Resources for K-12
The Educators’ Center is an initiative of the University Center of Lake County aimed at bringing together K-12 educators, faculty from UC’s member universities, and the College of Lake County, and the ROE to address the professional development needs of the school districts in Lake County. We supplement (rather than compete with) the services available through the ROE. Described below is our mission. our ongoing needs assessment efforts, and the kind of contract programming we can provide.
For further information:
- or call her at (847) 665 - 4004
The Educators’ Center of Lake County is designed to provide professional development services to address the needs of pre-K-12 teachers and administrative staff in Lake County, with special focus upon those school districts with low ISAT performance and low income ratios. An additional goal is to help Lake County “grow its own” teachers by providing certification programs for non-traditional candidates.
A steering committee composed of faculty from the subset of our member institutions with schools of education, superintendents from local school districts, and the regional superintendent of education guides the Educators’ Center program development.
Ongoing Needs Assessment
Since 2002, the Educators’ Center has worked with the Regional Office of Education to conduct bi-annual surveys of the Lake County school superintendents concerning their current and projected needs for teachers and other certified personnel and their districts’ need for professional development activities. In the alternate year, the Educators’ Center surveys the teachers themselves about the kind of professional development they want or need.
For the most recent survey results, see Survey Data from Local School Districts.
Meeting the Need
In 2002, the Educators’ Center also surveyed Lake County paraprofessionals about their desire for teacher certification programs. Based on that data, Illinois State University sought and received a a five-year U.S. Department of Education “Transition to Teaching” grant that provided bilingual paraprofessionals working in high need Lake County school districts the opportunity to become highly qualified elementary education teachers with bilingual endorsements. The result of that program was the addition of approximately 50 highly qualified bilingual elementary education teachers to Lake County schools. In subsequent grant cycles, ISU obtained additional funding and ran more cohorts in both Waukegan and Grayslake. Altogether, more than 80 new bilingual elementary education teachers, each of whom had a two-year commitment to teach in high-need districts, entered the workforce.
At the request of several superintendents in Lake County, the Educators’ Center worked with Northern Illinois University, Roosevelt University, and Southern Illinois University Carbondale to offer the pairs of courses necessary for a middle school endorsement available to Lake County teachers in the summer of 2004 in several locations and via several formats.
In subsequent years, programs leading to English as a Second Language approvals and to Reading Teacher and Reading Specialist endorsements were brought to the University Center by Northern Illinois University, Benedictine University, Concordia University Chicago, and University of Illinois at Springfield in response to needs identified via these surveys.
Customized Work with Schools
The Educators’ Center works with schools and school districts in Lake County to assist in grant-writing and partnering, finding appropriate educational consultants through the University Center member institutions, and matching appropriate member institutions to provide specifically tailored contract solutions to professional development needs.
In recent years, this included assisting Waukegan CUSD #60 in restructuring the high school into Smaller Learning Communities, analyzing their response to intervention data, providing graduate coursework to cohorts of Waukegan teachers to prepare them for ESL or Reading Teacher endorsements, and providing coaching and graduate coursework to Math teachers. The Educators’ Center also worked with the Round Lake Area School District #116 in the writing of a successful new teacher induction & mentoring grant application and prompted SIUC to include Round Lake in a Library of Congress Primary Sources program that provided participating teachers with training in accessing primary research sources and the laptops that enabled them to do so in their classrooms.