Illinois State was founded in 1857 on the tradition of providing an excellent teacher’s education. The scope of degrees has expanded exponentially, yet the University’s commitment to preparing educators is unchanged.

Evidence that ISU remains stellar in the field of education is abundant, with more affirmation received in recent months.

In January, the University was ranked among the top 20 institutions in the nation for education graduates who received National Board Certification.

The certification is an advanced teaching credential that is obtained through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. ISU ranked 12th in the nation for 2011, with 58 teachers earning the certification that is considered the gold standard for teaching excellence.

In March, the University sealed a state contract to train approximately 9,000 teacher and principal evaluators. The Center for the Study of Education Policy is partnering with the Consortium for Education Change to prepare staff for changes in the evaluation process within Illinois.

A standards-based evaluation system for principals must be implemented by 2014 in Illinois, with new revised teacher evaluation systems in place by 2016. Illinois State will have a key role in guaranteeing evaluators complete required training and assessments before the new system is implemented.

The College of Education received additional accolades in the spring, when U. S. News & World Report ranked it among the best graduate schools in the nation. The college was listed at 84 in the magazine’s 2013 Best Graduate Schools publication. That compares to a ranking of 104 last year.

“This ranking is a tangible affirmation that the quality of an Illinois State University graduate degree is highly respected across the nation, and that our alumni are regarded among the best,” former College of Education Dean Deborah Curtis said. “We believe we have the best educator preparation programs in the nation.”