Last spring, new teachers across the country were having trouble finding jobs. But that wasn’t the case for graduates who participated in Illinois State’s urban teacher preparation initiative, the Chicago Teacher Education Pipeline (CTEP).

“We had to start turning away principals, telling them we were sorry but we were out of graduates,” said Dakota Pawlicki ’09, who works with the Pipeline in Chicago. “Every single graduate who went through our program got a job in Chicago public schools.”

Now in its 10th year, CTEP has become a model for urban education. What makes it unique is the University partners with a community development organization before a student ever enters a classroom, said Robert Lee, the Pipeline’s executive director. Community residents support the students, providing everything from summer housing to interpreters in schools where a student might speak Urdu or Farsi.

College of Education Dean Perry Schoon ’89, Ph.D. ’97, believes CTEP can be the model for urban teacher preparation programs nationwide.

Kate Arthur can be reached at