education programs require students to complete double majors in both
a relevant subject area and secondary education,” Epstein said. “While we have a significant
number of secondary education majors in total, the state compiles data on each specific
secondary education affiliated major over a three year period, and we expect more
secondary education programs will be rated in time.”