The College of Education announced a $3,000 renewable scholarship for students in Chicago Public Schools (CPS) who join the Teach Chicago Tomorrow Pathways Partnership program and enroll at Illinois State University (ISU). Students enrolling at the University will work with a designated financial aid counselor to identify any state, federal, and additional supports on top of the scholarship.  

Teach Chicago Tomorrow Pathways Partnership is a new collaboration between the College of Education at ISU, Chicago Public Schools (CPS), and City Colleges of Chicago (CCC). The program provides a structured plan for CPS graduates to earn an education degree in their own community and then start a CPS teaching career. 

Applications to begin the program in fall 2021 are now open. 

“This is an investment in the teacher workforce of Chicago,” said Illinois State’s College of Education Dean Dr. James Wolfinger. “One in six teachers in the state graduated from Illinois State University. For over 150 years, this University has developed a reputation for preparing the highest quality teachers. Teach Chicago Tomorrow extends our commitment to providing access to our top teacher education programs.” 

Students in the program will enroll at CCC for the first two years. They will then complete their degree and licensure requirements through Illinois State classes held in Chicago. Students can earn either an elementary education or special education degree and teacher licensure with bilingual endorsement options. 

“I’m proud of the work that our faculty and staff in the Department of Special Education and the School of Teaching and Learning have done to build this program,” said Wolfinger. “This is a college wide program and our faculty are excited to continue to address the teacher shortage throughout the state.

The first cohort of students will begin preparation over the summer with programs through Illinois State’s National Center for Urban Education (NCUE).

“The Summer Bridge program is essential to increase student retention and support student success,” said NCUE Executive Director Dr. Maria Luisa Zamudio. “NCUE is thrilled to participate in this initiative in collaboration with Chicago Public Schools and City Colleges of Chicago to meet the needs of Chicago’s communities and to prepare an educator workforce for the 21st century.” 

The Teach Chicago Tomorrow Pathways Partnership program is part of a larger CommuniTeach initiative in which Illinois State is developing new teacher education pathways in many parts of the state focused on developing local talent to be the highest quality educators. Each program provides access through nontraditional pathways that meet students’ needs for flexible schedules, integration into the local community for clinical experiences and student teaching, and a high-quality Illinois State University education in students’ home communities.