Illinois State University’s immersive fellowship and summer residency program for pre-service teachers in Chicago was featured this week on the PBS NewsHour national evening newscast.

The nearly 9-minute segment focused on the College of Education’s Chicago Teacher Education Pipeline (CTEP) and its Summer Teacher Education Partnership for Urban Preparation (STEP-UP) program.

Reporter Lisa Stark interviewed several STEP-UP Fellows, who completed the one-month summer internship prior to student teaching. The Illinois State students live with a host family, collaborate with community-based organizations, and intern with a neighborhood school.

“These schools deserve good teachers, just like any other school district.” —Asia-Ana Williams

STEP-UP provides Fellows an in-depth understanding of one partner community by fully immersing them in the neighborhood and is the best way to prepare to become a Chicago Public Schools teacher. Since 2010, 91 percent of STEP-UP alumni who began their teaching careers in Chicago are still in the district.

Illinois State student and STEP-UP Fellow Asia-Ana Williams was featured in the NewsHour story. Williams grew up in Chicago and is working in the largely Hispanic community of Little Village.

“We all came from so many different backgrounds, but I think that the common ground was always that we all wanted to be good teachers,” Williams told NewsHour. “These schools deserve good teachers, just like any other school district.”

Learn more about the Chicago Teacher Education Pipeline and the College of Education, which is the largest preparer of teachers in Illinois.

Watch the full video above and read the recap at STEP-UP was also featured on WTTW’s Chicago Tonight program in 2015.

A short video produced by Education Week also features Illinois State alumna Kyla Bailenson, assistant principal in Chicago’s William G. Hibbard Elementary School, talking about the importance of a student-centered, culturally relevant curriculum.

Ryan Denham can be reached at