When special education major Allie Lardi gets her first job, she’ll be ready.

That’s because of all the hours she’s spending in real classrooms as a student at Illinois State University’s College of Education. Illinois State’s practicum, field-based, and student teaching experiences make our teacher candidates among the best and most sought after educators in the field.

“Being a special education major at Illinois State is great,” said Lardi. “You get to work with professors who bring tons of knowledge to the table, and the hands-on experience prepares you to be an educator.”

Lardi is a learning and behavior specialist student now completing her field-based semester at Bloomington Junior High School (BJHS).

Her passion for special education is due in part to her brother, who has Down syndrome.

“One of the things I love about special education is getting to celebrate all the small accomplishments with my students,” said Lardi, who is now working in a co-teaching environment at BJHS, where the classroom teacher is an ISU middle level education major.

Illinois State is the largest producer of special education teachers in Illinois at the bachelor level.

Adam Rahn can be reached at amrahn@IllinoisState.edu.