Illinois College -> Graduate program looks to build on successful first year
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Graduate program looks to build on successful first year


When Valerie Graham heard that Illinois College was starting a master’s degree program in education, her first thought was “I must get into this.”

Graham, a Pittsfield High School math teacher and 2010 graduate of Illinois College, was one of 14 students who completed the inaugural year of the Master of Arts in education (M.A.Ed.) graduate program.

“It’s been awesome,” Graham said. “I love having other people around for support and to bounce ideas off of. Everyone in the class has been a mentor.”

The college began offering the M.A.Ed. graduate program during the 2011 fall semester when it was granted approval to begin the program with anticipation of gaining accreditation. This past spring the graduate degree program was fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

“We are very pleased to have passed the final phase in the accreditation process,” Illinois College President Axel D. Steuer said. “The program is off to a great start, and we are excited to have a graduate program that encourages intellectual excellence, research and scholarship while emphasizing the development of expertise as professional educators.”

With the accreditation process out of the way, Illinois College is excited to build upon a successful first year.

“We are in the process of recruiting candidates for the second cohort which will begin this fall semester,” Todd Oberg, director of the Teacher Preparation Program at Illinois College, said. “We look forward to providing certified teachers in the region a professional development opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills needed to respond to the needs of 21st century learners.”

Oberg added that the program is designed to enhance the skills, knowledge and teaching effectiveness of licensed teachers through the delivery of a standards-based curriculum that focuses on teaching outcomes as identified by the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

The M.A.Ed. is a two and one-half years, 32 credit-hour, on-campus degree program. The courses focus on providing degree candidates with attitudes, skills and knowledge to become better teachers and leaders in their classrooms, schools and districts.

Applications for the 2012-2013 academic year are due by July 31, 2012. For more information visit or contact Todd Oberg, director of the Teacher Preparation Program at 217.245.3430 or at
About Illinois College

Founded in 1829, Illinois College is a residential liberal arts college fostering academic excellence rooted in opportunities for experiential learning while preparing students for lifelong success. The college is located in Jacksonville, Ill. With an enrollment of about 1,000 students, the college offers over 50 undergraduate programs and a Master of Arts in Education degree program. In 1932 the society of Phi Beta Kappa established a chapter at Illinois College, and it remains one of only 11 in the state.

Illinois College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

Visit or call 217-245-3467 for more information.

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