Last night I had the distinct pleasure of attending a celebration honoring the 7th cohort of students to achieve state certification in ECE at the University of Illinois-Chicago. The university honored 11 students which brought the total number of students who have successfully completed this program to 91. This number is an extraordinary accomplishment by those students dedicated to achieving their certification as well as those who designed and delivered the program.
Becoming a state certified teacher in Illinois is not easy. It is even more difficult when you consider the cost of education, the time commitment involved, and the increasingly difficult exams and proficiency requirements. The alternative certification program was designed to serve a very special population of teachers – those who work in Chicago Public School Community Partners but were not certified. They continued working in their positions while they studied at night. Tuition was covered. Support services, including tutoring and mentoring, was provided. Success was achieved.
Over the course of 7 years, UIC provided this program to…
which includes 91 newly certified state licensed early childhood teachers,
of which 97% of those are still working on behalf of children and families
that serve 2500 children annually.
As one of the student speakers said, “the effects of this program will be felt for decades.”
It was a great night to be an early childhood professional.