Following the Illinois General Assembly’s update of the Illinois School Code standards for new school superintendents, the NIU Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations accordingly redesigned its programs.
That work has resulted in untangling the Ed.S. – an educational specialist degree that leads to the superintendent endorsement – and the Ed.D., a non-licensure degree.
During this process, the degree was redesigned and renamed as the Ed.D. in Leadership and Policy Studies, a name that underscores the dual strands available in educational leadership or policy studies.
“We felt it good to change the name to be more reflective of the content and the expertise of the faculty who will now teach in the program,” said Carolyn Pluim (Vander Schee), chair of the department. “Faculty in the Educational Foundations and Policy Studies program will now be more involved in teaching and mentoring students, a change which will only augment the diversity of learning experiences available to students.”
Students pursuing only the superintendent endorsement complete the 30-hour Ed.S. and can then finish with both a degree and endorsement. Students who wish to continue on to complete the doctorate can apply to the new Ed.D. program with the 30 earned credits from NIU’s Ed.S. program rolled into the Ed.D. program upon acceptance. Read more...
Graduate School Dean Brad Bond (left)
and State University of Tetovo President Vullnet Ameti.
Still energized by the Center for Peace and Transcultural Communication’s first-ever international conference, held in Macedonia, organizers already are gearing up for this fall’s second installment in DeKalb.
NIU and the State University of Tetovo are partners in the center, which was launched to foster “better social platforms for younger generations” and “a better society” in a country torn by nationalistic sentiments that stir hatred and war.
December’s gathering explored of “The Impact of U.S. Policy in Promoting Democracy, Peace, State-Building, Economic Recovery and the Protection of National, Religious and Civic Values in the Countries of the Region.”
Around 225 people, including presenters, professors, students and interested stakeholders of the region, attended.
Patrick Roberts, an associate professor in the NIU College of Education’s Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations, says the conference facilitated “a sharing of ideas” and “stimulated an understanding, and a conversation, about what are some pretty difficult issues.”
It also provided a mirror of sorts for the NIU contingent.
Teresa Wasonga is grateful for ignorance.
Without it, she says, she probably wouldn’t have felt compelled to learn so much during her doctoral program at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
She probably would have doubted that climbing aboard the single-engine plane sent to fly her to an interview for her first faculty job in the United States was worth the trip.
Most importantly, she probably wouldn’t have embarked on building and opening the Jane Adeny Memorial School (JAMS) for girls in Muhoroni, Kenya. A school is nothing but walls, right? What else could it possibly need?
“I was really naïve when I went to Missouri,” says Wasonga, a professor in the NIU College of Education’s Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations. “I didn’t know anything about the American education system. Zero. I had to start from scratch.”
But her studies at Mizzou did more than stuff her head with information. They bolstered her confidence, stoked her imagination and stirred her ambition.
“In the midst of all these professionals, who were so knowledgeable, I felt like I didn’t know anything,” she says. “But I longed to be like them. I longed to do what they had already done.” Read more...
Online graduate programs in the NIU College of Education continue to perform near the top of the country, according to new rankings released today by U.S. News & World Report.
NIU places fourth (tied with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln) in the current honor roll of 200 schools, earning a fifth consecutive spot among the nation’s Top 5 and its sixth nod overall.
Among the nine other Illinois schools ranked, only the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (tied for 10th) and the University of St. Francis (tied for 29th) are in the Top 50. Ten universities in the Mid-American Conference are ranked, including Buffalo and Ohio, which are among the five institutions tied for 10th.
Dean Laurie Elish-Piper considers the college’s annual recognition as “evidence of our high-quality online graduate programs.”
“Our faculty are at the cutting-edge of designing and delivering online education that is rigorous, engaging and interactive,” Elish-Piper said. “Our faculty, advisers and support staff are available to assist students in our online programs every step of the way so they can be successful in their programs and in their professions.”
The NIU College of Education offers three online master’s degrees within the departments of Educational Technology, Research and Assessment (ETRA) and Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations (LEPF). Read more...
Requirements have changed for educators who want to become school superintendents in Illinois – and NIU is the first university in the state to change with them.
Passage of Public Act 98-413 by the Illinois General Assembly updated the Illinois School Code and authorized the State Superintendent of Education, in consultation with the State Educator Preparation and Licensure Board, to develop standards for the preparation of school superintendents.
These changes have been fully implemented with the goal of ensuring the “people getting the new superintendent endorsement will have the skillset they need to be successful,” said Benjamin Creed, an assistant professor in the Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations.
Guidelines set by the ISBE now require three semesters of internships conducted at one or more public school districts “to enable the candidate to be exposed to and to participate in a variety of educational leadership situations” with “diverse economic and cultural conditions.”
Internships must include engagement in leadership activities at all levels from preschool through 12th grade; active participation in the hiring, supervision and evaluation of staff; and active collaboration in management, operations and decision-making. Read more...
Angela B. Hurley
Good is all around us, Angela B. Hurley believes.
Unfortunately, says the professor of education at Transylvania University, the negative often distracts our attention and drowns whatever impact something positive might have made.
For example, almost everyone turns their eyes toward parents screaming at a misbehaving child, but few notice the examples and lessons of excellent parenting that are far more common while largely invisible.
Recognition afforded to people who “stand above the crowd” creates a similar disconnect.
“We live in a time when you have to be exceptional to be noticed, and we’re always telling our young people, ‘Be the best you can. Be exceptional. Go out and excel,’ ” Hurley says.
“But if everyone did that, we’d have to change the meaning of the word ‘exceptional,’ ” she adds. “And, in doing so, we devalue the importance of the normal, everyday actions that we do in our lives, that give us joy as human beings and give us meaning. Much of what is really important is what we’re not even noticing.”
Hurley, the 2016 recipient of NIU’s James and Helen Merritt Distinguished Service Award for contributions to philosophy of education, will visit Thursday, Oct. 20. Read more...