As we complete the fall semester, I want to extend my deepest gratitude for all of the great work that each of you has done over the past few months. I know that given our extraordinary circumstances, we all have faced many challenges and have helped our students navigate their own hardships. I’m delighted to continue to hear from many students who are thankful for their instructors, advisors, and staff throughout the college. They have shared stories about how adaptable and supportive you all have been and how that has helped them persist on their path to becoming an educator.

As a college, we are blessed with some amazing donors who understand and support education. Through their generous gifts, we distribute over $400,000 in scholarships to our new and continuing students each year. In addition, this fall we gave out 46 persistence scholarships to education students who had an outstanding balance on their student account heading into the spring registration period. We were able to pay off their account balance and ensure that they were able to register for spring semester. We met with each of those students and the stories they shared were sobering and often emotional, but they were also filled with passion for education, hope for the future, and gratefulness for the opportunity to continue their education. We are so thankful for our generous donors who made these scholarships possible and for the chance to continue to help our students succeed.

As we wrap up the semester and think about spring, I look forward to us continuing to work together as faculty and staff and to support our students as they become world-class educators. As we all know, our students will lead the state of Illinois for decades to come. On behalf of the leadership team, thank you for all that you do each day to impact our students and the field of education. I wish you all the best as we head into the holiday season.


James Wolfinger, Ph.D.

Dean and Professor