Welcome to the 2019 Annual Report for the College of Education at Illinois State.
As the new dean of the College of Education, I am honored to become part of the great legacy of educator preparation at Illinois State University. I spent the last 16 years at DePaul University, and this is one of the few schools that could have enticed me to leave. Now that I have had the chance to meet and work with some of the College of Education’s remarkable faculty, staff, and students, I know coming to Illinois State University was the right choice. Every day I meet someone intriguing, take up a new opportunity, and discover a new aspect of this exceptional college. In short, this college teaches me something new every day, and there is no higher praise for a college than that. As you read through this report, you will see how strong the College of Education is, and why I am truly honored to be here.
With an alumni base of more than 60,000 educators throughout all 50 U.S. states and in 68 countries worldwide, Illinois State is a leader in the field of education. Within Illinois alone, almost one in six teachers is an alum of the University. With teacher shortages prevalent throughout the country, we continue to work tirelessly to deliver the highest quality educator and administrator preparation programs to our students. Our recruitment efforts have provided steady enrollment levels and Illinois State continues to be the largest preparer of future teachers in the Midwest. In fact, total enrollment in the college rose nearly 5 percent last year from the previous year.
Graduate programs continue to be a point of emphasis in the college, and our progress has gained national recognition. Illinois State University climbed 12 spots in the U.S. News & World Report rankings for 2019 Best Graduate Schools in Education, coming in at 108th this year. With the strength of our faculty, staff, and students, I have no doubt our rankings will continue to rise. Additionally, enrollment in these programs remained steady with 615 students in 2018.
According to data from the Partnership for Educator Preparation (PEP) and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), our graduates enter the field well prepared and are overwhelmingly recognized as high quality educators. The college has a strong relationship with ISBE, and will continue to work closely with ISBE on recommendations from the Illinois Teach Report to drive the direction of teacher education over the next 10 years.
We are extremely thankful for our donors, whose generous gifts have helped provide student scholarship support, new curricular opportunities, and upgraded classroom environments. The Redbird community continues to display a commitment to the college, as seen by a significant growth in donations over the last three years.
This report highlights several key data points that demonstrate the continued quality of educator preparation within the college. We hope that you enjoy learning more about the college’s efforts to provide successful programs that further cement Illinois State’s reputation as a leader in educator preparation.
Illinois State's College of Education is fighting against the trend of declining teacher education enrollment. The growing shortfall is well documented. The Economic Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, D.C., reports that the shortage of teachers nationwide from preschool through high school worsened from 64,000 in the 2015-2016 academic year to 110,000 just two years later. The agency projects the shortfall will reach at least 200,000 by 2025.
For several years, the College of Education has prioritized the redesign of classrooms and computer labs to reflect the flexible learning needs of aspiring educators and their future students. Areas that were once used for storage have been converted to classroom spaces with several interactive monitors that can be controlled individually or together through a single source.