New Opportunities on Horizon for Roosevelt University Students Who Want to Teach

Roosevelt University students considering teaching careers with at-risk youths may be eligible for a break in tuition beginning in fall 2015. 

CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–January 9, 2015.  Students who, after graduating, agree to teach in low-income areas and in high-need fields, including math, science, special education and bi-lingual education, could save $4,000 a year in tuition through the federal government’s Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) grant program.


Summer and Fall at Prairie State College

“We are committed to preparing our students to teach in diverse, low-income schools,” said Thomas Philion (right), dean of Roosevelt’s College of Education, which is currently redesigning its curricula to better prepare students for teaching in these areas.

Both undergraduate and graduate students committed to teaching in diverse, low-income areas for four years after graduating will be eligible to receive TEACH grants.  For more information on the program, contact the College of Education at 312-853-4789 or email [email protected].

In addition, beginning in the fall, College of Education students will have more opportunities for in-depth field experiences as the College, with support from a Chicago Community Trust (CCT) grant, enhances its elementary education curricula to get students out in the field right from the beginning of their college experience.

“We are currently looking at ways to create a better, stronger and more effective teacher-education program at Roosevelt University,” said Kenneth King, associate professor of elementary education at Roosevelt.

King and colleague Judy Gouwens, professor of elementary education, currently are at work on developing new courses, field experiences and methods of assessing preparedness for teaching. Special education and bi-lingual content and experiences also are being strengthened as part of the redesign of the elementary education program.

Starting in the fall, assessments of teacher candidate performance will be conducted as a part of field experiences, said Gouwens. “These will be more than just hypothetical academic assessments. We will be able to see how teacher candidates put their knowledge into action,” she predicted.

As part of the overhaul, Roosevelt’s Elementary Education Program is partnering with the Chicago Public Schools’ Skinner West, Bouchet and Oriole Park elementary schools and with Schaumburg Elementary District 54’s Nerge and the Hoover Math and Science Academies.  More partners could be added before the new curricula, with its focus on field experience and sequenced assessments in the field, are implemented in fall 2016.

“Beginning in fall 2016, our students will have a field experience every semester that will allow them to demonstrate what they’ve learned in a practical setting,” Gouwens said.

Added King:  “We expect our students to be challenged in a good way that is going to make them more prepared for teaching, particularly in high-need areas.”

Besides redesigning elementary education courses, Philion said discussions are underway to start a New Deal Teachers Academy at Roosevelt in 2016. This initiative would encourage faculty members from across the University’s College of Education, College of Arts and Sciences, Heller College of Business and Chicago College of Performing Arts to collaborate in ways that best prepare teachers to accelerate the learning of bi-lingual and low-income students.

“We want to work across different parts of the University to make sure we are successful in preparing candidates with a zeal for knowledge and passion for social justice for teaching at the pre-kindergarten through 12th grade levels,” said Philion.


Summer and Fall at Prairie State College