The Cecilia J. Lauby Teacher Education Center in the College of Education (COE) is excited to launch a new summer program with District 87 in Bloomington.

This summer, 42 Illinois State teacher candidates preparing to teach grades K-12 will participate in face-to-face instruction in District 87 with students in the grades they are preparing to teach.  Teacher candidates will co-teach with a district teacher in the mornings allowing for in person teaching experience and mentorship with a current teacher. In the afternoon, teacher candidates will have their group of students on their own as they work with community-based organizations in camp-like activities.

“We are really excited about this innovative, community partnership, as we can allow our pre-student teaching candidates to gain experience in the classroom,” said Dr. Christy Borders, Director of the Lauby Teacher Education Center at Illinois State. “We provided meaningful experiences for our students over the past year to learn and practice instructional techniques virtually, but there is nothing better than being in the classroom. The program will provide Illinois State students with invaluable experience before their student teaching while also helping one of our partner districts with summer academic programming.”

This summer program is the first of its kind at Illinois State and will serve as a pilot with the goal of expanding the program over the next few summers.

“As we work to strategically address the teacher shortage, prepare quality teachers who are ready for the modern classroom, and support our partner districts, we look forward to continuing to build these types of partnerships with school districts and alumni,” said Dr. James Wolfinger, dean of the College of Education.

The college also has the opportunity to work with a highly renowned colleague and alumnus. Dr. Diane Wolf ’89, ’92, M.E. ’94, Ed.D ’15 is the assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction in District 87 and a member of the most recent College of Education Hall of Fame class. Wolf has spent her career in education locally as a teacher, administrator, and as a student in multiple COE programs. This is one of the many strategic partnerships that Wolf has helped develop with Illinois State during her career and it is an honor to work alongside this dedicated educator and alumnus.

“District 87 is excited to partner with the premier Illinois institution of teacher education,” said Wolf. “This is a perfect example of ISU being innovative for their students and the partnership it takes to prepare the next generation of teachers in Illinois. We always welcome the quality candidates from ISU to work with our students and collaborate with our teachers.”