Program to give Champaign, Ford County residents affordable, accessible teacher licensure tracks
(Charleston, IL) – Eastern Illinois University and Regional Office of Education 9 have partnered to develop and deliver innovative programs to improve access to teacher licensure for adult learners living in the ROE 9 region, which encompasses Champaign and Ford County public schools.
The partnership program was developed for paraprofessionals already working in schools, those with bachelor's degrees who are interested in changing careers, and students who have completed some college coursework but are unable to regularly commute to Charleston to pursue affordable and accessible teacher licensure. Two programs will be offered—the first in Special Education (kindergarten through age 21), and the second in Elementary Education (Grades 1 through 6).
Program cohorts will begin in Champaign beginning Fall 2021, with once-per-week evening classes organized to accommodate those who are already working. Coursework will primarily take place in person at the Regional Office of Education 9 district office, located at 3358 Big Pine Trail, Champaign. The program’s first candidates will be prepared to student teach as early as fall of 2024, with student teaching experiences taking place within ROE 9 schools to facilitate field experiences in the types of settings program participants are interested in teaching in.
“We’re excited to offer the professional education courses and field experiences required for licensure in special education and elementary education in Champaign County,” said Dr. Stephen Lucas, associate dean of EIU’s College of Education. “A distinct advantage of this partnership is the high-quality advising from both EIU and ROE 9, which will strategically enhance student success and enable participants to incorporate previous and even current coursework into their program requirements.”
Another notable feature, Lucas said, is the program’s flexibility. Program participants will have access to general education courses through EIU or at their local community colleges. Candidates also are able to take courses concurrently through EIU and their local community colleges to assist in fulfilling program requirements.
For more information about the EIU and ROE 9 partnership, visit the EIU website at www.eiu.edu/edprep/roe9/roe9.php. There, interested participants can find details on program requirements, cohort schedules, transfer courses, application procedures, and financial aid, and find a link to the program’s “Get Started” page, where they can apply to the program. Those seeking additional information or wanting to speak with a program representative can contact Lucas at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (217) 581-2524.
For more information about EIU, or to learn more about its growing assortment of programs and services, visit the university’s website at www.eiu.edu, or call EIU’s public information office at (217) 581-7400.